Sun, Nov 12, 2006, 7:29pm Baby Blues
Politics » Population
(Last updated: Thu, Dec 14, 2006, 10:35pm)
I
'm at my wits end thinking about population and the general destruction of the biosphere. There are way way too many people, and it's still growing exponentially. Yes, even in the U.S., and yes, even if you factor out all the immigration, legal or otherwise. The destruction of species is at such a huge rate I can't think about it often. Even without global warming, human beings have absolutely no collective sense of how to take care of this planet. And as I walk around my neighborhood I can see endless rows of baby strollers of different sorts, parents lifting them into SUVs, talking about how they're having more soon.

Is there anything to be done? Do humans deserve to continue existing? I find myself rooting for pandemics, big ones. We're all taught to keep our chin up and be optimistic and just think of ways in which we all help can save the day, but there's no empirical evidence that this is realistic. These aren't paranoid fantastical notions. There's now a non-stop flood of empirical data, studied and combed over by cautious researchers with a myriad of different political and social backgrounds.

(If you haven't seen this great PSA from Three Legged Legs, it's a good synopsis of the basic problem: Humans!)

I really am a huge fan of all the great intellectual and technical feats that humans have achieved, but I'd happily sacrafice all of it to allow the biosphere to not undergo the damage we are unleashing on it. Cosmology gives me some solace in the form of the idea that ultimately what happens on Earth / the biosphere doesn't matter, but you have to stand your ethical ground somewhere, and as a moment of the Earth's biosphere, I'd like to try to help out somehow. HOW? Without addressing the population issue head-on, I see no hope. It's the one problem that exasperates all others.

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