In some cases, I would rather not be vindicated in my viewpoints (bitter as they are, one always hopes I am exaggerating) however – this article in the International Herald Tribune paper by James Kanter amazed me. It amazed me not for what it said (it’s what I’ve been saying here and being criticized for when commenting on other people’s blogs for some time now) – but it amazed me rather by the fact that it was published as the front page headline in this international English language paper period. I bought it at the local news stand here in town on the day it was published (oblivious) and read it while eatinge my lunch. I practically dropped the eggs back on the plate as I digested it. I found it online so that I could blog about it.
If a conservative international paper is printing this – the reality can only be worse before editing was done ….
Here is are some excerpts:
The human population is living far beyond its means and inflicting damage on the environment that could pass points of no return, according to a major report issued Thursday by the United Nations. . .
“The human population is now so large that the amount of resources needed to sustain it exceeds what is available at current consumption patterns,” Achim Steiner, the executive director of the program, said in a telephone interview. Efficient use of resources and reducing waste now are “among the greatest challenges at the beginning of 21st century,” he said. . .
Over the past two decades the world population has increased by almost 34 percent to 6.7 billion from 5 billion; similarly, the financial wealth of the planet has soared by about a third. But the land available to each person on earth had shrunk by 2005 to 2.02 hectares, or 5 acres, from 7.91 hectares in 1900 and was projected to drop to 1.63 hectares for each person by 2050, the report said.
. . . other tipping points triggered by climate change could occur in areas like India and China if Himalayan glaciers shrank so much that they no longer supplied adequate amounts of water to populations in those countries.
He also warned of a global collapse of all species being fished by 2050, if fishing around the world continued at its present pace.
The report said 250 percent more fish are being caught than the oceans can produce in a sustainable manner, and that the number of fish stocks classed as collapsed had roughly doubled to 30 percent globally over the past 20 years. . . .
The report said that current changes in biodiversity were the fastest in human history, with species becoming extinct a hundred times as fast as the rate in the fossil record. It said 12 percent of birds were threatened with extinction; for mammals the figure was 23 percent and for amphibians it was more than 30 percent.
“Scientists now refer to a sixth major extinction crisis that’s under way,” . . .
As a supposed solution I find the ideas in this paragraph troubling however:
“Life would be easier if we didn’t have the kind of population growth rates that we have at the moment,” Steiner said. “But to force people to stop having children would be a simplistic answer. The more realistic, ethical and practical issue is to accelerate human well-being and make more rational use of the resources we have on this planet.”
Uh … sorry – let’s go with the simple answer. How is it ‘more ethical’ to continue the ridiculous idea that humans are the most important form of life on the planet and ‘deserve’ to live in excess of what all other forms of life here are ‘allowed’ ? This ridiculous line of thinking is what got us into this mess to start with!
Remember what they teach in school – Keep It Simple, STUPID! In the 60s and early 70s many activists were fighting for human population control. Europe and the USA ‘got it’ for the most part (except allowing people to go to invitro fertilization which I find a horrible and ridiculous waste of resources – not to mention damaging to the gene pool in general to allow people who naturally cannot breed to DO SO) and population growth has slowed in the first world countries. Why NOT try it elsewhere? Otherwise how in the world do you CONTINUE to accelerate human well-being (as they euphamistically put it) FOREVER ? At some point – you MUST deal with out of control population growth. We are taking over the planet like an out of control virus.
Can I say ‘go MSRA’ and ‘go AIDS’ as a form of population control? Not really as unfortunately these kill indiscriminantly … I do so wish there was a virus that only killed dumb-asses. . . . I hope somewhere that left-wing hippy scientists are working on that. Start with Bush and his cabinet as experiments, and move on through the heads and major office holders of all the global corporations. And while you are at it – give a good hit at the bible belt of Christian ‘fundamentalists’ in the USA and elsewhere who oppose the idea of global warming and overpopulation (as it might lead to someone approving of abortions), as well as the Muslim fundamentalists who want to rule with religion rather than sense. Religious zealots and greedy oil, chemical and arms capitalists – all working hand in hand marching us to global Armageddon.