Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nay-Sayers and Population

Fact: a smoothly-oiled, well-funded propaganda steamroller, which is sponsored by big oil, coal and other vested interests, continues to obfuscate, delay and deny global warming.
Fact: the conservative right believes that environmentalists are pinkos, a menace to society.
Fact: this same crowd also is dead against curbing population growth. The world, they believe, can support billions more people.

To support these beliefs, they often turn to Bjorn Lomborg the Dane who, using a tidal wave of statistics, professes that all is sunshine and roses, that the world is only getting better and better.

Wrong! I remember the long hot summer days of my youth in Niagara. My buddies and I would often bicycle to the lake, sweating past miles of orchards with trees hanging heavy with cherries, peaches, and plums. Our reward was a golden beach and sparkling clean water, where we swam for hours. Or we would lie on the beach, soaking up the sun and listening to the rhythm of waves lapping against the sandy shore.

These days kids don’t spend time at the lake anymore. The bicycle ride is a long stretch of simmering, car-clogged pavement lined with rows of uninspiring suburban homes. The water is polluted from a nearby sewage treatment plant with frequent beach closures. Furthermore, the summers are marred by periods of dense, humid, lung-damaging smog when the health department issues warnings to stay indoors.

Fact: the environment of Niagara has deteriorated; my children cannot enjoy the simple pleasures of my youth. And the cause? It’s very simple, undeniable, so straight-forward: too many people!

Yes Bjorn, there is prosperity in this land; we inhabitants live well, too well in fact. But the environment is wilting and the cause is too many people. Let’s wake up and address this issue.

1 comment: said...

Many thanks to Hans for speaking out loudly, clearly and often. Millions of voices are needed now more than ever before to support your efforts.

A jeremiad follows concerning wasting time and keeping silent while woefully inadequate leaders of the human community promulgate policies and initiate large-scale corporate activities that recklessly overheat and relentlessly ravage Earth and its environs.

My not-so-great generation of elders will likely be remembered as the perpetrators of the most perverse, self-serving silence in human history. No other generation has taken so much from this good Earth, threatened the very future of its own children and given so little of themselves to preserve life for coming generations. Photographs of us will disclose both our corpulence and hollowness.

Although the disclosure of truth is unsettling, hiding the truth from the human community could be a monstrous example of human-driven foolery, one that could soon lead to a colossal ecological wreckage.

To suppress the truth by conscientiously substituting whatsoever could somehow be true with willful silence is tantamount to the commission of a pernicious lie.

A widely shared and consensually validated determination among people with knowledge to maintain their silence, when remaining silent betrays intellectual honesty, conceals the truth and thwarts courageous action, is the most dangerous of all global threats to the family of humanity, life as we know it and the preservation of Earth as a fit place for human habitation.

From this perspective, perhaps we can begin to apprehend the actual, most formidable enemy of future human wellbeing and environmental health.

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on the Human Population,
established 2001