If you come from a small town and hear about the population rate hitting its new records year by year from 6, 7 and now approaching the 8 billionth person, these seem nothing but numbers. Things get real when you end up in a capital, in a queue to get on the bus.
Whether it is or it isn’t just a brand new mean world syndrome, overpopulation is a problem. It draws negative social economic consequences and also psychological doubts, at least in the ones who think about other people as a mass of competition in reaching their dreams. If we look around in Romania things are not even that bad as in comparison with a city, that is considered to be a so called world capital. We are not unfamiliar though with the crowded, stinky buses, rude people not letting you get on or off, and this is just the public transport side of the problem. When recently the city days have taken place, you couldn’t find a place to eat, all restaurants and fast-foods were full. Streets turned into an obstacle course to get through it. Crowds and crowds everywhere.
This is nothing in comparison with cities where the population is almost half as much as in our country. When I’ve been to London I have experienced what does it mean to have 2-3 hour bus rides in a traffic jam, full trains and stations where people literally stand in a line to get on the bus. At least they are polite in comparison with Romania, where people literally step over the other. I haven’t been there, but that scene reminded me of those queues in communism that my parents and grandparents told me about. The most uncomfortable was the tube, where I literally couldn’t move or hold on, although this wasn’t necessary, it was impossible to trip over in that mass of people. My fear of the doors closing on my arm and the one of a possible terrorist attack was less funny.
It may be selfish that I think about overpopulation as something that bothers my comfort, but there have been enough speeches and debates about humans destroying the nature, using all fossil fuels, eating all the veggies and possibly ending up in a world where food tastes like garbage, air feels toxic and waters are disappearing. Aren’t we living these things already?
People are also destroying each other and themselves by destroying the planet. It doesn’t seem natural to be so many on this planet, although it is not really the space we occupy: according to Natgeo 7 billion of people would fit in Los Angeles, shoulder by shoulder.
This problem can’t be solved, not with humanly acceptable methods. It is not ethical to create a genocide, throw atomic bombs over dirty and overpopulated cities, spread lethal infections, nor are any other methods that involve death. I do want to think, that we still value human life over everything and exactly that’s why the level of our living standards should be improved. I exactly know that my problems are minor in comparison with children’s mining for diamond in Sierra Leone, but I do want to think that I have the right for fresh air, for tomatoes that actually have a taste and for a decent job. And I know I’m not alone.