MWalker at gensym.com
Fri Jan 26 14:13:01 EST 2001
In times past, before there was a LEPS-L, I was known for getting on
soapboxes to address the subject of overpopulation. At the time (70's), it
was popular to consider the fate of the planet as an ecosystem - and it was
obvious to most the negative impact man had had over the preceding decades.
All of us had seen the elimination of much habitat due to development. The
increasing population growth rate was much discussed and feared. We all
awaited the horrific appearance of Soylent Green.
In the 80's, this discussion subsided, at least publicly. During this
period, I pondered many of the other problems we were facing as a species.
It began to become apparent that many of these problems were also related to
the phenomenon of population growth. In fact, I challenge all to find a
social problem (other than man's inherent ability to hate his neighbor) that
can't be tied back in some way to too many humans. Interestingly, when I
began to speak out on these correlations, folks mostly responded with
puzzlement. It seemed as if everyone had agreed that over-population was no
longer a concern.
Ironically, part of the problem was that we had successfully decreased the
RATE of population growth, at least in the U.S., and that news confused many
into thinking that the population was no longer growing. Yikes.
Now - ignoring the question of appropriateness - I feel compelled to mention
that as much as I'm concerned
about the growing population, I am also concerned about our options for
dealing with it. Like most of our social problems, population control is
best left to the people - and should not be a responsibility of the state.
As I've said before on this list, the best thing that could happen to our
lepidopteron friends is for half of the humans to disappear (probably half
is not enough). But none of us are willing to be the first to drink the
proverbial cup of tainted Kool-Aid. We'd all prefer to be with the half
that gets to stay.
That being said - please shoot me the day that we empower our governments to
be procreation police. Then there will be more Soylent Green for all that
all wet in Oceanside
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