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Overpopulumption - nhpeacenik
We really need to dramatically reduce the human population of the Earth if we are to end starvation, malnourishment and water shortages, build a fair economy, preserve the remaining non-human species and, of course, stop global warming by reducing our collective carbon footprint. In the latest issue of BeFriending Creation , Louis Cox coins the term "Overpopulumption" to get across the idea of the heavy emotional weight we ought to be associating with the fact that we have now exceeded six billion people on the planet and are moving quickly toward doubling that and that resource consumption per person, especially in the US, is still on the rise.
The Elephant in the Room: Overpopulumption
He says:
Virtually every social and ecological problem facing the world today is exacerbated by population pressures combined with the strivings of the impoverished majority to enjoy what the affluent minority already has. Increased consumer goods and services is generally offset by growth in the number of people to feed, clothe, house, and educate. Reductions in rates of pollution and greenhouse gases are being cancelled out by more cars, cows, and power plants.

The article ends with a a paraphrase of Radical Simplicity author Jim Merkel:

With simple arithmetic Jim brackets our range of options for the future:—All 6.75 billion of us can start living like Somalis, with average 0.7-acre ecological footprints, or—We can average one-child families and eliminate wasteful, unnecessary consumption—steadily and peacefully contracting our numbers to about 1 billion over the next century, ending up with a sustainable average of 4-acre ecological footprints. Any path within that range entails daunting political, social, and economic obstacles. But the first step is seeing that the path we're on now has no future.

I've long thought that the world's situation called for fewer children and less consumption. My brother, my sister and I have all found partners and become parents to one girl each, and those girls have turned out extremely well if I do say so myself.  Since settling down, I have to admit I have walked more heavily on the Earth, driving a car to work far away, and eating food that has traveled around the world.  Nevertheless, the world is full of nice people who strongly believe that a large family is the only healthy way to raise children to have community values. Recently I've been meeting a lot of only-children from the third generation of Chinese to live under a one-child-per-couple regime, and I'm impressed with the quality of their thinking and social skills.  I'm starting to feel a leading to be more forthright in arguing the case for small families that consume less and for the reasonable argument that only-children can develop good social skills by being part of a larger community than a biologically-based nuclear family.


Current Music: Wonderful World, by Peggy Seeger from the album "An Odd Collection"

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