Monday, November 10, 2008

Modest Proposal

As a species we are victims of our own success ecologically. Everywhere that humans exist we disrupt the natural balance. And because we are intelligent we are able to take counter-measures to natural consequences that would tend to restore that balance thereby exacerbating that disruption. At some point we need to strike that balance in our own actions so that human life on this planet is both productive and sustainable. Until we reach that sublime level of self-control our only hope is to limit the impacts of our uncontrollable destructive behavior. Historically the warlike nature of mankind has tended to be an ecological blessing. Every so often human populations would undergo convulsions that resulted in massive attrition. Then the ecosystems were given a respite in which to recover from the ravages of human settlement. In modern times we have thankfully been able to limit those convulsions for the most part. But the environment is not getting a break.

It is reasonable to see that the earth's environment will continue to deteriorate unless or until we are able to reign in the population growth and decrease our footprint on the landscape. To-date only the few countries in which population has reach crisis levels have taken any action to control the growth. If we wait for all countries to attain such crisis levels it will be too late for everyone and the human race and much of our planetary life-forms will be doomed. I think it is time that this be voiced as a political issue.

It's easy to see why it has been avoided. There are powerful political and economic forces that benefit from an ever-expanding population. It doesn't take much of a brain to see that anyone who promulgates the idea of population control will not ascend to the halls of power. But if we are to survive, it must be done. It is past time to begin discussing the idea and putting it before the populace as an option. Even if it is a most quixotic pursuit it must be done by someone.

I invite my readers to look up the works of Jacques Yves Cousteau, Ted Turner, Paul Ehrlich, Rosemary Radford Ruether, and Robert Muller and consider them. Perhaps it is not yet too late.

As I googled this subject it became apparent that many see any attempt to limit population as an elite left-wing conspiracy. I look forward to taking those ideas apart in this blog in the future.

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