Wednesday, September 12, 2007

VHEMT? Green Gone Bad

An article in Slate today, who's link was titled "Babies Are the New SUVs: A case for radical depopulation", explores the notion of trying to decrease the human population on Earth. Similar in thought to what China has tried to do. However while China's policy has helped keep population down, there were inherently unfortunate consequences.

The seemingly rational explanation was given as following,

"Let's cut the birth rate to one child per couple, for a few generations at least. The population would dwindle by about 5 billion people over the next century... ensuring the habitability of the Earth for the 1.6 billion who remained."

While it doesn't sound so bad when put that way, it still rubs me the wrong way. I would argue that most people enjoy growing up with siblings. Many children get to an age where they even ask their parents for siblings, seeing friends who have them, they want one of their own to play with. Why don't these people suggest that couples have two children a piece, so that the population would basically stay the same, not increase or decrease? And to address the environmental issue, if we educate our children to be environmentally conscious and to be good engineers and scientists, hopefully they will help us achieve a way to live on Earth in a sustainable manner. Don't take away their chance to change the world by not having them. Give them a wonderful opportunity- life itself- and then give them the tools to keep the planet going.

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement
, which the article sites, gives me the chills. Did they not see the movie Children of Men? How depressed and violent the human population became when everyone was sterile and no hope for the continuation of mankind? The VHEMT motto, "May We Live Long and Die Out" sounds rather awful itself. I have faith that the people alive today will progress towards a healthier Earth, and that the youth and future youth will continue in that vein and keep this planet habitable for centuries to come.

1 comment:

Les U. Knight said...

The premise of the Children of Men seems far-fetched to me. As you say, people are so depressed because they can't make more of themselves that civilization degenerates into dystopia. Does this seem even remotely probable?

It seems to me that our continued increase in population density is causing the very dystopia the movie depicts. What's more likely to bring about a brutally fascist nation: packing people tighter together with fewer resources or having more room for everyone with more of everything?

We may progress towards a healthier Earth as our awareness grows, but if there are more of us there will be fewer of other species -- we have to live somewhere and wherever we live not much else lives.

Many existing children don't have the opportunities you mention. Their chance to achieve their full potential would be more likely if there were fewer of them. Until every child is cared for, I don't think the intentional creation of another one by anyone anywhere can be justified.