Environment – Whether You Deny Climate Change or Not, You’re Probably Ignoring the Two Main Causes #atozchallenge

E: Today’s Deb-Blog Has Been Brought to You by the Letter D for Destruction of the Planet and the Letter E for Environment – Whether You Deny Climate Change or Not, You’re Probably Ignoring the Two Main Causes

A friend and I were chatting about how even making a off-hand comment about the weird weather and it’s association with man-made climate change has become a social mine field in this country. The first time I realized that I could be among seemingly intelligent people who denied that the climate has changed, that humans are causing it and it’s threatening our survival was back during the Clinton administration. I jokingly made a light remark to a coworker about enjoying the 80-degree March day in Minnesota, as the up side of global warming. He snapped, “There’s no such thing as global warming!” Stunned, I just walked away.

My friend also made an astute observation that those born after 1984 or so don’t fully understand how extremely different our weather has become. I’d never thought of that before. (Although, I harken back to my concerned post about millennials seemingly disinterested in anything that hasn’t happened in real time for them and thank goodness for video tapes to prove things to them!) I think it’s synonymous with the fact that a frog placed in a pot of water as it’s heated to boiling is unaware of its pending demise. If you only lived when temps can vary by 50 degrees from one day to the next, winters are warmer and less snowy and summers are hotter and drier, you might not fully grasp the shocking difference noticed by those over 30. I can only hope enough of us human frogs can get control over the stove’s knob before we are extinct. But having studied this in college and read much from experts since, that was why I chose not to have kids. And every year that goes by, I am more relieved I did not hand humanity’s future to my child.

Of course now we have an entire political party and a large chunk of mainstream media completely denying the fast-changing Earth atmosphere occurring before our very eyes. But we suffer an even greater problem here, in part, because of (1) our culture’s biological urge to procreate is unfettered and on steroids with a near baby fetishism, fed by materialism and pastel distractions; and (2) our gluttony for animal meat. I am referring to an excessive human population, which is the number one cause of the planet’s troubles and the continued obsession with filling our bellies with the flesh of other species, which is the second biggest contributor to our environmental crisis. Compared to these two factors, cutting down on the burning of fossil fuel is like trying to extinguish a wild fire by putting out a cigarette in your living room. If you are driving a Prius, installing solar panels on your house, planting kale and riding your bike to work, good for you. But if you or your partner gave birth or you still eat even organic, range-free animal meat, I can’t take seriously your efforts because you are only nibbling at the actions you can take to help the future of life on Earth. Now, I don’t want my friends or readers who have offspring to hate me completely. I do believe fully in personal choice. Our government is far more guilty in its complacency. We should have taken massive and sweeping actions decades ago. Unfortunately, the longer governments do little to nothing, the more these two, primary factors will have to be addressed because they will be the only ones that will ensure our survival.

If you want to complain about our mainstream media, blame them for making taboo the discussion of our global population. It’s not politically correct. How dare we talk about the fact that this planet can not sustain 7+ billion people. Your comfy, suburban life may look manageable but you are in denial about what is taking place in less developed countries or poorer countries who not only can’t feed everyone sufficiently, their islands and shorelines are flooding – for good! And while that pot of water gets warmer and warmer, we are fed celebrity gossip, technological distractions and cheap meat. That entitlement and that sense of complacency is dooming us.

I can’t really blame most people for not knowing or even not caring that more people and more people eating animals is destroying us because there is such a media blackout. But a simple Google search and intellectual curiosity will give you the facts. PopulationMatters.org does a magnificent job informing us about the urgent connection to the planet’s human population and our ecology. And MercyForAnimals.org and the FarmSanctuary.org will change your heart about eating what they and now I call “humanimals,” because we shouldn’t think just because we managed to exploit this planet and other inhabitants, doesn’t make us superior at all. And the vegan recipes are simply delicious. Plus you live longer with fewer health problems. If you followed these sites and read every post in full for one month, I think it would change your choices.

I know there are some who just want to enjoy life and if that means having kids and eating any meat you want, so be it. I won’t be able to convince you differently. Be satisfied with your choices, as I am with mine. My choice not to procreate or eat animal products is living my morality, even if it doesn’t have much planetary impact. I hope we are not heading for mass famine, water shortages and water wars, mass evacuations and die offs, but I think that we are. Since I have no children, perhaps after I am gone, someone will happen upon this post and say this person was right. Little consolation.

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Population: Fruitful Mission Accomplished #atozchallenge

I tend to approach issues at their root cause to find objective solutions and often use the “Conditional Formula,” meaning, “if this, then that.” Therefore when it comes to social and political issues, my life-long, number-one issue is the human population, because there is not one problem that isn’t rooted in our ability to manage 7+ billion humans. I figured someone has to opt out. So I did.

I, hereby, out myself with this deeply-held conviction. Not to compare or minimize what LGBTQ folks endure, but as a straight woman in a society with a near idolatry of all things children, I usually keep my position to myself, thus feeling closeted. I’m a liberal and believe in free will and understand the human desire for fulfillment through parenting. I understand for those with children nothing is more important in life, as nothing should be. I derive an equal level of joy knowing I am mitigating my impact on this planet the best way one can and in alignment with my core principle. I don’t hate children but I don’t want any. Nor do I think that 250 live human births every minute is a miracle. But I do think describing natural, human biology as a miracle is part of the problem. My parents raised me with free will and not only abhorred the idea of imposing one’s beliefs upon another, applauded and agreed with my decision. However I have been chastised and ostracized.

PopulationBabiesThanks to the Internet, I don’t feel quite as alone as I used to with my choice, although most of my friends (no coincidence) don’t have kids, either. The “childless” stigma has abated somewhat in America but is far less taboo in Europe. I share my choice with Helen Mirren, Gloria Steinem, Stevie Nicks, Oprah Winfrey, Chelsea Handler, Jennifer Aniston, Ashley Judd, Marisa Tomei, Margaret Cho, Portia de Rossi, Ellen DeGeneres, Dolly Parton, Katharine Hepburn, Betty White, Lily Tomlin, Anjelica Huston, Liza Minnelli, Kim Cattrall, Candace Bushnell, Cameron Diaz, Zooey Deschanel and lots of not famous women, all who have spoken out about their choice. (Guys, not that you don’t count because you have options, you just don’t have a womb.) Fortunately being first-world females, we have the choice and the ability to live and support ourselves without needing a husband and a family for sustainability.

While I realize there is more emotion tied to human procreation, I submit it took decades to convince the majority that the responsible thing to do was to spay and neuter dogs and cats to avoid over-population. Except for a few who still breed animals for financial profit (and the dopes who support the industry), this is now the norm. Human overpopulation is far more devastating and we have long surpassed the tipping point to our survival. I know how gloom and doom this sounds to some and I know how defensive people get about this. Unfortunately, every reason I chose for not having children has come true and at a faster rate than predicted. We’ve long passed our planet’s optimal maximum for sustainable quality life (depending upon the study, sustainability is between 1.5 and 3.5 billion) well over fifty years ago. Life as we know it, as we are living, is simply unsustainable. But let’s see if my premise is correct; that population is the root to all our problems:

The environment. First, the only reason we call a “natural disaster” a disaster is because it causes harm to people. Hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, forest fires, floods, blizzards, mudslides, volcanoes are natural events. But the more people inhabiting the planet, the greater nature’s impact upon us. But the actual, poisonous damage done to the planet is human caused. And the faster we use up our planet’s resources, the harder it will be to continue to sustain 7+ billion. The western world may feel cushioned but not so for island nations in the pacific that are disappearing under water due to the ice cap melt. Still, Florida is raising their highways because of rising water levels, while California is in a drought and has a year of water in reserve. Our ecosystem depends on the rain forests, which is vanishing at a rate of 80,000 acres a day as land and lumber is needed. Fifty thousand species go extinct every year. Our meat-eating costs an exorbitant amount of land, water and resources. And we continue to disregard the need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels.

Drought

The more people, the easier to exploit labor with more people than jobs. Wages fall. More people means more traffic and more aggressive wear and tear on roads and bridges. The more people, the more hungry mouths to feed and the higher cost to produce more food. And poor countries have a higher death rate so people have more babies so some make it to adulthood. So the birth rates in poorer countries is much higher, putting a bigger drain on limited food and water. One third of our global population is under 20 years old and in under-developed, poor countries. We are in military conflicts for natural resources (oil), which is depleted faster due to more people. And the Syrian conflict is actually over water.

Of course there are other factors that impact society’s problems. But the suffering is greater on 7 billion than three billion. It breaks my heart what we did to this beautiful planet. I know no decision we make is more personal. But it also has the greatest impact.