We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2015 NPG Essay Scholarship Contest. Each year, NPG conducts an Essay Scholarship for high school and undergradute students.
Should the United States’ government pursue population policies to protect our quality of life for future generations?
By Davis Negrete, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA
In the world that we live in today, we cannot afford to be shortsighted. We cannot afford to be selfish. We must put the needs of humanity as a whole before the needs of those who would destroy it. There was a point once at which humanity could maintain its population without overstraining our Earth’s resources; this point has long since passed. Now we must turn to policies of negative population growth to reach this point once more. In the United states, our government should enact a combination of legislative measures and strong government influence which, combined, have the effect of: greatly diminishing immigration, providing birth control and birth control information along with ensuring the right to have an abortion to all women, and reducing the number of children born to each household. All of these policies, if executed precisely and with great thought and care, would protect the quality of life of all future generations that will inhabit this planet.
One issue that is paramount to the success of our nation in this regard is immigration reform. Some may say that this nation was founded on immigrants, and this is true, but our nation no longer needs founding. We have grown and developed and become strong. We no longer have a need for a massive influx of immigrants in this country; they are exacerbating many of our problems and convoluting our solutions. It is unacceptable that nearly two-thirds of population growth in this country is due to immigration, and a large proportion of that illegal immigration. That is not to say that we must eliminate immigration, but it needs to be curbed for the betterment of the future generations of America. At the very least, all non-legal immigration should be eliminated. Beyond that, we need to cut down on the number of legal immigrants as well– the number must be at least halved, and preferably cut by two-thirds. These ideas may seen harsh, but we must consider the long term benefits. Severely curbing immigration will be a massive step toward ensuring the safety and security of America for the future generations down the line, and in the end it will be a benefit to the social and economic prosperity of America, and through it, the world.
Studies have shown that the more educated women are, and the more rights and opportunities that they have, the fewer children they will tend to have. While the government will not directly affect the fertility of women, in order to stop and eventually reverse the population growth in America to sustainable levels, it should heavily incentivize women to have no more than 2 children. This can be done through a variety of ways: providing education to women about the benefits of having fewer children, providing women and men with easy access to birth control options, and providing tax incentives to families having no more than two children. This country will ever force men and women to only have two children, but though education and programming, we can push them in the right direction so that the children that they do have, and the children those children have, will be able to continue to enjoy a beautiful life in the genuine land of opportunity.
We must think beyond ourselves, and think to the future. We must do what is right for America. We do have the power and ability to ensure that our future is a great one, full of prosperity and unity instead of scarcity and strife. We have the power to, literally, save the world. That is why the US government should pursue policies to curb, and eventually reverse, our current population growth.
World population, now over 7.3 billion, is predicted to rise to 9 billion by 2050, an increase of almost two billion, or 23%, in the short space of only 34 years from now.In the highly unlikely event that per capita greenhouse gas emissions could possibly be decreased by an equal percentage in such a short space of time (a blink of an eye) the total amount of worldwide emission would remain the same!
From this simple illustration it would appear that without drastically reducing the size of world population, there is no solution to the problem.None at all.So then why do our world leaders pretend that there is one?What is to be gained by pretending rather than by proposing a solution that would solve the problem – a reduction in the size of world population to not more than 1- 2 billion?