We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
March 9, 2009

All measures to thwart the degradation and destruction of our ecosystem will be useless if we do not cut population growth. By 2050, if we continue to reproduce at the current rate, the planet will have between 8 billion and 10 billion people, according to a recent U.N. forecast. This is a 50 percent increase. And yet government-commissioned reviews, such as the Stern report in Britain, do not mention the word population. Books and documentaries that deal with the climate crisis, including Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” fail to discuss the danger of population growth. This omission is odd, given that a doubling in population, even if we cut back on the use of fossil fuels, shut down all our coal-burning power plants and build seas of wind turbines, will plunge us into an age of extinction and desolation unseen since the end of the Mesozoic era, 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs disappeared.

We are experiencing an accelerated obliteration of the planet’s life-forms—an estimated 8,760 species die off per year—because, simply put, there are too many people. Most of these extinctions are the direct result of the expanding need for energy, housing, food and other resources. The Yangtze River dolphin, Atlantic gray whale, West African black rhino, Merriam’s elk, California grizzly bear, silver trout, blue pike and dusky seaside sparrow are all victims of human overpopulation. Population growth, as E.O. Wilson says, is “the monster on the land.” Species are vanishing at a rate of a hundred to a thousand times faster than they did before the arrival of humans. If the current rate of extinction continues, Homo sapiens will be one of the few life-forms left on the planet, its members scrambling violently among themselves for water, food, fossil fuels and perhaps air until they too disappear. Humanity, Wilson says, is leaving the Cenozoic, the age of mammals, and entering the Eremozoic—the era of solitude. As long as the Earth is viewed as the personal property of the human race, a belief embraced by everyone from born-again Christians to Marxists to free-market economists, we are destined to soon inhabit a biological wasteland.


via Truthdig

Copyright © 2009 Truthdig


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3 thoughts on “We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction by Chris Hedges

  1. Pingback: Cosmic Flash: Earth To Survive Earthlings by Robert S. Becker « Dandelion Salad

  2. Humans are amazingly resilient and adaptive.
    Rodents live quite plentifully in the most hideous of circumstance. These billions of people living on a dollar/day is a warcrime, but an impressive personal achievement and a testament to our staying power. Barring catastrophe, we’re not going anywhere soon.

    But lacking the inevitable meteor or volcanic or nuclear winter, it’s more likely disease that will pare down the population.

    The Black Death wiped out 30-60% of Europe, and 25% of the world. And that was a natural microbe.

    Notwithstanding a resurgent iceage, it would seem that a natural or manufactured microbe will dramatically thin the species.

    This is yet another reason why we must deal with global warring before we can properly address global warming (Cornelius?).

    Life on earth and species always seems to re-balance one way or another in the end.

    It is interesting to note that for hundreds of millions of years life was anaerobic. The first big die-off apparently occurred with the microbes that produced oxygen as a waste product (the original plants).
    I suspect it will be a life-form that will re-balance the ‘Pathogen on the Planet” (Caldicott) of humanity.

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