Overpopulation Essays

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Can We Sacrifice a Few Lives to Save Millions Essay

Words: 433 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 36272959

Overpopulation is one of the biggest threats to the planet and to humanity. In poor nations where food rations are sparse, too many people can cause famines. Overpopulation contributes to environmental problems, health problems, and economical problems. However, overpopulation is a difficult crisis to deal with because the right to reproduce is ingrained in the human psyche. It would be unethical to invasively force sterilization on women or men. On the other hand, it is equally unethical to give up and do nothing. The recent discovery of the five-year birth control pill solves a slew of problems. First, it provides a contraceptive that is more reliable than condoms or the standard pill, for there is no room for human error. The pill is only taken once and the woman is protected for five years. Second, it offers a non-invasive method of contraception that can squelch the population growth on the planet. The risk that this pill causes cancer is relatively small, but that risk must still be made public. The primary issue in this case is the rightful disclosure of information: the findings should be publicized and the pill should be released with the appropriate disclaimers.

All pharmaceuticals carry risks and side effects, and this one is no exception. Such a convenient birth control pill will…… [Read More]

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Philosophy -- the Tragedy of Essay

Words: 1411 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 19195662

More importantly, Sen argues that the collaborative approach would be a more successful route to reducing population growth. Among the ideas mentioned by Sen would be incorporating better public education to promote genuine understanding of problems and the reasons why changing certain behavior would be appropriate. In general, Sen expresses the confidence that Hardin lacks that many people could be taught long-range morality the same way many people already learn or absorb short-range morality. In that regard, it is simply not the case that most people behave appropriately toward others only because they fear the legal consequences of doing otherwise. Sen also implies that government could still play a role in encouraging the choice to have smaller families but in positive rather than negative ways. For example, federal and state agencies could provide monetary rewards for single-child families such as in the form of subsidized education, or childcare, or college funding, or tax credits to families who limit themselves to one or two children.

Critical Response to the Tragedy of the Commons Concept

The ideas advanced by Sen would include precisely the approach used by the U.S. federal government to encourage a nationwide highway speed limit. Specifically, the federal government cannot directly impose a speed limit on state and local highways because the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution precludes that as a matter of sovereign state rights. However, all fifty states have chosen to comply with the speed limit suggestions provided by the federal government because doing so is a requirement to qualify for substantial federal funding to state highway authorities.

As Sen implies would be the situation if governments incentivized family planning as preferred public policy, the individual states could choose to ignore Congressional preference about speed limits if they are willing to forgo federal money used to incentivize and reward voluntary state compliance. Ultimately, this is what Sen is suggesting: that governments incentivize any family size limitations and incorporate other methods of encouraging compliance (such as better education) into a comprehensive solution that is collaborative instead of an approach that overrides individual choice. To the extent that Hardin's initial premise and conclusion about the importance of reducing population growth is important,…… [Read More]

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Child Han China's One Child Essay

Words: 3495 Length: 12 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 66771740

Ethnographic/Social Considerations

Hall (1987) examined the effects of the one child policy from a cultural/anthropological and ethnographic perspective. Her study revealed that such policies unwittingly result in a cultural change in attitudes, beliefs and even behaviors exhibited by children. For example, couples may lean toward the decision that having more than one child "cramps their economic style" and that may lead to the one child being spoiled and the 'babyhood' period being drawn out (Hall, 1987).

The author suggests that a country full of only children will result in children who grow into adults that will be self-centered and less likely to be concerned with the welfare of the country as a whole, and more likely to be concerned with their own personal satisfaction. This goes against the Chinese ideology that it is important to serve the country rather than oneself, and Hall suggests that "a citizenry made up of only children could spell trouble" (Hall, 1987:44).

There has been some push by the Chinese government and the Ministry of Civil Affairs in recent years to provide more funding for orphanages so they can provide better care and provisions for the children living in them (Banghan et. al, 1998). Also underway is a test program in six counties where a voluntary birth planning policy is being put in place, where birth planning is encouraged without strict adherence to quotas or fines and punishments for families that choose not to participate in the program (Sly, 1998; Banghan et. al, 1998). These policies might lessen the changes for abandonment. Revision of the adoption law will also help.

Greenhalgh (2003) suggests that the one-child policy is about "the nation's dreams for achieving wealth, modernity, and global power through selective absorption of Western science and technology" (163). The author suggests that modern science and technology are responsible for highlighting the connection between population and prosperity, and suggests that philosophers and scientists have come to conclude that human welfare, order and utility is enhanced when population controls are in place.

Population in China has been characterized by government officials as a 'national crisis' suggesting that a drastic solution be required for the well being of the Chinese people as a whole and the economic and global ascent of the nation (Greenhalgh, 2003).

Li (2002) presents evidence from the China Health and Nutrition Survey…… [Read More]

Banghan, H.; Johnson, K.; Liyao, W. 1998. "Infant Abandonment in China." Population and Development Review, 24(3):469

Greenhalgh, S. (2003). "Science, modernity and the making of China's one-child policy." Population and Development Review, 29(2):163
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California Dreams and Realities California Essay

Words: 1769 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 97016242

Hispanic parent work so hard at low paying job (maid; agricultural; day laborer, etc.) just to feed and shelter them, and parent don't have anymore time or energy for insisting about homeworks and graders. But this, I feel, will downfall California eventually if something to help their Hispanic education levels does not happen. Now Hispanic adults even are working in Disneyland and McDonald's but that person needed for doctor and engineer careers instead. Disneyland job will be fine for young kid, but after that, which Hispanic people will be able to work in computer jobs in Silicon Valley; maintain infrastructures; participate in state government, and in California industry and health, accounting, and legal professions? There are just too many Hispanics here for them not to enter these professions in much bigger groups! California must work hard with the children of all: rich poor and middle class people equally - now, not later. No more time is available to discriminate, or everyone paying very high price! Therefore, California must encourage more Hispanic scholars like Ruben Navarette ("Well I Guess they Need their Minority"). True, maybe Harvard needs Ruben for its minority quota, but California needs for all Hispanic youth being like Ruben, not more low achieving "cholos" (Navarette).

All in all, California is great state with strength but overpopulation and many other problems. It will take time, creativity, and everyone's working together to solve these problems. I hope it can be done.

Works… [Read More]

Maasik, Sonia, and Jack Solomon. California Dreams and Realities: Readings

For Critical Thinkers and Writers. 3rd Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's,
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Faith and Science Today Essay

Words: 2014 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 28790437


The Breath of Life

Throughout scripture the concept of breath represents life. Genesis 2:7

It is evident that we need to breathe to live and that without our respiratory system, we would die. But why is this? Can we know why other than to say that this is how our Creator designed us to be? Perhaps an understanding of our own respiratory system can help us to better understand our Creator? I think so.

What do we find in our nose? A kind of filter that keeps out of our lungs harmful particles and spores that would otherwise pollute them. This can be a symbol of how we should filter our minds of impure thoughts so as to keep our souls clean. It can also be a symbol of how important God's grace is in our souls -- it is to our souls as oxygen is to our bodies. Without oxygen, we die. So to do our souls "die" if we cut them off from God's grace. But, just as our souls can be restored to life through the welcoming of grace into them, so to can our bodies be fortified, even when they have respiratory afflictions. For example, oxygen therapy is one way to treat patients who suffer from emphysema, heart disorders, pneumonia, and other diseases that restrict the person's ability to breathe (Cooke, Lauer, 1968).

More interesting still is the part that plants play in producing the oxygen we need to breathe. Thanks to photosynthesis, our bodies are not suffocated by harmful carbon dioxides (Fenical, 1983). Breathe is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit, as shown by Jesus in the Book of John: "He breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'" (John 20:22, NIV). Breathe, life, grace and spirituality are intimately connected.

I believe this scripture could be read both literally and metaphorically, and that it uses incredible imagery to show the incredible act of creation that was making man out of dust. Just as all of nature takes part in producing the air we breathe,…… [Read More]

South Bend, IN: St. Augustine's Press.

Sheen, F. (1951). Three to Get Married. Princeton, NJ: Scepter Publishers.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation. (2004). IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
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Tragedy of the Commons Essay

Words: 1165 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 90326041

Tragedy of the Commons

Few people would deny that overpopulation is a major problem. Even sparsely populated nations feel the brunt of the overpopulation problem because overpopulation affects the environment, politics, and the global market economy. The world currently holds six billion plus individual human beings, an unprecedented number. Rainforests are being cut down and soil depleted of their natural nutritive qualities in an attempt to please human appetites and keep the population happy. In his essay "The Tragedy of the Commons," author Garrett Hardin suggests that the only way to stop the overpopulation problem from getting worse is to stop unlimited human breeding. Unfortunately, the United Nations has taken a laissez faire stance that leaves the option to breed with each family. Hardin points out that this position is self-serving and outright stupid. So far, China has been one of the only nations in the world to institute some form of mandatory population control device, in limiting the number of children each family can have. Although China's model is not ideal and might not be the best ultimate application of population control, we do need, as Hardin proposes, to do something. That something must be a radical reworking of our political and social codes.

The "tragedy of the commons" refers to a nineteenth-century tale about an open pasture. "Each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain," by purchasing one or more new animals (3). When each herdsman decides to do so, the field becomes overgrazed. This "tragedy of the commons" can be applied to many environmental problems such as pollution and overpopulation. Hardin's essay treats overpopulation as a tragedy of the commons. I appreciate the analogy because it offers a visual image of an otherwise overwhelming, even abstract problem.

Unlike many other human problems, overpopulation cannot be solved through technology. While there are technological means to control reproduction, the overpopulation problem is related to psychology, sociology, and public policy more than to technology. Hardin's main purpose is to influence the…… [Read More]

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United States Should Use Its Essay

Words: 2975 Length: 9 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 87619689

("USAID Family Planning Program Timeline: 1970s-1980s").

President Regan's successor, President George H.W. Bush, continued to adhere to the Mexico City Policy. In 1993, it was rescinded by President Clinton. President George W. Bush reinstated the policy in 2001 by establishing conditions in the grants awarded to USAID. In addition, President George W. Bush extended the policy to apply to any "voluntary population planning" assistance provided by the Department of State. (Obama).

Progress in family planning policy was made in other areas. The federal government recognized that special attention in providing family planning counseling should be paid to countries where overpopulation threatened biodiversity or endangered species. ("USAID Family Planning Program Timeline: 1990s-2009").

In addition, the federal government, especially USAID, worked to use family planning policy to promote the awareness of HIV disease and to promote health practices that would restrict the spread of such diseases. In 2003, USAID established new guidelines which included new information about how to integrate family planning into HIV-education programs and about how to integrate HIV counseling and services into family planning programs. ("USAID Family Planning Program Timeline: 1990s-2009").

In 2009, shortly after he was inaugurated, President Barack Obama rescinded the Mexico City Policy. He ordered the Secretary of State and the Director of USAID to immediately suspend any of the conditions on grants for family planning, which had been implemented by the executive orders of President Regan, President George H.W. Bush, or President George W. Bush. (Obama).

Analysis of the Value of Promoting Family Planning Through Foreign Policy

Promoting family planning around the world helps achieve a number of objectives that are crucial to advancing the objectives of the foreign policy of the United States, as well as more general objectives related to the protection of human rights. The American government and advocates of human rights all over the world believe that it is important to promote autonomy, self-determination, and economic opportunity, and equal political rights for every person. These qualities are all threatened by the social problems that follow overpopulation, the spread of disease, and the degradation of the environment. Family planning can play an important role in reducing each of these threats to individual liberty and security.…… [Read More]

Clinton Hillary. Foreign Policy Address at the Council on Foreign Relations, May 5, 2009. U.S. Department of State. Web. May 24, 2010.

Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965).
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About Tragedy of the Commons Essay

Words: 1239 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 38359253

Tragedy of the Commons

In Garrett Hardin's essay "Tragedy of the Commons," the author presents a radical solution to the overpopulation problem. The title of the essay refers to a scenario presented by a mathematician in 1833. In the scenario, a communal pasture is enjoyed by several herdsmen in a given area. Everything is fine until "social stability" is achieved (2). When that happens, each herdsman feels entitled, even obliged, to "maximize his gain," (3). All the other herdsmen do the same thing and before long the pasture becomes overgrazed. Therefore, human self-serving instincts do not necessarily benefit the collective, and in many cases such as this, self-serving leads to collective destruction. Hardin calls this collective destruction the "tragedy of the commons." Hardin then applies the metaphor of the pasture to other tragedies of the commons, ultimately focusing on the overpopulation problem. According to Hardin, overpopulation can be stopped through public policy that limits breeding. Human beings and their societies enact a slew of laws that limit our personal freedoms. Because overpopulation is causing some undesirable and even disastrous effects such as starvation and pollution, laws should be enacted to enforce human population control. Although Hardin's position is radical and shocking, and offensive to the libertarian social values that most Americans uphold, it is difficult to resist the inherent logic and practicality of the solutions he proposes.

Hardin begins his argument by noting that some problems have definite technical or technological solutions, while others do not. For example, the natural sciences can devise new ways of harvesting wheat and the computer sciences can design new hardware and software solutions to meet the needs of consumers. However, some problems cannot be solved by technical or technological means. Hardin compares these problems to the game of tic tac toe, in which ultimately there is no real way of winning through technical skill. The overpopulation problem according to Hardin is a problem for which no technical solution…… [Read More]

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Social Ecology of Health Promotion Essay

Words: 3470 Length: 11 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 19913828

Social Ecology of Health Promotion

Modern day examples of human modification of an ecosystem

Module 01 Question 01: Preservation of the existing ecosystems

Various measures have been put in order to modify and contain the natural state of the ecosystem. Preservation is one of the approaches that have been used to foster equitable management of the ecosystem. Through preservation, it has become evident that the ecosystem has taken a different understanding from the avenue of human perception. For instance, rules and regulations that help to protect the ecosystem have changed the entire perception of the ecosystem globally. Initially before the establishment of preservation approaches, the ecosystem was getting devastated gradually. Nonetheless, modification has come with the introduction of laws and regulations that work towards protection and preservation of the available avenues in the market.

Through the rules and regulations created, the ecosystem has achieved a new state of protection in the society. For instance, the living and non-living matter has been protected through the establishment of safer sites where they are able to thrive in their natural state. It is evident that most of the approaches and modifications in this field are aimed at protecting the existing species of the existing terms and conditions in the natural world. More modification is reflected on how the world has taken concern over the importance of having a difference between the manufactured features and those that are natural.

Awareness has been heightened in various parts of the world. Awareness refers to the creation of knowledge over the importance of having a palatable ground of holding the essence of having the ecosystem dwell within its natural sense. With the creation of awareness, it has been made possible for all the concerned parties to take part in protecting the rights and avenues of the ecosystem. Through the creation of awareness, the ecosystem has been given a prominent perception from those who would be been agents of change and destruction. For instance, the establishment of equitable avenues of protecting the interests of the components of the ecosystem lies on the rudimentary measures put through awareness activities.

The ecosystem has been presented…… [Read More]

Callan, S., & Thomas, J.M. (2010). Environmental economics & management: Theory, policy, and applications. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Corwin, J. (2009). 100 heartbeats: The race to save earth's most endangered species. New York, NY: Rodale.
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Stratospheric Ozone Study Indicates More Essay

Words: 1759 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 75503188

A found this article particularly shocking for the immense figures suggested by the number of babies born daily. Such statistics opened my eyes to the core of the problem. Not only are we destroying the planet through our overindulgent, selfish and unsustainable habits, but also by the sheer number of us doing the same thing. No wonder studies such as the one in the first article found very little positive change in the environment around us. It is, as Connor says, time to raise our heads from the sand and face the core of our environmental problems. From the basis of sustainable population numbers, we can then create sustainable energy sources.… [Read More]

Business Wire. "Stratospheric Ozone Study Indicates: More is Needed for Full Recovery Report Released on the UN International Day to Protect the Ozone Layer." Sept. 15, 2003. Database: FindArticles.com. URL: