Mr.. Ellis is an environmental scientist at the University of Maryland. He believes hat “The conditions that sustain humanity are not natural and never have been”. He thinks humans have been supporting big populations for years by engineering ecosystems and using technologies. For Montgomery overpopulation is obviously an issue while for Ellis it is not. In Montgomery Island of plenty he starts by stating that “The United States should remain an island of plenty in a sea of hunger”.
For him overpopulation outside of the United States is a problem that he is not interested in solving. To avoid being affected by other countries’ problems, he thinks his country should keep its resources for themselves. The issue for him is not that there isn’t plenty of food for Americans; it is more that if the United States keeps giving their food away, they will end up with nothing. His view is that the people benefiting from the United States aren’t educated enough to progress from their situation.
This will lead them to keep procreating thus, expanding their population and exacerbating their problem. While Montgomery thinks the United States may run out of food if they keep helping countries in need, Mr.. Ellis believes the complete opposite. He believes that populations have been increasing for millennia. Humans have always been successful at finding ways to provide food for big populations for years. We have implemented technologies and created ecosystems to produce more food that wouldn’t be possible in a “natural” ecosystem.
For example: when conventional farming wasn’t producing enough food, humans invented fertilizing or when hunting was getting to difficult to achieve humans started domesticating animals. For Montgomery one has to take care of oneself before helping others. He mentions that naturally a human instinct is to provide help to others; however they can’t do that because if they do, they will not be able to maintain it for a long time. He feels that one has to have at least a couple Of years of food and resources saved up, before even thinking on helping others.
He doesn’t want to share even a piece of bread until this criteria is met. On the other hand, Ellis point of view is that we can increase “global supplies” just by implementing current technologies. According to him these technologies not only boost land productivity but they can even leave us more land for nature. He also thinks if our current technologies are capable of this much, future technologies will be able to do even more. He implied that there is no reason that our population will run out of resources now or in the future.
One may add that according to researchers up to half of all the food produced worldwide ends up going to waste. This is due to poor harvesting, storage and transport methods as well as irresponsible retailer and consumer behavior. If we find way to improve these issues, we will be better to support bigger population in years to come. In the “Island of Plenty”, one may see how Montgomery refers to people reproducing as “polluting’ the world. Even scientists have refer to humans as f they are reproducing like “bacteria in a Petri dish”. Ellis believes humans are nothing like that.
He believes that if necessary investments are made, we won’t have any issues feeding people even when the population reaches its peak as is expected in 2050, according to studies. This can only get done if everyone gets together and start contributing. Montgomery does not want to do that. He doesn’t want the United States to take responsibility for the rest of the humanity. Even though one may see that if the united States could provide at least education to countries in need, their problem of overpopulation may alleviate. In conclusion, these two writers have Ana very opposite views of overpopulation.
While Montgomery thinks that the only way the United States will survive is by not providing help to other countries. On the other hand Ellis believes that we wont have any problems if we start working in ways to improve our production of food. He thinks the solution is within us while Montgomery thinks is not help others at all. One may conclude by saying that apart from nobody’s thinking one has to do what feels right. And also decide if one wants to follow environmental opinions front an ex attorney or from an environmental scientist.