Choose your poison: Global warming, overcrowding, depletion of resources, energy consumption, pollution, water shortages . . . somebody stop us! The list could fill this entire blog. The current National Geographic magazine contains an extraordinary and beautifully laid out report on what we (i.e., humans) are doing to this planet, and more importantly, to ourselves.
Hey, forget about ourselves; what the hell are we doing to future generations of Americans . . . and those of other parts of the world as well? In case you are thinking, “Heck, the United States isn’t growing that fast. And we only have 309 million people,” keep in mind that we are the world’s largest per capita consumers. And most of that consumption involves sucking up natural resources and spewing out waste; all kinds of waste. For instance, water, biological waste, electronics, agricultural pollution, atmospheric pollution, water pollution, and every other kind of crap that ends up in landfills. We drive cars upon cars. Heck, some of our cars aren’t even cars. We call them everything but cars: SUVs, crossovers, pickups, vans, minivans, hybrids, RVs and campers; anything that guzzles fuel.
Within weeks Mother Earth’s children will number seven billion. The world’s population has doubled in the last 50 years. DOUBLED! Are you listening? Give your mother a break. If you overwork her she’ll soon be dead.
Scientists predict that in 34 years there will be nine billion of us. Are humans contributing to global warming? Maybe not. Want to gamble? Sure, go ahead, wring your hands over leaving future generations a huge national debt. Are you kidding? Get a grip. Put things into perspective. The encumbrance we should be worrying about first is what kind of planetary debt we’ll be burdening future generations with.
While, generally speaking, it’s the poorest countries that are growing the most rapidly, and it’s China that is soon going to be the world’s greatest consuming nation, we Americans are out of control. And that’s during a massive recession. What happens if – and when – we get rich again? Three cars in every garage and two earth-, water-, and air-polluting chickens in every pot?
According to the National Geographic report, “Unusual among industrial nations, the U.S. has a comparatively high fertility rate, due in part to the significant rate of teenage pregnancies and a steady influx of immigrants.” In 39 years our population is projected to hit 400 million.
And what is our national policy? “Have a kid – get a discount.” The more kids you bring into the world, the less you have to pay in taxes. And we’ll throw in tax rebates . . . and scholarships.
In short, in these days of mammoth-government-a-phobia, we have no – as in nil, nada, naught, nothing – in the way of a policy that will put us in a position to be a role model for the mega-breeding nations of the world.
Do us all a favor. Read this month’s National Geographic. In fact, the magazine is going to be carrying stories on this calamity all year. Get everyone you know to read it. We will.