Breeding ourselves to extinction

One of my regular readers who calls himself Davy Stephenson recently commented about population growth. Mr Stephenson is a gadfly who stings me from time to time into thought.  He set me thinking and set me thinking as to how population growth is central to all planetary change and how the growth of human population has created many problems as well as solving problems. 

In the final and infinite analysis population growth is the curse of humanity; we are so frightened of it that either we dare not speak its name or we ignore it, claiming that it matters not at all and there is plenty of room on this planet for everyone today and everyone that we may create in the future for all of time to come.

My publishing my conclusion that population growth is a curse, not just for the species with which we compete for space on this planet but also for ourselves, will offend many. Many religions preach the necessity of propagation but I have reached the conclusion that as a species we have already filled every easily habitable corner of the earth and it is time to slow down and find an equilibrium before our numbers increase to such that we will have sown the seeds of our own destruction.

When we chase something, whatever it is, selfishly and with excessive focus on the result and without regard to the consequences we do not smell the flowers that line the pathway of our journey of our pursuit, but destroy them. Living competitively destroys those with whom you compete. That is the point of competition, to win. If that opponent is other animals that compete with us, then those animals become extinct by our actions.

If we compete with the environment, instead of living with the environment, then, just as we cause extinction of species so we make part of our environment extinct. The expansion of human numbers has, in the past fifty years seen such important eco systems as the tropical rain forest and the wetlands of the Everglades shrunk in area, so that they now have cover less than half the areas they covered fifty years ago.

In our rapacious need to multiply we have destroyed these environments and many more. We have used their resources for our necessities and our pleasures. It is arguable that if we could change our environments without there being any adverse consequences, then, in order to ensure the survival of the human race and the production and improvement of our individual deoxyribonucleic acids, then that is the price worth paying.

However it does not work like that. In destroying the natural environment in copious amounts we destroy the things that have made the environment to which we have adapted over hundreds of thousands of years. Our climate, our water and our food are all affected by the destruction of environments caused by the expansion of the numbers of humanity.

In small numbers humans adapt and prosper. In large numbers humans will end up destroying those things upon which they depend for life.

Of course we are not yet at the population “tipping point” when it comes to numbers. It is possible that the infinite complexity of nature will prevent us from reaching that part of the lever which when pulled will send the human race to oblivion, as a footnote in natural history. It may be that there will inevitably be famines, new diseases, massive infertility and other unimaginable changes that will keep human numbers to a level that the planet can more or less sustain.

Perhaps the things we treat as threats, like climate change, will be our salvation by limiting and cutting back our numbers, to levels that will permit our planet to recover equilibrium. There may be in order in apparent chaos and a design of which we can not perceive.

And thus it seems to me to be that our population may outgrow our capacity to sustain it; it is not about our acting sustainably but about our planet being capable of sustaining our species. If that happens than we will have bred ourselves and our species to extinction.

2 Responses

  1. Overpopulation is not the cause of climate change, overconsumption by the rich few is: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20327271.700-population-overconsumption-is-the-real-problem.html

    Global population is predicted to stabilise in ~2050 at 9.5 billion. In the mean time there is no credible mechanism for stopping growth. It’s a fantasy to believe otherwise and therefore a rather pointless distraction from what is urgently needed – rapid reduction of carbon pollution by the wealthiest nations.

    I find it funny that the one thing that rich, wealthy, white people are not largely responsible for is often the one thing they find particularly threatening.

  2. I do not purposely try to sting the host, but try to put things across in a way that as a man from the land I am, and have lived with it and know exactly what it can give me back.

    D C is absolutely correct when he says we need to cut back on pollution, with a capital P, all plant life thrives on Co2, all the coal and oil we use today came about because of the higher levels of the gas we are calling a climate changer, if we had more Co2 farming and plant life would actually grow better and faster, but we definately do not need the carbon, pollution in the form of particulates that comes with it,

    If we cary on upsetting the fine and natural balance of the enviornment it will be at our peril, take too much out and not put the same back and we will die.

    Co2 is a clear gas which lets the solar light through so it can let the light back out again, pollution or global dimming because of pollution is what prevents it from entering or reflecting back out into space.

    As the planet warms because of solar activity the levels of Co2 always lag behind, coming mostly from the oceans, if the sun doesn’t get through or shine we will cool its as simple as that, no sun no heat to get trapped period, the sun controls everything, mini ice ages and medieval warming periods or not.

    Only nature can supply our Co2 at room temprature without the pollution, we produce it by burning and heating to very high temps, the higher the temp the more we tend to pollute and waste, solar is the bringer of all life before and after we actually leave this mortal plane, and we will because every species that has ever lived here, 99.9 % of life on the globe has become extinct never to return.

    I also agree fully with D C when he says there is no credible mechanism for population growth or control, we cannot simply start culling or dictating to the populous any time soon to who stays or goes, this will ultimately be done by nature herself, mother nature and the planet will survive for many millenia, the planet has all the time in the world, we have not.

    D C is also correct in what he says of the very rich, they have gotten this way at the expense of the many, this is where we need to re-balance things, everything we have here on earth belongs to us all, if we all had an equal share of the bounties we would naturally become a lesser population, the need to spread our seeds is down to many complicated pass times, if we are all working we would be breeding less, take away a mans activities and he gets bored very quickly indeed and will look for an alternative passtime, all previous evidence is there if you look for it.

    If we were more content and understood nature better we would be less, and speaking from experience, less can most definately be more.

    All the gold in all of the banks of this world is there at the cost of the many and in direct competition with the planet herself, which will neither benefit it nor save our lives within it, you cannot eat it, nor keep warm with it, its is not part of life as we know it, but we so stupidly cherish its shiny surface like the magpies we are, or is that sheeple, but they like grass, Oh well, LOL.

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