The gardening image at the top of this page shows quality of life that’s made possible by clean air, quality soil, flourishing pollinators, food abundance, and leisure in retirement that our elders can enjoy.
Here are a few of the population-related topics that have been prominent in 2023.
- AGING — At a personal level, one reason to have children is to have someone to take care of us when we’re older. There’s an expectation that our children will care for us in our later years, since we helped them get a start in their younger years. More broadly, our society is dependent upon a younger generation to keep the economy thriving to support retirement funds and Social Security. Millions of retired people depend on a vibrant workforce still providing the services and infrastructure we rely on.
- BUSINESS — Many businesses rely on inexpensive labor. Young people are considered a good source of low cost workers. Recent legislation in states like Iowa make it possible to have very young laborers working longer hours in dangerous conditions. This is good for business because it lowers the cost of labor. Laws restricting access to contraception and family planning-related services and products help ensure availability of a young workforce. In conjunction with this, young parents feeling financially strained in supporting many children will be more desperate to work for lower wages in poor conditions. Overpopulation helps create a desperation and competitive jobs market making lower wages possible. Some will see these factors as highly desirable for growing profits. Others may see these conditions as undesirable due to their negative impact on some people. This duality is part of the population discussion.
- ECONOMY — The economy and cost of raising a large family have many younger couples choosing to not have children or have fewer children.
- ENVIRONMENT — People concerned about the environmental impact of overpopulation may choose to adopt or not have children. The population discussion and environmental concerns are typically considered as intertwined. Areas concerned about being overrun by tourists or development may have restrictions established. Details of impact are outlined in a report from The Guardian on 12 Jul 2017. [View Report]
- HARD LIMITS — This year, we’ve begun to reach some hard limits that are impacting our ability to expand and develop for larger populations in certain areas. An example would be depleted water supplies causing some areas to halt development. [Example]
- QUALITY OF LIFE — In situations where time, finances, and resources are limited, some parents are choosing to focus on having fewer children instead of having time and attention split across a larger family.
Below are news reports listed chronologically with the most recent at the top. Entry headers provide source and date. These are reports about population or issues that will impact or limit population growth and quality of life.
At the start of June 2023, there are only two stories listed below. More will be added over time. Because this page builds upon the Population Report 2022, there is less repetition here from what has already presented last year.
CNN (6 Nov 2023)
Blazing fires, biblical floods and catastrophic storms are becoming increasingly common but they could be just a taste of things to come. Scientists say our planet is teetering towards a number of climate “tipping points” which could cause irreversible changes to the place we all call home. From the Antarctic ice sheet to the Amazon rainforest, the consequences of climate change can be seen right now – but it’s not the only threat to the natural world. In a series of graphics, we take a look at some of the biggest environmental challenges facing our planet. Human activities including logging, pollution, overfishing and urban development are driving a staggering loss of biodiversity. Global wildlife populations plummeted by 69% on average between 1970 and 2018, according to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2022. [Source]
CBS (2 Jun 2023)
“Phoenix stops new development as water supply dwindles” — Arizona is limiting new construction around Phoenix as the state’s water supply continues to dwindle. State officials say there isn’t enough groundwater for housing construction that’s already been approved. CBS News senior national and environmental correspondent Ben Tracy has more. [Source]
ABC News (30 May 2023)
“Earth is ‘really quite sick now’ and in danger zone in nearly all ecological ways, study says” — A new study says Earth has pushed past seven out of eight scientifically established safety limits and into “the danger zone,” not just for an overheating planet that’s losing its natural areas, but for well-being of people living on it. [Source]
Big Think (27 Jun 2022)
“Kids don’t always make you happier. Here’s why people have them anyway.” — This interview is an episode from The Well, our new publication about ideas that inspire a life well-lived, created with the John Templeton Foundation. [Watch on YouTube]