- This continuing series brings you, a concerned American,
more information on what this civilization faces and what we can do to
change course toward a viable and positive future for our children and
all living creatures.
- "It is with many enterprises as with striking fire;
we do not meet with success except by reiterated efforts, and often at
the instant when we despaired of success." Francoise de Maintenon
- Peak Everything: Waking Up to a Century of Declines By
Richard Heinberg, New Society Publishers, ISBN-10:086571598X
, ISBN-13: 978-0865715981, www.postcarbon.org; www.richardheinberg.com
- "Toward the end of his lecture, Dr. Al Bartlett
quoted Isaac Asimov from a Bill Moyers interview," said Heinberg.
"What happens to the idea of the dignity of the human species if this
population growth continues at its present rate?"
- Asimov said, "It will be completely destroyed.
I like to use what I call my bathroom metaphor: if two people live in
an apartment and there are two bathrooms, then both have freedom of the
bathroom. You can go to the bathroom anytime you want to stay as long as
you want for whatever you need. And everyone believes in freedom of the
bathroom; it should be right there in the Constitution. But if you have
twenty people in the apartment and two bathrooms, no matter how much every
person believes in the freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing.
You have to set up times for each person, and you have to bang on the door,
"Aren't you through yet?".
- In the same way, democracy cannot survive overpopulation.
Human dignity cannot survive overpopulation. As you put more and more
people onto the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears.
It doesn't matter if someone dies, the more people there are, the less
one person matters."
- In my own world travels, as I pedaled through Asia, specifically,
China, India and other overpopulated countries, I discovered my own unease
at being packed like a sardine within an endless stream of people. Yes,
the Chinese seem used to it, but they do not enjoy choices.
- At this point in history, before we add another 100 million
people the U.S., we DO enjoy choices, and hopefully, we make them. America
may choose to avoid adding 100 million more people within 25 years. It's
a matter of choice!
- "All of this is dreary and distressing, and that's
why most people prefer simply to avoid the topic," said Heinberg.
"Even the most agreeable items, i.e., abstention, abortion, contraception,
small families-are controversial, especially if proposed as anything other
than individual, voluntary options. Controlling immigration, which is
essential to enabling any nation to control domestic population growth,
is enormously controversial, as immigrants already often face discrimination
in many forms. In each case, one or another group would object that human
rights are being sacrificed.
- Yet nature does not negotiate: the Earth is a bounded
sphere, and human population growth and consumption growth WILL BE reined
inso it appears we must give up at least some human rights if we are to
avoid nature's solutions-which consist of famine and disease as well as
the instinctive human response to fight over scarce resources."
- As to Heinberg's comment on immigrants, I add that those
immigrants arrive from countries, and they themselves-r efused to practice
birth control, thus, they overloaded their countries from which they fled,
only to create the same dilemma in the host country. And, paradoxically,
the third world adds 77 to 80 million annually, so the line never ends.
- Yet, like the immigrants from the third world, most Americans,
entrenched in their 20th century paradigms, cannot for the life of
themselves, step up to reality. They think population can continue unabated
on a finite globe. They curse anyone for thinking about human population
- Recently, I received an e-mail from a reader that said,
"Your latest rant shows your ignorance. It is up to God to decide
how many people can live on this earth, not you, not Dr. Alpert. I hope
the population explodes, I hope billions are born in the next few years.
God is the great judge, and life is brought about by the breath (image
of god) into the clay container. That has never been something you can
judge. It's not up to any man to control the womb and what comes from
the womb, nor the taking of life, or control of the tomb and what must
go to the tomb."
- To that Heinberg said, "If we want peace, democracy
and human rights, we must work to create ecological conditions essential
for these things to exist: i.e., a stable human population at-or less than-the
environment's long-term carrying capacity."
- WE FACE A TIME LIMIT FOR OUR PROACTIVE ACTIONS
- "The longer we wait, the fewer our options,"
said Heinberg. "Social liberals and progressives who fail to talk
about population and resource issues and to propose workable solutions
are merely helping to create their own worst nightmare."
- Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents
- from the Arctic to the South Pole - as well as six times across the USA,
coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic
Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents "The Coming Population
Crisis in America: and what you can do about it" to civic clubs, church
groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world
population balance atwww.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of:America
on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available: 1
888 280 7715