Population Matters

I have for some years belonged to an organisation called Population Matters. I was attracted to it in the first place by its Honorary President, Sir David Attenborough. If you've read much of my earlier blogs you'll know why. If you've read my novel Going with Gabriel you may even understand why.

I've just received Population Matters' latest quarterly glossy. As usual it contains a beautifully presented series of well intentioned, well reasoned articles and letters. All of them address the readership in the manner of an old tub-thumping country preacher haranguing a congregation of the already converted, if with more lassitude and less fire and brimstone, aka conviction, aka passion.

Unfortunately the difference here is that the message from Population Matters is critical to the future of humankind and 'our' world but it is not optional as it is with the message from all the pulpitss. Whether we want to know it or not (and the vast majority of us would rather not) the message is just a matter of fact rather than of simple belief.

THERE ARE MANY TOO MANY OF US! And there will be many more, and as a result there will be more pain and more destruction than we can today imagine.

I'm not going to go into all the evidence, all the statistics. We all - all who care to do any thinking, that is - must by now know all about it. Just say that if everyone on earth aspire to all the material things you and I have, (and why not, according to our materialist convention) three planet Earths woukld hardly suffice for the provision of enough raw materials, never mind enough food and, critically, enough water.

Fast forward just a quarter of a century; the blink of any eye although not my eye. Thank God I will not be around to witness, never mind take part in the fighting and the killing. I won't be around to cry over the dwindling away and acccelerating disappearance of this planet's life under the destructive scourge of unbridled humanity. I won't be around to see the increasing desertification of so much of Earth's wild green places. I won't be here to live with the rising bestiality of human behaviour that will inevitably accompany each one's fight for a personal share and eventually for personal survival. I will not have to live with the results of our wild sexual amorality. It is already evident, in my opinion, on the human genome itself. Thinkers in 17th century Britain including William Shakespeare himself believed humankind to have reached its peak in the time they called ancient Greecs. They believed us to have as a species been on the downwards slope ever since. I see nothing in 'the arts' to contradict them and I see science as a complete irrelevance in this context.

So, Milton's Paradise Lost, at last.

Why do we, the one and only species in the history of life on earth capable of reasoning and taking action to alter a negative course of future events, why do persistently refuse to take note and take action in terms of population growth? I mean action, not the futile, well-meant words of Population Matters.

Why do we not yet truly understand that such horrors as we today have all witnessed are akin to the suffering of a cancer. But we, you and I, are the cancer. A cancer on the world that supports our lives. The world that will be very pleased to be rid of us.

It need not be. Read Going with Gabriel.


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