I’m going to tell you what my number one issue is.

In politics, sociology, economics, biology, geophysics, anthropology, ethics, morality, spirituality, logic and reason, there is one primary, central, enormous, and likely futile issue that we as a individuals and as a species must accept, confront, and address immediately. It also happens to be the most unpopular issue of our time.

It is Overpopulation.

I capitalized it because it’s so GD huge and menacing that it deserves it.  Trust me, I’ve done my research.

This time I’m not going to describe why and how overpopulation is so problematic (it isn’t hard, by the way).  I’ll discuss it plenty later and encourage you to read about it here.  This time, however, I’m just going to tackle the primary rebuttal to any mention of population control.

“It’s a violation of my rights to prevent me from having children.”

I’ll state this one simply: there is currently NO discussion among population control advocates and organizations of denying people the right to have children; the right to an intended pregnancy, I mean.  None.  Zero.  Zilch.  Most population control organizations actually have a main goal of  decreasing the number of unwanted or unintended pregnancies.  In doing so, we might even be able to achieve what is commonly referred to as “Zero Population Growth.”  In other words, achieving worldwide (and country by country) birth rates and death rates that are essentially equal, resulting in a 0% annual growth of people on the planet.

Now I’m sure a lot of you believe that there are many people who actually should not be allowed to have children.  Some of you might think the poor, or the uneducated, or the unemployed, or the stupid should not have children, for whatever reason.  I have felt that myself on many occasions as well. But the problem is, I can’t be the decider on who should and should not be allowed.  Nor on whom is stupid, and whom is poor, and so on.  And here’s the truth.  Neither can you.  Nor can anyone. Not without incorporating some form of ethnic or societal cleansing of those deemed “unacceptable.”  And if you try, all of the sudden we’re in Germany in 1938.

So let us dispense with the idea of “birth licenses” or “single child laws” for the time being.  It’s a messy, unclear, moral argument that draws into question one of our most innate rights.

Instead, there are a ton of things we could be doing to prevent unwanted or unintended pregnancies.  Things that we in America tend to take for granted.  Things that don’t occur to most of us because most of us have never wanted for a meal, or a parent, or clean drinking water, or any form of health care, or a safe place to sleep, or a law that protects us from being raped by soldiers (read about the Congo – men too – you’ll want to vomit).

Here are some of the things the world should be doing to work towards (if not achieve) zero population growth.

1) Educate everyone, prior to puberty, that having unprotected sex (male-female vaginal intercourse without contraception) results in pregnancy. It’s the truth. While we’re at it, we might as well teach them about STDs and mutual consent.

2) STOP and discourage (if not criminalize) all abstinence-only sex education.  **NEWSFLASH** – You CAN’T stop people from shtoinking. IT FEELS GOOD. IT IS OUR INSTINCT. GOD MADE IT FEEL GOOD. Accept it.  We’re going to do it. In my opinion, we should ‘do it’ as often as possible (with care, consent, and consideration, of course).

3) Educate everyone on the many methods available to prevent pregnancy.  One of which, in fact, is abstinence.  It’s the safest too!  Doesn’t feel as good though.

4) Make certain forms of birth control (e.g. condoms and spermicidal agents) available to anyone who wants them at no cost.  ANYONE of ANY age. The only thing worse than a pregnant 10 year-old is a pregnant 10 year-old who wanted to use a condom but couldn’t get one.

5)  Enact and enforce harsh anti-rape laws everywhere.  Government-sanctioned rape (again, read about Congo) should be met swiftly and forcefully by an international coalition of ass-kickers.

Those five simple things could do it.  Imagine if all of the poor in India (which is set to surpass China in total population soon), even the ones who couldn’t read, knew that having sex caused pregnancies.  Then imagine if they had access to free condoms and knew that they effectively prevent pregnancy.  They may not make much money, they may not be educated, but by God, they wouldn’t involuntarily be making more mouths to go hungry.

And to those inclined to suggest that sex education leads to more sex: 1) check the stats (from an unbiased source, please). It doesn’t.  And 2) you know what leads to more sex?  Hormones.  It’s our instinct. Get it?  Let us also mention that most who believe that lie also love to condemn the so-called  “welfare queens” and it is those very pregnancies that population control seeks to avoid.

So that’s it.  Nothing huge.  No maximum procreation. No forced abortions or mandatory sterilizations.  Just some accurate and complete education and access to something we all end up knowing about anyway.

That’s a small change for a huge return.  Think about it.