The Towards Utopia Movement

The Human Popultion

Many years ago, during the last ice age, people lived simple lives as hunter-gatherers.

In the north, on the edge of the ice sheets, they led a nomadic existence, following the herds of reindeer and elk.

Further south conditions were warmer and life was easier. A hunter could spend a day in the woods and come back to camp with enough meat to feed his family for a week. living was easy.

At the time geologists call the Younger Dryas, some 12,000 years ago, the world warmed up, quite suddenly, and the ice sheets melted.

For those who weren't drowned in the floods that followed, life got a whole lot easier. There was more game and the people lived longer. More children survived long enough to have children of their own. The human population flourished. But after a couple of thousand years of this success there were so many people that resources were becoming scares.

Necessity being the mother of invention, the people learned how to sow crops and domesticate animals. Farming had been borne bringing with it the benefits of a settled, civilised existence.

But it wasn't all good news. The strong took the best land and the weak were forced to labour in the fields of the rich. Warbands would raid each other's cattle and sheep. There was much suffering.

As society became more complex, so did our technology. The Industrial revolution saw a huge technological and sociological advance in a very short time. Good news for the rich factory owners, bad news for the new underclass, the urban poor.

But this article is not about workers' rights, its about population, a population that, despite wars and plague, was growing exponentially. Even two world wars had little effect on our growing numbers.

There was growing fear that we were becoming so numerous that we would soon run out of food.

Then necessity was the mother of invention once again. Scientists began work on a new miracle technique, genetic engineering.

They promised us higher yialds with lower inputs. They promised us disease and pest resistant crops. They promised us a land flowing with milk and honey and we believed them.

Then came along Monasnto, a huge multinational corporation that made herbicides. They soon turned the whole GM dream on its head. Instead of developing pest and disease resistant crops they gave us herbicide resistant crops that could only be grown with the use of poisons, especially their own brand, glyphosate, also known as Roundup.

They had farmers by both balls. No longer could they save seeds to resow next season. Now they had to buy fresh seeds every year because they were patented AND they now had to buy expensive chemicals too. All to feed more and ever more people.

But its not just food. Its also pollution. Every one of us makes a mess. Every one of us fills up our dustbins or trash cans with rubbish, most of which (despite recycling) ends up as landfill. Many of us drive polluting cars. And most of us have a carbon footprint which contributes to global warming.

Then there is our need for housing. More people need more houses. More houses mean more agricultural land being covered in concrete. In some countries forests are cut down or other wilderness areas destroyed.

We are not the only species on this planet, nor are we the most important, but we clearly are the most destructive, the most greedy, the most dirty.

Every time we build a house on a greenfield site we are destroying some other creature's home.

Yes there are lots of things we can do, and are doing, to mitigate the damage we are doing and I have a great deal of respect for the people involved. But its too little, too late.

The cold fact has to be faced that we cannot keep expanding indefinitely on a finite planet. We just have to stop breeding. We have to find an economic system that does not depend of growth. And we have to find a social welfare system that does not pay people to have children.

If we don't find ways to control our numbers Mother Earth will do the job for us. She will find a way to have us off her back.

We can only achieve utopia with a greatly reduced human population. I am not suggesting going back to the levels we enjoyed at the birth of agriculture but we must be able to feed everyone through sustainable, organic farming.

Nature and wilderness must be allowed to return. We must clean all the plastic out of our seas and ensure that no more gets in. The same thing goes for the CO2 in our atmosphere, as well as nitric oxides and other polluting gasses.

Mother Earth wants to make a glorious home for us and all the other creatures we share this beautiful planet with. All we have to do is clean up the mess we have already made and then get out of her way.

The world population reached one billion people in 1804. By 1900 it had reached 1.6 billion. By 1999 it had reached six billion. Now as I write this in 2017 we stand at over 7.5 billion and rising by the second.

It is estimated that we will reach ten billion around 2083, but that will never happen. The world cannot support ten billion people. Mother Earth will have us off her back long before then, unless we bite the bullet and voluntarily limit our numbers.

The bottom line is that all the things we humans are doing wrong, consuming, polluting and destroying, wouldn't matter as much if there were a lot fewer of us doing it.

We are all global warmers and polluters. Please don't breed any more global warmers and polluters.

Be excellent to each-other
Jack Cox
Founder of the Towards Utopia Movement

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