Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Oh, the humanity!

July 11 is World Population Day... as in, getting it under control being crucial to our very survival as a species on this planet. [LINK - Sierra Club WPD]

There are 6 and a half BILLION people on this planet, give or take a hundred million or so, and that number is growing by roughly 80 million per year. Population growth is one of the chief factors in affecting climate change, but it seems to also be the elephant in the room. Not mentioning it will not make it disappear. A bit like impeachment, it seems to have been taken off the table. [excellent article: Independent UK]

The mantra of organizations centered on protecting the planet emphasize using fewer resources:
  • Save gas (get a fuel-efficient car, drive less, walk, bicycle...)
  • Green up your house and yard (solar panels, native plants, better lightbulbs, rainbarrels...)
  • Recycle, reuse...
All well and good, but even if we all did these things perfectly and continue to grow at this rate, it will make too little difference. The main reason, I believe, that this particular topic is left off of many pro-environment lists is that it will make the cause unpopular. Religious and political positions of many powers-that-be in this world discourage not only abortion, but prevention as well! People do not like to be told that they must limit the number of children that they should have. I am childfree by choice, as I'm sure several of you readers are, and you understand full-well what it's like to be treated as some kind of a freak who doesn't have or even want kids, as though your life has been meaningless, not only to yourself but to the rest of the world as well. Giving birth at will and without limitations is viewed by most humans as a right, and it will not be given up or compromised in the slightest amount, even in the name of saving the species (and lots of other species as well). No one wants governmental interference in this very personal matter, and I sincerely hope it doesn't come to that.

But -- if we must choose between significantly reducing human population growth by our own voluntary methods, letting natural disaster, starvation, war and disease take their courses, or creating some kind of hellish laws controlling behaviors and bodily functions... and we choose wrong... the world is not going to be a fitting place to bring up children. How ironic.
Cartoon from Ward Sutton.

- World Overpopulation Awareness
- AlterNet: How many people is too many?
- Decor Pebble Eco-blog post
- Citizen's Arrest (Environment Guardian UK)
- Really cool live population counter

Tags: -

No comments: