Monday, February 24, 2014

In the 70s as a young environmentalist I was made hopeful by the ZPG movement (Zero Population Growth), and the increasing awareness of accelerating damage to the planet's ecology. ZPG advocated 2 children per family to replace the parents, though over time, human population would slowly decrease due to accidental deaths and disease. Women and men having access to contraception methods was central to this. Sadly, conservative religious forces have done much to keep women from accessing both birth control methods AND abortion, a cruel no-win situation. On the other hand, men can have their Viagra prescriptions covered by insurance! I'm told that many men dislike using condoms due to reduced pleasure and "spontaneity". So ALL the pressure falls onto the women. Now the population is over 7 billion and growing, with deforestation, desertification, mass species extinctions, climate change, vast disruption and acidification of the oceans, famines, resource wars and more all on the increase. I'm not Christian, but my take on Genesis is that God told Adam and Eve to TEND the garden, not plunder it brutally for the satisfactions of the moment and no regard for the future. I don't understand deciding to add to the planet's burdens with large families knowing that those children will inherit an even more ravaged planet. Sadly, much of my generation went from supporting ZPG and living modestly and trying to heal the environment, to buying Hummers and huge SUVs and monster trophy homes and creating very large families, which strikes me as a form of self indulgent selfishness. We can be "green" all we want and grow our gardens and have rain barrels etc, but if humanity can't or won't choose to breed responsibly, this poor planet will only get more crowded, depleted and damaged.

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