Friday, January 29, 2010

A word or two from Steven Earl Salmony on the fate of the Earth

Steven Earl Salmony writes today in a brief email to this blog:

Dear Danny,
Allow me to belatedly express my thanks to you for all you are doing. The NorthwardHo website is as wonderful as it is useful. Your efforts are bound to make a difference. Keep going.

I will be one of the participants in the second "Global Population Speak Out" forum, The 2010 GPSO effort involves more than 200 speakers worldwide who have made a "pledge" to help break down the barrier to open discussion of the threat that is posed to human wellbeing and environmental health by the 2+ billion people who are projected to be added to the human community during the coming 40 years. Here is an essay I wrote on the topic:

text Steven Earl Salmony

Thanks to everyone in global climate awareness and activist community for being there and for all you are doing to protect life as we know it on Earth from huge human-induced threats. You have probably been correct in your identification of formidable global challenges that are likely the result of human activities borne of foolishness, arrogance and greed. To be a species with such remarkable self-consciousness, intelligence and other splendid gifts and to do no better than we are doing now is a source of deep sadness and occasional outbreaks of passionate intensity (like this essay).

Still I believe in remaining engaged with you and others in the necessary struggle to preserve the future of life as we know it, a sacred struggle in which so many human beings with feet of clay have been involved for a lifetime. The first fifty years of my life were lived as if in a dream world, the profane one devised by the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe among us. I had no awareness a single generation would elect sponsors of powerful, greed-mongering economic powerbrokers who would formulate policies and implement business plans that irreversibly degrade Earth's environs, recklessly dissipate its limited resources, relentlessly diminish its biodiversity, destabilize its climate and threaten the very future of children everywhere. My failures include not realizing that I and my selfish generation were ravaging the Earth and effectively behaving in a way that could lead to the destruction of our planetary home as a fit place for habitation by the children (let alone coming generations). Even though it is discomforting and difficult to responsibly perform our duties to science and humanity, at least we can speak out loudly, clearly and often about these unfortunate circumstances and in the process educate one another as best we can. Like you, I do not have answers to forbidding questions related to the patently unsustainable 'trajectory' of human civilization in its present, colossally expansive form. Much more problematic, however, is the ruinous determination of many too many experts who have colluded to consciously obstruct open discussion of the best available scientific evidence of "what could somehow be real". If what could be real about the human condition and the Earth we inhabit is not confronted with intellectual honesty, the best available science, moral courage and faith in God, how is it possible for the family of humanity to adapt to the practical requirements of "reality" in reasonable, sensible, sustainable and timely ways?

An ecological wreckage of some unimaginable sort is likely to be the end result of experts choosing to remain willfully blind, hysterically deaf and electively mute rather than skillfully examining and objectively reporting on extant science of human population dynamics and the human overpopulation of Earth ( please see the presentations and peer-reviewed articles of recent research at ). The refusal to respond ably by acknowledging evidence and accepting responsibility for the distinctly human-driven global challenges that have emerged robustly and converged rapidly just now could be one of the greatest mistakes in human history. After all, what mistake in history could be greater than the ones made in our time that lead humanity inadvertently to precipitate the demise of life as we know it and to put at risk a good enough future for the children?

We have entered not only a new year -- 2010 -- but a new decade as well, 2010 - 2019. Hopefully, the deceit, denial, dishonesty and disastrous decision-making that marked the first decade pf the 21st Century have ended.

Steven Earl Salmony

80 comments: said...

What is Galileo doing tonight? My hope would be that the great man is resting in peace and that his head is not spinning in his grave.

How, now, can Galileo possibly find peace when so few leaders and experts speak out clearly and loudly regarding whatsoever they believe to be true about the distinctly human-driven predicament that could soon be confronted by the family of humanity which results directly from the unbridled overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities of the human species now overspreading the Earth and threatening to ravage the planetary home God has blessed us to inhabit? Many too many leaders and a predominant coterie of experts are choosing to remain silent.

Where are the leaders and experts who are willing to openly support science that is being presented in solid scientific evidence and validated empirical data? Look at the dismaying disarray in which we find ourselves now and how far we have to travel in a short time to move the human community away from precipitating some unimaginable sort of global ecological wreckage.

What would the world we inhabit look like if scientists like Galileo had chosen to adopt a code of silence? In such circumstances, Galileo as well as scientists today would speak only about scientific evidence which was deemed by the super-rich and powerful to be politically convenient, religiously tolerable, economically expedient, socially correct and culturally prescribed. Galileo and modern-day scientists would effectively breach their duty to science and humanity to tell the truth as they see it, as best they can report it. If science does not overcome silence, then everything the human community believes we are preserving and protecting could be ruined.

Perhaps there is something in the good reports of scientific evidence by members of the Northward Ho community regarding what could somehow be real about the world we inhabit that will give Galileo a moment of peace. said...

Please recall the wonderful quotation by Joseph Campbell,

"When we talk about settling the world's problems, we're barking up the wrong tree. The world is perfect. It's a mess. It has always been a mess. We are not going to change it. Our job is to straighten out our own lives."

Let us imagine (in full agreement with Joseph Campbell) that "our job is to straighten out our own lives" and that it is precisely the unsustainable ways we are living out our lives in this wondrous planetary home we inhabit which is inducing the formidable global challenges now looming so ominously before all of us on the horizon. Consider that human beings are the primary cause of certain converging ecological threats the children could confront in the future.

In all the discussions I can recall about "the human predicament" never have I heard the idea presented that human beings cannot resolve problems which we are responsible for creating. We are not asked to change a world which is perfect, but to make changes in unsustainable patterns of behavior that are within our control. The mastery that gave rise to the global challenges to human wellbeing and environmental health is the same mastery that can be deployed in responding ably to those challenges. If conspicuous per-capita overconsumption and extravagant hoarding of limited resources; rampant overproduction of virtual mountains of unnecessary stuff; and unbridled overpopulation activities by the human species, when taken together, are "producing" threats to humanity, Earth and its environs, then sensibly changing these ways of behaving will mitigate and eventually resolve our plight. Is there any reason to doubt that human beings can alleviate any plight human beings can produce? Our task is to adequately deploy gifts God has given humankind to acknowledge, accept, address and overcome the human-induced challenges before us.

By choosing necessary changes in our behavioral repertoire (in the sense of willing the inevitable), the family of humanity will find its way through the human-driven mess we have made in this world (not of this world) which is the perfect creation of God, I suppose. said...

Let us imagine that it is a cultural perversion for people to widely share and consensually validate the pernicious belief that both "doing the right thing" and "doing the greedy thing" are virtues. I would submit to you that doing what is right is surely a virtue but doing the greedy thing is certainly not. The perversion in such circumstances is this: doing the right things is good, but this good behavior is often not rewarded. Alternatively, doing greedy things is not virtuous and yet is much more uniformly rewarded as if it were somehow good behavior.

Please consider that great wealth and the political power it purchases are derived from unbridled greed and that greediness is everywhere incentivized. Then we can see how greed rather than doing what is good comes to effectively rule the world in our time.

What if economic incentives rewarded doing right things and put at a disadvantage doing greedy things? Would that allow us to move forward along another path marked by mitigating the noticeably disasterous global ecological effects of rampant human selfishness and, thereby, to go a long way toward resolving the human-driven global challenges already visible in the offing? said...

Everyone is going to have to speak out. In the last decade the collusion, corruption and cover-up of massive fraud in the global economy by greedy, self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe among us as well as their willful blindness and elective mutism in the face of the rampant dissipation of natural resources, relentless pollution of the environment and reckless degradation of Earth's ecology is as unconscionable as it is unforgiveable. The fulmination of irresponsible leadership in the first decade of Century XXI gave rise to the cratering of the world's political economy and to the irreversible destabilization of the Earth's climate.

From 2000 to 2008, whatsoever was politically correct, economically expedient, socially convenient and culturally prescribed was automatically espoused loudly as "the truth". Ideological idiocy prevailed over science. Greed ruled the world. Intellectual honesty, personal accountability, moral courage and doing the right thing were eschewed. Gag rules were enforced. As a consequence, the human community was persuaded to inadvertently make a colossal mess of our planetary home, Earth. Everyone could see what was happening, but few people were willing to speak out. No one with power listened to those who did speak out about what was observed occurring around us. Millions of people were encouraged to engage in conspicuous per-capita overconsumption and scandalous individual hoarding of resources; in megabillion-dollar pyramid schemes and unsustainable large-scale industrial enterprises.

Nothing can happen until many people speak truth to the greedmongers and power-hungry.

New leadership and a new direction such as the one presented by President Barack Obama need to be freely chosen and actively sustained. said...

As UN Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan noted in 1997, "The world has enough food. What it lacks is the political will to ensure that all people have access to this bounty, that all people enjoy food security."

Please examine the probability that humans are producing too much, not too little food. The problem we face is the way increasing the global food supply leads to increasing absolute global human population numbers. It is the super-abundant, large scale harvests that are making it possible for population numbers of the human species to explode beyond the limits imposed by the relatively small, evidently finite, noticeably frangible environment of a planet with the size, composition and ecology of Earth.

The spectacular success of the Green Revolution over the past 40 years has "produced" an unintended and completely unanticipated global challenge, I suppose: the rapidly increasing supply of food for human consumption has given birth to a human population bomb, which is exploding worldwide before our eyes.

Perhaps the most formidable threat to future human wellbeing and environmental health appears to be caused by the unbridled, corporate overproduction of food on the one hand and the abject failure of the leaders of the human community to insist upon more fair and equitable redistribution of the world's food supply so that "all people enjoy food security".

WE NEED TO SHARE (not overconsume and hoard) AND TO BUILD SUSTAINABLE, HUMAN-SCALE FARMING PRACTICES(not patently unsustainable corporate leviathans). said...

"Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence."

Henri-Frederic Amiel said...

Perhaps the human community is missing the primary cause of the converging ecological threats to human wellbeing and environmental health that all of us could soon confront.

The establishment of priorities could begin with widely sharing an adequate enough understanding of human population dynamics and recognizing how the unbridled growth of absolute global human population numbers in our time is the "mother" of all the human-driven ecological challenges looming before the family of humanity.

Is a "spiral of silence" effectively vanquishing open discussion regarding scientific evidence of human population dynamics? Perhaps the last of the last taboos is human population dynamics.

Somehow we have to begin speaking honestly and openly about the extant science of human population dynamics as well as about the necessity both for reducing the unsustainably huge size of individual "footprints" and for limiting humanely, carefully and fairly the number of human feet on Earth.

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001 said...

Especially for Dan Bloom. said...

The lack of response to repeated efforts to communicate a perspective concerning something vital about the complex world we inhabit appears similar to the silence with which scientific evidence of human population dynamics has been met during the last "lost" decade of denial.

The growth of the human species worldwide could be the proverbial mother of all human-induced global challenges. If that is so, then failing to courageously acknowledge and humanely address this predominant challenge will render efforts of humanity to overcome other human-driven, increasingly complex challenges to human wellbeing and environmental health ultimately irrelevant, I suppose.

Please consider that both those who believe human population numbers are exploding and those who believe human numbers are collapsing are correct. Globally, human numbers are undoubtedly increasing, but in some places on the surface of Earth human numbers can easily be seen decreasing. It depends upon your scope of observation. I am perceiving and thinking globally when I report human numbers are skyrocketing. In a similar manner, I can certainly recognize that human numbers in many places (eg, Japan or Italy) have been declining. But in order to make that report it is necessary for me to change my scope of observation.

Imagine that a change in one's scope of observation is like the difference between looking at the forest or the trees. Looking at the forest is like looking at absolute global human population numbers; whereas, looking at the trees is like looking at the population numbers in a place like Japan. Global human numbers can be increasing, while the human population numbers in Japan are decreasing.

Or imagine that we are looking at a wave, watching it move toward the shore where it crashes at our feet. As the wave we are observing moves toward us, there are many molecules in the wave that are moving in the opposite direction.......against the tide. Population numbers in Japan, Italy and many other places are moving against rapidly rising tide of absolute global human population numbers. Population numbers are simultaneously rising globally and falling locally.

So much of life and nature is indeed complex. Even so, we must not allow the acknowledged complexity of some things like the global economy to mystify, mesmerize or blind us to something comparatively simple and as evident as human population dynamics. If implications of the skyrocketing growth of absolute global human population numbers were not so profoundly and potentially threatening to the future of life as we know it and the integrity of Earth, there would be no reason for scientists with appropriate expertise to assume their responsibilities and perform their duties by rigorously scrutinizing the peer-reviewed and published research of human population dynamics and the human overpopulation of Earth. A fidelity to science and humanity, I suppose, demands that the scientific evidence be examined carefully and reported objectively.

Perhaps we can speak openly with regard to the complexity in the global economy of the humankind and to the relative simplicity of the population dynamics of the human species. said...

What follows is a "bolus of insight" from a great poet regarding a breach between a civilization and "the strong earth".

The Purse-seine, by Robinson Jeffers, 1937

.......I cannot tell you
How beautiful the scene is, and a little terrible,
then, when the crowded fish
Know they are caught, and wildly beat from one wall
to the other of their closing destiny the
Water to a pool of flame, each beautiful slender body
sheeted with flame, like a live rocket
A comet's tail wake of clear yellow flame; while outside
the narrowing
Floats and cordage of the net great sea-lions come up
to watch, sighing in the dark; the vast walls
of night
Stand erect to the stars.

Lately I was looking from a night mountain-top
On a wide city, the colored splendor, galaxies of light:
how could I help but recall the seine-net
Gathering the luminous fish? I cannot tell you how
beautiful the city appeared, and a little terrible.
I thought, We have geared the machines and locked all together
into inter-dependence; we have built the great cities; now
There is no escape. We have gathered vast populations incapable
of free survival, insulated
From the strong earth, each person in himself helpless, on all
dependent. The circle is closed, and the net
Is being hauled in....... said...

Perhaps I am mistaken about the scientific research to which I draw attention. If that is shown to be case, I will end the AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population immediately. I make all of you the promise that from that moment forward you will not hear from me again. Given the human-induced global challenges that appear, at least to me, to be looming before humankind in our time, it will just fine if it turns out that I am indeed the fool so many people take me for now. Such an outcome has certain benefits. Fool that I am, still I will be free of a “duty to warn” and gratefully released to fulfill the promise I made years ago to my long-suffering spouse: end the AWAREness Campaign.

For a recent discussion of the global predicament posed by the unbridled growth of absolute global human population numbers in our time, please click on the links below.

Thank to all of you. said...

A tribute to Professor Stephen Schneider........ Thanks for speaking out, Steve.

It appears to me that we are beginning to wrap our heads around the formidable predicament before all of us. We share a passion for the study of the human condition, with particular attention paid to the colossal human-induced global predicament the human community faces in our time.

Somehow we have to keep talking about this human-driven predicament, even it happens to threaten leaders with vested interests in existing patterns of behavior. There is no other way forward that makes any sense to me.

Human overpopulation of Earth is the number one problem, the proverbial "mother" of problems before the human family. It is so huge that all other global challenges, when taken together, do not present us with kind of colossal threat which is posed to us by the projected unbridled growth of absolute global human population numbers fully anticipated in the next four decades. There are many ways absolute global human population numbers could be dramatically reduced, either by human action or by natural occurrence. But if we have learned nothing about the predicament we are in now, others who come after us will likely make the very same errors that bring us now to this point in human history and space-time. Just now, I am reminded of Nietzche’s idea of the “eternal recurrence”. If we choose to willfully ignore scientific evidence, reason and common sense regarding human population dynamics and human overpopulation in order to satisfy the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe among us who organize and manage the existing order of "life as we know it" for their own benefit primarily, then surely the colossal mistakes of the present will occur in the future, I suppose, over and over and over again. On the other hand, if top rank scientists with appropriate expertise, who have remained electively mute, speak truth to the powerful, and thereby fulfill their responsibilities to humanity and duties to science, then a chance exists for making necessary changes in the behavioral repertoire of human species leading us away from what can be seen now as unsustainable behavior and toward alternative ways of living in the world. Rightsized, human-scale business enterprises and sustainable lifestyles could become the order of the day.

There have got to be similarly situated, top rank scientists in our planetary home who are ready now, here, to stand with Professor Emeritus Gary L. Peters in acknowledging the distinctly human-forced predicament confronting the human community; in overcoming the suppression of scientific evidence in silence; and in ending the collusion "underpinning" the global gag rule on open discussions of human population dynamics. We need many experts with the highest degree of skill and knowledge regarding population dynamics to speak out loudly and clearly regarding whatsoever is true to you, as best you can see and articulate what could somehow be real.

Anonymous said...

How can we ably address the global challenges that appear to be driven by the overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities of the human species worldwide if the brightest and best among us choose to remain willfully blind, hysterically deaf and electively mute when the best available scientific evidence indicates at least one of the root causes of what is threatening humanity and life as we know it in our time?

I suppose it is a function of advanced age, but my conscience is screaming and I am becoming impatient with blogmeisters who hold powerful positions in the mass media, but willfully refuse to do all that can be done to disclose the best available science (rather than cloak peer-reviewed evidence in silence) of a potentially colossal threat to human wellbeing and environmental health which is presented to all of us... and precipitated by all of the form of grave and ominous global ecological challenges.

Will the leaders of the human community be allowed to keep adamantly advocating and relentlessly pursuing so potentially ruinous a road to the future, while everyone else silently consents to these leaders' egregious behavior and follows them down the soon to become patently unsustainable "primrose path" we are now taking?

I am a psychologist. In our ethical code psychologists are instructed that there are rare occasions when we have a "duty to warn", for example, when life is in imminent danger. It appears to me as if the very future of life as we know it is being put at risk now by the proverbial "mother" of global challenges: the human overpopulation of Earth. If the human-driven global predicament looming on the horizon does not meet the standard for warning, perhaps I no longer see what set of circumstances would warrant the performance of such a duty.

I do not know if I am right or wrong to ask directly and repeatedly for truth, as each of us sees it, to be spoken loudly and clearly so that people can better share an understanding of the global emergency the human family could soon confront. But it does appear to me that if people with knowledge lose faith in God's gift of science by denying its presence, embracing silence and remaining electively mute while selfish, shortsighted leaders go forward on the basis of specious preternatural thinking, then the human community has virtually no chance of responding ably to the human-induced challenges before all of us.

Perhaps I am mistaken about the scientific research to which I draw attention. If that is shown to be case, I will end the AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population immediately. I make all of you the promise that from that moment forward you will not hear from me again. Given the human-forced global challenges that appear to be converging before humankind currently, it will just fine if it turns out that I am indeed the fool so many people take me for now. Such an outcome has certain benefits. Fool that I am, still I will be free of a "duty to warn" and gratefully released to fulfill the promise I made years ago to my long-suffering spouse: end the AWAREness Campaign I began in 2001.

I am trying to encourage the lighting of candles because the darkness enveloping the "primrose path" many too many misguided leaders are trodding is anathema to me.

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001 said...

No amount of rationalization or excuse will pass muster when the issue is the conscious denial of science.

The abject failure of every major legitimate scientific group to respond to the exceptionally strong evidence of human population dynamics and human overpopulation of the Earth from Russell Hopfenberg and David Pimentel is simply inexcusable. All have been effectively ignoring research from outstanding scientists who have devoted their lives to actually observing data and trying to interpret it in an intellectually honest manner.

The willful avoidance of the open discussion of science, especially the scientific research of human population dynamics, is as unconscionable as it is destructive. Experts who have remained silent need to be stood up to and directed to assume their responsibilities to science and their duties to humanity. Is there a reasonable justification for elective mutism in response to carefully collected and honestly analyzed data?

The taskd at hand for scientists are to freely acknowledge, critique and interpret evidence, I suppose, and to encourage that evidence to be examined from different viewpoints. It is irresponsible and pernicious for scientists to remain silent because they are slowing the development of momentum for necessary change in population policy and programming, I believe. said...

Out of the mouths of babes…


Charlie Darwin

Set the sails I feel the winds a’stirring
Toward the bright horizon set the way
Cast your reckless dreams upon our Mayflower
Haven from the world and her decay

And who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin
Fighting for a system built to fail
Spooning water from their broken vessels
As far as I can see there is no land

Oh my god, the waters all around us
Oh my god, it’s all around

And who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin
The lords of war just profit from decay
And trade their children’s promise for the jingle
The way we trade our hard earned time for pay

Oh my god, the waters cold and shapeless
Oh my god, it’s all around
Oh my god, life is cold and formless
Oh my god, it’s all around

Anonymous said...

Dear Danny Bloom,

Every time a friend like you has shown me a new example of what our finest ancestors could see that would be occurring in our time, I am reminded of the remarkable number of splendid people throughout our history who raised their voices loudly… who tried to let us know. Of course, as these great human beings with feet of clay knew all too well, the powers that be, the self-proclaimed masters of the universe in our time would complete the work of the greedy kings who came before them… the little kings (named by Ozymandias) would set the stage for the final act, unless, of course, we choose a different way f i n a l l y - - - b e f o r e i t i s t o o l a t e.

Anonymous said...

I feel

it is

too late

Anonymous said...

There is something I have wanted to say out loud for a long time. Somehow the time and place was never right. The years passed. Finally, now and here.

These words do not amount to much, but it pleases me to speak out as loudly and clearly as I can,

We need some transformational global event to occur that would not hurt anyone but would help everyone “awaken”, in the sense of raising collective consciousness of humanity, to a level of awareness adequate for perceiving and understanding the global predicament looming before all of us. Their is no doubt in my mind that a new level of collective consciousness will enjoin able and humane responses within leaders and followers alike to the global predicament. The human species possess gifts of surpassing intelligence, evolving self-consciousness, compassion and innovative capabilities that will see us through what does appear to many experts as a remarkably demanding and dangerous period in human history. The ideas that there is nothing to do because nothing can be done and that trying to do something which is somehow right is not worth the effort, are anathema to me.



Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001
Chapel Hill, NC

Anonymous said...

well said Steven. -- danny

WE DO NEED THIS KIND OF event, but what could it be? and when? SOON, asap yes! we need action and we need hope i do agree

never give up

Anonymous said...

I think that at some point in future space-time, not too far from now-here, in the darkness just before dawn, there appears for all to see and understand an unimaginable boffo-of-a-humdinger.

Anonymous said...

Please respond to "the call" from the Royal Society. Your voice is will be helpful.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the time is approaching when someone will say so others can hear it,

Don’t just do something, stand there and speak out.

Then, perhaps in the offing, necessary change toward sustainability…

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001
Chapel Hill, NC said...

One day I trust that a discussion of human population dynamics and human overpopulation of the Earth happens in many places. Sooner or later discussions of this kind have to occur, I suppose, despite the fact that free and open speech of what looks to me like the very last of the last taboos is forbidden by the self-proclaimed masters of the universe among us, the ones who value money, power and position before all else and exclaim their dishonest and duplicitous ‘work’ is, of all things, “God’s work”.

My concern for children everywhere is this. If children in our time are "sold" the aberrant idea that economic success is what really matters, that arrogance and avarice actually rule this world, then from now here I expect those who are still young will
follow a clearly marked and soon to become patently unsustainable primrose
path to perdition, a path that has been adamantly advocated and religiously
pursued by the masters of the universe.

Let us not allow the 'economic success' that is derived from insider
trading, hedging, dark pools of capital, CDOs and other financial
instruments, market and currency manipulations, Ponzi schemes and economic
globalization by the masters of the universe to be confused with the works
of God, as given to us in the Creation and science.

Despite all the efforts to foment confusion and uncertainty by economic theologians and
other minions of the wealthy and powerful, I trust we can agree that the
Creation and science itself are utterly different from the artificially
designed, ideologically flawed, manmade global economy that is organized
and managed by the masters of the universe for their benefit primarily. Regarding this single thing, can there be even so much as a shadow of doubt? said...

The need for morality is beginning to sink in......

Dear Friends,

If it pleases you to do so, carefully consider two words, only two, that we have seen and heard since the beginning of Western culture. If ever there was a timeless shibboleth of humanity, it has been eternalized in two words from Socrates, “Know thyself”. Unfortunately, self-knowledge of the kind Socrates spoke is not voguish or a guarator of success or easily achieved like accumulating money, gaining position and power, and doing politically convenient and economically expedient things. Educated sychophants, absurdly enriched minions and other vendors of words have been adamantly putting forward anything and everything imaginable that promote the supreme and selfish interests of the wealthy and powerful. Every bias and rationalization under the sun has been employed; every rhetorical device and ideological artifact used to minimize or deny the import in these words from Socrates. These two words tell us where we need to look for knowledge, finally, after we have looked everywhere else and regarded everything else in the Universe. I fear modern cultural determinants, the ones pervading human thought and action as well as leading us to ignore watchwords of the likes of Socrates and to leave knowledge of self to the very last, could turn out to be a distinctly human flaw. Let us agree here and now that this flaw is not necessarily fatal and that there is still time to gain knowledge of self, and respond ably to the human-induced global ecological challenges looming before human species.

Greed rules the world and rules it absolutely in our time; but that is not the way things have to be, I believe. The meaningful re-introduction of moral courage as well as intellectual honesty, personal accountability and the exercise of individual will power could change the human world fast and also save the Earth as a fit place for the children to inhabit.

Perhaps such attitudinal and behavioral changes lead us to restore moral authority as the centering guidepost for human action.



PS: As for what to do about the dishonest and duplicitous deployment of the governing principle of "greed is good" by the most foolhardy, arrogant and avaricious among us, I hope others will comment.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Steve Salmony says,

Who cries out their outrageous and unsustainable demands that the status quo be maintained at any cost, come what may for the children?

Who keeps watch over the garish, fun-filled destruction of the world we borrow from the children without so much as whispering (much less speaking out loudly and clearly) about necessary changes toward sustainability?

The children's future is our red-headed stepchild, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Steven Earl Salmony....

"Why is Man failing?" is the question. Of course, there are likely many recognizable, understandable and acceptable responses to that query. Having made this acknowledgement, I remain dumbstruck by one glaring and willful failure. It is the conscious and abject failure on the part of many too many top ranking professionals with appropriate expertise and extant scientific evidence to respond to one central question, the rejection of which appears to be allowing ' the stage to be set ' for big trouble that takes its shape in the form of some unimaginable sort of colossal, human-induced global ecological wreckage.

**** Is the population dynamics of the human species essentially similar to or else different from the population dynamics of other species? **** The implications of the correct response to that single query appear profound.

Anonymous said...

Steven Earl Salmony....

‎'The brightest and the best' are bought and paid for by "the highest bidders," who then are aided and abetted in the sale of the Earth to the lowest bidders. If the creation of concentrated wealth continues to be the highly regarded driver of purposeful activity it is today, then the probable destruction of the Creation is the already recognizable result. If human beings with feet of clay keep silent, and by so doing consent to what is happening as the Earth is being ravaged, its climate destabilized and its environs degraded by pollution, then some among us in the DE community may witness something unimaginable, I suppose. And if not us, then surely the children will. Given the gigantic scale and the growth rate of human overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities now rampantly overspreading the surface of Earth, the likelihood of some sort of colossal ecological catastrophe appears virtually inescapable. Such are the vicissitudes of life now, in a soon to become patently unsustainable world ruled by the 'virtue' of greed. On the other hand, perhaps greedmongering will be eschewed and other behavioral changes toward sustainability are to be beheld in the offing.

If changes are not made, perhaps the children will look back in anger and utter disbelief at what my generation of elders is doing now in our planetary home that is certain to prove beyond a shadow of doubt how far we are willing to go in order to protect a patently unsustainable way of life based upon outrageous greedmongering, even if our greediness leads to the death of life as we know it; and even it our foolhardiness causes the destruction of the children's future. The children will see that human beings with feet of clay can be directed by self-proclaimed masters of the universe among us to precipitate a colossal global wreckage as well as that greed can rule the world absolutely.

Anonymous said...

Steven Earl Salmony......

The family of humanity as well as much of life as we know it are now here inhabitants of a finite planet with a frangible environment that is failing fast. What really matters is being inadvertently ruined on our watch by the human population, but is not being openly discussed. My 'blood boils' in the truth that we have possessed knowledge of so much about ourselves as human beings with feet of clay and acknowledged so little about what has been known for so long about our distinctly human creatureliness, based upon extensive empirical research and unchallenged scientific evidence. Elective mutism and silent consent in the face of the reckless degradation, relentless dissipation and willful sell-off of what everyone knows to be sacred looks to me like the worst of all precipitants of the colossal ecological wreckage that appears in the offing.

Inside and outside the community of top rank scientists, as well as among first class professionals in demography and economics who claim appropriate expertise of issues concerning human overpopulation issues, one issue is not being discussed by anyone. A worldwide conspiracy of silence continues to prevail about the population dynamics of the human species. The last of the last taboos is the open discussion of extant scientific research of human population dynamics. The implications of this astounding denial of what could somehow be real are potentially profound for the future of life on Earth, I suppose.

Within the human community a tiny minority of self-proclaimed masters of the universe hold the ‘destiny’ of all in their hands. This elite group is operating behind the scenes these days and "growing" the global economy to such a colossal scale that it could soon become patently unsustainable on a planet with the size, composition and ecology of Earth because our planetary home is not, definitely not "too big to fail."

Anonymous said...

In 1948 Aldo Leopold wrote: "our bigger-and-better society is now like a hypochondriac, so obsessed with its own economic health as to have lost the capacity to remain healthy. The whole world is so greedy for more bathtubs that it has... lost the stability necessary to build them, or even to turn off the tap. Nothing could be more salutary at this stage than a little healthy contempt for a plethora of material blessings. Perhaps such a shift of values can be achieved by reappraising things unnatural, tame, and confined in terms of things natural, wild, and free."

In our time greed is extolled as a virtue. Many too many are invited by the few to do 'good' things. Seven billion are told the global political economy was saved today, but not told at what expense: mortgaging the children's future. Nor were they told at what price: the Earth as a fit place for human habitation? To say that greedmongering is "unhealthy" seems tame to me. There must be stronger words deployed to describe such obscene per capita hyper-consumption and patently unsustainable individual hoarding; such conscious dissipation of Earth's finite resources and willful degradation of its frangible ecology. Perhaps we can find other words that more adequately describe how the planet we inhabit is being ravaged on our watch. And if we can find the words, who will speak out loudly, clearly and often? A worldwide conspiracy of silence is in effect. Self-proclaimed masters of the universe have already bought and paid off 'the brightest and best'. The greediest among us are selling off the Earth to the "lowest bidders." Greed rules the world, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

With thanks to Andy R.......

A New Look at Population Bombs and Bulges
A fresh look at humanity's cresting growth spurt and its implications, for good or ill.

Planet Earth has a colossal problem, whether one thinks of it as a bomb or a bulge, but everyone here understands that much already. Even so, silence is still dominating the science of human population dynamics. No questions are asked. No words are spoken. This is the way silence kills the world, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Steven Earl Salmony reports,

There is no way back to the Garden of Eden, back to nature, and no chance of becoming the gods we appear to think we are now. We neither would want to overcome nature nor would we want to go back to nature. There is at least one more option: to find balance with nature. This could be a sensible, alternate path to the future and a goal to be reached with all deliberate speed for the sake of the children. After all, we are borrowing this world from our children. Surely we will not continue mortgaging the children's future and ruining the planet all of us inhabit here now to the point Earth cannot be fruitfully inhabited by them and coming generations. Certainly not on our watch!

Responsible people will have to stop colluding in elective mutism and ignoring the best available scientific evidence of human population dynamics and human overpopulation of the Earth. The time remaining for us elders to secure a good enough future for the children is fairly short, I suppose. We cannot effectively address any global challenge if we do not allow ourselves to understand from whence it orginates. If people cannot see that an actual threat exists for which the human species bears great responsibility, that itself is a problem to be understood and confronted forcefully. Fortunately many of us in this community can see that the family of humanity has a human-driven global predicament before us that has not been adequately acknowledged, let alone begun to meaningfully address and actively overcome by the human family.

Human beings may be acting in our time as if we are more stupid than ostriches when we place our heads firmly in the sand while proclaiming we see what is happening. But the human species embodies so many more gifts from God than the ostriches, even though many too many of us with our heads in the sand follow leaders who take pride and engage in unsustainable overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities that make our stupidity plain to see. How much longer will knowledgeable members of the human community with splendid gifts such as only human beings possess silently stand by and, by so doing, condone the incredible greed, the pathological arrogance, the extreme foolhardiness of a tiny minority of the family of humanity, that is not only ruling the world absolutely in our time but threatening to destroy life as we know it and the Earth as a fit place for the children to inhabit? A remarkably small group of self-proclaimed masters of the universe hold the ‘destiny’ of all in their hands. This elite international group appears to be operating behind the scenes these days and "growing" the global political economy to such a colossal scale that it could soon become patently unsustainable on a planet with the relatively small size, make-up and environs of Earth. Although we are presented with a virtual blizzard of propaganda to the contrary, our planetary home is not, definitely not "too big to fail."

Earth is bounded and finite; its ecology is frangible. It cannot be sensibly compared to a maternal presence, in the sense of it being like a mother’s teat at which humankind can forever suckle. Neither a mother’s teat nor the Earth is actually inexhaustible, despite the children's fantasy and adults' belief that either one is an eternal source of sustenance. The human family ignores human biological limits and Earth's physical limitations to support life as we know it at our peril.

Anonymous said...

If only the global predicament, the ominously looming and enlarging threat to everything that really matters was a laughing matter, that would be the best thing. If only we were not primary inducers and drivers of this colossal predicament, and therefore principally responsible for it; if only the many too many leaders who understand precisely what it is that we are discussing now here did not willfully deny science and consciously choose silence over speech. That too, would be the best thing.

Thanks to all for speaking out, and for your willingness to consider the ideas that are presented here. More than ever before and most of all, I fear that the silence instilled in many too many by the greedmongers who rule the world in our time is leading to the destruction of everything each one of us is striving somehow, in any way at all, to protect and preserve.

Anonymous said...

There is a set of questions I would like to pose now here, to everyone in the Orion community.

“WHY?” Why would a generation turn a paradise into an inferno? Can malignant narcissism, pathological arrogance, extreme foolishness and outrageous avarice of a tiny dishonest and immoral minority of the human community do it? Can such a thing be done so fast, before our eyes, by ‘the brightest and best’, “the smartest guys in the room”? Is there deceit and collusion to be located among the self-proclaimed masters of the universe holding decision-making authority at the top of the global political economy? Has a single not-so-great generation of power and greed mongers ‘accomplished’ all that? If so, then that is a force to be reckoned with soon, before it is too late, is it not?

What do you think?


Steve Salmony

Anonymous said...

We can readily see what 'the brightest and best' as well as "the smartest guys in the room" are doing on our watch. These self-proclaimed masters of the universe are assuring their 'inalienable rights' to reprehensibly internalize profits while externalizing costs; rapaciously overconsume and hoard finite natural resources; relentlessly overproduce unnecessary stuff that pollute the environment; and recklessly condone the overpopulation of our planetary home, let us hope human beings with feet of clay are wise enough to recall the words of "The Prince" and to respond ably to human-induced global ecological challenges as we observe what is being done to the "design space" we call Earth, because future human well being and environmental health are being put at risk here and now. For the sake of children everywhere, another path to the future, one that is sustainable, must be taken while there is still time.

“The Romans did in these instances what all prudent princes ought to do, who have to regard not only present troubles, but also future ones, for which they must prepare with every energy, because, when foreseen, it is easy to remedy them; but if you wait until they approach, the medicine is no longer in time because the malady has become incurable; for it happens in this, as the physicians say it happens in hectic fever, that in the beginning of the malady it is easy to cure but difficult to detect, but in the course of time, not having been either detected or treated in the beginning, it becomes easy to detect but difficult to cure. Thus it happens in affairs of state, for when the evils that arise have been foreseen (which it is only given to a wise man to see), they can be quickly redressed, but when, through not having been foreseen, they have been permitted to grow in a way that every one can see them, there is no longer a remedy.”
—Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter Three

Anonymous said...

On the one hand we have self-proclaimed masters of the universe owning huge mass media corporations and their absurdly enriched and overly educated 'talking heads' who confuse everyone in the name of being fair and balanced. On the other hand we have knowledgeable and highly influential people who choose to remain willfully blind, hysterically deaf and electively mute rather than "speak truth (as best they can see it) to power." Both contrived arguments of sycophants and conscious silence of scientists reign. The family of humanity is being betrayed by all who collude in such dishonest and duplicitous denial, I suppose.

At the same time human beings with feet of clay are making futile efforts to share openly and honorably an understanding of what is happening to the climate and Earth's body as well as why damaging things are occurring in our planetary home on our watch. Sadly, despite the necessity for consensual validation of whatsoever is real, many too many leaders and experts on whom human family relies for adequate knowledge are participating in a catastrophic failure to communicate what they believe to be true. Woefully inadequate communication such as we see today was in evidence in other time-spaces throughout human history with devastating consequences for human constructions and empires. No question about that.

We can recall the days when the "Tower of Babel" was under construction. Now that I think about that ancient colossus, we are in the process of 'building out' on the surface of Earth an artificially designed, certainly manmade, soon to become patently unsustainable "ECONOMIC COLOSSUS" called the global political economy. No one is speaking out loudly, clearly and often enough to be heard regarding the global predicament the human family appears to have induced, adamantly advocated and continues to relentlessly pursue, come what may for future human well being and environmental health.

Anonymous said...

We face a human-induced global predicament. Emerging and converging ecological challenges we have chosen to ignore rather than acknowledge during my lifetime is in large part the result of the way silence is employed by the powers that be and their minions to prevail over science. Hysterical blindness, willful deafness and elective mutism of knowledgeable human beings with feet of clay rule the world every bit as much as malignant narcissism, pathological arrogance and extreme foolishness of greedmongering masters of the universe rule the world. This pernicious situation is as intolerable as it is dangerous to future human well being and environmental health.

Anonymous said...

For human beings to count human population numbers is simple, really simple. The population dynamics of human beings with feet of clay are obvious and fully comprehensible. We have allowed ourselves to be dazzled by the BS of demographers just the way human beings have been deceived and victimized by the economists on Wall Street. Demographers and economists are not scientists. ‘The brightest and the best’ have sold their souls to greedmongers, duped the rest of us, made it difficult to see what is real, proclaimed what is known to be knowable as unknowable, engaged in the their own brands of alchemy. In their dishonest and duplicitous efforts to please the self-proclaimed masters of the universe, also known as the keepers of the ‘golden calf’ (now easily visible as the “raging bull” on Wall Street), they perpetrate frauds at everyone else’s expense, threaten the children’s future, put life as we know it at risk, and are consciously, deliberately, actively precipitating the destruction of Earth as a fit place for human habitation. Never in the course of human events have so few taken so much from so many and left so little for others.

There are many too many overly educated “wise guys” among us who see the blessed world we inhabit through the lens of their own hubris and selfishness, and see themselves somehow as Homo sapiens sapiens and masters of the universe, as corporate kings and emperor’s with clothes. They supposedly are the brightest and best, the smartest guys in the room, like the guy who used to run the global political economy without recognizing that there was an “ideological flaw” in his economic theories and models, the same guy who reported he could not name 5 guys smarter than himself. These are the guys who have have sold their souls, denied science, abjectly failed humanity, forsaken life as we know it, the Earth and God. These ideologues rule the world now and can best be characterized by their malignant narcissism, pathological arrogance, risky addictions, extreme foolishness and wanton greed.

Anonymous said...

We face a culture of silence with regard to the growth of the human population on Earth. As a consequence, a colossal, human-induced tragedy is being precipitated in our time. But this is not the whole problem being utterly avoided. Even among top-rank scientists with appropriate expertise, extant scientific research of human population dynamics and overpopulation is being willfully ignored. Attractive preternatural thought and specious ideologically-driven theory by non-scientists, namely demographers and economists, about the nature of the human population have been widely shared and consensually validated in the mainstream media during my lifetime. This unscientific thought and theory is not only misleading but also directly contradicted by scientific evidence toward which first-class scientists have “turned a blind eye” for way too long. That is to say we have two challenges to confront and ovecome. The first is the culture of silence. The second is the deliberate collusion within a sub-culture of experts who have determined not to acknowledge, examine and report on vital scientific research. Some scientists have referred to "the first challenge" as revealing the facts of “the last taboo”. What I am asking scientists to do is address “the last of the last taboos” by reviewing and reporting findings of unchallenged scientific research of human population dynamics from two outstanding scientists, Hopfenberg and Pimentel (2001), Hopfenberg(2003, 2009). At least to me, it appears the denial of the population issue by people everywhere and the denial of scientific research of human population dynamics/overpopulation by scientists with adequate expertise have resulted in a betrayal of humanity and science itself. This failure of intellectual honesty and moral courage among so many so-called experts with responsibilities to assume and duties to perform is as unfortunate as it is unprecedented. A good enough future for children everywhere appears to be at risk on our watch and we are bearing witness now and here, I suppose, to the way silence ‘kills’ the world.

Anonymous said...

Everything within me makes one thing crystal clear: among the species of Earth only human beings with feet of clay possess the capability to honestly, consciously, courageously and deliberately behave in ways that run counter to their strongest drives. Evidence for this statement has been occurring ubiquitously since of the first days of Homo sapiens on Earth, I suppose. As we know, our species has exploded to seven billion in the 'blink of an eye'. Is it not inconceivable that at least some small percentage of human beings have always been acting and continue to act in ways that provide evidence of the subjugation of the most powerful of their instincts to their even more formidable capacity to think, judge and will. I would go so far as to guess that not one day in human history has passed without a human being overcoming what is instinctual.

Our instincts to survive individually and to propagate the human species globally are the most potent instincts. But in our time these instincts, that have served humankind so well from our earliest days on Earth, appear to reached a point in space-time when they are pernicious and dangerous to future human well being, life as we know it, and the planet as a fit place for the children to inhabit. Among the species in our planetary home, perhaps human beings are the first species ever to be in the position of precipitating a massive extinction event. So gifted, well-endowed and unique a species as Homo sapiens, one that appears to be potentiating some sort of unimaginable global ecological wreckage, can surely begin making necessary changes in behavior for the sake of the future human well being.

Anonymous said...

How can large numbers of human beings with feet of clay not see that the Earth is being overpopulated by the human species? Humanity appears to be on the verge of precipitating some sort of unimaginable global ecological wreckage. Scientists readily located virtually everywhere on the surface of Earth in our time have unaccepted responsibilities to assume and unfulfilled duties to perform by speaking out loudly and clearly about whatsoever is believed to be true with regard to the incredible human-driven planetary emergency that looms so ominously in the offing. Can it be that ideological idiocy and outrageous greed of a tiny minority of self-proclaimed masters of the universe will be permitted to rule the world and bring about its ruin on our watch?

Anonymous said...

Please examine ubiquitously ignored, assiduously avoided and willfully denied scientific research by Hopfenberg and Pimentel on the subject of human population dynamics. Scientists with appropriate expertise have failed to assume their responsibilities to science and duties to humanity by refusing to review and report on this vital scientific evidence. The silence of scientists and the chatter of self-serving, greedmongering ideologues appear to be playing large roles in precipitating the destruction of the world we inhabit on our watch.

Anonymous said...

Everywhere we look there are virtual mountains of evidence and 'concrete jungles' to be found that dramatize the clever manipulation of human intellect by 'the brightest and best', usually for the purpose of securing selfish interests. Self-proclaimed masters of the universe, their many highly educated sycophants and absurdly enriched minions are established experts at ignoring 'reality' when it serves their pragmatic desires. The step that makes it possible for human beings with feet of clay to subordinate personal interests so as to see what is 'green' before their eyes, is not an easy one. All of us get use to seeing and valuing the world in certain ways, according to what is logically contrived, politically correct, economically expedient, socially agreeable, religiously tolerable, culturally prescribed and ubiquitously shared through the mass media. Popular ways of viewing the world, that are valued most higly, are also sufficiently reality-oriented. But occasionally advances in science disturb even the most widely held and consensually validated understandings with regard to the way the world we inhabit works as well as about the placement of the human species within the natural order of living things. Perhaps we are witnesses to such a scientific advance, or maybe not. Whatever the case, whatever the 'reality' of human population dynamics, let us make sure that this community is not simply and plainly just one more academic bastion of intellectual cowardice.

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

Recall the words of a poet.

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~T.S. Eliot

A new year has begun. We likely share the view that the movers and shakers in the human community cannot keep adamantly advocating and relentlessly doing the things we are doing now without precipitating some sort of unimaginable global ecological wreckage, probably sooner rather than later. A finite and frangible planet with the size, composition and ecology of Earth cannot much longer withstand the unsustainable pressures produced by the gigantic scale and anticipated growth of human overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities worldwide.

Perhaps we will help one another in 2012 see the world in a new way and effectively give voice to an unforeseen and unexpected vision of ourselves in all our wondrous human creatureliness and of the world we are blessed to inhabit. If we can see anew the unchanging landscape before our eyes, communicate what is visible to us (something I continue to fail abjectly at doing), and act accordingly, then we have a chance to move in the direction of sustainable lifestyles and right-sized corporate enterprises, and to rescue biodiversity from the wicked jaws of extinction.

We are on a night sea voyage with only the light from the stars and the best available science to guide us. This missive began with words from Eliot. It seems somehow fitting to close with his words,

And do not think of the fruit of action.
Fare Forward.
O voyagers, O seamen,
You who came to port, and you whose bodies
Will suffer the trial and judgement of the sea,
Or whatever event, this is your real destination."
So Krishna, as when he admonished Arjuna
On the field of battle.
Not fare well,
But fare forward, voyagers.



Anonymous said...

We have an overpopulation problem and in the face of that problem deniers and ‘business as usual’ enthusiasts often say cavalierly, “Have the courage to do nothing.” That ideas of this kind are ever associated with word courage is the height of dishonesty and duplicity. Such expressions are also the most profound examples of self-serving thought and individual cowardice I can imagine. That such a point of view is broadcast by the mainstream media is a sign to us of its wrongheadedness.

Let us not fail for another year to examine and report on extant research of human population dynamics/human overpopulation. The refusal of many too many experts to assume their responsibilities to science and perform their duties to humanity could be one of the most colossal mistakes in human history. Such woefully inadequate behavior by deniers, as is evident in the collusion of many too many experts, will soon enough be replaced with objective observations and truthful expressions from those in possession of clear vision, intellectual honesty and moral courage.

Why not acknowledge science regarding human overpopulation and, by so doing, take a path toward sustainability? If we keep repeating the mistakes made in the past by denying science, nothing new and different can happen. Without an open acknowledgement of the root cause(s) of what is ailing the human family, how are we to move forward to raise awareness of the global predicament? Once awareness is raised among a critical mass of people, it becomes possible to organize for the purpose of formulating policies and actionable programs. Denial has kept us and continues to keep us from gaining momentum needed to address and overcome the human-driven challenges that currently threaten human well being and environmental health.

Comments from one and all are welcome.

Anonymous said...

We are failing to come to terms with uncontested scientific research of human population dynamics that indicates with remarkable simplicity and clarity how the population dynamics of the human species is essentially similar to the population dynamics of other species; that food is the primary causative agent of the population growth of species everywhere, including the human species. In virtually every blog, excluding this one, this single point continues to be discounted and all but denied. This is not to say that other factors are not present or influential. Human pollution, waste products, dissipation of Earth’s resources and degradation of its environs are also factors.

We must come to a new, widely shared and consensually validated understanding about a single biological question: In the relationship between food and human population numbers which one is the dependent variable and which is the independent variable? Outdated, inadequately researched 'scientific' evidence indicates that food is the dependent variable and human population numbers is the independent variable; that human beings grow food to meet the needs of a growing population. Perhaps this commonplace and conventional understanding of the relationship is upside down. Please consider that food is the independent variable and human population numbers is the dependent variable; that the recent, astonishing increase in the food supply for human consumption is causing the skyrocketing growth of absolute global human populations numbers on our watch.

Anonymous said...

We have an IPCC consensus among Nobel Prize-winning scientists worldwide regarding human-induced global warming and climate change. Still, the obstructive opinions of deniers hold sway in public policy formulation and program implementation. Do we have a tiny minority of ideologically-driven, self-proclaimed masters of the universe and their intellectually dishonest minions, who control most of what is presented by mainstream media, to thank for this situation?

Can you imagine what might happen if scientists were given 'permission' to examine, report findings and discuss the deliberately ignored and consciously avoided science of human population dynamics/overpopulation the way the IPCC rigorously scrutinized the extant science of climate change? Clever ideologues and other sycophants of the super-rich and powerful would probably deploy the same deceitful strategies that have been employed by the deniers of human-driven global warming and climate change.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the human community is about to confront the worst of both worlds: the results of a human population explosion and a human population crash. The leviathan-like size of the human population in our time puts Earth's finite resources and its frangible environs at risk because the exploding human population worldwide dissipates resources and pollutes the environment faster than the Earth can replenish itself for human benefit. As a consequence of the population explosion, many too many human beings are invited to engage in rapacious per capita consumption and unconscionable individual hoarding of Earth's body, and recklessly degrading its ecology with pollutants. Soon to become patently unsustainable overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities of the human species appear to be fast approaching a point in human history when the monstrous size of the human population so overspreads the Earth that humankind ends up being the precipitant of an unimaginable sort of global ecological wreckage and a human population crash?

Anonymous said...

If the leaders and followers in the human community keep ignoring responsibilities and failing to perform duties in the face of emerging and converging, human-driven, global ecological challenges, then Mother Nature will most assuredly take matters into her own hands, according to well-established, immutable "rules of the house" (ie, laws of the biophysical world we inhabit). At some moment in space-time, perhaps sooner than any one of us imagines, children everywhere could 'reap a whirlwind' and confront a world similar to the one King (of many petty kings and self-proclaimed masters of the universe) Ozymandias witnessed. When that time comes, perhaps the children will look back in anger and utter disbelief at the adverse ecological effects of unsustainable overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities by the selfish elders in my not-so-great generation, who are consciously turning a blind eye to expressions of intellectual honesty, moral courage and calls for bold action as well as abjectly losing the nerve required to acknowledge, address and overcome visible threats to human well being and environmental health in our time.

Malignant narcissism, pathological arrogance, plain foolhardiness, ideological idiocy and outrageous greed of a tiny minority and their many minions appear to be giving rise to a colossal global wreckage, the likes of which only Ozymandias has seen.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

What we know thanks to well-established scientific knowledge about biological evolution as well as the finite and frangible physical world we are blessed to inhabit would lead sensible people, I suppose, to conclude that there is nothing or precious little that can be done to change the 'trajectory' of human civilization. So powerful is the force of evolution that we will "do what comes naturally" by continuing to overpopulate the planet and await the next phase of the evolutionary process. So colossal, reckless and relentless, too, is the unbridled expansion of the global political economy now overspreading the surface of Earth. Even so, still hope resides within that somehow humankind will make use of its singular intelligence and other unique attributes so as to escape the fate that appears 'as if through a glass darkly' in the offing, the seemingly certain fate evolution appears to have in store for us. Come what may. In the face of all the global ecological challenges that we can see now and here, I continue to believe and to hope that we find adequate ways of consciously, deliberately and effectively doing the right things, according the lights and the science we possess, the things that serve to confront and overcome the evolutionary trend which seems so irresistible. Perhaps others would comment on human agency, human population dynamics, endless economic growth and the potentially catastrophic consequences of the unrestricted overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities of the human species on our watch.

Anonymous said...

Somehow we have to grasp much more adequately the sum and substance of our distinctly human nature, with special attention given to improving our ‘reality orientation’ with regard to such vital issues as human population dynamics. Although relatively small in number, evolutionary biologists and scientists in other fields of research understand what the best available science indicates to us about the skyrocketing growth of absolute global human population numbers in our time.Research of outstanding scientists indicate that the population dynamics of the human species is essentially similar to, not different from, the population dynamics of other species. We have uncontested, apparently unforeseen and unfortunately unwelcome scientific evidence regarding the ‘placement’ of the human species within the order of living things that is everywhere denied; whereas, preternatural theories (eg, Demographic Transition Theory), political ideologies (eg, Conservatism and Liberalism) and economic theologies (eg, neoclassical economics) are widely shared and consensually validated as somehow supported by science. To elect to extol the virtue of ideas that have been refuted by scientific research (evidence which is consciously and deliberately ignored, avoided and denied) cannot be construed as the right thing to do. Even though 'political correctness' is predominant and accepted as real, when theory, ideology and theology are directly contradicted by science, then science must be shared. Scientific knowledge must prevail over theory, ideology and theology.

Anonymous said...

Do reasonable and compassionate human beings have a “duty to warn” of looming threats to future human wellbeing and environmental health, and then to sensibly help one another make preparations or are we to pose as if we are blind, deaf and dumb to the predicament and, thereby, let the least fortunate, most poorly situated and simply unaware among us suffer the consequences, come what may?


good question ANON above! what is your answer? dish more! -- dan

Anonymous said...

It appears to me that there are several things we can at least begin to think about: learn how to live without fossil fuels; adapt to the end of economic growth; substitute a steady-state economy for the one we have now; stabilize human population numbers worldwide; and deal with the relentless dissipation of Earth’s limited resources, the reckless degradation of its environs, the wanton extirpation of its biodiversity as well as confront other human-induced threats to our planetary home as a fit place for human habitation. In any event, I trust most of us can agree that stealing the birthright of children everywhere, mortgaging their future, and exposing them and life as we know it to danger cannot somehow be construed as the right things to be doing.

We have to think clearly and as keep our wits about us as we move away from big-business-as-usual practices to a way of life that embraces true sustainability, I suppose. Perhaps necessary changes to more sustainable lifestyles and right-sized corporate enterprises are in the offing.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dan Bloom, Perhaps you would kindly devote one blog, just one, to sensibly "tracking" the extant scientific research on human population dynamics. A great deal of preternatural theory (eg, Demographic Transition Theory), politically convenient ideology (eg, Liberalism and Conservatism) and economically expedient theology (eg, Neoclassical Economics) falsely claim to have the sufficient support of science. Let us set aside these widely shared and generally accepted pseudoscientific branches of thought for a moment so that the best available scientific research of human population dynamics can be rigorously examined and meaningfully discussed. Thank you, Steve Salmony

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Are economists and demographers political hacks? They are not scientists.

While many too many deniers of what is real shout out attractive falsehoods and are heard, those who tell the truth about the human population are ridiculed and marginalized. In large part the colossal global predicament facing the human community in our time is a result of widely shared preternatural demographic theories and consensually validated specious economic theories. Unscientific models have been dishonestly and deceitfully presented and defended as science on our watch. Demographic and economic theorists consciously and deliberately failed to acknowledge and incorporate into their theories well-established scientific knowledge regarding biological evolution, human population dynamics and well known physical 'rules of the house' of the planetary home we inhabit. They uniformly fail to recognize a difference between the way the natural world works and the way they think. For example, economists assume the resources of a finite and frangible Earth can supply infinite products. At the behest of corporate benefactors and political powerbrokers, demographers and economists bear primary responsibility for directing the human community down a 'primrose path' that is marked by skyrocketing overpopulation, rampant overproduction, outrageous overconsumption, unconscionable hoarding as well as extraordinary resource depletion and widespread environmental degradation. Most experts of demography and economics self-righteously hold onto outdated theories that serve to confuse the public and deny what could be real. A paradigm shift and drastic action to redo demographic and economic thought will be required so that experts in these fields of research embrace relevant science rather than conveniently overlook it.

Anonymous said...

To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there's more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged. -Norman Mailer, author (1923-2007)

Anonymous said...

Humanity could save itself from itself while there is still time, but chooses not to do so with every passing day because many too many movers and shakers consciously and deliberately refuse to acknowledge their understanding of reality and respond ably to ‘what is’. Leading elders know what is happening but willfully reject speaking out loudly, clearly and often about what is true to them. A pervasive and pernicious dearth of intellectual honesty, moral courage and willingness to do the right thing by powerbrokers and their sycophants and many minions, all of whom dominate the mass media, is everywhere in evidence.

Anonymous said...

Because there is so much misinformation, disinformation and outright lies disseminated by outrageously enriched 'talking heads' via the mass media, discovering what is real can be a difficult task. Even so, how on Earth can our children begin to prepare for the future their elders are creating for them if they are not told what is actually happening now? Never in the course of human events have so few elders in a single generation taken so much for themselves and left so little for so many children.

Anonymous said...

The Untold Story of the Ecological Science of Human Population Dynamics, presented at the following link,

There is one issue that is not being given the attention it deserves. I want to ask you and the Balaton Group to focus on human exceptionalism as it relates to population dynamics of the human species. How are we to grasp the gravity of the human predicament, much less gain consensus about how to go forward, if we cannot share an adequate, scientific understanding of the ‘placement’ of the human species within the order of living things. Specifically, is the population dynamics of the human species essentially similar to, or different from the population dynamics of other species? In terms of our population dynamics are human beings actually exceptional? If so, where is the science for an assertion of human exceptionalism vis a vis its population dynamics. The population dynamics of non-human species are routinely and immediately understood. Food is the independent variable and population numbers is the dependent variable. More food equals more organisms; less food equals less organisms; and no food, no organisms. But the minute our focus shifts to human organisms, everything we know from well established scientific research about population dynamics is turned upside down. We widely share, consensually validate and automatically broadcast via the mass media the notion that the human species must grow food in order to meet the needs of growing human population. All of sudden human population numbers is the independent variable and food is the dependent variable. Where is the scientific research for this distinctly human exceptionalism with regard to the population dynamics of humankind? I cannot find sufficient scientific support for such exceptionalism.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I do think it worth noting that 'the emperor has no clothes' when it is so very evident. Allow me to offer an examples from Guy Mc's blog where bloggers willingly acknowledge rather than willfully deny or silently condone what our lights and best available science indicate regarding human exceptionalism as it relates to the population dynamics of the human species,

"SES : I cannot find sufficient scientific support for such exceptionalism.

I don’t think that there is any, is there ? It’s just people clinging to a comforting myth. As far as I know, we are subject to the same ecological laws as the reindeer on St. Matthew Island. Except that we found coal and oil. Which can be thought of as a handy ship arriving every winter with an enormous quantity of a hay… until one winter, it does not arrive anymore...

October 25th, 2012 at 9:07 am

Thank you for summarizing the issue in such clear terms.

At the moment, as we are still in the thralls of the growth and progress delusion, any discussion of depopulation is verboten. The big, ugly questions surrounding depopulation are who decides?, who lives?, who dies? and by what means would depopulation be carried out? The issues are especially thorny since we are running out of time.

The likelihood of a near term managed population and economic contraction (short of some science-fictionesque engineered pathogen) seem pretty slim......

October 25th, 2012 at 9:18 am
SES you are of course exactly right. The problem is that the population is now so large that no restriction of births can help soon enough. As I think I have shown, restriction of all births only gets us to 4 billion in 60 years. So what is the point of talking about population as if it was a problem we could address. It will be addressed by other means – nature through famine, disease, or by humans through war, or germ warfare. But increasingly it looks like climate change will just solve the whole thing by wiping us out. There is nothing more to be done about population other than each individual thinking about what kind of world they would bring a child into and hopefully taking advantage of permanent sterilization before all birth control is gone.

Anonymous said...

If we have more and more people relentlessly dissipating Earth’s finite resources and recklessly degrading Earth’s frangible environs, a time will come when a planet of the size, composition and ecology of Earth simply cannot sustain humankind, life as we know it, and the gigantic global economy. After all our fantasies, comforting myths, ideologies, unscientific demographic theories and economic models are given due consideration, we are left with knowledge of the world we inhabit, based upon the best available science. Virtual mountains of well-established evidence from outstanding scientific research by intellectually honest and morally courageous scientists like Galileo tell us no species, and no products of a species, can grow ad infinitum in a world like the one we are blessed to inhabit.

If we follow the thinking of those who say things like ‘growth is inevitable’, ‘we can grow if we grow upward not outward’, ‘growth is a choice among options’ and ‘limiting growth is NOT an option’, I fear our children will come face to face with some sort of unimaginable global ecological wreckage. The colossal current scale and anticipated growth both of the global economy and the human population appears not to be sustainable. If we choose to continue along the ‘primrose path’ we are traveling now as we “grow, baby, grow”, then it appears to me that much of what we claim to be protecting and preserving in our time will be utterly ruined for the children and coming generations because a “grow, baby, grow” approach to the global economy and the human population on our watch will likely become patently unsustainable soon, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

...the essence of this human-driven tragedy: to know that a given course of action will lead to disaster but to pursue it nevertheless.
If we keep on doing what we are doing now and repeating past mistakes by continuing not only to recklessly overconsume, relentlessly overproduce and righteously overpopulate in our planetary home but also to deny science, little that is new and sustainable will occur in a timely way.Without an acknowledgement of ALL the root causes of what is ailing humanity, how are we to move forward meaningfully to raise awareness of the global predicament humankind appears to be induced?Once awareness is raised among a critical mass of people, it becomes possible to organize for the purpose of formulating policies for humane and sustainable collective action.
The willful denial of science has kept us and continues to keep us from gaining momentum needed to reasonably address and sensibly overcome the human-driven challenges that threaten future human wellbeing and environmental health.The tasks at hand for scientists are to freely acknowledge, skillfully examine and carefully interpret evidence as well as to encourage that all evidence regarding the population dynamics of the human species be thoroughly reviewed.It is irresponsible and harmful for professionals with appropriate expertise to remain silent rather than speak out for necessary change, change that is fair and humane in the development of population policy and programs of action.

Steve Salmony said...

I live in Chapel Hill, NC. Please recognize the undeniable connection between the economic and population growth in Chapel Hill on the one hand and economic and population growth globally. Chapel Hillians are human beings just like all other human beings on the planet. In Chapel Hill we consume, produce and procreate just like everyone else in the human family. Economic growth and population growth are not evenly distributed. On the surface of the Earth, I see three worlds. An overdeveloped world, of which Chapel Hill is a tiny part, is one world. The overdeveloped world includes generally the USA, Western Europe, Australia and Japan. Next comes the developing world: China, Russia, Brazil, India and Eastern Europe. The remaining countries, mostly in Africa and scattered elsewhere comprise the underdeveloped world. Population growth is greatest in the developing and underdeveloped; whereas, economic growth is greatest (and has been for many generations) in the overdeveloped world. Pollution is least in the underdeveloped and greatest in the developing world now. But viewed from an historical perspective, it is the overdeveloped that has produced much more pollution than the developing and underdeveloped worlds have ever or likely will ever produce.

When taken together, the population growth activities and the economic growth activities of all three ‘worlds’ can be seen as so colossal in scale and so rapid in rate of increase, that a planet of the size, composition and ecology cannot much longer, much less forever, sustain what the human species is doing worldwide. Outrageous per capita overconsumption and individual hoarding of limited resources, relentless increase in overproduction capabilities of corporate enterprise, and unbridled growth of absolute global human population numbers that are occurring synergistically the world over appear to be reaching the point of becoming patently unsustainable, as I see things. Every person on the planet is implicated in this wicked situation. The human community is presenting a human-driven predicament to itself. Until more of us learn to “think globally and act locally”, the gigantic and complex predicament looming ominously before all of us will grow larger day by day, and more difficult to address and overcome, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

A cascade of ecological events with unforeseen consequences is occurring around us. There are multiple causes. But human overpopulation of Earth is the prime factor.

Anonymous said...

Climate scientists are speaking out. Where are the population scientists? Why are they not more vocal?

The deliberate silence among population scientists with unfulfilled responsibilities to assume and duties to perform with regard to their skillful examination and careful reporting of extant research on "human population dynamics" cannot be excused by the recognition that such woefully inadequate behavior "exists in all professions". There is much too much at stake. Scientists have to stand up and consciously speak out about what is true to them, according the 'lights' and scientific knowledge they possess.

Solzhenitsyn reported, "One word of truth overcomes the world." Could it be that for the lack of one word, one word by people in possession of truth, as their lights and science indicate 'what is', the world and life as we know it is being destroyed before our eyes? As the sages of old said, perhaps it is time, finally, now and here to "speak the truth as if you are a million voices, for your silence is killing the world."

Anonymous said...

Everywhere we look we can find virtual mountains of scientific research with regard to unsustainable pyramid schemes that are surreptitiously foisted upon the human community by a few deceitful people with knowledge at the expense of many too many others who are not 'in the know'. Those with the most wealth and power buy and pay for the brightest minions and best sycophants who assume responsibilities and perform duties as 'official' barbarians at the gate of public awareness. In such a dishonest,unjust and patently unsustainable world order, the only humane response is to take action by doing something, anything at all, that increases awareness of what is sustainable on a planet with the size, limited resources and frangible environs of Earth.

Take what is known to be real about human population dynamics, for example, that gives rise to the human overpopulation of Earth. The growth of the human population worldwide and the global political economy are the two most colossal pyramid schemes on Earth. Where are the professionals with appropriate expertise in the biology, economics, ecology, politics and demography who are shedding the light provided by the best available science on the overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities of the human species: the "mother" of all threats to future human well being and environmental health? The brightest and best among us are colluding to deny what is sustainable and to promote whatsoever favors greedmongering by the most wealthy and powerful. Greed may rule the world, but greed does not have to rule the world absolutely as it does on our watch. Perhaps necessary change toward sustainable lifestyles, right-sized corporate enterprises and climate stabilization are in the offing.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Somehow we have got to do many things differently, do them much more ably, and do all of them simultaneously, collaboratively, better and fast. Ready or not, like it or not, we are presented with a planetary emergency.This is the time for making necessary behavioral changes by thinking globally and acting locally. Science and common sense will give us direction. What we cannot do is sit on the sidelines. No, we cannot afford to sit this one out. All hands are needed on the deck at this critical moment in the history of our planetary home. Our generation is simply not stepping up to the challenges before us. The consequences of our failures appear colossal and profound with regard to the prospects for future human well being and environmental health. The very last thing a responsible person is to do in such circumstances is consciously and deliberately choose to remain silent, I believe. Are we not participants in and witnesses to yet another preposterous failure of nerve? When are the leaders going to speak out in an intellectually honest way and act with a sense of moral courage? How terrible are things going to have to become on Earth before the-powers-that-be begin to talk about and do the right things, according to the lights and best available knowledge they possess? Whatsoever is real and true must be acknowledged if we are to respond ably to climate destabilization, pollution, biodiversity loss, resource dissipation, environmental degradation and overpopulation,but the manufactured ‘nothing is wrong’ reality is well-established and those who speak truth to power are consistently marginalized and ignored. It is difficult even to imagine how much can be done in such unfavorable circumstances. Still our efforts are vital because the-powers-that-be are living in a fool’s paradise, and the stakes are such that the things that are not being acknowledged will likely destroy life as we know it on Earth. We know how to stop overpopulation humanely.The gravity of this and other looming human-driven global threats are understood and could be confronted with a long overdue determination to do what is necessary. All of the world’s human resources, including overrated intelligence and technology, need to be deployed in order to overcome the emerging and converging wicked problems looming ominously on the horizon.The-powers-that-be could save the world if they acted with the intellectual honesty, moral courage and power they possess to sound alarm bells, forcefully warn the world, and call out loudly and clearly for changes toward sustainable lifestyles and right-sized corporate enterprises. But most of the necessary changes are unlikely to happen, The-powers-that-be want to maintain the status quo, come what may. They lack the moral courage and the imagination to save the world we are blessed to inhabit as a fit place for habitation by children everywhere and coming generations.

Anonymous said...

If human population dynamics is essentially common to the propulation dynamics of other species and, consequently, if food supply is the independent not the dependent variable in the relationship between food and population, then a lot of what has been reported over many months within the CoF could be distractions that serve to dismiss rather than disclose vital but unwelcome science of what could somehow be real regarding the human population and, more importantly, why our behavior is so utterly destructive of everything we claim to be protecting and preserving. May I make a request? Could we focus now, here, on whether or not human exceptionalism applies to its population dynamics alone or is the dynamics of all species, including human beings, similar? Whatever your response, please make reference to scientific research that supports your point of view.

It seems to me that if we keep engaging in and hotly pursuing worldwide overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities, distinctly human activities that cannot be sustained much longer on a planet with size, compostion and ecology of Earth, then the human species is a clear and present danger on our watch to future human well being, life as we know it, and environmental health. If we can see ourselves to be 'the problem', then it is incumbent upon us to bring forward the best available evidence from science, especially when that evidence happens to relate directly to why we are pursuing a soon to become, patently unsustainable (superhigh)way of life. A tip of the hat is due Rachel Carson for making me aware of the superhighway. Should humankind emerge from 'the bottleneck' E.O. Wilson imagines for us in the future and somehow escape the precipitation of our near-term extinction, how are those survivors to organize life sustainably and not repeat the mistakes we are making now... and have been making for a long time? Without knowledge of why we are doing what we are doing, every one of us is forever trapped in an eternal recurrence of unsustainable life cycles, I suppose.

Sincerely yours,

Steve Salmony

PS: Rachel Carson's quote,

We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road—the one "less traveled by"—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.
Rachel Carson (1907 - 1964)

Anonymous said...

Too many bodies? The return and disavowal of the population question


During the 1960s and early 1970s population growth was regarded as an urgent environmental issue. Since then the topic has fallen into abeyance. Despite continuing demographic expansion and anxieties about a range of socio-ecological problems - from the stresses of high-density urban living to climate change, water, energy and food insecurity and loss of biodiversity - there is currently scant consideration of the benefits of population stabilisation or decline. Indeed, the problematisation of population numbers is widely disavowed or regarded with profound suspicion. Why have we become so reluctant to ask whether we are too many or to countenance policies that might discourage further growth? I identify five discourses - population-shaming, population-scepticism, population-declinism, population-decomposing and population-fatalism - that foreclose public debate and subject them to critical analysis. I end by eliciting signs of a hesitant revival of the population question alongside the enduring potency of silencing discourses.

Main article

In 1950 world population had recently exceeded 2.5 billion. By 1990 it had doubled and by 2020 it will have tripled. October 2011 marked one among numerous demographic milestones on this expansive journey as the 7 billion threshold was crossed. This is in line with conclusions to the United Nations' 2010 revision that 'world population is expected to keep rising during the 21st century', albeit more slowly during the latter part. It projects some 9.3 billion of us by 2050 and over 10 billion by the century's end (United Nations 2010). Such an ongoing increase surely conveys an alarming story to anyone concerned about environmental sustainability and social wellbeing. Or does it? I ask why concerns about population growth and over-population have virtually disappeared from the political agenda of developed countries, especially, since the mid-1970s. Have they simply forgotten about, even resolved, the issue? Or is it rather, as my analysis suggests, that problematising it has been foreclosed? For despite periodic eruptions of concern among democratic publics, members of the policy community have been noticeably reluctant to address these anxieties. Even among critical theorists and Greens, scant attention has been paid to the topic over recent decades. Indeed, it is noticeable that insofar as population numbers are mooted as a contributor to socio-ecological problems - from environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity to food and water insecurity or deteriorating wellbeing - pre-emptive dismissals swiftly follow.

The analysis that follows identifies five categories of silencing discourse: population-shaming; population-scepticism; population-declinism; population-decomposing and population-fatalism. These are analytic distinctions. In practice the discourses overlap or work in conjunction, the most obvious factor they share being antipathy to the Malthusian equation between population growth and resource shortages. But these are not merely analytic categories; they are also profoundly political. Each has a distinctive genealogy in terms of its ideological and professional investments, the political interests it serves and the narratives in which it is embedded.

Anonymous said...

The Ehrlich-Simon bet

The gambling that occurred between a scientist and an economist was idiotic. Even though the scientist has been proven to be correct in many respects, the scientist lost the bet. Perversions of science such as those by economists have served to distract, mislead and set back the science of human population dynamics and overpopulation for too long. Similarly, a widely shared and consensually validated, preter-natural demographic transition theory (DTT) promulgated by demographers served a common purpose. This theoretical perversion of science ignored, avoided and denied apparently unforeseen and admittedly unwelcome research related to the diminishing prospects for future human wellbeing and environmental health on a planet with the size, composition and ecology of a finite and frangible planet like Earth.

On our watch many too many people listen to and act upon what the economists and demographers say because their pseudoscience is politically convenient, economically expedient, legally rationalized, socially accepted, religiously tolerated and culturally syntonic. Their fabrications and optical delusions have acquired the imprimatur of science at least in large part because too many people with scientific knowledge refuse to stand up and speak out in affirmation of the best available scientific evidence. Too many scientists will not speak truth, according to the lights and science they possess, to those with the great wealth and power.

All that is actively and wrongheadedly being done by those who are few in number to massively extirpate global biodiversity, to recklessly dissipate finite resources, to relentlessly degrade the environment and to threaten the future of children everywhere is bad enough. The elective mutism perpetrated by so many knowledgeable people is even worse. The masters of the universe along with their sycophants and minions, all of whom act as if "greed is good" and money rules the world, are but a few; those with 'feet of clay' are many. Thank you to everyone here in PMC community and elsewhere with feet of clay for speaking out as if you are a million voices. By so doing we educate one another to what science discloses to all of us about the placement of the human species within the order of living things on Earth and the way the blessed world we inhabit works. Otherwise, the silence of so many and the greedmongering of so few kill the world.

Anonymous said...

The AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population was founded in 2001. Since that moment I have seen it as a moral imperative to continue the work I’ve been doing for many years now: getting the message out and explaining to as many people as possible that human overpopulation of the Earth is occurring on our watch, that it poses profound existential risks for future human well being, life as we know it and environmental health, and that robust action is required starting here, starting now to honestly acknowledge, humanely address and eventually overcome.

Steve Salmony said...

“What’s wrong? Everybody on Earth is in denial about our biggest problem … population growth. Too many new babies, a net of 75 million a year. And we’re all closet deniers — leaders, investors, billionaires, the 99%, everybody. Yes, even Bill McKibben’s global team. The U.N.’s 2,000 scientists know overpopulation is Earth’s only real problem.
Get it? Earth has only one real problem, there’s the one main dependent variable in the scientific equation. But we refuse to focus on it. So, yes, even scientists are science deniers too. They know population growth is the killer issue, but are avoiding it too. Thousands of scientists have brilliant technical solutions to reducing the impact of global warming. But avoid the root cause. They keep solving the dependent variables in their climate-change science equation. But population growth is the cause of the Earth’s problem, not the result.” Paul Farrell

Steve Salmony said...

Refuse to be duped by clever vendors of words and highly educated sycophants of the rich and powerful who falsely claim they are scientists and then promulgate preternatural theories they pass off as proven results of scientific research. Demographers and economists are not scientists. Is there any question about that fact? These pseudoscientists are presenting false knowledge that is appealing because it presents us with what we wish to believe about the way the world we inhabit works as well as about the placement of the human species within the natural order of living things. Their false knowledge happens simultaneously to be politically convenient, economically expedient, socially desirable, religiously acceptable and culturally syntonic. This is ‘the standard’ for determining what is real among the economists and demographers.

Many of you have evidently come across false knowledge from conventional, Neoclassical Cornucopian Economics and the Demographic Transition Theory. These theories are bereft of a foundation in science. Is there any question about the speciousness of what is presented ubiquitously by demographers and economists? Endless resources in a finite world? Indestructible ecology that is in fact frangible? Automatic population stabilization? A benign end to population growth soon? A glorious world by 2050 when the entire human community will reap the benefits you and I enjoy now because everyone will have entered Stage 4 of the demographic transition?

Not economics and demography, but science must to be our guide because science stands alone as the best method by far for comprehending what could be real and true. Science needs to be categorically distinguished from all that is not science. Then, perhaps, we will be able to see more clearly how the world we inhabit works and more accurately our placement within the natural order of living things. The ‘imprimatur’ of science has been not so surreptitiously usurped by pseudoscientific disciplines in which professional research is primarily underwritten by wealthy power brokers. Economic and demographic research is designed and the findings presented so as to comport with the transparent self interests of the rich and powerful. Where in the research is intellectual honesty to be found? Where are the scientists who will speak out to correct this widespread wrongdoing? The conscious and deliberate silence of scientists that gives consent to such unethical professional behavior cannot be longer tolerated because of the confusion it willfully engenders among those who are seeking direction from the best available scientific research. Would anyone object to having the findings of demographic and economics research described as preternatural results? Demography and economics are prime examples of what science is not.

Steve Salmony said...

I cannot help but wonder what knowledgeable people are to do when a species like Homo sapiens is confronted with a colossal planetary emergency that it appears to have induced. Do human beings not have an original, overarching obligation or perhaps an absolute duty to warn of such a dire situation? What honor should be bestowed on first rank scientists and other esteemed professionals in possession of well-established science who pose as if they “see no truth, hear no truth and speak no truth” regarding known causes of the clear and present danger while mainstreamed, false (preternatural, pseudoscientific) knowledge is deliberately allowed to stand unchallenged as if it represented the best available science?

Is it not science, and science alone, that allows us to confirm our perceptions as objective correlates of reality and truth? Without science, thought leaders and power brokers in cultures are free to transmit memes at will, regardless of the extent to which the memes bear a meaningful relationship to what could be real and true. For example, a preternatural factoid or meme like “food must be produced in order to meet the needs of a growing population” is falsely given credence as a scientific idea although it reflects the opposite of the actual relationship between food supply and human numbers. Findings from science indicate population numbers are the dependent variable and food the independent variable, just like the population dynamics of other species. By increasing the food supply, we are in fact growing the human population, are we not? That human exceptionalism applies to its population dynamics and therefore is essentially different from (not similar to) the population dynamics of other species is a pseudoscientific factoid, bereft of an adequate foundation in science. Overwhelming science regarding the human population indicates that human population numbers appear as a function of food supply. For many this scientific idea is on the one hand irrefutable and on the other hand unbelievable. So completely are we enthralled by the notion of human exceptionalism. Exploding human numbers are the natural result of the Industrial and later Green Revolutions, are they not?

Anonymous said...

from the Chapel Hill Newspaper, Opinions, May 29, 2015

Creatures of the Earth

Homo sapiens sapiens is a part of – not apart from – all life and the Earth, having evolved here as has every other form of living thing, human beings arrogantly and mistakenly see ourselves as altogether different, separate and superior. This view of humankind is illusory. Our fate and that of other creatures great and small could be sealed by a collective misperception that fails to acknowledge and accept our interconnectivity with all things; that recoils from one fact: human beings are wondrous complex organisms but also creatures of the Earth.

In all our distinctly human creatureliness, 7.2 billion people are alive on the planet and not one wise leader can be found with the foresight and requisite leadership skills to provide anticipatory guidance about securing a good enough future for the children and coming generations. Neither a Nero can be located fiddling in a great Tower nor a Napoleon waiting at Waterloo. We have named our species Homo sapiens sapiens, but where are “the wisest of the wise” among us? Will a wise leader please stand up!

The potential leaders we see everywhere are running off in mad frenzy pursuing only one thing......more money. Can forever “flying for the buck” be the wisest thing to be doing in our time? Have the wisest of the wise taken flight aboard private jets, heading in different directions with plans to ravage the Earth on one misadventure after another? Today’s elders are leading members of the last generation in possession of the power to change the course of our artificially designed, Titanic-scale global economy before it “hits the iceberg”; to do something that makes a difference regarding climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and extreme poverty. Two thousand billionaires and their many absurdly enriched minions apparently have flown off in pursuit of fools’ errands. Their precious time and energy devoted to an obsession with filthy lucre, the known tap root of the colossal material world that is overspreading the surface of Earth to so great an extent on our watch that future human well being and environmental health are seriously threatened.

When it comes to protect the planet we are blessed to inhabit, we cannot simply pose as its guards; and when it comes to preserve the Earth, we cannot mask our efforts to desolate it. Earth is a garden and we are gardeners of it. Employing sustainable gardening practices and finding balance with nature are to be our aims. What else can be done without destroying that which we as stewards lay claim to protecting and preserving?

Steve Salmony

Chapel Hill

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