The subject most vital to our world

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12160715 
"The world is hurtling towards population overload, placing billions of people at risk of hunger, thirst, lack of energy and slum housing. But the problems can all be overcome through existing engineering solutions, if politics and economics can only change tack. This is the message from a group of 70 engineers worldwide whose views have been collated by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in the UK. What is more, their report says the challenges of a population of 9.5 billion can mostly be overcome by re-directing existing spending.
BBC Radio 4

In researching my novel, Going with Gabriel, I developed a deep interest in the semi-taboo subject of human populations, and so was very interested to hear/read the views of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. Indeed I was pleasantly surprised that engineers had any views before realising that such interest would be engendered by possible monetary profit.

The solutions put forward by the IME do seem to be capable of, so to speak, staunching the blood flow, but they make no mention of the more obvious healing of the wound, much less of how to avoid getting wounded in the first place.

(Having said that, all the engineered solutions proposed for this future 9.5 billions world of ours would without exception be highly desirable right now.)

But, ladies and gentlemen: 9.5 billions of us! This is a truly horrific personal prospect for those less than, say, 70 years of age right now. The problem should not therefore concern me, except that I am personally sick and tired of deliberate social, media, political and religous avoidance of the subject! We are, after all, the only species of life on earth capable of self-controlling our numbers to within the reasonable capacity of its host planet to support preferred lifestyle. So why are we blindly marching on into a scenario of  plague and/or pestilence, not to mention the inevitable wars as populations fight each other and within themselves for survival and for a share of what there is?

I suppose the fact that we are in denial is because we are incapable of thinking with true objectivity about anything further than a year or two ahead, and equally because we love both the act of procreation and our resulting progeny. We as individuals simply cannot bear to think of unnaturally restricting either procreation or progeny. We would prefer to let 'nature' (mother nature and our own natures) do it for us. Bad, bad mistake, folks. Nature's remedy will always be infinitely more aggressive and painful than anything we can dream up and implement for ourselves to prevent the problem.


Dr Paul Burgoyne Ph.D,F.Med.Sci is an MRC Research Group Leader working in London on the link between sex chromosome anomalies and infertility. This is what he wrote about my novel. Yes, I publish his comments here (as well as on the book's back cover) by way of promotion. No apologies. If you've read Going with Gabriel or will read it you'll understand why ...


I enjoyed Going with Gabriel, which is a thoroughly good read but also carries a serious message - it provides a ‘wake up call’ as to the consequences of man’s failure to adequately control human population growth. I first became convinced of the urgency of the problem as a PHD student some 40 years ago, when I heard Professor Aubrey Manning give a Workers Educational Association sponsored lecture on the consequences of unchecked human population growth. It is ironic that today China is being pilloried for rapidly increasing CO2 emissions that contribute to Global Warming, but their enforcement over several decades of a one child policy has been tackling the root cause. Steps such as energy conservation, although essential, are temporary fixes. I earnestly hope that this book goes some way to undermining the taboo that prevents public discussion of socially acceptable ways to limit our numbers before the fiction of  ‘Going with Gabriel’ becomes a reality.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.