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Is It Wrong to Have More Than Two Children?

October 17, 2006

This is probably something I should keep to myself, but I’ll throw it out there anyway.  As the U.S. population streaks past 300 million, I can’t help but wonder how many we can hold, and how many the Earth in general can hold.  Has our species reached a point where we should try to hold the line, to keep the population right about where it is while life is still good and we’re not completely overcrowded? (This assumes that you think life is still good and we’re not completely overcroweded.)

I mean, think about all the garbage we produce, all the land we develop to fit more and more people.  Every generation is bigger than the one before–will that go on until people have to be shot like overpopulated deer in order for there to be room/food/shelter for all of us?

Should couples be stopping at two children, just enough to replace them on the planet? Should there be a penalty for having three or more children?  (Although I suppose it would be good for me if the next generation expands beyond mine as it might mean I can collect on that Social Security I’m not counting on getting.)

I have absolutely no clue if there’s an estimate on when the world’s population hits some sort of breaking point, but you’d have to imagine if we keep propogating beyond each generation’s base, sooner or later there will be just too darn many of us. Or will the Earth be swallowed by the sun before that happens?

Either way, I’ll never know first hand, as I’ll be long gone, but it’s interesting to think about.

(Full disclosure: I have two children. But I might have another one…)

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