03 August 2012
It – for me – is a touchy subject as the viewpoints forewith in a populist way of thinking are considered insensitive or at worse, hating future generations of youth. This is not the case. This is not about hating children. This is not about looking down on those who wish to have them; Or wish to obsess about having them. It’s about the future — the future as a big concept.
I think about the issue a lot: mankind vs. earth. I try to keep the issues to myself somewhat, and not be some over-bearing, over-opinionated militant always, um, opinionating. I do enjoy life, I do have a sense of humour. There’s lots of great things going on in what I may perceive as a sea of malice and destruction.
As far as issues of the environment go, and likely partially tending to my slightly misanthropic nature — the most effective environmental nature is slowing down the reproduction of ourselves. Exploring through a massive city such as London, and in particular the area where I live, I’m quite surprised at the sheet numbers of babies and children people are pushing around. It’s slightly frightening. Having difficulties sustaining seven billion people as it is, at times my knee-jerk reaction to seeing a mother leading around five children is: How selfish! Just because you want a big family and to appease the cornerstones of some outdated tradition or religion…
This is a surface reaction. There are many reasons for numerous offspring: religion, family pressure, loneliness, lack of sex education, lack of education in general, emotional reasons and likely a host of others. There is not just one motivation.
Of course it’s mainly conceived that the opposite is selfish: not having children — assumed you’re living a life of pleasure and vice with no thoughts beyond your own satisfaction and survival. In some cases this is true; the simplistic “everyone for themselves” principle. But I think there’s a new enlightenment, or new mindset embodied by the newer generations to leave a smaller footprint and feeling from deep within the pressures that come from an overpopulation, and numbers that continue to rise.
I’ve found myself in a casual locking of horns with liaisons in my business and family life when pushed for a position on the subject of having kids. Some understood my viewpoint. Some couldn’t see past the fence of their own yard.
Doing one’s part for the environment is great: recycling, using less resources, knowing where to best source products and food. But when there’s more and more people; there’s more and more demand and then efforts to keep the environmental equilibrium at an even keel depend on even less consumption as a result of the higher amounts of population.
It’s not a fringe viewpoint. A large variety of people from different classes, interests and beliefs share a similar viewpoint. The world-renowned BBC presenter David Attenborough presented this point in response to the public’s complaints about the dismal and bizarre weather that the UK was experiencing this summer.
Let’s leave it at that for now as I’m writing this on a spontaneous wave upon thinking of the subject. And in leaving, here’s a interesting political movement that takes the observation of too many huuumans to the extreme:
The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement is an environmental movement that calls for all people to abstain from reproduction to cause the gradual voluntary extinction of humankind. VHEMT supports human extinction primarily because, in the group’s view, it would prevent environmental degradation. The group states that a decrease in the human population would prevent a significant amount of man-made human suffering. The extinctions of non-human species and the scarcity of resources required by humans are frequently cited by the group as evidence of the harm caused by human overpopulation.
VHEMT was founded in 1991 by Les U. Knight, an American activist who became involved in the environmental movement in the 1970s and thereafter concluded that human extinction was the best solution to the problems facing the Earth’s biosphere and humanity. Knight publishes the group’s newsletter and serves as its spokesperson. Although the group is promoted by a website and represented at some environmental events, it relies heavily on coverage from outside media to spread its message. Many commentators view its platform as unacceptably extreme, though other writers have applauded VHEMT’s perspective. In response to VHEMT, some journalists and academics have argued that humans can develop sustainable lifestyles or can reduce their population to sustainable levels. Others maintain that, whatever the merits of the idea, the human reproductive drive will prevent humankind from ever voluntarily seeking extinction.