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

by dhw, Thursday, December 27, 2018, 09:59 (467 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTES: 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. (David’s 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."

DAVID’s 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?

Human arrogance, ignorance, greed and lust for power are certainly posing a huge threat to the overall ecosystem on which our survival depends. And I think we would all agree that “Learning to inhabit Earth with care, grace, and proper measure promises material and spiritual abundance for all”. But the “Utopia” does not depend on birth control alone, and regulating birth does not depend on help in modern economic development. On the contrary, modern economic development is precisely what has triggered many of the other threats the author has listed, and for which we in the West are the prime culprits, having set the example for “extractionist, overproducing, throwaway, polluting economies”. I don’t think our own drop in birth rate has anything to do with our concern for the future of the planet or with modern economic development. There has been a huge cultural shift, and many western folk now are far more focused on their careers, their lifestyles and/or simply earning a living than on making children, whereas even today a woman with no children is not seen as fulfilled in many non-western societies. Perhaps the answer is education, but that does not necessarily mean western education. Ancient cultures have a lot to teach us about respect for Nature. So how can Utopia be achieved? To be blunt, I don’t think it can. Ant society is probably the nearest life can get. (But Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is a scary example of a Utopia I don't think any of us would want.) If God exists, he may have a few ideas of his own!

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