|Értsük meg a népesedésbombát. A legutóbbi tízezer év. / To Understand the Population Bomb. The last 10 thousand years.
Introduction: You can download offline version: earth_en2.exe
The green line indicates how many people the Earth can support in a given age, with the given means of self-support.. As the means of getting food developed (collecting, hunting, later, rearing animals, even later, agriculture), the capacity of the Earth for supporting people grew.
The number of human population is indicated by the red line.
Humans, as every other living being, propagate without limitation. Thus, our number has been controlled by famine and diseases as theirs. The grey area between the red and green lines indicates the surplus of the population that is exposed to famine and other controlling circumstances. This is always the weakest part of the human population.
Humans, nomads for most of pre-history, were compelled to develop settlements and agriculture as early as B.C.E. 10000-12000 resulting from a growing population for which fishing, hunting and gathering were no longer sufficient. In fact, some of the big game species were hunted to extiction.
The unlimited propagation of living beings is also controlled by their natural enemies. However, man gained power over his natural enemies, thus, he himself became his strongest enemy. Overpopulation results in shortage of all kinds, this is therefore the main reason for violence between men.
No matter how quickly human inventiveness increased the supporting capacity of the Earth, due to the natural instinct of unlimited propagation, the surplus created by the new methods was always used up at once by growing population and this process has been running into breaking-points from time to time..
Due to the grey area – the surplus of humans – famine, shortage and violence among men has always been there throughout history.
Agriculture provided food for many more people than any other method before. However it also required more manpower both for production and for protection (soldiers). The land had to be cultivated and defended from sowing until harvest. Demographic, economic and military pressures reinforced one another.
Finding better ways to make a living increased the capacity of the Earth to provide for humans – but these could happen only by unsustainable methods, bringing about irreversible changes, in the last few centuries:
- we have taken more and more lands away from other populations, flora and fauna (the cutting down of forests began already in the antiquity, all cultivable lands are ploughed by now)
- we blast fossile energy carriers back to the air (mining, chemistry, mechanisation, irrigation). This way, the capacity of the Earth grows in the short run, but deteriorates in the long run. This is indicated by the green line becoming black.
Cain the farmer envied Abel for the easier life of shepherds.
However, by changing over to agriculture, it was actually him who chose the growth of the population there, which ultimately led to hard work, expansion and aggression. Abel’s lifestyle, on the other hand, was such – by its very nature - that allowed for the stabilization of his population.
The explanation of the Bible for the Flood goes along the same lines: humans multiplied in number and violence filled the Earth.
Religious, ethnic and cultural difference are only superficial causes for violence. The real driving force of violence is overpopulation. Volcanos break out where continental plates collide with each other, but the reason for breaking out is not the collision of plates: these are just the places where the Earth’s fluid content comes easiest to surface. Difference is only a ‘rupture’ where violence is most likely to break out. If there is no difference, violence finds out some trumped-up cause for pretext.
As different human groups settled and cultivated the most valuable land, the began to find themselves adjacent to each other. Without places to expand, fights and conflicts became more frequent. Foreigners are not enemies as long as they stay on their own territory. But a group unified by language, race or religion can be divided over limited resources.
Myths, religions, tales and morals have always warned us for the responsible use of fertility. If a primitive woman let a man not caring for his offspring conceive her, she had a really hard life and her child not much chance for life. Warning against chance-children, side-slips is a tradition resulting from hundreds of years of experience.
We can trust this education and women’s natural instinct – it is not only a caring father that is necessary for giving birth to a child but the ecological capacity of the Earth as well.
Living beings always propagate themselves by nature. The number of a species' population is controlled only by its natural enemies, diseases, and the capacity of their territory (that is, famine). Human beings are not an exception: our numbers are – and will be – limited by these same cruel natural means unless we make a conscious decision to control it ourselves.
Only wanted children should be conceived, who can grow up in the belief that their parents, era and place are the best for him/her. (Principle of wanted children, wanted parents)
Men are also much more careful now, since the support of too many children can turn their life into endless drudgery. More and more is the number of men who do not confide contraception to women – today the chief means of contraception is the sterilization of men (!)
Building armies, empires, great cities and giant companies require enormous amounts of manpower. These interest directly urge human reproduction. Surplus of human lives – be it soldiers, workers or slaves – brings about cheap human labour and cheap human lives.
Social structures often form in a way that degrade women simply into means of reproduction.
We can never say we want a child. We may only ask: would any child like to be born into our family? Can we provide for him/her for 20 years? Can the Earth provide for him/her for 80 years? Will our lives not be distorted into endless drudgery? Will we not be forced into an unsustainable way of living, creating waste from natural resources and extruding others?
It is a dream of lots of us to have descendants as many as the stars above or the sea's gravel.
Growth became a synonym of hope, development and life in general. However, from the perspective of today, growth proves to be a lethal religion.
God did not create us for uncontrolled growth and violence but for harmony, quality and personal development.
Aristotle, Plato and Confucius were already aware of, and warned against overpopulation that leads to ecological degradation, social collapse and wars.
King David holds a census, but God punishes him: he loses many of his people.
Rome encourages population growth, because the proportion of oppressors alarmingly sinks as they subjugate more and more other groups, tribes, nations.
There are other groups - American Indians, Tibetans, certain African tribes - which are able to live in harmony with their environment and are wise enough to keep their population stable.
The tragedy of the Easter Island, an isolated piece of land, far away from any other land, models the tragedy of the Earth, also an isolated spot in the cosmos, with no real prospective for humans to leave it. For a thousand years, its civilisation developed peacefully and still with enormous achievements (e. g. they erected huge stone statues, without knowing metal and wheel). But they overpopulated the small island with a territory of only 170 km2. The fauna, woods, soil and freshwater capacity of the island were soon gone. Twenty thousand people were starving and athirst, which led to death of famine and thirst, wars and cannibalism. The number of their population decreased to its one-twentieth. Their civilisation collapsed.
Overpopulated nomadic tribes and groups - Hungarians, among others – flew out of Asia in waves: they assaulted the Roman Empire and later on the West. They were followed by other waves of Tartars and Turkish, these assaulted the already settled Hungarians.
Because of overpopulation, Europe overflows; masses of "surplus" people conquer America and enslave Africa extirpating American Indians and hunting for Africans.
It took hundred millions of years for solar energy to gather under the surface of the Earth as coal, oil and natural gas. These sources of energy we literally explose back to the atmosphere of the Earth, using them several million times faster than the speed of their formation. The population bomb is based on this explosion. We plough all fertile land possible, we are losing out of erosion, meal and water per capita lessen every year. Do we extrude totally weaker peoples and all living creatures from the Earth? Who remains? Warnings are desperately denied, because their truth is becoming ever more obvious.
Religions say that sexuality is sinful and allowed only for conceiving – contraception is forbidden. These limitations of enormous human sexual energy, too, lead to overpopulation. Irresponsible sexuality hurts only the partners, but irresponsible conceiving hurts its result the child, and through overpopulation it hurts the whole humankind and biosphere as well. Buddha had one child, Jesus and Krishna had none.
Even if the rich countries came down to the living level of the poor ones, we would still overburden the Earth: the average ecological footprint of even the non-OECD countries is above 100%.
The recent growth of population goes up to 77 million a year. Most of these come from unplanned and unwanted conceiving.
We exploit the Earth in vain, increasing its capacity with unsustainable methods (black line), never before did so many people starve (grey area).
The remedies of overpopulation are education of girls and women (especially in poor social groups and countries); equality of genders; availability of family planning means and counselling; social insurance; solidarity.
Children can not be the only means of security for retired people to rely on. Solidarity could lead to the fulfilment of need for friendship, company and parenthood for both children and adults.
In the 21st century mankind is forced to adapt to the capacity of the Earth. Evolution continues: the next level to learn is to overcome the original instinct of living beings to propagate without limitations.
Being aware of the fact the action of conceiving has a great effect on society, biosphere, nature and most of all, on the life of the child brought into being, people will handle fertility – that is, the ability to create new people – with responsibility, foresight and care.
Countries with decreasing population are on the right path.
Decreasing population, too, of course, brings along problems (e.g. providing for elderly and children overburdens the active population), but only this way can lead to a balance.
Dispelling the myth of growth requires teaching people that the quality of life is not dependent upon the quantity of their consumption and possessions (the size of countries, armies, economies and nations).
Personal development, love and spirituality are the keys to a fulfilling existence. Intellectual treasures and experiences connected with harmony, nature, creativity, friendship, solidarity, teaching and learning are the means to this new way of life.
Author: Simonyi, Gyula
Translator: Simonyi, Katalin
Copyright: all rights reserved