Monday, October 01, 2007

A green and joyless future?

Save the world? Why?

These are the questions raised by a blog post on Angry Toxicologist. Angry Tox comments on an idea that we should shrink the human population to help natural systems. Great idea, but as Angry Tox points out, it falls into the trap of advocating a green and joyless future.

If we can't find a joyful green future to talk about, then I don't think we're going to find very many supporters.

Environmentalism shouldn't be an excuse for hating people.


Kate said...

I have mixed feelings about this. Are many children the only joy we have as humans? Why do we have to reproduce beyond our resources?

Sheri Tupper writes some interesting science fiction books in which she cares the ideas out to extremes. In her book, the third and beyond children are killed (usually by some spirit of the Earth itself) in order to maintain a sustainable population.

That's the kind of thing I think we need to object to. I don't think killing children, forcing women to have abortions, or legislation is the way to go. I do think, however, that education and some sort of reward system for those who keep family sizes low may be in order.

Having had four kids myself, I can hardly complain about what others are doing. Of course, I can be redeemed somewhat in that my daughter doesn't plan to have children, thus doing our share for the population problem ;)

oh, and without any children, I hardly see HER future as joyless.

Mark Powell said...

Dorid, I agree with your point, children aren't the only joy. I was trying to speak to a broader concern of mine, that many enviros try to sell "hair shirt" remedies to people, sometimes because they don't actually like people very much (beyond their personal friends).

I think we need to find more positive passion, and demonstrate that conservation is a fun journey to a good place. Otherwise, we'll limit our audience to the dour few that enjoy sacrifice for the self-denial value.

I thought Angry Toxicologist brought out a good example of the hair shirt environmentalism, and I can see that I wasn't clear about why. Kids bring joy, nature brings joy, life with people brings joy, and conservation brings joy.

On the joyless side, people overruning resources is bad, and it's a problem that needs a solution. But a joyless attitude won't solve that or any other problem IMO.

Hodad said...

as Billy Meir has been told this planet supports 1/2 billion, not 6 billion, overpopulation is the #1 problem at 53 glad I am never married and no babies i know of and especially today here in the USA and most places, the kids over 14 or so are not worth a crap these days and I am not the only one that seems to know this they are uneducated, do not read on TV cell phones and violent vid games do not want to work not the same as the 50's,60's growing up oh well, 2012 comes soon