Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


On Overpopulation and Ecosystem Collapse

On Overpopulation and Ecosystem Collapse

Earth's biosphere is collapsing and dying as human industrial growth overwhelms ecosystems and abruptly changes climate. Equity, education, condoms, and lower taxes and other incentives to stabilize and then reduce human population are a huge part of the solution.

Earth Meanders essay by Dr. Glen Barry, EcoInternet, http://EcoInternet.org/
-- Ecological Internet is now EcoInternet! We are alive and well, preoccupied at the moment with updating our websites and regaining our tax-exempt status. Expect to hear from us soon with more alerts and commentary, and keep in touch at http://www.Twitter.com/EcoInternet and http://www.Facebook.com/EcoInternet where we remain particularly active.

May 17, 2014

THE FALL
Earth in overshoot;
human growth is killing her;
the end of being.


The global ecological system is collapsing and dying under the cumulative filth of 7 billion people INEQUITABLY devouring their ecosystem habitats. It is impossible to avoid global ecosystem collapse if humanity continues to breed like bunnies; tolerates exorbitant inequality, abject poverty and conspicuous overconsumption; and destroys the ecosystems and climate that – rich or poor – are habitat for all of us. As I have written previously and will write again, the human family either comes together to address converging ecology, rights, and injustice crises – largely brought on by inequitable overpopulation – or faces global ecological collapse and the end of being.

It is not possible to go from 1 to 7 billion people in 135 years – while still growing exponentially – without profound impacts upon natural ecosystems that provide air, water, food and livelihoods. If you don’t understand this, you are uneducated, dumb, and/or indoctrinated; you need to study ecology and get out and see the world. Or go and look at an overgrazed cow pasture and extrapolate. Merging climate, food, water, ocean, soil, justice, poverty, and old-growth forest crises – all which are to some degree caused by inequitable overpopulation – are destroying ecosystems and threaten to pull down our one shared biosphere.

Earth has lost 80% of her old-growth forests, 50% of her soil, 90% of the big fish – and many water, land, and ocean ecosystems, as well as atmospheric stability, as human population has soared more than sevenfold. The human family is living far beyond its means, devouring natural capital principal and ravaging its own ecosystem habitats, which can only end in ecological, social and economic collapse. Earth's carrying capacity has been exceeded, and we must equitably and justly bring down human population and consumption inequity or else face global ecosystem collapse. We can start the necessary social change or an angry Earth will sort it out herself by killing billions; as we possibly pull down the biosphere with us, ending most or even all life, during a prolonged collapse.

Earth is not designed for 7 billion people (and growing), some of them destroying ecosystems globally as they live in opulence, others more locally through their grinding poverty and need to survive. Overpopulated, inequitable, unjust human industrial growth ravages ecosystems; destroying all that is natural, indigenous and good, heralding a brief era of opulence for some and abject misery for many, before collapsing the biosphere and causing the end of being for all.

Together the human family must find a way to first limit and then reduce human population to avoid collapsing the biosphere. Infinite economic growth in a finite world is impossible; either we embrace a steady state economy together, or we die.

Solutions to overpopulation – to ensure humanity’s cumulative consumption remains within Earth's carrying capacity – include more equity (fewer extremes, basic needs met, hard work rewarded, without communism or authoritarian regimes), educating all girls, free birth control, and lower taxes and more social benefits for families with one to two children. Ensuring every girl in the world is educated and empowered to make her own life decisions, especially about fertility, is the key. Those who cling to ancient superstitions or contemporary greed to resist these policies must be ridiculed and ignored or overthrown.

There are many other common sense ways to keep population in balance with ecosystems. Some obvious and essential global ecological solutions include agroecology, ending fossil fuel dependence, protecting and restoring ecosystems including ending old-growth forest logging, and an embrace of ecology, truth, justice, wisdom, and love as the meaning of life.

The human animal is fundamentally an ecological being – as with all organic life, part of and springing from natural ecosystems. Without natural ecosystems and a healthy atmosphere, there is nothing. Tragically, centuries of advancement in human rights and welfare are at risk as climate and ecosystem collapse are being misdiagnosed and met with authoritarianism rather than ecologically based policies.

The global ecological system upon which all life depends is being systematically dismantled in the name of "development". Whatever became of aspirations for real human advancement in justice, rights and duties, truth, equity, love and peace? Instead most postmodern humanity seems only to want more stuff, self-aggrandizement, and comfort at any price including our shared future. Now is the time for moral and political courage as together we stop and reverse abrupt climate change, ecosystem collapse, and rising tyranny – by rationally and logically using humanity’s accumulated wisdom and knowledge to craft and implement together the required social change for global ecological sustainability.

Again, to survive and achieve universal well-being, humanity must choose ecology – by leaving fossil fuels in the ground, protecting and restoring natural ecosystems, embracing organic permaculture, and reducing our own numbers equitably and justly – or, it cannot be said enough, we face ecological collapse and the end of being. There is no other way.

The challenge of the present and perhaps all time left to us is to remain free. Together, as one human family, we must embrace our duty to protect nature, end fossil fuels, reduce human numbers, and share with other people and kindred species.

There is nothing normal about being well adjusted and silent as ecosystems and climate collapse globally, threatening the imminent death of us all. Living in such a manner can no longer be tolerated as acceptable. As global ecosystems and society collapse, chances for future survival and well-being depend critically upon holding onto our shared humanity as together we restore ecosystems, care for each other and all life, and find new ways to live well sustainably.

¬--

Discuss this essay at the Earth Blog, EcoInternet’s soon to be announced new blog site: http://www.ecointernet.org/2014/05/17/on-overpopulation-and-ecosystem-collapse/


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Stuart Littlewood: What More Horrors Are In Store For Gaza?

I wonder what Hamas and Israeli leaders are thinking as they survey the devastation in Gaza and review the death-toll and casualty figures? Or course, neither has to live among the ruins and clamber over the devastation. More>>

ALSO:

Michael Hammerschlag: The Battle For Lysychansk; Ukr On The Move

I reached my friend Andre Samobarona (self-defense militia from Maidan) at the front Sunday- where I didn't know he was till last call 5-6 days ago, “I'm in a battle- can't talk”. He was out of touch till today, when he was on R+R from the National ... More>>

Shobha Shukla: Prevention Technologies For HIV And STIs At AIDS 2014

Women of reproductive age have a need for prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, and family planning methods. More importantly, women need prevention tools/methods that are under their control and do not leave them at the mercy of ... More>>

Gary G. Kohls: The Hiroshima Myth And The Glorification Of American Militarism

This coming Wednesday, August 6, 2014, is the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, the whole truth of which has been heavily censored and mythologized ever since war-weary Americans celebrated V-J Day on August 15. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Gaza’s Resistance Will Not Be Crushed

On the 13th day of Israel’s so-called Operation Protective Edge, stories of entire families collectively pulverized, women and children keenly targeted by Israeli soldiers saturate the media. Until now, 430 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and ... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Anderson: Rearranging The Deck Chairs On The Titanic? The Labour Party And MANA

Early in July this year, Labour Party leader David Cunliffe made headlines by apologising for being a man. Stoked by capitalist media sensation, Prime Minister John Key responded that “not all men” abuse women. More>>

Shobha Shukla: Break The Silos: Drug Use, HIV, HCV, TB, Laws And Funding

Viet Nam is one of the countries in the world that has made remarkable progress over the last decade in not only making harm reduction and HIV services available and accessible for people who use drugs but also reforming laws for supportive health ... More>>

ALSO:

Fiona Gordon: Illegal Wildlife Trading: The Global Response

At the closing session of the inaugural United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi last month, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “We need to act decisively to change humanity’s relationship with our planet.” More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
TEDxAuckland
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news