The Modernization of Africa
Joshua Hehe

The article and other responses are in their own ways intelligent and informed.

I am not an expert on Africa. My brother spent three years in Senegal in the Peace Corps in the 1960s.

I have a grim perspective on the future of our species. I tend to suspect that our species could go extinct before the end of the 21st Century. While my opinion is subjective, I believe we are grossly overpopulated. Estimate from both the United States Census Bureau and similar United Nations population agencies put world human population at about 7.5 billion humans.

People who are complacent about this issue like to argue that our planet can support a much larger population. I regard this as dangerously complacent. Humans like to push limits. I have never been to New Orleans in Louisiana. I’ve been told it is a charming and lovely city. However, it is a very dangerous city in terms of risk of natural disasters such as Hurricanes. People have died by living there and ignoring warnings.

A pertinent example of of pushing limits and taking foolish risks comes from the hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas in 1900.

Galveston TX hurricane damage

It was probably the deadliest hurricane in USA history, killing 6 to 12 thousand people.

Life is dangerous, and none of us gets out alive, but sensibly the more literate about science we become and the more erratically empathic and caring we become, the more effort we make to make life longer for individuals and safer for our world and our species.

In my opinion, the danger overpopulation presents to our species — while not unknown or unrecognized — is still a huge blind spot. It might seem ridiculous to think a species of 7.5 billion creatures could go extinct, but it could happen quickly with world wide nuclear war or super plague, or slowly by refusing to set sensible limites on our population growth.

I don’t know the answer. Africa is where human life probably originated, and it’s kind of hard on them to point a finger at Africa about their population surge and rush to exploit their resources, but if we want our species to survive, it’s time to keep it in our pants, or at least keep so many sperm from making to so many wombs.

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