what can we do, ZPG, etc.

Tim Dickinson timd at ROM.ON.CA
Wed Mar 29 19:03:53 CST 1995

     i _don't_ know about keynes or friedman or those guys, but it seems to
     me the equation is more complex than just population.

     nationalism vs the globalism.  like it or not (i despise the idiot
     flag-waving, "patriotic" version i grew up with in the usa), nation
     states have their uses.  they are finite units with known ecological
     constraints, and some at least have _some_ historical basis for
     existing (canada, quebec... ).  they are the units of governance, so
     that laws can be made for them that reflect some kind of national
     will, assuming some form of democracy.  for example, nationalistic
     barriers to free trade mean that every nation can be to some extent
     self-sufficient in food production, thus protecting a diversity of
     ways of life, land uses, etc.  globalism (e.g. north american free
     trade) means that business is business, and you get yr food wherever
     multinational corps can buy it cheapest.  goodbye family farm, hello

     technology.  skilled jobs producing new goods are being replaced by
     lower paid unskilled production or service industry ones.  given
     globalism and technology, jobs and people migrate so as to reduce the
     cost of labor, so that a lot of incomes stay low or get lower and only
     a relatively few see their incomes increase (obscenely?)  people in
     micronesia or mexico or macao want a slice of the pie too, and we in
     the (free trading) 1st world get nice cheap clothes, inexpensive data
     entry, what have you, to go with our constrained middle class (or
     worse) incomes.

     population.  no question, _more_ people want slices of the pie.

     unfettered capitalism.  the "national will" arguably can be bamboozled
     into thinking that deregulation is the answer, witness the 1994
     congressional election in the usa.  bamboozled because individuals and
     corporations with incredible resources have a huge financial stake in
     deregulation and freer trade.  all the ills of us society are laid at
     the door of the new deal, supposedly the us version of socialism.  it
     never was.  the chickens (of poverty, racism, etc.) were detoured and
     delayed by new deal policies, but they are heading home to roost
     regardless - because the attempt to achieve social justice was so
     half-hearted in the first place.  [further digression:  the usa and
     former ussr really weren't that different.  government jobs in both
     systems were/are sinecures in which it has been possible to do little
     or nothing and get paid, or invent work and get paid.  same jobs also
     provide opportunities for creative, responsible people to do important
     things, but....]

     so what then can we do about it?  all the things warren lamboy
     suggests (i.e.

     >The most important is to work to limit the growth of the human
     >population to zero and actually to decrease (in the long run)
     >the total number of human inhabitants of the earth.

        by making it more fun and more secure to have only one kid,
        if that (i have 2).

     >The second is to ensure that the number of unwanted children
     >that are born is minimized, so that those children that are
     >brought into the world know what it is like to be well-cared
     >for, and in turn, can care for someone and something else,
     >e.g., the natural world.

        so support universal access to daycare, planned parenthood,
        public education, sex education, and so many other things
        that are supposed to be BAD.  (i like neal evenhuis' point
        about religion. inadvertently i've put my 6 yr old off the
        bible because of the 'dominion over the earth' bit.

     >The third is to become active in organizations such as the
     >Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, local plant and animal groups,

        ok, but i'm not a fan of groups that hold up rats and mice as
        victims of "scientific fascism."  i may have chosen to work
        with plants but i like eating and being healthy.

     >Of course, unless human population growth is brought to zero,
     >prospects for ultimately saving natural diversity are nil.),

     but recognizing the larger context that i suggest above is
     operative, and recognizing that maybe what we need is a much
     more fundamentally subversive movement based on a combination of
     altruism and _enlightened_ self-interest.  [i can just see all
     those corporate donations to organizations i respect drying up
     all over the place...  there are NO simple answers]

     i will not do this again.

     cheers, ---tad.

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