Friday, June 10, 2016

Population Growth in the Amazon Rain Forest

I recently had the incredible good luck to take a tour deep into the Amazon basin. It was everything, and more, than expected: overwhelming, an amazing diversity of exotic animals and plants, vast, isolated, and ruggedly beautiful. But, sadly, the indigenous people there live in poverty eking out a subsistence existence based mostly on fishing. We visited two small villages and it was obvious that in spite of the primitive conditions, making babies is no problem. We were greeted by children, many of them. And they appeared healthy and happy. Perhaps here in the isolated, resource-rich Amazon, there is room for additional people. But with total human population now predicted to top 11 billion, I worry about the rest of the world.

1 comment:

Talia A-K said...

In order to control the population growth, policies have been set in certain places that restrict the number of children a family can have, e.g. in China and Vietnam, but how are these policies enforceable in an ethical or morally responsible fashion? In some cultures, having multiple children is an honorable tradition, e.g. certain Muslims, Mormons, and Orthodox Jews (Hasidic). In addition, some of these cultures have religious prohibitions against the use of birth control. How is it possible to convey to these populations that they have a responsibility to the well-being of the planet to consider the drain on resources due to overpopulation without causing offense to their traditions?