Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Elephant in the Elevator

Why the whole overpopulation debate  is so ridiculous.

Imagine this situation: There's several different kinds of animals in an elevator, and the panel beeps and says it's too heavy: some occupants will have to get off to reduce the weight so that the elevator can proceed. There's several hundred ants in the elevator, dozens of butterflies, some squirrels, foxes, tigers, a couple of bears and one elephant. The elephant is assuming leadership of the elevator; and imploring all the ants to get off.. "there's too many of you! Please, you need to reduce your numbers to something like ours (elephant and bears), only then can this elevator move ahead."

That's what's happening with the overpopulation debate.. or should I say monologue (the other side is silenced), right now.

It's not about what the population is. It's about how much is the consumption.. the carbon footprint, the resource depletion, the burden being put on this planet etc.

All the so-called overpopulated regions of India, Asia, Africa : are on a per capital level consuming NOTHING compared to USA, the West. Even in absolute terms, when you trace out the consumers of the products of all the outsourced industries and credit those consumptions to their original masters, it's still the West (US mostly) cornering the top.

Now, let's put on the thinking hat of Efficiency and think in those terms. Supposing you were really proceeding with reducing the population as a means of cutting down the planet's resource depletion. Where would you begin?

Logically, the first step would be to list, in descending order, the populations of the world with their resource consumption statistics. Maybe an index that combines food, fuels, petrochemicals, expenditure, electricity, minerals etc. You would make a descending list of countries, with the countries having the highest per capita consumption at the top. If necessary, you would split the countries where there's a distinct difference between different regions. For example, India's metro cities stand in stark contrast with the rest of India. So list them separately.

Then, using the principles of maximum efficiency, where would you begin? Naturally, you'd begin at the top.

It makes obvious sense, doesn't it? Taking a white upper-class American off the planet is far more efficient and easier than taking out some 1000+ Africans or Indians who are consuming less than he is.

So, here's where the ridiculousness if this whole overpopulation topic manifests : Anyone who was honestly, sincerely believing that controlling the earth's population of human beings is an acceptable way to prevent runaway resource depletion.. would have to be talking about starting with depopulating USA first, followed by whichever countries, regions you have on that list. The poorest parts of Africa, Asia would have to be the very last on the list. Only after you've seriously, satisfactorily brought down the populations of the "West".. or at the least, after you've shut down most of the industries they've outsourced and which are heavily subsidized by the corrupt governments of the developing nations : only then should you even begin to look at the rest.

Instead, what do we get to see? Like the elephant in the elevator, we see mostly white-skinned, upper class people, belonging to the demoraphics that consume the most, talking in alarmed tones about overpopulation, and pointing fingers at the guys who are at the bottom of the consumption charts.

Complete hypocrisy.

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