|HOW TO SAVE THE EARTH|
The following is a declaration of global emergency, not the
short-term disaster of an earthquake or hurricane, but a
longer-term, more slowly evolving series of planetary events
that may not be noticed by people busy earning a living and
trying to raise their children. But the scientists whose job
is to study those long-term changes, are noticing that the
human race, now 7 billion and counting, is having far greater
impact on the Earth than ever before.
In times past, when medicine was a primitive science,
parents were lucky if 2 out of 10 children survived diseases
they didn't understand, because they had no microscopes to
see the tiny germs that were attacking them. Today we know
all about bacteria and viruses and we have anti-biotics to
fight them, so most children survive to adulthood; which
means our human population is growing, and growing, and
growing, and growing - so now we ask a new question: How
many people can the Earth support, how many big cities and
sprawling suburbs, how many million-acre farm corporations
and how much polluting waste can the Earth absorb before we
start getting sick?
From the evidence, the answer is there are already too many
big cities and sprawling suburbs dumping too much garbage
into too many land-fills, too many big farms spreading too
much pesticide to fight too many insects, too many gas-
burning cars and trucks jamming the highways, too many jet
planes crowding the skies and too many coal-fired electric
power plants all spewing out too much carbon fumes up into
the air, and too many cargo ships flushing their waste and
too many illegal dumpers unloading tons of garbage into the
the oceans, etc, etc, ad nauseum ! There is now a gigantic
mass of plasic waste materials stretching across the northern
Pacific Ocean from California to Japan, and no human being,
no company, no government or nation is willing to admit any
responsibility for it !
The result of all this over-crowding and over-pollution is
millions of people are getting sick from a no-longer healthy
environment because thousands of power plants and waste
incinerators are spewing tons of mercury-laden smoke up into
the atmosphere around the World, settling into the soil, the
lakes, rivers and oceans contaminating all life everywhere.
U.N. Report - Why? Because there are too many people.
Yet, everywhere we turn, day and night, we are surrounded by
advertising that persuades us to buy more than we can afford
going into debt to enjoy "the good life" that really isn't
that good anymore. But it has become a habit, an addiction,
so our daily lives are hooked into our ad-driven appetites
to consume whatever products may or may not be destructive to
the air we must breath, the water we must drink, and the food
we must eat. In fact, we have become a captive audience to
whatever products are sold by the corporations that are
themselves hooked into their own inescapable need to expand
to earn greater profits, or suffer a hostile take-over by a
Government offices like the Consumer Protection Agency, the
Food and Drug Administration, and many others, try to protect
the public, but they're always under pressure from whichever
political party is in power, or else obstructed by their own
bureaucratic inefficiency, as are all government agencies
everywhere, because they always have to deal with too many
people, more every day, week, month and year. Yet, they're
all searching for the same "good life".
Thus, Syrian war refugees flood into Europe, poor Southeast
Asians move everywhere and poor Mexicans move into California
and all over the U.S.A. searching for the "good life".
A few are willing to wait several years for legal immigration
and citizenship, but many others go into debt to people-smugglers
who supply greedy corporations with all the cheap labor they need.
People who are afraid of being deported will work below minimum
wage. That's the reason there is not enough electricity in California,
millions of legal and illegal immigrants are exploding the population.
But what about the other animals on planet Earth? Do they
have a right to exist in a wilderness home, or are they just
sacrifices for the progress of humanity? No and yes,
apparently, because despite all the work of all the humane
societies and animal rights activists, most wild animals are
approaching extinction, the panda bears of China, the
mountain gorillas of Africa, the wild horses of Southwestern
U.S.A. and many thousands more on every continent around the
World. Why? Humans won't leave them alone, but keep on
establishing cattle ranches, oil wells, farms and villages
in the wilderness areas of South and Central America,
Southeast Asia and Central Africa, slashing and burning the
jungle forests for lumber and "bush meat". What else can
those too many children of poor people do, and where can they
go when they grow up - emigrate to the U.S.A. and Europe?
Is there an answer? Are we stuck in a population with its
World economy that must keep on growing forever, regardless
of consequences, or do we have choices, and if so,
what are they?
OR READ ON -
This is so obvious it's hard to imagine that anyone disagrees
but they do. The Catholic church, clinging to ancient dogma,
opposes any artificial birth control, including condoms,
diaphrams, the pill, etc. - although I tend to agree abortion
is often a tragedy, but not when giving birth might kill the
mother, or the fetus is grossly deformed, or the result
of rape. In those grim circumstances, a woman needs the
gentle counseling a clinic can provide to help her make
a rational and humane choice, perhaps putting her baby
up for adoption. Then, if she's still determined to abort,
at least she won't infect herself, or bleed to death in a
public rest room. And who is qualified to judge a woman's
decision about something so personal? Certainly not me, nor
anyone else, in my opinion. But today Republican candidates
for President are advocating all family planning clinics should
be closed, leaving many thousands of poor women without help
or advice. Rich women, of course, can secretly buy any such
services they need here, or in Europe.
Then also the corporations, struggling to expand their
markets, need all the cheap labor they can find, and many
are willing to hire any illegal alien who will work for less
than minimum wage, sometimes MUCH less. The exploding
population of poor people is a businessman's ticket to the
But what would happen if millions of such poor working people
around the World decided to withhold their labor, not only
by going on strike against a particular company, but starting
a 20 year BIRTH STRIKE, refusing to have any children until
everyone gets reasonable wages and benefits? What would
happen is what is already happening in Europe - a shortage of
labor, as thousands of women choose higher education and
careers. But this time the Euro-corporations could not import
poor Turkish workers, and U.S. corporations could not import
poor Mexicans, because their populations would be DECLINING
as the people learned how to increase the value of their labor
by making it scarce! Then millions of young men and women
could save a percentage of their wages and decide if, when and
where to have children, not under the authority of pope or priest,
but with advice and help from a local clinic where friendly doctors
and nurses are trained to help them make their own decisions.
If this happened, corporate executives would have to slow
down their market strategies and pay much more attention to
what their customers really need, instead of whatever their
slick TV ads can persuade them to buy; and since millions
would be saving instead of spending, companies could not
expand their sales around the World, nor could some greedy
CEOs and Boards of Directors award themselves 6-figure
salaries and multi-million dollar bonuses - because the huge
profits just wouldn't be there. The entire World economy
would slow down and devolve to regional and local markets
dominated by consumer-sensitive policies, instead of the
ever-expanding, all-devouring "bottom line." Then, all those
life-support systems we depend on to survive, fresh air, pure
water, nourishing food and a healthy wilderness, would be
here for us and our grandchildren for uncountable
generations to come.
OR READ ON -
The Amazon, South Asian and Central African rainforests are
being destroyed by arsonists, lumber companies, real estate
developers, cattle ranchers, oil drillers, poachers and new
settlers, while dolphins and whales are beaching themselves
when sick from areas of polluted ocean. How are those events
connected and how do they affect you?
Where do you think the oxygen you breathe comes from? It is
created by the photo-synthesis of millions of trees and other
green plants that convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, and by
quadrillions of phyto-plankton and aglae, which are tiny
aquatic plants and organisms that float freely in oceans and
lakes. So, if exploding populations of hungry, angry and
greedy humans cut down the forests and pollute the lakes and
and oceans what will they breathe? - carbon dioxide and
methane while they slowly suffocate. You may not notice the
difference from day to day, except for the pollution from a
nearby factory or any bad smog day in any big city, but when
today's young children grow up to raise their own children,
they will suffer, because, as our human population grows,
so does the destruction of forests, oceans and lakes,
a little worse every year.
Unlike the Moon, planet Mars and Mercury, what prevents our
land from immediately burning to dust under the blazing Sun?
Each forest, large and small, creates a cool, low-pressure
area by the same photo-synthesis that produces oxygen in the
air we breathe. These cool, low-pressure areas draw in the
rain clouds (while the hot, high-pressure desert areas repel
them). That's why they're called rain forests. Trees are the
original and biggest air-conditioners on our planet. When I
was a boy everyone had a favorite "shade tree". Thus, during
the 4.5 billion years of Earth's evolution, green plants and
phyto-plankton produced a growing surplus of oxygenated air
which, in its reaction to the Sun's ultraviolet radiation, creates
ozone, a gas that blocks just enough ultraviolet sunlight to
permit life to flourish on the Earth's surface. If not enough
trees produce enough oxygenated air to react with the Sun to
create enough ozone to block enough of the Sun's ultraviolet
radiation, no life on Earth could exist and our planet would
look like the Moon or Mars.
Have you noticed the increasing number of wild-fires across
the USA and around the World? Every forest that burns sends
more heat up into the atmosphere, causing more drought and
more wild-fires. Add to that the millions of heat-generating
engines of cars, trucks, jet planes, coal-fired power plants,
steel mills, and millions of air conditioners...(poem)...and the
result is a global catastrophe in which rainfall now arrives
in the form of flash floods that wash away the soil, cause
landslides and sweep away villages.
In ancient times forest fires were caused only by lightning.
But today humans will not allow Nature to take its natural
course, because thousands of people want to build their homes
in the wilderness to escape from the crowds of other people,
so the natural cycle of fire and regrowth is stopped, until
so much dry underbrush builds up after years of drought, that
when fire is inevitably started by lightning or some careless
camper or a crazy arsonist, it roars through millions of dry
acres, burning all before it, including those over-priced
2-by-4 & plywood fire traps people call their "dream houses".
Where do we get the water we drink and farmers irrigate
food crops and homemakers sprinkle on lawns and flowers?
It is created by the great forests and the smaller woodland
areas that filter the rain down through the soil and roots
of trees and other green plants to the water table below
made of sand, gravel and bedrock. Without the forests, no
fresh water, unless you can digest factory-produced bottled
drinking water that lacks the trace-minerals your body needs
and has no flavor. City tap water is, of course, good for
cooking and washing, but not good to drink, since to kill
the germs, it's laced with harsh chemicals that taste bad -
but soon everyone will have to get used to it, as forest and
spring water vanish under pressure from our expanding
population and economic growth. Tap water is all I drink
now, yet I do remember the taste of fresh spring water from
a well. Not many are left in the few remote country areas
still remaining untouched by real estate developers and the
growing number of bottled water companies like Poland Spring,
Nestle's and Coca Cola that are buying up the land to sell us
the water we once drank for free. Read "Bottlemania" by
Elizabeth Royte. Our growing population also produces a
growing garbage and sewage problem. For example, the city
of Los Angeles, California disposes of its tons of garbage in
growing mountains of "land fill" in which it is assumed the
rubbish will eventually recycle itself back into fertile soil,
but the mountains of trash continue to grow as the population
increases. What to do? Aha! Pacific Ocean to the rescue!
It's illegal of course, but there is a huge "garbage patch"
of throwaway plastic trash north of Hawaii at a confluence
of tides so it is slowly swirling as it grows and chokes the
seabirds whose feeding instinct cannot comprehend the danger.
The obvious answer is to recycle 100% of all human waste and
garbage, but that would cost billions of dollars and make it
impossible for anyone to get rich!
Did you know our rapidly growing 7 billion population holds about
106 billion, 800 million gallons of fresh water in our collective
body, and another several billion in thousands of water towers,
dams and artificial ponds? Has anyone calculated how much
ground water is seeping into abandoned coal mines and depleted
oil wells, and how many millions of gallons are sucked out of
the oceans by a new growth industry - desalination factories?
Did you know that North America's Great Lakes, the largest
supply of fresh water in the World, are approaching their
lowest levels in recorded history, yet certain water bottling
companies want to sell millions of gallons to Asian nations?
Such enormous consumption is taking that much water out of
the weather cycle, so that may be why ocean levels have risen
only a little despite the melting of the Northern perma-frost
and the mountain ice caps of North and South America, Europe,
Asia, Africa, Greenland and Antartica. As the ice melts, the
North Pole is turning into open sea, creating a shorter passage
for cargo ships and ocean liners (!) - a tiny plus compared to
the surrounding ecocide. So, is this information available
on TV news channels? Only what the media corporations can
work into their business agenda. Whatever changes happen
they must be turned to profit. If people show a determination to
buy organically grown foods, the food corporations buy out the
small gardening and farming operations to dominate the market,
as usual. Then you don't know just how "organic" the foods may
or may not be. Obviously, a better solution would be to shop at
a local farmers market, or grow your own in a backyard garden
or greenhouse; but if you happen to own a small parcel of
fertile land, that would be the ideal situation!
So, maybe instead of a trip to Disneyland, families should plant
a garden, join a tree-planting club and lobby against construction
of that new shopping mall on the last patch of woods outside
Recently, because the Pacific ocean is so heavily polluted,
not enough water can evaporate to form rain clouds, causing
4 years of drought in California and the other Western states
and raging out of control wildfires, while the drought spreads
around the World.
OR READ ON -
The Invisable Armies
How many people can the Earth support? How many billion,
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12? What happens to people when they are
packed into overcrowded cities, traffic jams, multi-passenger
jet planes, etc.? You've heard of road-rage and air-rage.
What about school-rage, as at Columbine, when a child goes
berserk and kills at random?
You also know about AIDS, but did you ever hear of mutant
tuberculosis and meningitis? In a crowded society, a small
percentage of sick patients stop taking their medicine just
as soon as they start feeling better, giving a few surviving
germs a chance to mutate an immunity to the anti-biotic in
their prescription. Then these careless people get on buses,
trains and jet planes and spread their mutated germs
wherever they happen to go. Medical science does its best,
but in a fast-growing population of adventurous travelers,
the good doctors cannot quarantine thousands of patients,
so they prescribe their pills, give their best advice and
hope for the best, while fearing the worst.
Laurie Garret, in her book "The Coming Plague", warns of a
global pandemic because so many millions of people are so
careless about where they go and what they do, like the
African settlers who cut down jungle to raise cattle and grow
food, but stumble into an area infested with the mysterious
Ebola virus; or the U.S. real estate developers who build on
the edges of a desert where mice carry the Hanta virus.
Medical laboratories struggle to invent new anti-biotics, but
how can they keep up with exploding populations of people
and germs? They can't.
OR READ ON -
Science Fiction Becomes Reality
But suppose our growing population manages somehow to
muddle through and survive to the year 2050. What kind of a
a World would our grandchildren have to deal with? Between
1950 and 2000 our human population doubled, so it could
double again, at least, swelling to about 11 or 12 billion
busy, irritated people, all struggling to get enough money
to live as rich as possible. The problem is, the Earth will
be about the same size, or slightly smaller, so there would
be no room for wilderness or wild animals, all forests would
be tree farms and, without stable nesting areas, most of the
birds would be extinct, while insect populations would then
explode to attack our single-crop-mega-plantations, the
ancient "family farmer" having passed into history. Faced
with self-immunizing swarms of insects and massive crop
loss, they too would have to be harvested to fill our many
billions of growling stomachs - pass the fried grasshoppers!
Yet, without enough birds, the insects would flood the Earth,
reproducing much faster than we could eat them, so food crops
would have to be sealed inside vast, multi-acre greenhouses,
while humanity would have to isolate itself inside gigantic
housing projects, each person assigned to a tiny cell.
In fact, the plans have already been drawn up. Buckminster
Fuller started it with his geodesic sphere to house 5000.
Then Paolo Soleri designed his bizarre hexahedron structure
to accomodate an entire city. Erected on a point, it looks
like two pyramid bee hives, one right side up, the other
upside down. Yet, if global warming gets worse, the heat may
drive our entire civilization underground.
But people don't enjoy living like bees or ants! Today we
are seeing road-rage, air-rage and school-rage. Imagine
how much worse we would behave all jammed inside
enormous ghettoes! Then again, if we assume rich and poor
would still be living in different neighborhoods, the most
wealthy would probably have far more plush and spacious
accomodations, away from the sweltering mobs of hoi polloi,
like it is today, but involving billions more suffering people.
There are several ways to prevent the above scenario from
becoming a daily fact of life:
1. Global pandemic disease and die-off,
2. Environmental collapse and mass starvation,
3. Revolution, dictatorship & genocide,
4. World War Three,
5. Peaceful family planning to reduce the human population
and 100% recycling of all waste and garbage would return
the Earth to its natural balance.
Choose thoughtfully, but know that time is running out.
or Back to Contents?
OR READ ON -
If you want the Earth to keep on providing you with fresh
air, clean water and nourishing food -
1. Save the forests.
2. Save the creeks, rivers, lakes and oceans.
3. Save the fertility of the soil.
4. Save the atmosphere.
5. Get out of debt and stay out.
6. Go on a poison-free diet.
1. To save the forests,
a) Stop eating the burgers made from cattle whose grazing
pastures are created by clear-cutting those forests.
b) Stop buying wood products made from those clear-cuts.
c) Don't build a new house made from plywood and 2 by 4s,
which are firetrap materials. Instead buy an old house
and fix it up, or build with recycled materials like car
tires (I know someone who has lived happily in such a house
for many years) This will reduce public demand for commercial
lumber, so fewer trees will be cut.
d) When you go camping, take along 2 plastic bags, one for
your own garbage, the other for what you find on the trail.
2. To save the creeks, rivers, lakes and oceans,
a) Compost your food scraps and find recycling stations for
your scrap paper, glass and plastic.
b) Don't buy chlorine bleach and petroleum-based pesticides
that pollute both soil and water. Find harmless alternatives.
c) To conserve water in your home and neighborhood, don't
build a backyard swimming pool, instead plant trees and
ferns around your house, not grass, then you won't have to
water the lawn. That way your land will become part of the
watershed that filters the rain down through soil and roots
to the water table below.
d) Don't wash dishes under a running tap, or in a dishwasher,
instead wet, soap and scrub them first, then rinse quickly.
e) Don't use your toilet as a compost disposal unit and flush
it 20 times a day, but only for its original purpose.
3. To save the fertility of the soil,
Grow vegetables in your own backyard greenhouse, then
plant fruit and nut trees, using organic fertilizers and
bio-degradable pesticides. This will reduce dependence on
mass-production of food grown on corporate mega-plantations
that use huge amounts of petroleum-based pesticides that
taint the soil and run off into streams, rivers, lakes and
waterfront harbors, making the fish unsafe to eat.
Here are 7 resources:
Terra Viva Organics
Earth Watch Institute
4. To save the atmosphere,
a) Don't buy a gas-guzzling, air-polluting motor vehicle,
instead live close to your job, carpool, ride a train, bus,
bicycle, or walk whenever possible. This will reduce public
demand for mass-production of oil, gas and electricity and
decrease the number of oil spills around the World.
b) Then, to put some oxygen back into the air, join a tree-
planting group and study horticulture.
5. Cut up your credit cards and open a savings account, then
the bank will pay YOU interest. That way, you will escape the
debt slavery that is pushing economic expansion to the brink
of global ecocide.
6. Eliminate alcohol, tobacco, hot spices, caffiene and sugar
from your daily intake of food and you will notice an
immediate surge of energy and mental perception. Millions of
people have stopped smoking and boozing because they're such
obviously destructive habits. But caffiene and sugar are
more subtle poisons and many think of them as energy
boosters. In fact, after a few minutes of stimulation, they
drain away energy for the rest of the day, leaving the body
susceptible to a virus. On Saturdays, I liked to sit in a
local coffee shop sipping Columbia black with a danish while
reading the Times, but within an hour I would get the
sniffles that soon got worse. But since I quit coffee and
sugar I've never had another cold, and at 83 I'm in better
physical condition than any of my retired neighbors.
But perhaps the biggest long-term health advantage is
becoming a vegetarian, because we almost never get any kind
cancer or heart disease and often live to be 90+.
Each of these changes in personal habits, and others you may
discover and think of yourself, IF activated peacefully by
millions of people according to principles similar to those
established in the Constitution of the United States, history
will change course. In fact, it's beginning to happen now,
because every profit-making company in the World, large and
small, depends totally on what people are willing to buy
with their money. So, when they see beyond the short-term
lure of advertising to their own long-term survival and shop
defensively, bottom-line corporations will have to re-tool
and re-invest their capital to supply the people with what
they really need and demand - or go out of business; and if
most of the people decide to birth fewer children, for
whatever reasons, there will be no public demand for mass
production of anything, and the nations will devolve to
continental networks of eco-tech villages freely trading with
each other for what they need and want, with harm to none.
Then there will be plenty of room for a healthy wilderness
evolving in balance with a truly humane civilization.
If you want a stable World, create stability in your own life
because everything and everyone is connected to this living
planet we sometimes call Biosphere Blue, or Mother Earth.
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