Boiled Frogs And Lipstick
By Mary Hamer C
22 July, 2009
*THE PROBLEM: Human Overpopulation is a significant international problem. The negative consequences of human overpopulation are severe, wide-spread & long-term as discussed below. Yet this problem is not a high priority item with world leaders, governments or the media as demonstrated by sampling Associated Press & Reuters international headlines in 2009. (1,2) Why doesn’t anyone seem to want to talk about or deal with this problem? Or should we just let God, Chaos theory or Peak oil decide the nature of our human reproductive activities? In this essay I discuss: the Boiling Frog theory, my Google search of Lipstick, the Optimum human population, Reasons I believe humans are Not responsibly dealing with the human overpopulation problem & Solutions to this urgent problem. This paper is NOT about population control; This essay IS about responsible reproduction.
*BOILED FROGS Theory: Definition of Boiled Frogs: “The boiling frog story states…that if a frog is placed in Boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in Cold water that is slowly heated it will never jump out (& it will be boiled alive)”; “In other words people should make themselves aware of gradual change lest they suffer a catastrophic loss”. (3) Are we Homo Sapiens like boiling frogs --Unaware of gradual global negative changes that human overpopulation is causing to the planet Earth? Are we so unaware that a critical threshold of human population will become unsustainable & lead to Earth’s destruction? Are we Homo Sapiens going to be boiled alive because of our ignorance of the catastrophic changes our reproduction is forcing on the world?
*LIPSTICK –vs- LACK OF INTEREST in Human Overpopulation: In July 2009 I did Google searches on the following topics & I recorded the number of hits for each entry: Human Overpopulation totaled only #189,000 hits compared to Human Reproduction which scored about #5 Million hits; Sex totaled #728 Million hits & Lipstick scored about #17 Million hits. (4) Based on this Google search, we humans seem to be more interested in reproduction, sex & lipstick compared to human overpopulation issues.
*THE OPTIMUM HUMAN POPULATION SIZE: Daily, Ehrlich & Ehrlich state: “The optimum number of people to exist simultaneously (is) in the vicinity of 1.5 to 2 Billion people”. (5) The current human population is about 6.5+ Billion people – which far exceeds this optimum number.
*DALAI LAMA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama states: “6 Billion (people) is too much”. “We have to forbid ourselves to go on multiplying”. (6)
*12 BILLION MISERABLE HUMANS:: David Pimentel, a Cornell University Professor of Ecology describes “Possible scenarios for the 22nd Century: A planet with 2 billion people thriving in harmony with the environment; or at the other extreme 12 billion miserable humans suffering a difficult life with limited resources and widespread famine”. “Pimentel says the only way to manage the earth’s population is to reduce the number of children per couple. He estimates that if people average 1.5 children per couple, the optimal earth population…could be achieved.” “If we adopt a policy of 2.1 children…, the world population will continue to increase…to 12 billion”. (7)
*HUMAN NARCISSISM & SELFISHNESS: Vitousek, Ehrlich & Ehrlich & Matson state: “Humans now appropriate nearly 40% of potential terrestrial productivity” (i.e. the sun’s energy). “Homo Sapiens (are) only one of perhaps 5-30 million animal species on Earth, yet (humans) control a disproportionate share of the planet’s resources”. (8) Leakey & Lewin also claim: “Humans consume 40% of the Net primary productivity (NPP); That is the total energy trapped in photosynthesis worldwide …In other words, of all the energy available to sustain all the species on Earth., Homo sapiens take almost half”. (9) Donella Meadows describes two scenarios: #1. Where humans “Contin(ue) to expand” (the human population) & we decide that “We want it all for ourselves” & where Wilderness will be gone. Or #2. The other possible path is where humans control their population while there are still songbirds, wildflowers, & dolphins, etc. in the wild. (10) In my opinion, humans are overpopulating the Earth & destroying other life forms because of Homo Sapiens’ high reproductive rate, human Selfishness & people’s lack of concern about other species. Each human being displaces other living beings such as eagles, wolves, dolphins, etc. -- that will never see the sun rise.
*ANTHROPOCENTRISM: Definition of Anthropocentrism: “A way of thinking of the natural world as a resource to be exploited for human purposes…A key feature of Western thinking that can be traced back to the Book of Genesis”. (11)
*Fundamental Questions: Are we humans exploiting the Earth to satisfy our sexual reproductive desires with reckless disregard of the consequences? Do we humans really want to selfishly populate & consume the planet Earth & destroy other species? Do we humans really want to live on a crowded, polluted, extinct, deforested, depleted, radiated, bombed planet Earth -- full of only copulating breeding Homo Sapiens? Or can we control our human population size & share the Earth & peacefully co-exist with other species?
*WHY IS NO ONE TALKING ABOUT THE HUMAN OVERPOPULATION PROBLEM?
Why aren’t we humans with our advanced cerebral brains talking about the human overpopulation problem? I cite 15 reasons I believe humans do not talk about or deal with the human overpopulation problem:
1. EGOS, Narcissism & Anthropocentrism: “We are Homo Sapiens & We are Special” Attitude: Are we human beings unconcerned about overpopulation because of our big egos? Do we want to spread our DNA seeds & out-compete other friends, religions, ethnic groups, etc.? Do we not talk about human overpopulation because we have a hidden agenda to prove our virility & our will to dominate the earth with our children? Do we over-reproduce because of Darwin’s theory: Do we compete with other humans for Survival of the fittest? Do we jealously breed to compete with our neighbors & their #X of children? Are we too busy with our self-indulgent ways, inflated self-worth & self-centeredness to care about future generations, animals & the Earth?
2. RELIGION: Do we avoid talking about human reproduction because of religious taboos? Are we obeying Genesis (1:28) & God’s order to: “Be fruitful & multiply & fill the earth”? (12) Does religion have a hidden agenda for humans to reproduce like rabbits?
3. SEX HORMONES: Are humans just victims of our sex hormones with no cerebral frontal lobe impulse control? Do we as a species just react impulsively to stimuli rather than to think proactively about the planet Earth & restrain our carnal desires?
4. POLITICAL AGENDAS:
*Anti-Female & Pro-Reproduction Agenda: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) stated: “President Bush announced his proposed budget for fiscal year 2009 which includes dramatic funding cuts for women’s health programs including assistance to international family planning”. (13) Is there an anti-female & pro-reproduction agenda at work here?
*Pro-Sex & Pro-Reproduction Agenda: Carly Fiorina the Republican National Committee’s Chairman claimed: “There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won’t cover birth-control medication. Those women would like a choice”. (14) Is there a pro-sex & pro-reproduction agenda at work here?
5. LACK OF INTEREST in Human Overpopulation as demonstrated in the Google searches described in the Introduction of this essay.
6. BOILED FROGS Theory as defined above.
7. BUSY, BUSY, BUSY: Are we too busy with our daily lives to be responsible for & to plan our reproduction & family size?
8. SHAME: Are we ashamed to talk about human reproduction? Are we too shy to talk about restraining our bodily functions? Do we feel humiliated when we discuss sex & it’s consequences?
9. NURSING HOME Theory: Do we have children to avoid ending up in a senior citizen nursing home?
10. RECKLESS BEHAVIOR: Do we over-reproduce because we find it exciting to engage in reckless sex?
11. VICTIM MENTALITY: If humans choose to have an excessive number of children per family, then we are not taking responsibility for our reproduction. Human beings often blame reproduction on outside forces such as God, men, the Pope, etc.. Often we human beings act as though we are victims of our hormones & our genitals. We human beings have brains to think with. We have choices over our reproduction. We have frontal lobes of our brains that have restraint/impulse control mechanisms.
12. TAX INCENTIVES that PROMOTE OVERPOPULATION: Governments tell the citizens: If you breed, then we will pay you.
*CAPITALISM: A basic principle of capitalism is that growth is good; However excessive growth has dangerous consequences. Extrapolating capitalistic principles: Human reproduction is good; But, excessive human reproduction also has dangerous consequences.
*GDP: Do we have unlimited children because we believe progeny are good for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?
14. OVERPOPULATION DENIAL
15. OVERPOPULATION IGNORANCE
*PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH OR EXACERBATED BY HUMAN OVERPOPULATION:
*NEGATIVE EFFECTS of Human Overpopulation: Problems associated with or exacerbated by human overpopulation include: Air & water & land pollution, Global warming, Natural Resource depletion, Deforestation, Inadequate fresh water, Mass species extinctions, Desertification, Noise pollution, Increased Warfare, Elevated Crime rates, Starvation, Low Life Expectancy, Higher Infant & Child Mortality rates, Unhygienic Living conditions etc.. (15)
*CATASTROPHIC PROBLEMS Resulting from Human Overpopulation: Spence explains: “Many…reputable scientists…cite human overpopulation as a root cause of many seemingly disparate, catastrophic problems that our planet currently faces”. Spence gives examples of human overpopulation caused problems including: extinction of species, warfare over resources, ruin of oceans through acidification, global warming, worldwide loss of potable water, proliferation of waste materials, etc. & states: “Every one of these dilemmas point to one common denominator – Too many people using up too much”. (16)
*GLOBAL CHAOS THEORY: Amineh & Houweling, in the Introduction to their book about global politics, state: “Other scholars working in the school of global chaos theory see, instead of principled violence, cases of anomie coming from the destitution produced by population growth, resource scarcity & environmental decay”. (17)
*”POPULUTION”: Populution is the neologism made by combining the words Population x Pollution. I define Populution as: #1. Excessive human overpopulation & irresponsible stewardship of the planet Earth (e.g. over-consumption) #2. That causes lethal pollution & critical natural resource depletion #3. These conditions then cause a breakdown of the social order, a failure of the rule of law, a disintegration of ecosystems & a subsequent collapse of the society. Populution is the fatal, negative effects of human overpopulation, irresponsible stewardship & resultant pollution & resource depletion – which cause a society to go beyond the point of no return & cause a collapse of the society & it’s ecosystems. Populution causes an unsustainable state of the biosphere, the land & the water supply that results in severe, wide-spread, & long-term ecocide.
*ProFX defines Populution as “Population growth that exceeds the earth’s ecological carrying capacity”. (18) The Coffee House Philosopher warns regarding Populution that it: “Can not be stopped due to the second law of thermodynamics” (i.e. the law of entropy). (19)
*SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM OF HUMAN OVERPOPULATION:
*Zero Population Growth (ZPG) gives several solutions for the population problem including: family planning services, population education, international awareness, improving women’s status & economic incentives. (20)
*EDUCATION: Solution to Human Overpopulation: “The evidence shows that we can help reduce population growth & world poverty by promoting literacy & female emancipation & access to birth control”. (21)
*EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN: “Women have equal say (with their husbands) in reproductive decisions”. (22) Population education & access to family planning are other important ways to empower women.
*TAX REFORM LAWS: Reforming tax laws: To encourage smaller families. (23)
*ONE, NONE OR ADOPTION: Mary Shaw states in her essay about human overpopulation: “Society needs to embrace the concept that it is perfectly acceptable – and, in fact, a positive thing -- for a couple to have only one child, or none. Adoption should be encouraged for those who want more. (24) [www.countercurrents.org: Society, Politics & the Overpopulation Problem by Mary Shaw]
*STARVATION & DISEASE & WAR: Heinberg states: “Overpopulation will eventually be solved by starvation & disease”. (25) -- Or by War.
*GOD, CHAOS THEORY & PEAK OIL: Or should we just let God, Chaos theory or Peak oil decide the nature of our reproductive activities & hence the number of children we each have?
*RECKLESS OVER-REPRODUCTION: As Mary Shaw states: “We need to get to a place where reckless over-reproduction is generally regarded as irresponsible & uncool”. (26)
*NEUROLOGICALLY HANDICAPPED: Also, Tim Murray warns: “We haven’t the intelligence to transcend our immediate wants” & “We are neurologically handicapped and unfit to reign over the planet”. (27) The question I pose is: “Can we humans: Educate & neurologically rewire ourselves & acquire the intelligence to transcend our reckless reproduction & avoid destroying the planet Earth?
1. www.nj.com: AP News.
2. www.reuters.com: Reuters International News Headlines.
3. en.wikipedia.org: Boiling Frog. View Date: July 29. 2007.
4. www.google.com: Searches.
5. dieoff.org: Optimum Human Population Size by Daily et al. July 1994. Pg 4.
6. His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Jean-Claude Carriere. Violence & Compassion. Doubleday C. 1996 Pg 29, 33.
7. www.utne.com American News Service. Ecologist Says Unchecked Population Growth Could Bring Misery.
8. dieoff.org: Human Appropriation of the Products of Photosynthesis by Vitousek et al. 1986. Pg 7,1.
9. Leakey, Richard & Lewin, Roger. The Sixth Extinction. Doubleday. C 1995, Pg 239.
10. www.sustainer.org: When All Nature Flows Through Human Hands by Donella Meadows.
11. www.ecojusticeeducation.org: EcoJustice Education, Glossary: Anthropocentrism.
12. biblecc.com: Genesis 1:28, New American Standard Bible.
13. www.americansforunfpa.org: Bush Cuts Funding for Women Around the World.
14. abcnews.go.com: McCain Advisor Attempts to Clarify Viagra vs. Birth Control Comments by Jennifer Parker. July 11, 2008.
15. en.wikipedia.org: Overpopulation: Effects of Overpopulation.
16. www.countercurrents.org: The Common Denominator by Emily Spence. May 10, 2007.
17. Amineh, Mehdi Parvizi & Houweling, Henk. Central Eurasia in Global Politics. Brill Academic Publ. C 2005. Pg 6.
18. www.urbandictionary.com: Populution. July 10, 2008.
19. www.urbandictionary.com: Populution. Sept. 14, 2008.
20. www.sixpak.org: Overpopulation: The World’s Problem by Vince Busam. Dec. 11, 1995.
21. www.telegraph.co.uk: Global Over-Population is the Real Issue by Boris Johnson Oct. 25, 2007
22. www.grinningplanet.com: World Population Growth July 5, 2005.
23. www.grinningplanet.com: World Population Growth July 5, 2005.
24. www.countercurrents.org: Society, Politics & the Overpopulation Problem by Mary Shaw July 11, 2009
25. www.chrismartenson.com: Richard Heinberg at his Best.
26. www.countercurrents.org: Society, Politics & the Overpopulation Problem by Mary Shaw July 11, 2009.
27. www.countercurrents.org: We Are Neurologically Fucked by Tim Murray. July 20, 2009.