Are there too many people? How significant is population growth as it relates to climate change and overuse of global resources? From a scientific standpoint, the people debating this question are way over my pay grade, but at a very basic level, it makes sense that overpopulation plays a role in the overuse of global resources. The world has finite resources and carrying capacity, so you can’t have infinite growth in a world of finite resources.

All bioregions have carrying capacities.

Interestingly, the countries with the greatest population growth use far fewer resources than major industrial nations with lower rates of population growth. It appears that reducing the population will have some net positive effect on the environment, but once again, the primary issue appears to be unfettered growth capitalism.

Americans burn fuel and use resources like there’s no tomorrow. Daily Amazon deliveries, vacations to exotic places, millions of soft drinks shipped all over the country. Massive homes that require prodigious amounts of energy to heat and cool. Even data centers to house the enormous amounts of data we’re producing, including this blog post.

But hey, I’m grateful the “infallible” Pope has weighed in on the subject. Here we have a man that’s decided to not have children (and supposedly never had sex) telling people they are wrong to make similar decisions in their own lives. He also makes a point to tell people they shouldn’t practice birth control and is the head of a male dominated misogynist organization that somehow believes it’s qualified to dictate what women can do with their bodies. Go figure.

I found the linked podcast interesting, especially the accusation that its white dominated western industrial nations pointing their fingers at mostly non-white nations despite the fact the mostly non-white nations use far less energy. They don’t want to be told how many children they should have by the nations causing the problem. I get that, but that argument doesn’t take into account many of those nations face food shortages and relief is typically supplied by planes and planes need fuel. Population is a critical factor in arid areas of the planet.

Perhaps western nations should lead by example and be the first ones to sensibly address overpopulation. The Pope’s ideas notwithstanding.

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