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Prohibition of Reference to Overcrowding

Draft Proposal for an International Convention

Prohibition of Reference to Overcrowding
Agreement by Signatory States:

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It can be readily argued that many conventional crises are a consequence of increasing population -- unemployment, environmental degradation, access to food and water resources, failing social security services, disease, inaccessibility of education, refugees, security threats, violence, waste, and the like. Such arguments derive primarily from marginal groups and are readily deprecated. Their presentation however introduces a further destabilizing dynamic into societies already faced with instability and the challenge of achieving sustainability.

It follows that any reference to overpopulation is highly controversial and divisive. This pattern has already been recognized to a degree and has given rise to informal measures to restrict reference to the challenge of overpopulation wherever possible. It justifies the prohibition previously envisaged (Prohibition of Reference to Overpopulation of the Planet Draft:Proposal for an international convention, 2018).

Reference to any "planetary" implications of overpopulation is also of questionable value. Comprehension of the planet as a whole is an abstraction with which few can engage meaningfully in their daily lives, including those with policy-making mandates. So framed, "overpopulation" is also an abstraction with little meaningful relevance to the concrete realities of daily life. As a consequence, arguments for family planning and birth control may well be interpreted as a highly suspect subterfuge in support of other agendas.

Such argument can be extended to crowding, as may well be widely experienced by many in daily life -- whether or not the crowding is framed as excessive, namely as "overcrowding". Crowding is far more concrete and far less controversial. Such references are not constrained by the strictures of religion. As an essentially "local" experience meaningful to many, overcrowding can be usefully contrasted with overpopulation as an elusive "global" abstraction meaningul only to the few.

As with overpopulation, reference to overcrowding may also merit prohibition in societies which are obliged to adapt to ever increasing numbers and may welcome that increase -- or experience it as natural. To the extent that population increase is a politically sensitive issue -- if recognized at all -- it cannot be appropriately challenged. Reference to overcrowding as a "local" surrogate or proxy is therefore in itself problematic, given the need for individuals, communities and societies to adapt proactively to that experience.

It is howver totally inappropriate, and unnecessarily provocative, to imply that there is any reasonable limit to increase in population density -- especially give the many areas of the planet which are held to be underpopulated, and despite the threats of global warming to their habitability (List of countries and dependencies by population density, Wikipedia; List of cities by population density, Wikipedia).

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