Given the present circumstances (COVID-19) I feel it's the perfect time to say what otherwise would be ignored.
Almost all modern world problems have its roots in a few fundamental big ones: overpopulation and contamination. The second is in part a consequence of the first; if we were just a million around the globe perhaps we could preserve some of our habits. But we were already four million in 10,000 BC and currently we are 7.8 billion. The problem that exponential population growth means has been amplified by the exponential technological development; only one individual has more destructive power today than a whole army centuries ago, even if we were only a million, without a conscious, responsible use of technology we wouldn't make a difference. Technological change boosts the more destructive aspect of overpopulation, that is globalization.
It suffices an example related to one of the most important of our needs: food. Agricultural and stock aggressive production practices don't obey to population food needs. The reason stock is crowded in feedlots, what means millions of acres of corn and soy monoculture around the world, with deforestation and plagues among the consequences, is no more than competitive pricing.
The effects of globalization increased as our resources and technology developed, especially in transport and communications. Besides monoculture, moving species from here to there is another obvious way to generate a plague; an epidemic is nothing but a plague at microbial level, does someone need a degree in science to get the idea? Technological development is something positive in itself, but in a world where money is the only goal in mind it just comes to increase human capacity for destruction; whatever helps to increment the already existent big gap between human ability to modify the environment and the ability of nature to restore the balance will make the problem worse.
The “end of the world” won't come so easily. To those who expected nature would get rid of us I'm sorry to make them notice it's being late already. It won't arrive some mature extraterrestrial culture to educate us, menacing with extermination if we don't behave. What will actually happen is what has been happening so far without most people assuming it, specially in the late centuries, that our environment will continue gradually degrading to a less healthy version. So, what do you do or suggest to do about it?
To reduce global population you:
And to reduce contamination you propose:
Do you feel that I'm treating you like an idiot with my questionnaire? Don't killing the messenger; going through life like an idiot has always been the choice of the masses. The point of my sarcasm is that there is an underlying ethical problem to address before the two practical ones, the tendency to avoid responsibility. Some problems don't just go away by themselves, especially if we're feeding them each and every day, so giving them some time is not enough. Anyone knows but denies that the only possible action against overpopulation is to stop having children (discarding those that imply killing people, of course) and against contamination is to moderate our producing and consuming habits, what includes a controlled, responsible use of technology. Birth control is also a matter of moderation (and first of responsibility since, to be honest, most children come into this world by accident.)
Based on all said we conclude that the only effective action regarding the current state of our world is to moderate our habits.
A good start is to confront your own truth; ask yourself if through laziness, cowardice, lack of initiative, lack of personality or a combination of these factors you've let the media fool you about what quality of life or well-being is. Which leads the present analysis to reveal the first cause: the ethical problem has, in turn, an underlying psychological one, if you understood that the proposed change is about discipline or abstinence (like in the fad diets example) I'm sorry to say that you're just persisting in avoiding responsibilities. The necessary change is to stop following the cattle and dare to think and choose for yourself; I guarantee you this will not only help you moderate your consume habits, it'll improve your quality of life at all levels.
©2020 - Walter Alejandro Iglesias
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