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Humans Are A 'Plague On Earth' Who Need To Stop Breeding


Sky_Diamond

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I wonder what Duggars will thinks of David Attenborough's latest warning on population warning:

David Attenborough has described humans as a "plague on Earth" that need to slow down breeding to stop the world's population being reduced by more brutal means.

Speaking to the Radio Times, the beloved naturalist said the impact of the rapidly increasing population "will come home to roost over the next 50 years or so."

Sir David Attenborough said it was not an 'inhumane' thing to say

Finding food for the human 'hordes' is as just big a threat to survival as global warming, he said.

“It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde," he told the magazine.

“Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us. The natural world is doing it for us right now.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/01/22/david-attenborough-radio-times-interview-population_n_2524315.html?view=print&comm_ref=false

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I don't agree that we are a plague on earth but we need to accept that there are too many of us. For some reason, no one discusses our growing population and what it means for the future of humanity.

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I don't agree that we are a plague on earth but we need to accept that there are too many of us. For some reason, no one discusses our growing population and what it means for the future of humanity.

I agree, I often find it amusing that the fundies who protest so vehemently against birth control, the Duggars (except for Santorum) and Kristina, are the same ones who hate Catholicism since they have so much in common. By Catholicism, i'm referring to the orthodox view of the Pope that no contraception allowed even in overpopulated developing nations with terrible HIV rates.

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We can all fit inside Jacksonville, we'll be fine.

I don't know if we are a plague on earth but I do agree that there are too many of us, especially at the incredibly high rate we (in the first world) are consuming resources at. It is completely unsustainable. However, if our population were to shrink, which it needs to but won't do for a while, we need to figure out how that will be successful economically.

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We can all fit inside Jacksonville, we'll be fine.

I don't know if we are a plague on earth but I do agree that there are too many of us, especially at the incredibly high rate we (in the first world) are consuming resources at. It is completely unsustainable. However, if our population were to shrink, which it needs to but won't do for a while, we need to figure out how that will be successful economically.

I think we already know the answer, educating women and making them equal partners in the workforce. Repeated studies have shown that women who are educated want less children as they want a career as well. Also education in contraception will help as well.

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I think the choice of words in at least unfortunately, if not inappropriate. To refer to humans as 'a plague' is dehumanizing. It also raises questions of geography, class and race. Which humans is he referring to? The 8% that controls 82% of the wealth in the Western world or the swathes of poor people in the Global South?

I also don't think it's demographically accurate. He's just spouting the good, old Malthusian ethos. Many contemporary demographers argue that the world's population curve will flatten naturally in about 2050. Yes, we might have 12 billion by then, or a bit more, but this is essentially a problem that will solve itself. Most people don't want kids as an insurance policy: they want kids because they love them, not as an investment. The best bet against overpopulation is empowering women (and men) and redistributing wealth.

I also don't think it's ecologically accurate. I think the Earth *can* support more people if we steward those resources wisely. A lot of food and arable land goes to waste or is destroyed to fight off artificially depressed market prices or to grow cash crops. I'm a firm believer (although admit that this is more esoteric hope than actual science) that we can even feed the entire world without resorting to GMO's.

Lastly, I think any argument in which one group of people determines - undemocratically - the reproductive rights of another group of people is highly unethical and hugely problematic. The consequence of his statement is what. That we enact a global One Child policy? That we decide who gets to breed and who doesn't? It sounds like a bad sci-fi movie.

Of course, there's a problem (or at least a challenge) with over population. We are stretching the world's resources but there are many reasons for that, not just over population. And yes, it would be far better if people would have less children rather than more. Encouraging people to breed Duggar-style is clearly irresponsible and the Quiverfull movement is known to have a complete disdain for ecological concerns. But that doesn't mean we should be very careful before we start calling our fellow human beings a 'plague', God forbid. Just my two cents.

This is a book I read a while back, I loved it: http://www.amazon.com/World-Hunger-Fran ... 0802135919

And here's another resource: http://www.foodfirst.org/pubs/backgrdrs ... 8v5n3.html

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I think the choice of words in at least unfortunately, if not inappropriate. To refer to humans as 'a plague' is dehumanizing. It also raises questions of geography, class and race. Which humans is he referring to? The 8% that controls 82% of the wealth in the Western world or the swathes of poor people in the Global South?

I also don't think it's demographically accurate. He's just spouting the good, old Malthusian ethos. Many contemporary demographers argue that the world's population curve will flatten naturally in about 2050. Yes, we might have 12 billion by then, or a bit more, but this is essentially a problem that will solve itself. Most people don't want kids as an insurance policy: they want kids because they love them, not as an investment. The best bet against overpopulation is empowering women (and men) and redistributing wealth.

I also don't think it's ecologically accurate. I think the Earth *can* support more people if we steward those resources wisely. A lot of food and arable land goes to waste or is destroyed to fight off artificially depressed market prices or to grow cash crops. I'm a firm believer (although admit that this is more esoteric hope than actual science) that we can even feed the entire world without resorting to GMO's.

Lastly, I think any argument in which one group of people determines - undemocratically - the reproductive rights of another group of people is highly unethical and hugely problematic. The consequence of his statement is what. That we enact a global One Child policy? That we decide who gets to breed and who doesn't? It sounds like a bad sci-fi movie.

Of course, there's a problem (or at least a challenge) with over population. We are stretching the world's resources but there are many reasons for that, not just over population. And yes, it would be far better if people would have less children rather than more. Encouraging people to breed Duggar-style is clearly irresponsible and the Quiverfull movement is known to have a complete disdain for ecological concerns. But that doesn't mean we should be very careful before we start calling our fellow human beings a 'plague', God forbid. Just my two cents.

This is a book I read a while back, I loved it: http://www.amazon.com/World-Hunger-Fran ... 0802135919

And here's another resource: http://www.foodfirst.org/pubs/backgrdrs ... 8v5n3.html

QFT.

Are we going to have a problem if we continue as we have? Yes. Is humanity a plague? No.

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I think it is a debatable point on whether or not humanity as a whole is a plague. However I do think that as a species we have been acting like a plague. We have done much to destroy the environment. One need only look at how fast the glaciers are melting or the amount of rainforest that is gone or the toxic effluvia from oil spills/nuclear disasters or the massive garbage pile that is floating around the oceans etc. We have either actively participated or passively watched the extinction of many species. We use resources like they are never ending - not just oil but things like phosphorus, helium etc. We are willing to dump what chemicals we need into animals and land to grow enough food for everyone (eg antibiotic use in animals, fertilizers draining into streams and dramatically changing the environment, intensive farming methods that deplete the land, insecticides etc). At the same time I don't think anyone of us is willing to shoulder the blame - I don't have children, I recycle, I reuse, I don't have a car - are excuses I myself use - so that is yet another plague like activity - refusing to accept my/our part in the ecosystem. Like a plague or virus - we seem bent on destroying our host (the earth).

In the end, it does not matter if anyone agrees or disagrees with "humanity is a plague". The proof will present itself soon enough. Either humanity will continue to burn through the earth's resources - leading to ever greater environmental disasters and extinctions or we will find a way to live in balance with other species and the environment. I hope it is the latter but I fear it is the former.

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Browngirl, of course we will eventually be presented with the consequences of our actions, although there will be a class bias: those who pollute most, suffer least. Those who pollute least (the Global South, or the 3 billion people on less than a dollar income a day) will suffer the most when it comes to access (or lack thereof) to clean water, food, energy sources, a sustainable environment, healthy place to live etc, etc.

The thing is, I am not sure that Attenborough's language is actually going to help us deal with the problem. It's fruitless guilt-tripping IMHO and hardly constructive. It also belies an ignorance or unwillingness to see proportionality and responsibility when it comes to pollution and the polluters/consumers involved. Who is holding corporatocracy accountable? Not David Attenborough, it seems. Instead, he's just undermining our self-esteem as a species.

Fact of the matter is that I am quite cynical in some ways: I am not at all convinced that we as 'small citizens' can do that much for the environment when faced by the onslaught of the real powers that be.

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Browngirl, of course we will eventually be presented with the consequences of our actions, although there will be a class bias: those who pollute most, suffer least. Those who pollute least (the Global South, or the 3 billion people on less than a dollar income a day) will suffer the most when it comes to access (or lack thereof) to clean water, food, energy sources, a sustainable environment, healthy place to live etc, etc.

The thing is, I am not sure that Attenborough's language is actually going to help us deal with the problem. It's fruitless guilt-tripping IMHO and hardly constructive. It also belies an ignorance or unwillingness to see proportionality and responsibility when it comes to pollution and the polluters/consumers involved. Who is holding corporatocracy accountable? Not David Attenborough, it seems. Instead, he's just undermining our self-esteem as a species.

Fact of the matter is that I am quite cynical in some ways: I am not at all convinced that we as 'small citizens' can do that much for the environment when faced by the onslaught of the real powers that be.

I agree that the language is inflammatory and I suspect that was his point. I suspect he is trying to wake people up and this is my big problem: I don't think it will do all that much good to stir up individuals. I think that for any big change we will have to get the big powers involved. THIS is what makes me most pessimistic - I have no doubt that individuals can act for the common good but I doubt I will ever see a corporation acting in a purely altruistic manner. We have given corporations all the power of being a person but none of the responsibility.

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Exactly. But this is exactly the thing that scares me witless about deregulated capitalism. All of the greed, none of the sharing. In that sense, I am a bit resentful about channeling environmental responsibility into the hands of the individual when it's clear as daylight who the big players are. Not that I am saying that we as individuals should abdicate our responsibility... but rather force the corporations to take theirs.

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