Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Greens Cross Party Lines And Mention Overpopulation


Whether we like to admit it or not, our very own rapidly multiplying presence on this planet is the biggest environmental problem there is, and it’s getting bigger by the minute. We voraciously consume resources, pollute the air and water, tear down natural habitats, introduce species into areas where they don’t belong and destroy ecosystems to the point of causing millions of species to become endangered and, all too often, go extinct.

It took nearly all of human history – from the first days of man on earth until the early 1800’s – to reach a global population of 1 billion. In just 200 years, we’ve managed to reach 6.5 billion. That means the population has grown more since 1950 than in the previous four million years. We’re adding roughly 74 million people to the planet every year, a scary figure that will probably continue to increase. All of those mouths will need to be fed. All of those bodies will need clean water and a place to sleep. All of the new communities created to house those people will continue to encroach upon the natural world.

EarthFirst


While the deluded celebrate the victory of their multinational-corporation-supported candidate whose amorphous plan for Hope/Change seems to mainly involve the same old Democratic policies, the future-sighted are watching the real issues.

* Environmental decay
* Class revolt dumbing down the nation
* Nuclear proliferation
* Religious warfare

One of the first of these is Earth First, who above point out the obvious: the fundamental environmental problem is too many people.

You can't buy a hybrid, buy fluorescent bulbs, buy green appliances, and recycle condoms to keep this at bay.

Plato -- one of the smartest people to ever live -- pointed out that in democracies, people get dramatic and try to prove their uniqueness and differentness by acting against what they see as the dominant tradition.

In doing so, they create a chaos that requires a cruelly manipulative tyrant to unite them, usually around some simple illusion -- bread and circuses, as the Romans later found out -- which masks an ugly underlying power grab.

The Russians discovered this when class warfare gained the upper hand -- and whether it's communist, capitalist or other, class warfare always behaves the same way -- and threw their country into 70 years of beating up the smarter so that the dumber felt better.

While it's not a big deal if the USA chooses to turn itself into Brazil, for humanity as a whole -- itself in the grips of class warfare -- the bigger problems are just beginning to reveal themselves.

3 Comments:

At 10:25 AM , Blogger FJ said...

Excellent post. Hopefully the ideas of Asimov, Dr. Albert Bartlett, and Hubbert (among others) will finally "penetrate" into the minds of those who have the power to implement policy changes in the future.

 
At 5:48 AM , Blogger Pete Murphy said...

One of the reasons that most people are apathetic about overpopulation is that they won't get concerned until it hits them in the wallet. They don't understand that it's already happening.

Rampant population growth threatens our economy and quality of life. I'm not talking just about the obvious problems that we see in the news - growing dependence on foreign oil, carbon emissions, soaring commodity prices, environmental degradation, etc. I'm talking about the effect upon rising unemployment and poverty in America.

I should introduce myself. I am the author of a book titled "Five Short Blasts: A New Economic Theory Exposes The Fatal Flaw in Globalization and Its Consequences for America." To make a long story short, my theory is that, as population density rises beyond some optimum level, per capita consumption of products begins to decline out of the need to conserve space. People who live in crowded conditions simply don’t have enough space to use and store many products. This declining per capita consumption, in the face of rising productivity (per capita output, which always rises), inevitably yields rising unemployment and poverty.

This theory has huge implications for U.S. policy toward population management. Our policies that encourage high rates of population growth are rooted in the belief of economists that population growth is a good thing, fueling economic growth. Through most of human history, the interests of the common good and business (corporations) were both well-served by continuing population growth. For the common good, we needed more workers to man our factories, producing the goods needed for a high standard of living. This population growth translated into sales volume growth for corporations. Both were happy.

But, once an optimum population density is breached, their interests diverge. It is in the best interest of the common good to stabilize the population, avoiding an erosion of our quality of life through high unemployment and poverty. However, it is still in the interest of corporations to fuel population growth because, even though per capita consumption goes into decline, total consumption still increases. We now find ourselves in the position of having corporations and economists influencing public policy in a direction that is not in the best interest of the common good.

The U.N. ranks the U.S. with eight other countries - India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ethiopia and China - as accounting for fully half of the world’s population growth by 2050. The U.S. is the only developed country still experiencing third world-like population growth.

If you’re interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, I invite you to visit my web site at OpenWindowPublishingCo.com where you can read the preface, join in my blog discussion and, of course, purchase the book if you like. (It's also available at Amazon.com.)

Please forgive the somewhat spammish nature of the previous paragraph. I just don't know how else to inject this new perspective into the overpopulation debate without drawing attention to the book that explains the theory.

Pete Murphy
Author, "Five Short Blasts"

 
At 12:10 PM , Blogger FJ said...

pete - funny meeting you here!

 

Post a Comment

Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home