I was recently informed that the drastic climate change our planet is experiencing is due to overpopulation. I found this thought quite concerning because it left me with the impression that our beautiful sphere was being overrun by an unappreciative, thoughtless, carelessly polluting species. You know, the kind that turns a lush, green Avatar-esque environment into an Armageddon wasteland. Of course I want to do something to stop that! So, the first step is stop overpopulation.
Overpopulation means that the space and resources in a certain area are not sufficient enough to provide for the number of a certain species living there. The claim is that humans are overpopulating earth, thus the planet does not have enough space or resources to sustain people. Managing overpopulation means population control. My mind perused the options and I came up with the following:
-Limit the number of children per household
-Make young couples planning on having a family, and couples with more than one child, a social disgrace
-End the search for cures for cancer, heart disease, AIDS, and other life-threatening illnesses
-End the immunization of infants and children
-Laud Hitler, Stalin, and other genocide-giants as heroes of the war on overpopulation
-Praise the military for civilian casualties abroad
-Ban fertility treatments and in-vitro fertilization
-Prohibit gun control and celebrate all acts of mass violence in the country
-Discourage people from wearing seatbelts and encourage drunk driving
-Support suicide and outlaw the counseling of those who are considering it
-Require the euthanasia of all senior citizens and disabled people
-Legalize abortion in all trimesters and allow a one-week window for infanticide.
My list could continue, but I have other things to do today besides blogging. Anyway, as I brainstormed ways to manage overpopulation I realized that our society is speaking from both sides of its mouth. From one side we are focused on ways to sustain a lengthy life, cure cancer, end violence, and live in harmony. From the other side we are bemoaning the destruction of the planet because there are too many of us living on it. If humans really are the parasites of nature, why are we so focused on saving them? Perhaps it is because we don’t view ourselves as the parasites. Everyone else is the problem. We want to live in a secure neighborhood; we want a cure for cancer in case we have it; we want our sons and husbands safely returned from war; we want children if we choose to do so; we want to live forever. But it’s fine to end the lives we can’t see; the lives that are just beginning; the lives that have no concept of pain, until their limbs start being pulled from their bodies.
Perhaps a better solution to overpopulation is to remember that we are just as much a part of nature as the ocean or gray wolves are. Our role is to be caretaker of this planet and to embrace all that it has to offer us. We can learn much from earth, lessons about peace and praise, lessons about our own identity. Do we see the animals purposely aborting their offspring? Or leaving them to die? There is something inside of us that cringes whenever we see the weakest nestling pushed out of the nest, and we rush to save it. If a mother bear abandoned her cubs, we would quickly assume that something was wrong with her. Yes, hunger and disease take their toll on wildlife just as they do on us, but being the caretakers that we are, we have learned ways of managing such problems.
While we haven’t all gone to school to be park rangers or marine biologists, we all have the responsibility for earth in our birthright. Individually we should recycle, conserve, and appreciate what has been entrusted to us; we should set the example for those around us. We should celebrate the fact that we were born human with the potential of doing great good for our planet and all of its inhabitants. We should celebrate that we were even born at all.