Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Professor explains why birth control and access to abortion services are this planet's only hope of survival.

From an interview with Professor Paul Ehrlich, author of the "Population Bomb," conducted by Raw Story:  

“Overall, careful analysis of the prospects does not provide much confidence that technology will save us or that gross domestic product can be disengaged from resource use,” the paper continued. The way to stop this is to “stop treating population growth as a ‘given’ and consider the nutritional, health and social benefits of humanely ending growth well below nine billion and starting a slow decline. This would be a monumental task, considering the momentum of population growth. Monumental, but not impossible if the political will could be generated globally to give full rights, education and opportunities to women, and provide all sexually active human beings with modern contraception and backup abortion.” 

“Giving people the right to have as many people as many children that they want is, I think, a bad idea,” Ehrlich told Raw Story. “It’s not giving people the right to have as many children as they want, it’s giving people the right to control their reproduction so that they don’t have so many children that their children’s and grandchildren’s lives are in danger.” 

“Nobody, in my view, has the right to have 12 children or even three unless the second pregnancy is twins,” Ehrlich continued. “That may be a hard-nosed view, but if you look at the entire situation, it’s crystal clear if we keep the populations of the rich growing, then the poor aren’t going to have a chance, and eventually, the descendants of the rich aren’t going to have a chance either.”

In short protecting the right of EVERY potential human life is to doom human beings as a species. The planet simply cannot support the population growth if it continues at the current rate.

To be TRULY pro-life is to recognize that for life to continue not every potential life should become an actual life.

Christians often take the position that life is a gift from God, and that Earth was provided for them to do with as they please. So to them God simply would not allow more children to be born than the planet could support. THAT kind of primitive thinking is simply no longer something we can afford to humor.

The reason that Fundamentalists, like Sarah Palin, fight so hard against abortion and climate change is because to admit that the progressives are correct would be to admit that their god is not omniscient, and therefore is not God. I think for many of them they really would MUCH rather doom their planet, and thereby themselves, than be forced to make such a admission.

Just ponder that for a moment.

41 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:19 AM

    I am not very religious, but I think one can believe in an omniscient God AND in the science and self-help options that S/He has given us the brains and ability for.

    An omniscient God would be off wherever such a being lives, unknown to us in many ways because WE are not omniscient. But God gave us brains and sense. To put oneself in harm's way (whether knowingly or unknowingly) does not mean the omniscient God is going to bail you out. Not if you jump off a cliff, not if you ignore the pressures of overpopulation, not if you spew gasses into the air and change your climate.

    if there is a God, S/He gave us brains and expects us to do the right thing. Yes, hard to know what that is, hard to do it once one knows. But that's the deal. We are tasked with doing what we can.

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  2. fromthediagonal4:24 AM

    Agreed on all aspects, but your thoughts aren't carrying you far enough. The idea of endless population growth equals endless consumer growth for the multinational conglomerates, and this is what the financial markets and their unfettered profiteers support. They live for the next quarterly statement, never mind the next generation and if they have to tailor their propaganda towards the religious in order to achieve their goals, they will.
    Oh, never mind, they have been already...

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    1. Anonymous6:33 AM

      And we have a winner! Ever since I took my first econ class (back in 1977) I have known that increased amounts of consumers (people) need to be created to increase the profits of business, doesn't matter which one. If every nation started to enact strict birth control measures (or in our own country just get rid of the child income tax credit and make sure each family is charged PER CHILD for health insurance like it is CAR insurance) we would see corporate profits drop but eventually it would even out. The short term gain is what most corporations and people see, not long term stability of the planet.

      Delete
    2. Leland8:04 AM

      6:33, let's start with something really basic and fair for all of us.

      I personally have had no children because I knew that children combined with my temper (back then) was NOT a good idea. Dangerous, in fact. So even though I adore children and would have been ecstatic to father some (assuming, of course, I found a person willing to share with me), I refused fathering any.

      Yet I was still charged school tax! I know. I know. It helps the entire country for ALL to support the school system. Heard it too many times.

      However, what I haven't heard, which would be a reasonable extension of that logic, was anyone seriously suggesting that anyone having more than say two children would then be taxed at a high rate due to those extra children.

      It isn't much, but it might start people thinking along the lines being proposed in this string.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:06 AM

      Even ANIMALS regulate their breeding with the abundance of game or not.

      In spite of what Hunters tell you, wolves do not breed all over the place.
      Only the Alpha male and Female breed. Sometime a subordinate sneaks in one but for the most part its strictly regulated on How much food is available.
      Only our domesticated Animals breed all the time unless we spay or neuter them.
      These fundy's need to tie their dicks up b/c most of them have like 8-10 kids and how they afford them...who the fuck knows?
      My Son wasn't going to have any Children but recently relented, and said, "Well the smart people need to breed too or we will have a nation of dummies".
      So I guess I will be grandma afterall :)
      BTW I had ONE child by choice.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous5:00 AM

    O/T I checked out the Pee Pond, which I rarely do, and am struck by their religious talk. They sound like zealots and religious nuts that don't really know the meaning of their religion. It made me think that these are the type of people that burned innocents to the stakes in the middle ages.

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    1. Leland8:06 AM

      5:00AM? You have more guts than I do.

      But I have said it before and I will say it again: Fanaticism for ANY reason is dangerous!

      And what's more, it even ties in with Gryphen's posting!

      Delete
  4. Sally in MI5:20 AM

    I have not seen one iota of proof that Sarah even believes in God. Oh, yeah, she talks a good game, but her lack of family values, her nonattendance at a church for the past 6 years, her ugly rants about whatever it is will get her in the news cycle, her lies,her greed, her obsession with her looks, her lack of compassion...none of that has a thing to do with belief in God. She uses abortion as the rich white men use it: as a bludgeon for their uneducated masses, many of whom DO believe in God, but are easily led by someone who speaks loudly and seems to quote a scripture they have never read. Anyone with two working synapses knows that current population growth is not sustainable. We also know that if there is a God, he allowed contraception, and has for centuries. Women always knew how to stop pregnancy, and how to end it. The methods weren't always good, but they were there. Either God is in charge, GOP, or He is not. You cannot pretend to be the authority on birth when you are also the party of war, taking money AWAY from poor children, and trying to gut the education that will enable them to be productive citizens.

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    1. BabyRaptor5:43 AM

      I mostly agree with you, but I take offense at your implication that having values (of any sort, not just 'family' ones) requires a god.

      I'd sooner trust an Atheist than a Christian nowadays. And morality doesn't come from fantasies, or fairy tale books.

      Delete
    2. Sally in MI did not make that implication. In fact, she wrote "if there is a God."

      Delete
  5. Anonymous5:20 AM

    One of my cousins put out a really stupid argument against a woman's choice - she backed it up by saying her dad says the Bible said they [women] should be fruitful and multiply. That's her reason for being unwed and a parent to half a dozen kids from different fathers and no means to care for them.

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    1. Anonymous5:56 AM

      Obviously, she relies on the government then to support her and her litter. What an idiotic statement to make, does the Bible tell her how to feed these kids?

      Delete
  6. A. J. Billings5:28 AM

    What was obvious among the candidates for Repub nomination was how many of them had at least 4 or more children.

    Romney and Santorum like to parade their huge families on stage like $arah did as a proof of how "faithful" and good they are, and as proof they don't use birth control

    It's all part of the subtle, but obvious messages about how Christian evangelicals are the "pure" conservatives, and no one else comes up to their standard.

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  7. Anonymous6:00 AM

    In defense of fundamentalist christians, most would probably say that they believe that the world has changed so much, and the signs of what Jesus described the world to be in, before His Second return, is probably near or at the doorstep. The gospel says that men will be so wicked and war will eventually be the thing that wipes outpossible a third of mankind, not over-population. It says that man's wickedness and greed and lust for power will be the earth's demise, lack of space, clean air and clean water.

    There are either two scenarios that people can ascertain for themselves. The earth can't sustain itself, and that it is just a rock with alien human life on it that will implode on itself over time, and some need to implement strict human laws where humans must submit their freedoms to; or, the second, that there is a Creator who created mankind in His image and who sent a redeemer so they could chose and make the right choice the second time.

    Sure, the second choice may be fables to some, but it has a very powerful truth in that it shows how stubborn and proud and independent man is that he wishes to save his planet and it's resources than protect human life. If humans are so dispensible and a by-product and a detriment to the species, then what does that say about Ehrlich and others like him? He believes in the survival of the fittest and has no qualms to DECIDE who should live and who shouldn't, or how many children the species is allowed to have.

    Fringe liberals like to talk a good talk about "choice" and equal rights. It's funny because they talk just like their pro-life counterparts. They feel they have a right to tell others what to do with their uterus.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Get a grip.

      When Ehrlich starts trying to pass laws to limit the number of offspring (which he will never do), then you can freak out.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous6:05 AM

    There is obviously a segment of the population that deems the human species nothing more than parasites killing its host.

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    1. Anonymous6:35 AM

      Anon at 6:05, they'd be right.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous6:51 AM

      Everything is relative.

      I don't believe in divinity or that our lives have purpose other than helping out our fellow humans and the humans who come after us as well as the other creatures who share the Earth with us.

      "Nothing more than parasites"? No. But if you were to anthropomorphize our planet for discussion purposes, than sure, it might be said that humanity has parasitic qualities.

      Delete
  9. Here's a thought: Nature provides a system of checks and balances which, allowed to work, tend to do pretty well at regulating species control. Disease and the rigors of survival used to do the same with humans. Thing is, we've now marginalized many of the factors that used to help control human population. We have a choice--we can either "open the area up for hunting," (allow for sensible, humane methods of controlling population) or we face the tragic results of over-population. One way or another, the population's going to come down. If we don't allow for birth control and backup abortion it'll be through the ravages overpopulation brings--starvation, disease, poverty, crime, and war. We really have no choice about population control. We DO have a choice about how we go at about it.

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    1. Leland8:11 AM

      Hit the nail with a ten pound hammer with THAT statement, Bodie!!!!!!!!!!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous8:21 AM

      You are so right, BodieP.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:30 AM

      " We have a choice--we can either "open the area up for hunting," (allow for sensible, humane methods of controlling population)"

      Did you mean hunting People? Well the NRA already got THAT under control...

      Delete
  10. Anonymous7:38 AM

    While the Republicans would force every woman to bear every child, they don't intend to offer any assistance for that child after it is born-- not in terms of food, shelter, education or health care. Those who are the poorest are the ones most affected. Wealthy people have always managed to have access to birth control and abortion services, if needed. I don't know what kind of religion those in the Religious Right practice, but they are not following the teachings of Christ-- who healed the sick and fed the poor.

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    1. Anonymous8:25 AM

      To me, that's just one of many reasons why the potential mother is supposed to decide whether to bring a child into the world: can she care for it in every right way? Because there is no guarantee that anyone else is going to, and even no guarantee that SHE will be there to provide. So we all pitch in, but the Mom herself is in the best position to weigh all the variables and make that complicated initial choice, even when it is heart-wrenching.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous8:17 AM

    In my view, God (in any religion) is a codification of the wisdom of that culture re how best to live. The various religions are remarkably the same, yet with differences that do not seem like a problem to me.

    Whether one feels responsible to God or to oneself, the goal is the same: to do the right thing. yes, the long-term, complicated, subtle, difficult right thing. My vote is for education to help us be the smartest and best (broadly defined) we can be to aid us in pursuing that goal.

    People who are poorly educated, not intelligent, mentally ill, etc., need some way to feel validated too. So we have the Sarah Palins for them. Unfortunately, they are getting way more than their share of air-time and influence these days, yet our recent election has helped a lot.

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  12. Anonymous9:16 AM

    Wait just a minute now. Abortion is not the answer to prevent a couple from having 12 children. Just opening up the floodgates to abortion is not the correct approach either. In fact, abortions should be discouraged, mainly for the physical and mental health of the mother. It's a slippery slope to a breakdown of morality for people to start relying on abortions to end the problems they have gotten themselves into.

    So maybe we could start by blaming the catholic church in cases where people aren't conscious of and using birth control. And maybe we could have a closer look at society in general and try to fix the problems there which result in abortions. Here again, I dwell on the root of the problem rather than the kneejerk reactions for a quick and easy cure. And here again, is a question that has a lot in common with the schoo murderers problem. (note I don't refer to it as the gun problem)

    In some cases, abortions are necessary. We could have a closer look at the question of what is necessary perhaps. Health and wellbeing of the mother? Nobody should dispute that. Health and wellbeing of careless teenagers or prostitutes on the street that get pregnant. Sure, allowing an abortion after the fact may be necessary but ignoring the causes of why the abortion is even required is the slippery slope to immorality I have spoken of here.

    If there is a lesson to learn then that lesson is to slow down a little and try to find common ground with people who oppose abortions, but only those who oppose abortions with good intentions.

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    1. Anonymous9:50 AM

      What floodgates? Abortion is legal and has been for many years now.

      Abortion won't prevent a couple from having 12 kids unless that couple doesn't want 12 kids and has a birth control failure.

      Abortion, while sometimes a difficult choice to make (but not always), actually alleviates the stress and mental and emotional anguish of an unwanted pregnancy and the thought of having an unwanted child. Long term physical and mental problems as a direct result are extremely rare. On the other hand, pregnancy and delivery, especially if they are unwanted, can lead to long term physical, mental, and emotional difficulties.

      I don't believe in immorality or your slippery slope argument.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1:35 PM

      Floodgates as in abortion at anybody's whim. Maybe a husband or a onetime sex partner demanding it. Or maybe a woman having the right to abort a fetus because it's not male. You be the judge, it's pretty clear that you want that right.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous1:43 PM

      I believe in reproductive freedom. Period.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous2:33 PM

      Let me add that reproductive freedom does not mean the freedom of a man to force his decision on a woman.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous9:50 AM

    People are narcissists who are in love with their own DNA, period. And they're taught from a young age a whole bunch of lies about sex. The sex drive is one of the most powerful forces in nature. It evolved at a time when the entire world population was tiny. When the Bible was written, the world population was roughly the current size of New Jersey's population. Procreation was needed to ensure the survival of the human race.

    Nobody likes to deal with facts. We have enough people. More than we need. Having kids is selfish and awful. You don't get a free pass. We'll be at 9 billion people in about 20 years. We're at 7 billion now and it's unsustainable; a huge portion of the population lives in disease, poverty, lack of sanitation and water. We're not taking care of the people we have.

    I am childfree by choice and I see all the "nice" people out there who say, "Oh, I MUST have kids" thinking that, what, they're doing some sacred thing? No you're not. You're fucking without using contraception, you're being irresponsible. Don't call it anything else. It's laziness and lack of empathy for the billions of suffering people living TODAY whose lives will only get worse, thanks to you -- not to mention the billions of species dying off, thanks to you.

    And all of you who had to have the SECOND kid after you had the FIRST one are especially to blame. FUCK YOU.

    Jennifer aka Media Insider

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    1. LoveAndKnishesFromBrooklyn10:52 AM

      I'm child-free by choice as well. I remember the 1970s, when we were first becoming aware of the damage being done to this planet, and population control was a topic often discussed in the media. Say what you'd like about the 70s, but we seemed like a much more intelligent country then, able to RATIONALIZE why this option should be considered without clutching pearls and whining about the MILLIONS of "unborn." !!MILLIONS!! Is it any accident that TV shows, commercials, movies, media, et. al. suddenly became child-centric when it was discovered that mega-corporations (and churches, of course) might potentially lose valuable customers?

      I remember the corporate retribution of the early 80s, when babies became the "must have" status symbol. I watched as young parents around us competed with each other in showering their progeny with expensive clothing, toys, pre-birth and pre-pre-pre-school classes, "Baby on Board" car signs, designer strollers, and on and on--racking up massive credit card bills for stuff the little tykes weren't even aware of. I often wonder how some of these kids turned out, once they were no longer a cute "accessory" to flaunt and control.

      I also wonder if the pendulum will finally swing back to responsible family planning--one or two kids MAX if having a child is your thing, but I'm constantly seeing families with 5 or more offspring, even here in Brooklyn where life in general for one person is beyond ridiculously expensive. That's another topic for another thread--who can afford that many kids these days, anyway? Or is that for the Big Gubmint Dole that the pro-fetusites always love to bash?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1:54 PM

      I have two kids, carefully planned, and won't have any more. Only kids are fine, but I like that they will always have each other, even when I'm gone. I don't think I'm "in love" with my DNA, but I do get a lot of personal pleasure from being a mom. And I'm raising two smart, strong girls.

      It's ok that you call me selfish and unempathetic. I disagree but that's what I like about you, MI...your strong opinions.

      My younger daughter, who is in 1st grade, recently told me she doesn't want to have kids. Then she asked me, "do I have to have kids?" I said, "Of course not." My brother and other people I know are childless by choice and I think that's great.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:00 AM

    The root of what problem? That birth control can fail? That women/couples have sex when they don't want to produce a child? That women have sex with partners they don't want as the father of their offspring?

    Some women have unprotected sex. Some teenagers have unprotected sex. Some people get so high or drunk they don't make good decisions. What's the answer? Will bringing an unwanted child into the lives of those women/girls solve the problem? I'll take the knee jerk reaction and easy cure, thank you very much (if that's the woman's choice).

    Do you want to know who is ignoring the causes of abortion? The same people who want to take away our choice. Those of us who want reproductive freedom are the same people who fight for more education and improved economics.

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    1. Anonymous1:55 PM

      Meant as a reply to anon 9:16.

      Delete
  15. OH, he is so in trouble with the fundies. What about their quiverful? What about their poster breeders like The Duggars?

    We'll never be able to control ourselves. We can't even spay and neuter our dogs and cats.

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  16. Anonymous1:31 PM

    I don't call myself pro-life but I do call myself anti-abortion. All that really means is that I oppose women having abortions when it's unnecessary. It's unnecessary because other precautions should have been taken. It's also harmful to a woman's physical and mental health. However, abortions must remain legal because abortion becomes necessary after the fact of pregnancy in some cases. And btw, I'm a liberal too. In my opinion those who don't agree with that are not human, they're just haters for political reasons or the reason of being opposed to sensible solutions.

    And as one person says, he/she/it doesn't believe in immorality. That's about the stupidest thing I've heard on this asshole forum for a long time!

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    1. Anonymous2:09 PM

      Only in rare cases is abortion harmful to a woman's physical and long term mental health. Childbirth in general, but especially when it is unwanted, places women at much higher physical and mental risk.

      So what is it exactly you don't like about abortion? Do you think it's murder? Do you think women should have to reap what they sow no matter what? They must suffer the consequences of engaging in unprotected sex?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous2:30 PM

      I wonder why you come here if you think this is an asshole forum.

      The comment about not believing in immorality or the slippery slope was a direct response to the OP's statement, "it's a slippery slope to a breakdown of morality for people to start relying on abortions to end the problems they have gotten themselves into."

      I admittedly could have been clearer that I was referring to the so-called immoral sexual behavior of consenting adults and teenagers (I'll add the qualifier, "older"), careless or otherwise. Then again, the OP's statement was vague yet loaded at the same time.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous2:05 PM

    I am a Progressive, but not a Democrat, and not a Republican. I do feel that abortion should be legal and should perhaps be exercised by more women, especially those women that cannot afford to raise children without public assistance. To me, having a child is a responsibility, not a right, and it must be approached with careful consideration of not only the expense, but the ability of the parent to properly form a functioning member of society.

    I'm a big proponent of welfare cessation for those that prove to be unable to keep jobs. I'm a proponent of cessation of food stamps for those who have more than one child and prove over the course of a few years that they are unable to feed this child without government handouts.

    There does come a time where we as Americans say "enough is enough". There is no good reason why my tax dollars must continue to support those who make bad choices.

    Birth control is readily available, and to those on public assistance who have low wages or no wages, it's even FREE.

    Those who ignore the Zero Population Growth principal should be taxed heavily for these extra lives, and thus burdens, they place on our planet. Instead, they get Tax Credits from the Federal Government that financially reward them for their fecundity. Same with the Alaska Dividend. Replace yourself and your breeding partner; go any further and you get no dividend and perhaps we'll make you pay a reimbursement to the State for your irresponsible behavior.

    I'm so sick of these people acting like breeding out of control is their right and we must all pay for their poor choices.

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  18. Anonymous10:45 AM

    There is a price to pay for everything.
    All potential parents need to ask one question.
    What will life be like on our planet in 20 years?
    Given the fact that all of humanities major problems are linked to exponential population growth, is it logical to add to the problem?

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