Human evolution; are we a danger to the Earth? (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 25, 2018, 00:42 (91 days ago) @ David Turell

This op-ed thinks so:

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/362/6420/1242

"Earth is in the throes of a mass extinction event and climate change upheaval, risking a planetary shift into conditions that will be extremely challenging, if not catastrophic, for complex life (1). Although responsibility for the present trajectory is unevenly distributed, the overarching drivers are rapid increases in (i) human population, (ii) consumption of food, water, energy, and materials, and (iii) infrastructural incursions into the natural world. As the “trends of more” on all these fronts continue to swell, the ecological crisis is intensifying (2–4). Given that human expansionism is causing mass extinction of nonhuman life and threatening both ecological and societal stability, why is humanity not steering toward limiting and reversing its expansionism?

"The rational response to the present-day ecological emergency would be to pursue actions that will downscale the human factor and contract our presence in the realm of nature. Yet in mainstream institutional arenas, economic, demographic, and infrastructural growth are framed as inevitable, while technological and management solutions to adverse impacts are pursued single-mindedly. Although pursuing such solutions is important, it is also clear that reducing humanity's scale and scope in the ecosphere is the surest approach to arresting the extinction crisis, moderating climate change, decreasing pollution, and providing sorely needed leeway to tackle problems of poverty, food insecurity, and forced migration

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"The planetwide sense of entitlement bequeathed by a supremacist worldview blinds the human collective to the wisdom of limitations in several ways, thereby hindering efforts to address the ecological crisis by downscaling the human enterprise and withdrawing it from large portions of land and sea.

***

"The reigning human-nature hierarchical worldview thus hinders the recognition that scaling down and pulling back is the most farsighted path forward. Scaling down involves reducing the overall amount of food, water, energy, and materials that humanity consumes and making certain shifts in what food, energy, and materials are used. This quantitative and qualitative change can be achieved by actions that can lower the global population within a human-rights framework, shrink animal agriculture, phase out fossil fuels, and transform an extractionist, overproducing, throwaway, and polluting economy into a recycling, less busy, thrifty, more ecologically benign economy. (my bold)

***

"To pursue scaling down and pulling back the human factor requires us to reimagine the human in a register that no longer identifies human greatness with dominance within the ecosphere and domination over nonhumans. The present historical time invites opening our imagination toward a new vision of humanity no longer obstructed by the worldview of human supremacy. Learning to inhabit Earth with care, grace, and proper measure promises material and spiritual abundance for all."

Comment: Please note my bold above. It points out how bubbled-headed this Utopian opinion-piece comes across. Only in a dictatorship of Communist China was ever birth controlled! When I was born the Earth had two billion folks. We are now over seven billion in less than ninety years. But guess what is happening? In the West birth rate is below replacement rate all on its own. It is the other folks who are multiplying and producing those numbers. Third world countries need help in modern economic development As that happens the birth rate will drop as it has elsewhere. Experts estimate a sustainable human population is best around ten billion.

Any thoughts, anyone?


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