Warning: this blog may piss you off.
(Though I guess it’s rather unfair to preface this blog with a warning when I fail to do so for 99% of all my other blogs, though they may piss you off as well. Though I don’t know how a graph showing a breakdown of song genres per month could piss you off, but there are some freaky dudes out there.
Claudia, shut up and blog.
This might just be me and I might be a horrible monster for it, but every time I read something along the lines of “scientists and doctors have worked together to discover [insert something phenomenal here] that might aid in the elimination of [cancer/AIDS/malaria/some disease-related death/heart disease-related death/diabetes-related death] by the year [insert fairly close date here],” I think, “that’s great, but won’t this contribute to overpopulation in some sense?”
I know it may make me sound mean/heartless/cruel/whatever, but whenever I hear of a new medical breakthrough that promises to save millions of lives, I can’t help but think of the fact that that means a million more people still living while the population continues to grow at an insane rate. We’re not 6 billion strong anymore. That was back in 1999. We’re up to 6.8 billion now and are estimated to hit 7 billion by next year (source: CENSUS BUREAU, BITCHES!). If this keeps up we’re going to be screwed pretty soon, if we’re not to that point already.
I’m no population expert (duh), and I think a good argument against what I’m saying is that regardless of how ever many diseases/ailments we cure or lessen the effects of, the lifespan of the majority of people will still be < 100 years, so it’s not a big deal.
I’d counter-argue with the fact that, with advances in medicine that may at some point eliminate such things as cancer, AIDS, and malaria, people may not be living much past 100 (if at all), but a large proportion of them—those that may have succumbed to the effects of such diseases/illnesses—will certainly be living longer, and therefore will take up more resources.
In short, I don’t see some sort of Bicentennial Man insanity where we’re all going to be living to 200 years old or something (and become Robin Williams robots), I see people who would have perished due to these ailments living a somewhat average lifespan, using resources they obviously wouldn’t have used if the ailments hadn’t been cured. Thus, resources will be stretched more than they would be if these ailments, pardon my language, “removed” a portion of the population.
Another argument against what I’m saying could be the argument of “well, let the population expand. Resources will become scarce, but the fight for said resources will even things out as some people get a hold of them and others are left to die without them.” I say, though this may be the case, I don’t think some sort of resource-war would be something anyone would really want to look forward to. You see how insane we can be with oil. How would we act if we had to fight with the entire rest of the world for fresh water?
I’m NOT saying that certain people have less of a “right” to live than others. It might be assumed from what I’ve said so far that I’m insinuating that all those people in, say, Africa, who are affected by AIDS should just be left to die without treatment. That’s not what I’m saying.
I’m just saying we should watch what we’re doing. So say some scientists found a cure for AIDS. Great, awesome, rock on. Distribute the vaccine/pill/whatever to those who need it. But for the love of god, at least help slow the ever-increasing-upward line of the human population by educating people on some freaking birth control. I don’t know if this is true anymore, but like seven years ago I was reading this report on how it was very common in a large proportion of sub-Saharan African families to have a crap-ton of kids to help with farming and food production, mainly because many family members fell ill due to various problems and the help of many children was needed to keep farms going.
If someday there were a cure for AIDS and it was distributed in such areas as described, I think some sort of “balance” could be achieved by discussing the idea of birth control and the idea that the fewer the individuals, the more resources would be available for everyone to have so that things wouldn’t have to be stretched so far.
I don’t think I’m making sense anymore, as it’s about 3 in the morning and I didn’t really sleep last night. I hope I don’t come off as heartless, ‘cause I’m not, but I do think the population issue is a problem and I think we need to find some way of curbing it while still being able to develop drugs/treatments that help cure/lessen the effect of large-spread and common ailments.
Today’s song: Superman by Lazlo Bane