Urslat is Tyris's home planet, and the central planet in the Colonies. It was the first one that was settled, and is where the bulk of the population lives. Unfortunately, due to this, it's severely overpopulated.
Since this is a problem we will theoretically face in our own world, and do already in some countries, it's an interesting one to explore in science fiction. Population controls have already been explored in the real world in China's one child policy. Though the population controls tried on Urslat (baning anyone with a criminal record from having children) are a little more extreme, the reactions are similar.
I'm not sure there is any perfect solution for overpopulation. Finding more planets is only a temporary solution, as the Colonies found out. The interesting thing is that population in western worlds is actually on the decline, and this causes just as many problems as populations age (and there are less young working people to support the economy).
Sorry for the short (and possibly incoherrent) post today. I'm going to be out all day, so I'm writing it in a rush. Must run, or I'm going to be late. I'll catch up with comments for yesterday's post later tonight!
All this month I’m participating in the A-Z blogging challenge, writing a blog post for each letter of the alphabet, on every day of the month except Sundays. Check back regularly to see what else I have in store for you.
Good post, Rinelle – don’t apologise for it being short. It’s interesting and relevant. I agree – Sci-fi can be a great genre for exploring real-world issues in an engaging way and over-population is certainly a hot topic at the moment. It’s arguably a more urgent crisis than global warming. Your project sounds intriguing. Keep up the good work.
Thanks MrKelly. We do seem to be facing a few issues in the world at the moment, but I do believe humanity can find solutions. Although I’m stumped to think of a fair and manageable solution for overpopulation. It’s not really a technology thing (except, I guess, in finding better ways to get food, but would they really be better?). Social issues are quite hard to solve really, because everyone has a different opinion on them.
I also don’t see a universally acceptable answer to overpopulation. Childbirth limits are reviled. Eugenics are reviled. Space will always be limited, as you covered, as you can’t just expand perpetually. All the while food, shelter and energy resources are limited. It seems like one big bullet you’d have to bite.
Definitely don’t apologize for a short post! On a massive blog hop like this, short posts make it easier on the eyes. It’s not like you didn’t discuss a deal of content.
Thanks John. Yes, there seems to be no acceptable solution. At least, not one managed by anyone else.
Overpopulation is a tough subject. If we can’t figure out a solution, I have a feeling Mother Nature might even things out naturally.
I think you could be right Dan. If we can’t find ways to either keep the population at an acceptable level, or find better ways to house, feed and transport people that is less of a strain on the environment, then I think we will see more natural population control. Epidemics spring to mind.
I know it’s a work of fiction, but I do like to fully engage my self in books. I’m curious about howThe people of Urslat were they going to guarantee that the criminals didn’t have children? And what if the person had been falsely imprisoned. It brings up a lot of questions.
At the beginning of the story, when the law first came into effect, everyone who had a criminal record was required to report to their doctor for implantation of a contraceptive chip that prevents conception. Being sci-fi, they have ones that work for men as well as women.
But yes, there would still be issues of people who had been falsely imprisioned, and of contraceptive chips that malfunction or are tampered with. With the chips though, there is always a possibility of redeeming yourself and having the ban lifted. (Or else I wouldn’t have any story!)
I think they’ve done studies on the population decline and there is some evidence that as education levels increase, population decreases as people have less children or spend more time becoming educated, working to climb the business ladder, etc or deliberately limit the number of children they have and can effectively support. Also as modern medicine increases there are easier ways for people to control the number of children they have
That’s true JccKeith. I’ve heard this as well, and as I mentioned in my post, most western countries populations are actually in decline currently. (Though the countries population may still be increasing due to immigration.)
In my world, the government has been encouraging population growth to populate new planets. What they didn’t expect was to run out of fuel to transport people between planets easily.