“…It’s ‘impossible to feed 10 billion people.’ We don’t need more farmers, we need fewer small mouths to feed.”…
[I would add that the root problem responsible for overpopulation is human arrogance and the scourge of speciesism. Once we address that, we can move beyond mass-denial and take a serious, scientific look at this planet’s carrying capacity in relation to human overpopulation.]
Humans are doing nothing to stop their own self-destruction
…Population is out of control. That’s the world’s No. 1 problem. Yet we’re trapped in mass denial. Nobody’s dealing with the world’s biggest problem. Listen:
- Scientific American says global population growth is “the most overlooked and essential strategy for achieving long-term balance with the environment.” By 2050 world population will explode from today’s 7 billion to 10 billion, with 1.4 billion each in India and China. With China’s economy nearly three times America’s.
- Billionaire philanthropists met secretly in Manhattan five years ago: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner, Oprah Winfrey and others. Each took 15 minutes to present their favorite cause. Asked what was the “umbrella cause?” They all agreed: Overpopulation, said the billionaires. But they’re still silent today.
- Our collective conscience is trapped in massive conspiracy. In “The Last Taboo,” Mother Jones columnist Julia Whitty hit the nail on the head: “What unites the Vatican, lefties, conservatives and scientists in a conspiracy of silence? Population.” But this hot-button issue ignites powerful reactions. Yet politicians won’t touch it. Nor will U.N.’s world leaders. Even when it’s killing us. Cowards talking a good game.
- Jeremy Grantham’s investment firm GMO manages about $110 billion in assets. He also funds an Institute of Climate Change at London’s Imperial College. He warns, population growth is a huge “threat to the long-term viability of our species, when we reach a population level of 10 billion.” Why? It’s “impossible to feed 10 billion people.” We don’t need more farmers, we need fewer small mouths to feed.
But how? Bill Gates says we must cap global population at 8.3 billion, even as his vaccine and contraceptive plans extend life expectancy. But Columbia University’s Earth Institute Director Jeff Sachs says even 5 billion is too many. Stop adding more babies? Virtually impossible. So how do we not add a billion? Or subtract two billion from today’s seven billion total? Voluntary? Remember how China’s one-child plan failed.
World’s biggest problem — out-of-control population — has no solution?
Worst-case scenario: There is no solution. Overpopulation is going to drive the world off a cliff. And seems nobody really cares. Nobody’s working on the real solution. No one has the courage. Not U.N. leaders, scientists or billionaires. No one. It’s taboo. All part of a conspiracy of silence. A denial that’s killing us.
Any real solutions? Just wait for wars, pandemics, starvation to erase billions? Wait in denial? But will wars, disease, poverty solve Earth’s biggest problem, the problem no one wants to talk about? Meanwhile, Big Oil’s marketing studies keep telling CEOs like Tillerson the truth about the inconsistent behavior of irrational humans living in denial. To Big Oil, population growth is good, more customers, essential for economic growth.
Yes, we just keep telling ourselves we’re recyclers, green, love hybrids, eat organic.
Even as we just keep adding to the billion autos on the planet, keep buying Big Oil stocks for retirement, keep stocking up on carbon polluting products. Why? Our subconscious secretly endorses Big Oil’s strategy. As Tillerson once told Charlie Rose in BusinessWeek: “My philosophy is to make money. If I can drill and make money, then that’s what I want to do,” making “quality investments for our shareholders.” It’s a subtle conspiracy.
Is it already too late? Will we ever stop our insane suicidal obsession?
Don’t bet on it. Watching how America’s dysfunctional government solves problems lately is not encouraging.
Millennium ago dinosaurs disappeared. Didn’t know what hit them in the last great species extinction. They vanished forever. Forever. The planet never brought them back. Today humans know what’s ahead. We can make the big, tough decisions … if only we wake up in time … if only we have the will to act … before it really is too late.
Paul B. Farrell is a MarketWatch columnist based in San Luis Obispo, Calif
For over half a century the Nazi swastika—that all too familiar symbol of hate—has been relegated to the dark corners of extremism, never to be openly displayed on a flag or uniform again. The Nazi credo was perhaps as confusing as it was complex, but generally, it was the definitive case of one group vilifying and scapegoating another.
Today, a similar type of blind hatred rules in areas where exploitive or extractive animal industries are considered a way of life. One can hardly drive a mile in parts of rural America without seeing emblems of extremism in the form of hateful bumper stickers touting selfish anti-wolf slogans like, “Smoke a Pack a Day” or, in areas where wolves are still extinct, “Did the coyotes get your deer?” Another popular hate-symbol adorning the back of all too many rural pickup trucks is simply a silhouette of a wolf inside a red circle with a slash through it.
In certain towns along the Pacific Northwest coast, where commercial fishing is a dying “way of life” (because dams and overfishing had nearly wiped out the salmon), the trendy stickers of ignorance and intolerance feature a sea lion with a fish inside a red circle and slash. The message is clear, sea lions can starve and die off, the humans have claimed the fish for themselves.
And although sea lions are indeed starving and dying off, it isn’t happening fast enough for some small minded, self-serving fishermen who shoot them, in defiance of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, just as the wolves in the tri-state and Great Lakes regions become victims of those who claim all land animals as “resources” and can’t stand the competition from those natural predators. Blatant Nazism may be a thing of the past, but speciesist extremism is alive and well all across America.
Nine Signs You’re at a Paul Ryan Rally:
9) All the babies are in cammo diapers
8) Senior citizens seen fleeing in mortal fear
7) Secret service guys are the only ones carrying concealed weapons
6) Has-beens, wanna-bes and never-weres (such as Ted Nugent and Kid Rock) are crowding the stage, hoping someone will recognize them
4) The candidate looks like a scary version of Eddie Munster
3) Fang marks left on all the babies he’s kissed
2) Instead of shaking hands with voters, Ryan is trading deer sausage recipes
1) Some Bubba is going around bragging, “I bought my 10 year-old girl a rifle and I’m gonna teach her how to kill a deer this year!”—wait a minute, that’s the candidate!
Those of us who grew up watching “All in the Family” knew that the patriarch, Archie Bunker, wasn’t always right (to say the least). Yet, often the first reaction I hear from people when they learn that Exposing the Big Game is an anti-hunting book is an indignant, “But my father was a hunter!”
Well, so? Look at all the other outdated activities or attitudes we’ve turned our backs on—slavery, racism, sexism all went out of fashion without anyone arguing, “But my father was a racist, sexist, slave owner!”
What’s so sacred about hunting that makes it any harder to kiss goodbye than any of our parent’s other wrong-headed behaviors? Maybe it’s that nearly everyone you meet is as blind to their anthropocentric prejudice of speciesism as Archie Bunker was to his isms. Most people seem unwilling or unable to share their compassion with the non-human animals of this world.
Our parents deserve to be honored for teaching us the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Kids are generally told that this directive applies to everyone, from their parents and teachers to their siblings and friends—not just to members of their in-group. And a lot of parents wouldn’t hesitate to invoke the golden rule to stop a child hurting the family pet.
Yet for many people, the bias of speciesism is so entrenched that they can’t seem to recognize a wild animal as a deserving other. But biases and isms are not written in stone. If humanity keeps evolving along a compassion continuum, we will inevitably apply the same rules of consideration to all creatures who have the ability to think and feel. Perhaps it’s time to update and clarify the golden rule to read: “Do unto other sentient beings as they would have you do unto them.”
The golden rule is an age-old edict rooted in the qualities of empathy and compassion. The former asks that we put ourselves in someone else’s “shoes” while the latter compels us to modify any actions that would harm or aggravate them. Naturally if we live by a golden rule that includes all of the animal kingdom, we would never keep anyone captive, trap, poison or snare them or use them as living targets in a bloody, imbalanced game.
Well, I touched the hot button of overpopulation without getting burned, so perhaps it’s safe to wade into the tar pit of religion without going too far under…
First, a fair warning to lurking hunter trolls: your comments and feeble rationalizations (and we’ve heard them all before) will not be posted on this blog, but will get filed as such and may be used against you anytime they help prove a point. For example, here’s part of a comment I received from a hunter the other day: “I love animals, but fully understand that all living things have their place in God’s plan and on His Earth. He gave us domain over animals. Read Genisis [sic] and wake up!”
How convenient. But do people really still believe that kind of crap?
Sadly, the answer appears to be yes.
A staggering 46% of Americans believe that god created humans in their present form within the past 10,000 years, according to a USA Today/Gallup survey conducted this year from May 10th to the 13th. Not only has that number not changed much in the past 30 years since Gallup first asked the question on Creationism vs Evolution, it’s actually gone up 2%, from 44% in 1982 to 46% in 2012!
Gallup’s Frank Newport told CNN, “Despite the many changes that have taken place in American society and culture over the past 30 years, including new discoveries in biological and social science, there has been virtually no sustained change in Americans’ views of the origins of the human species since 1982. All in all, there’s no evidence in this trend of a substantial movement toward a secular viewpoint on human origins.”
So, why do I care what people believe? Why won’t I just let them have their fun?
Because such dogma can directly affect how non-humans are treated.
The literal belief that humans have some kind of god-given authority over every other species of animal bestows undeserved power into unreliable hands. Creationist claptrap that favors one species over another perpetuates speciesist doctrine devised to demean and control our fellow animals in the same way that notions of racial superiority were used against our fellow humans.
The second most common view of those polled—held by 32% of respondents–is that humans evolved with god’s guidance. Again, a very convenient conviction that can be used to put humans on top.
Newport goes on to say, “It would be hard to dispute that most scientists who study humans agree that the species evolved over millions of years, and that relatively few scientists believe that humans began in their current form only 10,000 years ago without the benefit of evolution. Thus, almost half of Americans hold a belief [in creationism] that is at odds with the preponderance of scientific literature.”
To their benefit, and to the detriment of every other living thing on the planet, I might add.