Archive for January, 2020

We need to talk about people

I’m not going to spend long introducing my worry here. It’s about growth. Eternal, never-ending growth. On a finite planet with finite resources.

According to the World Population Odometer, there are 7,7 billion people on earth. With a daily population growth of around 200,000.

We celebrate every little human born and mourn every human death. We battle against old age with everything we got. We punish women for wanting/needing abortions and scream “murderer!” at them (when we are crazy enough). Various religions encourage people to procreate and multiply, defending their stance with the support of old religious scriptures.

Dictators have in the past and continue today to endorse systems that exert control over women to either reproduce as much as possible, or – as in the case of China – not. Let’s have a quick look at that last sentence. Not reproduce. China and their one-child policy. An attempt at stemming the population growth.

If any religious Americans read this I am sure they will be on their way with torches to set fire to my house right now. So glad you have no idea where I live.

Yes, China is the only country that has actively attempted to control and even reverse population growth on a truly large scale. With rules, regulations, invasive control practices – and invasive procedures such as forced abortions and sterilisations. The result has been indescribable suffering for millions of women and their families, femicide in a country that values boys over girls, and entire villages with such shortage of women the men feel compelled to “import” – in whatever way they can – women from the surrounding countries.

And still the world’s population is growing, most countries still value boys over girls (not just an Asian phenomenon), and there is still no real attempt anywhere to even talk about possible ways to turn this around.

Just like the twisted logic of eternal economic growth, eternal population growth is not in any way sustainable. No matter what your belief system or culture – it is not sustainable. And we have to talk about it. We have to find humane ways to NOT continue to reproduce the way we do now. Now that we no longer kick the bucket over a common cold. Now that we have so many ways of extending our natural life span and prevent mums and babies from dying during childbirth.

And while the human population keeps growing, 150-200 species of plants, insects, fish and mammals go extinct every 24 hours.

Don’t get me wrong: I am glad of every medical advance that make our lives better and would personally like to see my dad turn at least 100 years old. I dearly love every single one of my family members and don’t want to be without any of them. I miss my mum terribly and still ask myself if only… how old would she have been now, and would we still sit together giggling about life over a cup of tea?

And yet. We need to come to terms with this idea of eternal economic growth, with extending life, with eternal youth, with not letting a single human life end for whatever reason (terminal illness, old age). I know that if I reach the stage of vegetable where nobody can communicate with me – I would rather that someone pull the plug – or let me have that overdose. Please.

Euthanasia is not a bad thing. After all, we do it for our dogs.

In my next life – please let me be my dog.

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