Many environmentalists believe so deeply that we are in an overpopulation crisis, and that putting more people on this planet will only further drain its resources, that they have pledged to never have children.
Here’s the lowdown on the two terms, and how overpopulation and underpopulation could affect humanity and planet Earth.
Elon Musk tweeted about an underpopulation crisis — is he serious?
On July 6, 2022, Insider reported that Elon Musk secretly had twins in November of 2021 with Tesla executive Shivon Zilis, just weeks before Grimes and Musk had their second child, via surrogate. That brings Musk’s grand total of children to nine (his first child passed away as a baby).
One day later, on July 7, Musk took to Twitter to — sort of — comment on the situation. “Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis,” he tweeted, seemingly confirming that the children were his. “A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far.”
But is Musk serious about thinking humanity is underpopulated? And is it really a problem?
Is underpopulation really a problem? Overpopulation is far more pressing.
And according to Fortune, several other countries have seen birth rates go down recently, including China, Japan, and South Korea.
Additionally, recent research has shown that global fertility rates have dropped as of late, in large part due to “everywhere chemicals,” such as phthalates, parabens, and bisphenol-A, which can affect the endocrine system.
That said, just because birth rates and fertility rates may be decreasing in some areas doesn’t mean we need to populate the Earth with more humans. In fact, we need to do the opposite.
And overall, the human population is rising; the Harvard International Review reports that the last five decades have marked an “extreme population boom,” and an official overpopulation. Harvard defines overpopulation as a “condition in which the amount of humans currently existing on Earth outstrips future resource availability and earth’s carrying capacity.”
Not to mention, human activity is a major driver of climate change — so the more humans we have, the more emissions and higher temperatures we’ll have, too.
So while there may be certain pockets of underpopulation, we certainly do not need to grow the human population. In order to reduce human-caused climate change, we should be supporting efforts to curb population growth — among many other things.