Overpopulation thread: how many planets does your lifestyle require?


Quiz is here: earthday.net/footprint/flash.html

Overpopulation is an interesting topic.

While physically there is enough room on the planet for more people, there already isn’t enough room to provide everyone with the kind of lifestyle Westerners enjoy.

We would need several Earths for every single person living today to have the kind of lifestyle we in the West have.

There are online calculators that attempt to measure just how many planets your lifestyle would require. They do this by calculating the amount of area needed to support an activity. For example if you eat meat, it would take into account the amount of land, water, energy and other resources needed to raise the animals you get meat from.

According to this quiz earthday.net/footprint/flash.html my lifestyle would require 4.4 planet earths if everyone currently alive were to have the same way of life.

What do you think is the moral solution to this issue? Should we control population growth so that everyone in the world could have a good lifestyle, or should Westerners experience a big reduction in quality of life to be able to have more people on the planet and a more fair distribution of resources.


I don’t see either solution as particularly moral. Limiting the free will of Westerners to enjoy their lifestyle is just as wrong as limiting the free will of others to procreate as they see fit.


I’m not saying anyone should be forced into anything. But as individuals what are moral choices for us to make?

For example, as a Westerner should I greatly reduce the meat I eat, stop buying food that has to be shipped from other places and buying processed food, maybe move into a smaller apartment, carpool, take the bus, walk etc. because the fact that I use so much means that people in other places (specifically third world countries) simply will not have enough?


Good quiz! I got 3.9…


That was really interesting. I had no idea eating meat and dairy could have such an enviormental impact. I’ll have to try to eat more veggies from now on.


I’d be more concerned about saving souls than ‘saving the planet,’ which is ALWAYS linked to a program of eugenics.


3.1… I really cant improve it much, I could stop flying, but thats part of my job.


Or should we just challenge the scaremongers/guiltmongers who pull these ludicrous assertions out of their , er , noses, let’s say, and recognise that’s it’s just another tactic being employed by emotional terrorists who would control our lives while enriching their own bureaucracies?

Ever notice how all these – ALL THESE-- whether it is ‘how many planets’ tripe, global warming tripe, heath care tripe, the solution always seems to involve the stripping of personal liberty and the establishment of some new governmental [preferably transnational] authority?

It’s called redistribution, or socialism, or social justice, or class envy, or any number of things, none of them good. And it all boils to one thing: the individual doesn’t matter, you are a unit of production for the hive. Big Brother knows best, and He is watching, so shut your mouth, pay your taxes, and go to the doctor He tells you to.

Oh, and just in case anyone considers the last remark to be fishy bit of disinformation about Obamacare, please feel free to report this post to Big Brother:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.



Please look at:

Overpopulation is a false belief.


Fairly distributing resources doesn’t mean the individual doesn’t matter, it means all individuals matter, not just the rich ones. Why should some people have the right to a disproportionate share of the planet?

They can win this right by force, but is it moral?


I was a 3.8. Being a vegitarian, I thought it would be better :shrug: More than 1/2 of mine fell under “services”


I couldn’t care less about my “footprint.”


The whole exercise reminded me of the ABC spoof The Goode Family.

but…Fr. Dubay wrote a wonderful book about evangelical poverty. In this scenario, a person lives simply, so he can give as much as possible to the poor.

Now, that’s Catholic ideology!


Why isn’t it Catholic to want to take care of the planet? I think God doesn’t want other species to be driven to extinction by destruction of their habitats, pollution and the like, or for us to exhaust the planet (like some farming techniques today that are essential to producing high yields turn the soil into a salty desert overtime).

As the intelligent species on this planet, don’t you think it’s our responsibility to take care of it and make sure it lasts for a long time?


But, living within a persons “fair share” of resources is, is the same thing. One lives simply, so there will be enough for other people. Money is, I won’t say just, but in many ways a representation of available resources. If Fr Dubay is living simply, he is living with a smaller footprint.

And no one has said this should somehow be mandated by government. But it can often be the case that we should do something just because it is just, or kind, or merciful.

These kind of calculations - carbon footprints, how many Earths we use, are always a bit of a fiction. They give a very general kind of picture of where we stand in what we are consuming. But it can be revealing to us if we do it just how much we use, and think we need. Some people find it especially shocking to see how their lifestyle breaks down, what uses the most. It is never a bad thing to consider how we live, and take a hard look at wherther it is really what Christ (not the government!) demands of us.


Isn’t the deal with the meat is that it isn’t enough just to stop eating meat, but we actually have to kill off all of the cows and pigs and other animals in order to achieve whatever reduction in resource consumption is considered beneficial?


Well, if everyone eats less meat it wouldn’t be profitable for manufacturers to produce a surplus.

But I don’t know, it might be controversial to think this way, but if we managed to reduce the world population (voluntarily of course, through people choosing to have smaller families) then there would be meat for everyone. Would it really be immoral to have small families in order to be able to ensure a good quality of life for every person on earth as well as the survival of some species that are currently being destroyed by us?

We need to think about the long term, and the Earth can’t support an infinite number of people. Even if you think in terms of how many souls go to Heaven, a longer lasting planet with fewer people may outperform an overpopulated planet that becomes destroyed and stops supporting human beings.


I got 3.5 which is surprising since we don’t even have running water and hardly drive anywhere…


But it wouldn’t work if the farms kept their animals alive, and just didn’t send them off for slaughter. I think the calculation is based on the total amount of mammalian life that the planet can support, so each cow or pig or sheep or dog or cat allowed to remain alive means that many fewer humans.


Overpopulation is a myth that has been disproven over and over.


Thanks. Good to hear I’m not the only one who sees this statist swill for what it is.

Doesn’t ANYONE remember the 70s?

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