SoCS: Ecocide

It’s the first Stream of Consciousness Saturday and continuing on with Just Jot it January.

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “eco.” Find a word that starts with “eco” or has “eco” in it, and base your post on that word. Have fun!

I chose the word ‘ecocide’. It means the destruction of the natural environment (by human agency). With all the news about global warming- or climate change- lately, of course I’ve been thinking of it.

It’s always been in the back of my mind ever since I first became aware of it when I was just a little kid. Maybe 3rd-4th grade? Back then, the official scientific consensus was that we’d all be frozen into icebergs by now. They’ve changed their minds to the ‘global warming’ scenario now.

There has always been some debate between the optimists- who think human ingenuity will be able to solve all the problems brought upon ourselves by our insistence on breeding to the point of total destruction of the planet, and pessimists (like me) who think we will not.

It’s 40+ years later and I am still listening to the same basic arguments. The only difference is: now it’s global warming instead of global cooling. Or climate change to cover all the bases.

And, just to say it now… I am not a ‘climate change denier’. Of course the climate changes . It always has, it always will. I’m even willing to say that mankind most probably has had something to do with it. My problem with the ongoing debates at the moment has to do with the proposed solutions to the problems.

Of course, the ecocide has only progressed over those 40+ years. More pollution, more clear cutting, more soil erosion, more pollution in the air helping cause climate change, more ocean acidification, more habitat destruction for farms and houses, loss of biodiversity, and on and on and on.

Our leaders want to convince all of us to give up our high standard of living (which we get through the use of things like oil, chemicals, etc.), and bring about a ‘carbon neutral’ economy. Or even to reduce our use of energy so that we can ‘save the planet’.

I’m not totally sure what to say about that. I think there’s a much better solution than what ‘our leaders’ have come up with.

Of course I don’t want to see the destruction of planet Earth (even if I would love to see us out there exploring space and making ourselves a backup plan). I would love to see each and every person on this planet have the ability to live a good life!

Not one mired in poverty. Not one where they have to struggle every single day just to scrape up the bare necessities to exist, but a good life. One where they can work at what they enjoy, where they have plenty to eat and drink, one where they have time to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

I also want to see a planet where every other living thing has the ability to live without the threat of humanity’s greed destroying the habitat needed for survival. I want to see a planet with plenty of free space for nature. Room for all the plants, animals and humans to enjoy the natural world.

Not just for the fact that it’s healthy and good for people to be out in nature, not just for the possibility of all the things we’ve not yet discovered in the natural world that will help us live better, not just for the fact that the Earth is a cohesive, interconnected organism and we have no idea what we’re screwing up beyond repair with our human activities, but also because it’s morally, spiritually and even economically wrong to destroy so much of the world around us.

Why? Because we are so greedy.

I am NOT using that word in the way most people would. I see nothing wrong with people trying to live the best lives they possibly can. My issue is with the fact that so many people choose to have so many children (or don’t even consider not having them). Birth control? WTF? It’s like their only purpose in life is to breed. 😦

I’m scolded for being a ‘selfish American’. One who was lucky enough to be born in the USA and so afforded a higher standard of living than most people around the world. I’m very lucky I don’t have to work my ass off for $1-2/day like so many do. But, where you’re born is mostly a matter of luck. I know I personally had nothing to do with where I was born!

What I ask people who ‘dis’ me for my ‘selfishness’ is: “and how many children do you have?” (or plan to have)?

Consider. Even if you only have one child, that child may chose to have only one, or they may have dozens. And each of those children may chose to have one, or dozens more. You have absolutely NO control over anyone but yourself in this matter.

And so, by my choosing to never have any children, I have already done more than my share in ‘saving the world’. I will spend the rest of my life being ‘selfish’ and enjoying the things I’ve earned the right to enjoy.

Don’t tell me not to use my air conditioner, or my car, or anything else! No, you don’t have a right to say diddly-squat about it until YOU stop having kids!

My solution to the problem of ‘climate change’ (and all the other problems) is to simply stop having so many kids!

Not forcibly, like China, but voluntarily. Spend some of the resources going on about global warming on convincing women around the world on the benefits of only having 1-2 children. Start promoting THAT as a way to save the planet instead of trying to convince everyone to give up on their hopes to live a decent life!

The optimists insist we can put up everyone on Earth in Alaska! That may be true, I don’t know. I do know that I don’t want to live in a world where 7 billion + people are living in Alaska! I do know that I don’t want to live in a world where we continue to commit ecocide simply so that we can fill it up with more and more people.

I can’t even understand WHY so many people think that’s the way to go. It saddens me, that we have so much beauty in this world and we are throwing it away. Why? Because we need to fill up the world with another few billion people? Why?

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16 thoughts on “SoCS: Ecocide

  1. Would you like a free ebook (fiction) on just this issue? if yes, cagedunn at gmail dot com. No obligation, no expectation (and always appreciate someone who knows what they’re doing to tell me if I’ve made an error or two). Fiction, fantasy (in the line of Animal Farm, but better). Who Will Rule Magic? Kraken, Dragon, Cat vs. Kangaroo, Cockatoo, Crocodile (so you can look at the preview before you decide).

    Liked by 1 person

      • I get the argument about greed as a factor as to why the world is like it is, what I don’t get is how having children has anything to do with it. You are right in saying the more people the greater the drain on resources but in some countries the birth rate is huge and so is the death rate. But with advances in medicine we are living longer and more babies are surviving but having people accept that responsibility to limit their having children is a tall order unless like China you make it the law. Though I think they have a good argument for doing so. In Australia I have friends who argue the opposite in that they say we need more people here. Though I think we are doing ok as most people live around the coast anyway, and its a big coastline.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I see. I may not have used the right word “greed”. Let me explain.
        I see millions of kids around the world who could be adopted, but people are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to artificially inseminate themselves so they can have “their own” child. Or not even going that far, but just not even considering adoption. To me, that is being selfish and greedy. And not even just that, but that so many people don’t just want one kid, or 2, to replace themselves, but 3-4-5-6! Just because they ‘like kids’, or they ‘always wanted a big family’, or they just didn’t use any birth control, etc. They are not thinking about how their choices to have large families are affecting anyone else, they only consider their own feelings and their happiness is more important than anyone else’s. Their choices to have children affect the global situation far more than they admit. That is one reason I see for the way humanity is destroying the Earth.
        I’ve seen statistics where once the standard of living gets to a certain level, the birthrate goes down and stabilizes at replacement level (or even less). That is what I would like to see happen around the world.
        I know what you mean about places where the birth rate is high and so is the death rate. I think the people have more kids because they need to be certain that enough will survive. As you said, with advances in medicine, now the death rate has been lowered but the birth rate has not (yet).
        I don’t think making it a law will really help in the long run. Yeah, some people will automatically obey any law. Some people won’t. I think with something so personal and strongly felt, more people will rebel. I actually just finished reading a series of books about exactly that (called Among the Hidden series by Margaret Peterson Haddix). I really do think people will voluntarily chose to limit their family size once they realize: their babies are not all going to die, their entire family and community will be so much better off if they stay within the resources available.
        I think Australia was paying people to have kids, weren’t they? I heard something about that in Germany too. It seems the argument in Australia is the same as the idea of sticking everyone in Alaska. There’s plenty of room, right?
        But, what about the living conditions? what are all those people going to DO? What about jobs? what about the resources needed for food/farming? water? etc. Isn’t most of central Australia a desert? I admit, I’ve never really been to Australia but I’ve heard in the news that they’re trying to protect their work from foreigners (just like we are). What do they want more people for?

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      • Its a good argument limiting the population rate, the problem we have as I see it is allowing developers to build housing estates with no infra-structure built in, like public transport and shopping facilities…so in the end you have suburbs all looking the same but with people locked in unless they have their own transport. I should say I have 6 kids, they are all unique and contributing to society in amazing ways….but I was also able to have them well educated so they went into occupations that assist other people in their various ways. I stopped having children 1) the cost, 2) a lunatic wife.

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      • lol. 😉
        I never had any kids. I figured when I got old enough and settled down some, I could adopt a couple of them.
        I do agree with you about the suburbs. But people chose to live in them for a reason. I don’t like the idea of telling people they must live in a high rise in a city at all.
        I find the zoning restrictions in most areas to be a bigger problem as far as land use. Freedom and choices will help more than force IMHO.
        Glad your kids all turned out well.
        Sometimes you never can tell, I have a great example in my own family. But the issue (as far as ecocide) is not so much whether people are or aren’t contributing to society, but simply the fact that by being alive they are using resources and therefore contributing to the global warming and all the other problems we’ve created.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitely a post designed to poke a stick into a hornet’s nest!

    While I would never presume to tell anyone how to behave, live… be, I would suggest that there are ways to live a very luxurious life without being ecologically unconscious… and to be able to do so while having children (one or two… we have one, wish we’d had two mostly for his sake, because having been an only child, I know how hard he’s had it at times)..

    It’s not an all or nothing affair. Human beings are part of the eco-system and the changes we make are not as different as we’d like to think from that of other species. We just have grown used to being the supreme predator on the planet. But don’t worry… the microbes have our number.

    Enjoy your car, your fancy phone, whatever you enjoy. You’ve made your sacrifice for the future. And remember that birth control doesn’t always work….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, thanks for your comment! I love poking that stick and so far all I’ve hear was ‘crickets’.
      I miss the days of having intelligent conversations and had hoped to do more of it here, but for some reason no one seems to like it.
      True. Everything you said.
      I don’t want to tell anyone how to live. I want everyone to be able to live the best way they chose. I wish everyone would stop trying to tell me how to live. Which is what I see happening.
      I think 2 kids is sustainable. The idea is to lower the human population over time to a (more) sustainable number. I think if we promoted that and spent the resources educating people as to the benefits of that choice (instead of the deprivation we’re trying to convince people to accept), they will voluntarily chose to have fewer children. Over time, that will solve the issue of global warming (after all, if people caused it, then having less people will solve it). It will also solve almost every other problem we have on this planet.
      I agree, of course humans are part of the ecosystem. But we have gone totally out of control. Like the microbes you mention. We have some of them living within us all the time. But sometimes they multiply out of control and wind up killing us. I see a parallel there.
      I know BC doesn’t always work. I wish it worked better. I wish even more people would promote it as a solution to global warming and all our other problems instead of deprivation. I’d love to see more kids adopted rather than people artificially inseminating themselves. That just doesn’t make any sense to me. When there are already millions of children around the world with no families, and yet someone will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to make another one, just so it’s ‘theirs’.
      Again, thanks for your comments and I hope you’ll stick around. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I get what you’re saying… I suspect that part of your problem with getting into some intelligent conversations here is that people want to appear “polite” in groups like these. (And again, true to what you just said… so very true. Don’t even get me started on the whole adoption thing; at this point in the day, with this headache… wouldn’t be pretty).

        I think you hit the nail on the head with what you said about deprivation though… too many people see our existence as a zero-sum game of “I have to have mine and so clearly you can’t have yours because the supply is so limited”. We haven’t really learned to co-exist. We think we have… we sometimes even try to. But really, we’re all in it for ourselves.

        I could talk more, but bed is calling along with a heavy dose of cold medicine and pain reliever.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hope you’re feeling better Eden and I appreciate you taking the time to comment.
        I agree. I think a lot of people are much more careful of what they say online. After all, it is a ‘permanent record’ of your comments and thought process. It scares a lot of people. Even me (believe it or not)!
        I really miss having some of the all out free-for-alls we used to have back when I was in school. It seems no one wants to talk about anything but superficial subjects now a days. Mostly sports, fashions, and babies. None of which I have the slightest interest in. Oh well.

        I also agree with you on the whole zero-sum thing. Yes, most people do think that way and I think for good reason. After all, there are very few things that are truly in unlimited supply and nothing is really free. There are costs (one way or another) to everything. Yes, we are all in it for ourselves. Every living thing is in it to ensure its own survival, why should humans be any different?
        Some people seem to be more altruistic than others. Mothers, for instance, are more likely to suffer for their children. But, I would put forth the idea that even then- it is a ‘selfish’ activity. Making sure their children are well off makes mothers happy. Most people are probably going to argue with me, but I’m pretty sure there are scientific studies to show chemical reactions in the brain, etc that will give at least some credibility to that idea.

        I would like to find a way to live together taking that into account. That we ARE all in it for ourselves, and we need to create more available resources for everyone so that we can actually live together peacefully. Either we can do that by increasing the resources (like finding a way to make free energy for example, or finding huge new sources of fresh water for another). Or, we can do that by decreasing the number of people who need those resources to survive. I don’t have enough faith that we will be able to solve our problems the first way (tho I wish we could). So I would like to see more discussion of the second way. At the very least I would like to see the religions of the world STOP saying we need to go out and populate the planet. Yeah, OK, we’ve DONE that!

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      • I don’t have much to add to what you’ve got to say here, Jill. Except to point out that it’s not so much that it makes mother’s happy to see their children succeed, so much as seeing successful progeny is the (so-far) only way for our own genetic perpetuation.

        I suspect that part of why so many parents urge their children to have children of their own. Like all animals, we’re evolutionarily predisposed to promote our genes over others (the reason tom cats will kill the male kittens of a queen and try to impregnate her immediately… which is also why the female cats tend to be more aggressive when nursing; also why herd animals have harems of females and few males and elaborate fighting systems to replace the lead male in time).

        Have you ever read Dawkins book The Selfish Gene?

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