Overpopulation facts - the problem no one will discuss: Alexandra Paul at TEDxTopanga



I grew up in the 1960s watching those TV commercials with those starving kids in Africa who stared vacantly at the camera with sad eyes and distended bellies and in sixth grade my glee club teacher mr. Collins had us change the words in this song we were singing three billion people in the world to four billion people in the world and I was shocked I couldn't believe that the population hat was so big and it was even more shocked because no one else in the class seemed that all disturbed by this fact a couple days later I told my friend Suzy Haunter that because there seemed to be too many people in the world for it to handle that I wasn't going to have any kids and she looked at me and she replied that she was going to have three and I felt pretty alone in my beliefs and thirty-seven years later I still feel pretty alone in my beliefs and I'm still shocked that not more people are disturbed by population growth and I think it's because as a species we've decided not to talk about it to kind of tuck it away so I'm here to untuck it modern man first showed up on earth 200,000 years ago and by 1850 we had reproduced so successfully there were 1 billion people on the planet that means it took 200,000 years for us to put the first billion people on earth the next billion came in 100 years 200,000 years to get to the first billion a hundred years to get to the second billion now we add 1 billion people to the planet every 12 years and in 2011 the world population reached 7 billion people now this surge in growth came about because of him movements in agriculture and medicine because as a species we are a biological success story survival of the fittest we have survived and we're also religious success story we have gone forth and multiplied but now we have to stop or it will be our downfall and just to give you an idea of how fast population grows Bangladesh had a hurricane that killed 139 thousand people how long did it take Bangladesh to replace those deaths with 139 thousand new births two and a half weeks now the world population is growing at just one percent a year which might not sound like very much but one percent of seven billion is actually a big number it means that every day we add two hundred and twenty thousand people to the planet every day and this is unsustainable which means that at some point the world population is going to stop growing the question is how well let's stop growing because of famine disease a war over resources or will it stop growing because people choose to have smaller families and buy smaller families I mean one-child families and this is where people start getting nervous talking about overpopulation and population issues because they're scared that I'm going to take away their rights to have children but I don't want to take people's rights away I want to give people rights forcing people to have fewer children does not work in fact the fastest and most efficient way to stabilize the world population is to send girls to school and to empower women and to give everyone access to an education on birth control and those are good things and as a culture we need to emphasize the benefits of having a one-child family so people will choose to have fewer kids because for thousands of years we've been inculcated with this ethic that big families are happy families and only children or lonely children couples like myself and my husband Ian who have chosen not to have kids were childless instead of child free and myself several times I have been accused of being selfish because of my decision not to have children and all this made sense when it was important for us to procreate for our survival but now for our survival we have to not procreate and we have to change and rewire our biology and our culture to recognize the benefits of a one-child family because right now mostly what we see is the negatives for example when a country's population Falls there's all this economic doom and gloom in the media because capitalism is based on eternal growth capitalism depends upon more and more consumers so yeah when population lowers the economy will suffer but it will suffer less than if there's no more oil and food and water because there are 10 billion people on the planet in 40 years which is what the UN is projecting now you might be thinking okay this population issue sounds troublesome but we should be having the babies we're smart and we're educated and we listen to TED talks and we can afford kids and pack our offstring they they might save the world even my mom says Oh Alexandra you'd be such a good mother and your kids they'd be wonderful and they might be wonderful but they would also be wasteful because North Americans use 32 times the resources is someone from a developing country so it's even more important that we have smaller families for example somewhere in the United States on average uses 176 gallons of water a day compared to the average person from Africa who only uses 5 gallons a day and it's not I used to be poor countries either we here in the United States we use twice the energy as someone from France or England or Japan so yeah there are a lot of countries that have a higher fertility rate than we do here in the United States but we all have to aspire to a one-child family especially those of us living here maybe you're thinking well don't worry Alexandra technology will save us and yes it's possible that we might be able to eke a few more years of resources because of some new inventions or technologies but in the end even if we can feed and house 14 billion people what will their lives be like I mean the population is going to have to stop growing at some point so why not stop now instead of wishing that some invention or technology will save us that doesn't even exist yet we're not even sure works so for everyone to have quality of life the number of humans on earth needs to go down and I believe that it needs to go down to 2 billion people which sounds radical because there are 7 billion people on the planet today but it's actually the world population of just 80 years ago so let's change our idea of what the ideal family looks like one is a beautiful number and let's not be afraid to talk about overpopulation because it is not about taking rights away from people it is about giving opportunities to women children and future generations and lastly let's be part of the solution and choose from now on to bring forth no more than one child ourselves thank you you

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. I think it shouldn't be necessary to decrease so radically population in such an small time lapse if we took good care of the planet by decreasing consuming. In fact, people living in development counties are less and yet consume more. As she said as an example of population growth in Bangladesh, other counties have the same problem because of tradition, culture or mainly sexism but also to have more hands to work and earn more money and rates of mortality are higher. In development countries families are smaller now than 50 years ago and many women are deciding not to have kids, but that's because they CAN make that choice now. Some years ago we were in the exact same condition. If we helped people in those countries, I believe it would happen the same because they would also have the choice to decide.

  2. So are she pro abortion? Or saying Hilter did a great job? People with no kids trying to shame people with kids. If you really want to help you know you can choose to die.

  3. I'm with her in understanding that the world is overpopulated, but she needs to practice what she preaches. She's decided to not have any children at all, yet she's telling everyone else to just have one. She should have one herself so that she's more intellectually consistent.

  4. There are right now "extinction rebellion" protests going on. I've seen reporters interview some of these people and what attracted my attention was that several said something like "i want a sustainable future for my 4/5/6 children". Yeah right. 🙄

  5. Korporations /the rich love love love lots and lots and lots of peasant labourers to pick from , keeps wages to nothing,  no benefits, no health care, no retirement, just work them for 2-3 months, fire them and get more drones to keep the "honeymoon"    stage of employeeeeee  mindset.   that is what kapitalism is all about.. PROFITS for the owners of production, get that by not paying anymore than poverty wages.  the rich reside in mansions, go to private schools, private clubs, private enclaves …. and the poor breed and exist from paycheck to paycheck, 1-3 paychecks from being homeless.

  6. “We should change the culture to a 1 child or child free”
    Yeah we see how thats going for the West huh?
    While we encourage everyone in the western world to have less and less kids, Africa and Asia could care less and just keep on growing.

    One of the many reason the West is dying.

  7. Myth, look at Montana. There are plenty of resources we just dont incentivize farming, push green energy. We need to evolve, feudalism to capitalism, ……..Woman working makes finding work harder because AI is going to remove so many jobs, then what?

  8. The only answer is mass murder and the elites and bankers are already planning it. If Humans behaved morally and decently distribution of goods would be just fine. Seen Ted Turner talk?? 'Too many people using too much stuff'. Thats his answer, less people, but what hes earned is his, its okay that he has too much and a large portion of the world doesnt have enough. The earth has enough resources for all.

  9. Each to their own! Mismanagement of resources is the bigger issue as she stated for herself, Americans drain much more resources than those in developing countries and it's all out of convenience and selfishness. If people in developed countries weren't so spoiled and insistent on having everything at our disposal all year round that would dramatically reduce the damage to the planet.

  10. She also didn't remind us that most of these kids will grow up and not contribute substantially to the world, including you and me. And I'd suggest you read some Malthus regarding the changes and suffering that happen when a species overpopulates.

  11. She said Americans think they'd should be the ones to have kids because they're smart and can afford kids. I'm thinking of a bumper sticker that says "just because you can afford it, doesn't mean you're entitled to it." I can't believe this, I feel like I'm listening to someone saying exactly what I tell people, and they get upset. They've agreed not to address the issue of overpopulation and birth control, and they also think some bronze-age myth will save them and magically fix things. I tell them, you can either do damage control now, or crisis intervention later, which will be much more expensive in many ways. It has to be done through education. Legislation won't work, she's right. I've jokedthsf some day I will write to Oprah, who many years ago said she was,childless. I've always wanted to correct her and tell her I'm child-.free, and that so is she. It's a different mindset. But the problem is that even though I'm child-free, the family across the street has nine kids, which cancels out my impact. I like this woman, I'm going to see if she has any books or publications out.

  12. This Malthusian position is outdated and anti-human.we more resources today yes but we also produce more crops and food than ever before there are much less in poverty today than 30 years ago and the more population has grown so has quality of life. And here is another fact. We can fit the entire population in the state of texas, and every individual would be able to have a small apartment.

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