Saturday, February 14, 2009

Shout Out About Population

Twenty years ago everyone worried about, and talked about, the exploding human population. It was frightening, a problem that threatened global well being. Since then, the population has increased by two billion, a whopping 40% growth. So are we panicking?
Just the opposite. Population has fallen off the map. It’s a taboo topic. Media coverage of population is woefully lacking and, when it does happen, is often met with hostility or apathy. This in spite of many signs of approaching crisis: global warming, failing fish stocks, food riots, water shortages, loss of forests, and much more.
But there’s hope. This month a group of scientists initiated Global Population Speak Out, a project which is mobilizing scientists, writers and knowledgeable individuals to speak and write about population over the next month. It’s a simple idea. If a large number of qualified voices speak out on overpopulation all at once, perhaps people will listen. Interestingly, one of the first to add his support was Paul Ehrlich, the author of The Population Bomb, the best seller that fuelled much of the concern about population in the 1970s.
Add your voice to the movement. Visit the Global Population Speak Out website at gpso.wordpress .com and pledge your support – it’s free.


Anonymous said...

The more we can do to make this subject front-and-centre the better. I hate to think what kind of world our grandchildren will inherit.
Keep up the good work in bringing this issue to light.
A.M.T said...

Of all the potential threats to human wellbeing and environmental health, there is nothing nearly so fearsome and formidable as the threat posed to the family of humanity in our time by the colossal scale and unbridled growth rate of absolute global human population numbers. said...

Dear Hans and Friends,

Your outspoken, forward-looking, action orientation represents a path to necessary change and to a good future for our children and coming generations, I believe.

Please understand my stridence and sense of urgency, expressed on so many occasions over the past 8 years, are responses to the way so many members of my generation of leading elders are arrogantly shirking their responsibilities to intellectual honesty, moral courage, and responsible action by not acknowledging and addressing the human-induced global challenges for which my generation can reasonably and sensibly be held accountable.

At least to me, many too many leaders are making conscious determinations to conspicuously overconsume limited resources, to eschew the option of responsibly sharing with others, and to authorize the unbridled growth of large-scale, global industrialization to the point of its unsustainability. At least to me, these behaviors are undeniable, indefensible, soon to become unsustainable. Even so, the soon to become unsustainable overgrowth activities continue to be ubiquitously condoned by those with wealth and power, for whom nothing matters more than the maintenance of the status quo.

Perhaps change toward sustainable lifestyles and away from lives organized around the institutionalization of arrogance and avarice are in the offing.

Thanks again, Hans and All, for being exemplars. We need many more people to speak out and take steps necessary to move away from what soon could be unsustainable over-consumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities of the human species to an alternate path marked by sustainable levels of human consumption, production and species propagation.

Thanks to all of you and to others like you.



Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001 ...

toomnyppl said...

For forty years we’ve suffered various warnings of deprivation due to overpopulation. Even as old warnings become new facts of life, we ignore the problem of too many people and quibble about how to patch the symptoms. For example, our growing numbers are used to excuse, as a necessary evil, the costly radioactive hazards of nuclear power, when instead a campaign to reduce our population and energy demand is both simple and prudent. Once in my sixty years, I saw people, conservative and liberal, join a campaign to improve their lives and their children’s lives. We knew smoking was bad for us, but we (cough) quit only after it was painfully obvious we had been duped, lied to, manipulated, and poisoned by tobacco companies that cared more about profits than people.

Have capitalists who cared more about profits than people fooled us into believing overpopulation is good? One indication we are believers is that overpopulation, a word in popular use for forty years, has no opposite; underpopulation is not in the dictionary. Underpopulation (having plenty for all) is a nightmare for economists and their clients; underpopulation breaks their profit machine of growing demand for declining supply. Capitalism of unending growth is a king-of-the-hill game. Underpopulation levels the playing field with capitalism of, by, and for the people in a marketplace of sustainable and safe technologies, living-wage jobs, and products growing in quality not quantity.

For years we’ve suffered repeated advice that, with ingenuity, there will be plenty for all and it’s our fault if we don’t grab our share. Well, it’s painfully obvious there’s not plenty for all. We’ve foolishly believed growth is good for us when, in fact, it’s our undoing. We’ve been duped, lied to, manipulated, and poisoned by capitalists who care more about profits than people. This may be the only reason people, conservative and liberal, join an underpopulation campaign to improve our lives and our children’s future.