Part 3: Destructive momentum, can enlightened environmentalist overcome global pollution, climate destabilization, species extinction?
William R. Catton, author of Overshoot, explains that humanity exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet decades ago. Our species lives in “overshoot” or what might be considered as borrowed time.
“Human actions have been undoing much of what the biosphere offers to make this planet suitable to support a quality of human life,” said Catton. “A growing number of humans, equipped with resource-ravenous technology, have exploited a widening array of natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable. Ideas about limits are now vital.”
Scarcity: Humanity’s Final Chapter by Christopher O. Clugston
chronicles our destruction and exhaustion of non-renewable resources. We rapidly exhaust the metals, minerals and materials that run our computers, cell phones, batteries, solar panels and thousands of other products. As we humans continue exploding our number by 80 million annually net gain, Mother Earth cannot cope with endless mining of her resources. She will run out at some point.
Unfortunately, as we accelerate our human numbers, we not only exhaust Earth’s resources, we impact the environment, water supplies and food available for the other creatures that share this planet with us.
(What happens when grizzly bears suffer extinction from human overpopulation and expansion into their habitat?)
Catton understood in 1980 when he wrote his book, “I was already concerned that the 4.5 billion of us were seriously damaging Earth. In woeful ecological ignorance, we were failing to see the tire destiny toward which we were/are racing. We need to know that we were living by a cornucopian myth, namely the euphoric belief in limitless resources; we needed to understand that by so living we were drawing down on Earth’s non-renewable resources and using the renewable resources faster than their rates of replenishment—so were stealing from posterity. We needed to overcome the wishful thinking that for all consequent problems there would be a technological fix. We needed to know that we have grown beyond the Earth’s carrying capacity.”
Since that book and those words by Catton, we added another 2.5 billion people to reach our astounding 7.1 billion people scavenging this planet’s limited resources.
In Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation by Professor Philip Cafaro of Colorado State University and Professor Eileen Crist of Virginia Tech, we find the top authors and scientists in the world attempting to alert humanity to its impending future viability on this planet. They learned from Catton’s knowledge and they educate the reader as to what the other creatures of the planet face as we maintain our breakneck speed of human population growth.
What do we humans hope to accomplish as we continue the “Sixth Extinction Session” upon the other creatures sharing our planet home? How will we feel when the last Bengal tiger vanishes? Its passing will be more catastrophic than the Carrier Pigeon’s demise. But what happens when the last grizzly bear gives up living on this planet? How about the last bald eagle?
This book brings those realities to your front door step. Right now, in America, where we pretend to push for Environmental Protection and care for National Parks and care of other species—we grow our numbers and promote the extinction of 250 creatures annually, 2,500 per decade according to the Department of the Interior.
Add another 100 million of us within 25 years and what do you expect to happen? How many more extinct North American animals?
At some point, we humans must figure out how to stabilize our numbers so our fellow creatures stand a chance for their own numbers.
“The American people today are involved in warfare more deadly than the war in Vietnam, but few of them seem aware of it and even fewer of them are doing anything about it. This is a war that is being waged against the American environment, against our lands, air, and water, which are the basis of that environment.” Norman Cousins (1915-1990)
We war against the animals living in North America and around the world. It’s a war that we most certainly will lose on many levels, i.e., spiritually, esthetically and romantically.
John Muir said it best, “How many hearts with warm red blood in them are beating under cover of the woods, and how many teeth and eyes are shining? A multitude of animal people, intimately related to us, but whose lives we know almost nothing, are as busy about their own affairs as we are about ours.”
Isn’t it about time to read this book, become aware of their danger and take action to change human fecundity and population to come into balance with all of nature? Actually, we must take action before Mother Nature takes action upon humanity. We enjoy a choice in 2013, but most certainly at some future date, we will lose that choice.
Part 4: Dr. Albert Bartlett shows us our folly on overpopulation
Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation
Authors: Philip Cafaro, Eileen Crist
Publisher: The University of Georgia Press, www.ugapress.org
Price: $24.95 www.amazon.com
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents - from the Arctic to the South Pole - as well as eight times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. In 2012, he bicycled coast to coast across America. He presents "The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it" to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He speaks all over the United States on his latest book: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World. Copies at 1 888 280 7715. Programs click: http://www.HowToLiveALifeOfAdventure.com