Humanist Voices in Verse: Overpopulation

This week we’re pleased to publish a poem by Harold Saferstein (the poet behind last week’s Reason Rally poem).

Harold received his M.D. from the University of Illinois and completed his dermatology training at Temple University. He lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his wife, Doreen, and is an active member of the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix.

If you’d like to contribute original poetry to Humanist Voices in Verse, write to with “Poetry” in the subject line. Please send no more than three poems for consideration per week.


Scientists agree, and have quite clearly stated,
That our planet’s already overpopulated.

The uneducated masses add to these ills.
They’re not taught about using birth control pills.

Religious leaders compound this deception,
Discouraging all forms of contraception.

For unwanted pregnancies, abortion’s discouraged
And family planning is never encouraged.

Some politicians I know think it’s just great
To point to their kids, all seven or eight.

Population control does not merit their concern.
Millions already starving, ah, when will they learn?

Our air and our water are defiled with pollution.
Yet our leaders don’t bother to seek a solution.

We are seven billion people and increasing too fast.
Earth’s resources we know cannot possibly last.

But the priests and the mullah’s are preaching it still
That these very large families are fulfilling God’s will.

China got it right when they passed a decree,
Limiting only one child to each family.

Just how long can this planet survive? I wonder.
Doesn’t matter to me, I’ll soon be six feet under.

—Harold Saferstein