Sunday, November 20, 2011

Human Overpopulation, what do we owe Nature?

As human populations increase, populations of other species fall.  Although few people are aware, we are living in a time scientists have called the Holocene extinction event.  Plants and animal species are going extinct at alarming rates. Undoubtedly some species have gone extinct before we were even aware of their very existence. Other species we wiped out and watched them vanish from the face of the earth, the passenger pigeon being a perfect example of such an extinction.

Some scientists have suggested that over 50,000 species are going extinct every year. Most of these extinctions will be unnoticed and undocumented as they represent flora and fauna we never even knew existed.
Today we continue to control the populations of other species; sometimes directly as when we control the population growth through systematic slaughter, culling, and spay/neuter programs, sometimes indirectly, as when introduced species become invasive and kill other species.

We select which species are important to us, which we dislike, and have decided that the human species is the most important of all. It is extremely ironic that our own species is allowed to reach the numbers it has, topping 7 billion people as of October, 2011, while we try to control so many other populations.

We find it easier to kill off seals so they do not eat “our fish” rather than restricting our population growth, or our consumption of fish. For some reason we have decided that we need to cut the rain forest at a rate where we consume nature faster than it can recover. We decide what are weeds, and remove them because they do not benefit us.  We have allowed humanity to build a large dept to nature that few are interested in repaying.

Do we have the right do destroy other species to maintain our own?

What Debt do we Owe Nature?

I beleive we owe nature a huge debt, one which it seems only a few are trying to repay by living a more sustainable existance, while others are content to consume all they want, have all the kids they want, and live like there is no tomorrow.  Indeed there may be no tomorrow if people do not change their ways.

Controlling our own population is key to our own survival.  If we continue to destroy the environment we doom ourselves to extinction.  Sadly many people reject the notion of human overpopulation, they see it only as an issue of food, not an issue of larger proportions.  If we can control the population of so many other species why do so few people realize there is an issue with the population of the human species and the impact it has on nature?

We owe it not only to nature to control our population, but to ourselves.  We need to realize that we need nature for our own survival and cannot continue to upset the balance of things.  A good example of this would be the Aral Sea, were an entire ecosystem was destroyed, just so we could have a bit of cotton.

We need to realize that it is nature that keeps us alive, not the dollar bill, or large house we live in, or the car we drive.  We need to place the same interest on controlling our population as we do that of other species if we want to continue our existance here, because currently we are consuming resources at alarming rates and driving other species to extinction, and for what?

What debt do we owe nature?  We owe nature our lives.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Good the Bad and the Ugly of the Duggar Family

The Duggar family already has 19 children, and recently announced they are expecting another in April of 2012.  This announcement comes only days after the planet topped 7 billion people and while some people congratulate the family, others are horrified.

The Duggar family has been on television shows such as "19 Kids and Counting" a reference to the number of children they have.

The Duggar family is reportedly financially stable enough to support their children and are not living off the welfare system.  They did have assistance (through workers who donated their time) in building their 7,000 square foot home.  As well, the Discovery television network arranged for many donations to the family, and their home, from corporate sponsors.  There are some that say the family has declared their home as a church to avoid paying taxes.

The Duggar's use their older children to help care for the younger ones, confusing the boundary between sibling and caregiver.  Fans of their show point out that it is rare to see the parents show any affection to the older children.

Nonetheless the biggest issue with the Duggar family is how they impact the already overpopulated planet.

Many people argue that having big families was the norm across America only a few hundred years ago when people needed kids to work on the farm.  True, but we must also consider that big families are no longer needed for farm life, the Duggar's are not a farming family, and back in the 1800's (when the world population was only 1 billion) infant mortality was much higher than it is now, and our lifespans were much shorter.  Finally; people two hundred years ago lived a far more environmentally sustainable lifestyle than they do now.

By many environmental standards twenty kids for one couple is at least eighteen too many, particularly in the United States where people consume far more than their share of resources and are leaving a very large ecological footprint.  The average American is consuming at a rate they require a 9 global hectares of space to meet their rate of consumption, however the planet only has 2 global hectares per person, a number which goes down as population increases.  A global hectare being roughly 10,000 meters square.

With a family of 21 people the Duggars are already responsible for taking 189 global hectares, roughly the same amount of land needed by 110 Chinese!

Right now the population of the planet consumes renewable resources at a rate that is 1.4 times faster than they can be renewed, and having large families will only make this worse.  There may be enough food to go around, but food is only one of the world's resources, and let us not discount the amount of waste generated by such large families.

Overpopulation is a real issue and one that some fundamentalist families are ignoring, selfishly convinced that they are doing "God's will". 

If you feel the Duggar family is wrong for continually pumping out more kids onto an already populated planet let the Discovery Channel know you will not support them as long as they continue to support the Duggar family. 

*If the show airs on other channels in your area, contact those channels.

In Canada
In the USA

Note:  On December 8, 2011, doctors gave Michelle Duggar the news that she had miscarried her unborn child.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Georgia Guidestones Rule of 500,000,000 People

Created in 1979 and unveiled to the public in 1980, the Georgia Guidestones have held a sense of mystery.  Made from 6 granite stones weighing more than 110,000 kg (240,000 pounds) these stones have been inscribed with a message not only written in English, but in 7 other language as well, and shorter messages written in 4 older languages such as Sanskrit.

The Georgia Guidestones stand on a hill in Elbert county, Georgia, approximately 140 km (90 miles) to the east of Atlanta.  They can be accessed from Georgia Highway 77 via Guidestones road.

The 10 inscriptions on the Guidestones are mostly about treating others well, and being respectful of the environment, but the one line that gets the most attention, is the first one, which states: "Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature."

Georgia Guidestones
 Some people fear that this suggests an extermination of roughly 6.5 billion people on the planet and have called the writings Satanic.  Others feel no such genocide is being called for and rather the suggestion is made to naturally reduce our population overtime, and simply not allow it to expand beyond that number.

The Georgian Guidestones are not the only place a population of 500,000,000 is suggested.  Philanthropist, and media mogul, Ted Turner, has been linked to the stones through speculation due to him reportedly suggesting a sustainable world population of 500,000,000.  But Ted Turner was not the only one to publicly voice this idea.

A religious group known as the Rosincrucians have often suggested a sustainable world population of 500 million, they too have been linked to the stone through speculation.  Other people, scientists, and people of intelligence, have suggested the same number.

When was the world human population last at 500,000,000 people?  Surprisingly only only 600+ years ago, around 1500.