Sir David Attenborough says that humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the world’s resources.He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.
“We are a plague on the Earth.”
“We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves — and it’s not an inhuman thing to say.”
Overpopulation panic is a rather retro fear, one which badly needs updating. One example of 21st century people still buying into panic over mid-20th century (questionable) hypothetical problems. Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, clings to his guns about the apocalypse of overpopulation, even though all of his deadlines have long since passed with no sign of his promised disaster.
Ehrlich: “Allowing women to choose to have as many children as they desire is like allowing everyone to “throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor’s backyard as they want.”
People = garbage. Other people, that is.
And can you just feel the outrage that someone is throwing their garbage into my yard?
Today, birth dearth and the failure to achieve replacement numbers is a crisis in most of Europe. Economies the world over are in danger of collapse, and many millions of men have no hope of ever creating families because their spouses were aborted or prevented.
The progressive solution focuses entirely on the need for women to limit their childbearing, especially third-world women in less white cultures. We need to stop producing so many (poor) people!
In fact, one reason for seven billion people is at the other end of the age spectrum. One reason there are so many people is that so many people are living longer, and projections have this “problem” growing exponentially. Look here.
Our civilization has succeeded in producing such a sustainably high quality of life that people are living longer, healthily and comfortably, for far longer than ever before. Cue the subversive change agents to transform that achievement into a catastrophe.
And since Sir Attenborough is 85 plus, the personal earth-friendly solution should be obvious. That’s a joke. I would never suggest that someone ought to commit suicide. But perhaps Sir Attenborough would gain a new perspective on the issue if the solution required him to act, rather than to suggest what the less fortunate ought to do about the problem.
I have many acquaintances who know exactly what other people ought to do about overpopulation. But I have never heard one of them volunteer to help out in any way that would infringe on her personal preferences, or to volunteer to reduce overpopulation by one.
The proudly Childfree love these news items. It’s confirmation bias. I don’t want children, I don’t particularly like children, no one should have children. I have my search engines on the lookout for why it’s morally superior to be childfree. ( The internet responds favorably, just as it would with a totally contradictory search.) I’ve only experienced family from the perspective of the child, but I know best.
And it’s just one baby step to: YOUR only morally responsible act is to limit YOUR family to one child, if any. Moral condemnation follows for families of more than two.
Others should sacrifice. Abortion to the rescue! Death to the helpless is an easy solution. But better yet, prevent that infestation of humans from being conceived in the first place. Sir Attenborough and the like: Sorry, little one. I will live into my nineties sucking up wealth and fame but the planet is just too crowded to permit you a spot.
However, even when our society eventually takes its eyes off the little ones in this equation, and decides to consider the elderly as candidates for elimination, there’s still no way that people like Sir David would be considered as expendable. We are willing worshipers of experts, celebrities, royals, presidents and the fabulously wealthy. Even in America, we want kings. And we love hitching our cabooses to someone else’s engine as long as we can advertise our morally superior destinations. When the celebrity-expert wears a mantle like environmentalist, or social justice warrior, we love the bling of associating ourselves with him, and we swallow the slogans whole.
Maybe we should acknowledge some facts about our human nature: we are fundamentally self-seeking and desperately self-important. We do not create social improvements that ask us to kill ourselves off. We invent solutions which make it a moral imperative to kill off other people, or to prevent them entirely.
There is no scenario where we do not value some people and devalue other people. We are tenacious respecters of persons. As a society we have decided that the most helpless, the ones who most deserve our protection, the mockingbirds, the ones who are situated in the most naturally protective and nurturing place: the womb…are the ones who are chosen to be sacrificed in the building of a better world.
When social planning elitists sound alarms, we are all too willing to rally, as long as someone lesser makes the sacrifices.