What can I do?

In the SKIL Note 26, "The Alpert Alternative," I suggested that religions, cultures, and governments were too weak to resolve humankind’s problems of scarcity, conflict, and environmental destruction. Responsibility for an intolerable or wonderful future, in these domains, depends on the collected procreative choices of 6 billion individuals.

If individuals let their genetic drive, religious doctrine, or culture determine how many children each has, the future of humankind will be about as nice as rabbits living at subsistence -- or worse. Our only opportunity to change this bleak future requires all of humankind to contribute to rapid population decline (RPD); that is: having only “one child per family.”

Many readers concurred with both, this view of the problem, and its solution. However, his or her next question was, “What can I do? I am done having children?” ............. Here is my answer.

Be like the child in Hans Christian Andersen’s, “The Emperor’s New Suit.” In that story the king likes clothes. So when tradesmen promise to make him garments, that are so wonderful only a person unfit for his office or a fool would not be able to see their beauty, he hires them.

The tradesmen are con men. They made weaving and sewing motions but produce nothing. They helped the king dress. Telling him the garments are beautiful. The king can see that he is standing there in his underwear, but does not want to admit he is unfit for his office.

All his subjects see the king is wearing only underwear, but each does not want to be known as a fool. So they all praise the garments they cannot see. Everyone, except one small child, who announces, “The king has no clothes.”

For us, being like the little child, speaking the simple truth we can see, takes a lot of courage. It means we are calling all of humankind crazy.

If you believe the concepts in SKIL Note 26, you too have to act as if your peers, and religious and political leaders share a fantasy about our future. You have to act as if existing morals, media, culture, religion, and government can not prevent intolerable future conditions.

You have to tell everyone the story about an island with grass, rabbits, wolves, and humans. You have to tell them about the island's terrible future. You have to help them understand that the island's future is our future.

You have to describe for them behaviors that lead to a nicer future. Describe from them, what happens when 6 billion people have one child per family. Describe for them what happens when they implement “Rapid Population Decline” (RPD.)

This is what you can do. If you can’t do it, I guess you should keep your fantasy, that " humankind has a better destination than it has."


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

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