What can we do about it?

Tue Mar 28 19:53:09 CST 1995

On Tue, 28 Mar 1995, Warren Lamboy wrote:

> 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.

> 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.

Reduction in numbers will in and of itself help to bring this about.

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

Even better: keep our elected officials constantly informed about human
population effects on the biosphere by writing to them (e-mail, fax,
snail-mail, phone calls) on a regular basis. Who better than TAXACOM
subscribers to educate legislators about biodiversity issues?

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

Population control by pre-conception measures (barrier methods,
sterilization, etc.) will not only help conserve biodiversity by
lessening human demand on biological resources, it will significantly
contribute to the solution of several sociological ills (crime induced by
overcrowding, excess use of abortion as a [post-conception] birth control
measure, etc. etc.....).

I applaud Warren's message, but would add a fourth "what you can do":
in every biology class you are assigned, and never hesitate to bring them
up in seminars, talks to civic groups, museum exhibits, wherever you have
the chance as a professional biologist to provide facts for people to
think about. Use props, humor, technology (video, computers, the Web,
whatever)...I pass out condoms during the final lecture of "Diversity of
Life" (buying 160 condoms at once on a Friday afternoon at the student
health center on campus can be a VERY interesting experience!)--it gets
the attention not only of the class that is present, but all the other
students they talk to, as well.

Meredith A. Lane                Curator, Division of Botany, KU Nat Hist Museum
2045 Constant Ave.                      Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Botany
Lawrence  KS  66047-3729        913/864-4493 or -7364  FAX: -5298 or -5294
                        UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
        mlane at ukans.edu  OR  mlane at kuhub.cc.ukans.edu

ÿÿ    Re: What can we do about it?                                           R

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