Thursday, February 10, 2011
Welcome, welcome, to the house of Ecoshock.
Last week we tried a little shock therapy: a modest proposal from Dr. Jack Alpert to sterilize everyone, to bring about Rapid Population Decline. Birth permits, just 350,000 a year, would be awarded to the lucky few by lottery. Earth would head back down to the 100 million human animals it can support forever.
For now, that's just dark science fiction.
But the reality of over-population, and over-consumption, is not.
Right now the Egyptian people are celebrating just the possibility they might escape the torturous grasp of the new Pharoah Mubarak.
But there are no happy days coming for anyone in the Middle East. The number of people in most countries there has doubled since 1980. About a third of the population is under the age of 24. Half of all adults are unemployed. Humans have outgrown the land-base, and food must be imported always. There is no possible political solution, from anyone, no matter how well-intended.
We can say the same for Mexico, for India, for much of the world.
As fossil fuels run out, get crazy expensive, and wreck the climate, we'll find out Earth cannot support 7 billion humans for long. And we are still expanding by 217,000 humans a day.
It's time to drag this out of the closet!
This week on Radio Ecoshock, we'll take another crack at it, as part of the month of February "Population Speakout."
You can find one of the front lines not in some far away slum, but right where you live. Every child born in high-consumption countries, in places like North America, Europe or Australia - consumes and pollutes hundreds of times more than a baby born in the poorest agrarian countries.
We suck it all up, and throw it all away.
Our governments, and our deepest social and biological roots, continue to push for even more fossil-fueled kids. It's a home-grown Ponzi scheme built out of human lives, and soon, endless human suffering.
Can we change all that? Can we head back down the mountain, toward sustainability? Making our numbers match the true Natural production of the land where we live?
In this program, you will hear three voices with solutions. Not drastic voices, but human ones, with real choices.
We'll kick off with Lisa Hymas, co-founder and Senior Editor of the most successful online green magazine on the Planet: Grist.org. She'll tell us about GINKs, Green-Inclined, No Kids.
Following Lisa, clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen L. Walker will talk about the good and the bad of going childfree. Can we be "Complete Without Kids"?
And don't miss our third interview. The grand-daddy of the whole population movement, Dr. Paul Ehrlich, joins us. His 1968 book "The Population Bomb" woke us up. Now he's got a surprising new tool that could help us survive the multiple crisis we face.
Right now. On Radio Ecoshock.
On the show I play two quick clips from the classic "Having My Baby" song released by Paul Anka in 1974. The first version is a recent cover by the cast of Glee. In 2006, a CNN poll voted it the number one worst song of all time.
Did you feel the warm glow. We have "babylust" built into us, a yearning and a duty, hard-wired into the brains. And just like bacteria, we'll do it until we bust the world.
Speak out! Head to populationspeakout.org to find out more.
And I've got a few other free audio downloads on the Population page of our audio on demand menu, right on the main page of ecoshock.org.
It's time for the population bomb. Be sure to listen to Paul Erhlich. At age 78, he's smarter than I'll ever be, with stamina to fight on, while others give up.
You have heard it all. Check out populationspeakout.org. Download this program as a free mp3 from our web site, ecoshock.org. And do something, damn it!
I love you all - and thank you for listening.
Next week, we'll join the people looking for a transition to a more sustainable world.
We go out with a bit form the song "2525" - this version by Venice Beat, with Tess Timothy.