Half Truths of Overpopulation

          View 1 -- More aggressive solutions
               depend on a view of a bigger problem

Partial truths about overpopulation will kill:
     our civilization and
     our environment,
because the truths lead to an
     1) underestimation of our problems, and
     2) an overestimate of our solutions.

For example: partial truths tell us overpopulation causes
     loss of natural beauty,
     species extinction, and
     increases in the separation between the rich and poor.

Partial truths tell us
     stopping population growth,
     living smaller as individuals,
     redistributing wealth, and
     stronger environmental protection.
are solutions.

Missing truths tell us:
     scarcity is created when
          human footprint exceeds declining supplies of
               supporting resources and
                    natural waste recycling services.
     Increasing scarcity
          trips a scarcity/conflict death spiral,
               results in civilization collapse, and
                    implements a die off.

Missing truths tell us:
     that in a civilization's death throes
          a one time gift of fossil resources will be
               consumed to exhaustion and
          the ecosystem's system's balance will be destroyed.
     This will leave the human experiment both
          impoverished and
          potentially impossible to rebuild.

Missing truths tell us overshoot:
     already exists,
     is rapidly increasing, and
     is not addressed by our proposed solutions.

 Missing truths tell us
    resolution of overshoot requires
          rapid population decline.

Missing truths tell us
     the world's population must decrease 99%
          in 70 years.

This view of the human predicament and
     view of its resolution
          is so extreme,
     even my friends cringe when they hear me present it.

I don't know if they are cringing because
     they think I am crazy, or because
     they think, my presentation is their future.

They might be cringing because
     they don't see any nice way to implement
          rapid population decline.

Baring escape from the planet,
     man made rapid population decline
          happens in two ways:
               genocide or
               very low birth rates.

Our genes and our culture have
     implemented genocide many times.

     Culture has seldom implemented
          low birth rates.

          Personal procreative decisions.
               have seldom been reduced by
                    a group's intervention.

However, given the severity of the human predicament,
     and the distastefulness of the genocide solution,
     I have proposed a new culture that builds
          "sustainability" into the human experiment by adopting
               majority-sanctioned civil-interventions into
                    each individual's birth-decisions.

There are precedents for civil interventions (laws) which
     take away
          -- what was previously individual rights --
               to improve the collective human condition.

For example, civilization controls car-driving behavior
     with speed laws and traffic signals because
     it removes violence from the transportation environment.

Unfortunately, half truths hide the violence
     which would motivate a
          civilization to intervene in personal procreative behavior.

As long as "half truth"
     is accepted as whole truth
          Overpopulation will not be addressed.
          Overshoot will continue to increase, and
          Civilization will remain on a course of self-destruction.

SKIL Note 70 ==> Half Truths of Overpopulation View 1 More aggressive solutions to the human predicament depend on a view of a bigger problem.
SKIL Note 71 ==> Half Truths of Overpopulation View 2 What is being left out?
SKIL Note 73 ==> Half Truths of Overpopulation View 3 Mechanics of missing truth.
SKIL Note 73 ==> Half Truths of Overpopulation View 4 The whole truth is too painful to talk about.


Jack Alpert (Bio)     mail to: Alpert@skil.org     (homepage) www.skil.org      position papers

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