Too Many, Too Much

I’ve been reading a book called Countdown, by Alan Weismann, about population, the biggest problem in the world today, and the one that ties all the others together. Readers of this blog know that I don’t think that species loss is as big a crisis as many people think, but that seemingly cavalier attitude depends for its validity on a certain time scale. Unlike many recent devotees of the Anthropocene concept, I don’t believe that we have encapsulated the biosphere. The earth will survive the plague of humanity, and diversity will exist as always. I often remember these words of Kafka: “There is an abundance of hope, but not for us.” Our greatest blindness is see everything in the universe as to how it affects us—but then how could the human monkey do otherwise? Blindness might be understandable, but that doesn’t mean I have any patience with those evil leaders who deliberately encourage people to have as many babies as possible as a political policy. Weismann mentions Palestinians, Orthodox Israeli Jews and the Catholic hierarchy. Interesting that all three major monotheisms are guilty. Humanity in excess might be like a plague in its effect on the biosphere, but the affliction of humanity is religion. Longer time perspectives are healthy for us, but the important battles are immediate, here and now. How completely destructive was George Bush, in Rio in 1992, after diplomatic maneuvers to frustrate every positive environmental resolution, to say “The American way of life is not negotiable.”? Does this have anything to do with art? I think so.

28-RobertoNeumiller

Photo by Roberto Neumiller

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