Image credit: A home in El Salvador being fumigated to prevent the spread of the Zika virus. Photograph: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images
I have long said, agreeing with others like Bill McKibben in this Guardian article, that the ravaging of our environment and climate which continues unabated (Paris agreement? Pffft!) after a century or so of profligate abuse, will lead to conditions where the viability of the human species is in question and there is a real danger of us being killed off by a variety of possible catastrophes. One of those species ending conditions is pandemic outbreaks of bacterial or viral illnesses which we have largely no hope of surviving, and even less hope as our access to resources to combat such outbreaks decreases over time.
Again, that is but one of a number of dangers that we face, but that’s another story.
I don’t quite get McKibben in that article you linked to. I’m sure he knows that the world has a human population problem, yet he says, “A civilization where one can’t safely have a baby is barely a civilization.” In my (ecological) view any sort of virus which cuts down human population is just a form of population control. Other species have them; why shouldn’t we? The fact that we do everything in our power to subvert and remove any form of population control is part of our problem. He can’t have it both ways. Plus he’s obviously rooting for civilisation; not one of Derrick Jensen’s mob, then. I’ll take Derrick any time.
Ah, but you want us all to die Bev, and that may very well come about. But if we are to survive at all as a species, and I would like to think some of us will (otherwise what’s the point of anything), then we need people to have babies. Only not so many people and not so many babies.
Birth. It’s a natural thing. It’s how we all, alive today, came into being. What that has to do with civilisation, I am not sure, but the links must be fairly tenuous. People were happily having babies long before modern civilisation came around, and the population was kept nicely under control by the natural order of things, including war, disease, starvation, etc. All the things we have to look forward to ourselves soon. Won’t that be nice?
I keep trying to tell young women not to have babies right now, because of the uncertainty of the immediate future, but they generally are not listening. I guess that is why I became a grandfather just over a week ago 🙂
“Ah, but you want us all to die…..” But only because the combination of manual dexterity and big brains is a fatal combination for the planet and everything on it. If we had the brains of a chook (well yes, I know most of us do), and chook feet, it wouldn’t matter so much. But anyway….congrats, Grandpa. 😉