.... As far as humanity, and I use the term very loosely, given how many who come under its umbrella behave on a daily basis, I'm not wholly opposed to a cull.
As far as I can see at some point in the 20th Century if not much sooner the maximum "safe" world population of homo sapiens on this bit of space debris was exceeded. So what if global warming is neutralised, as long as we go on breeding at current rates it'll be some other and even more difficult issue that crops up in a few years, there is simply far too many of us demanding too much from too little, and while we may be able to postpone the inevitable, it will eventually get us on our current course, and the longer the postponement is, the greater the destruction will be when it finaly overwhelms us.
Things have already gone so far that letting nature fight back and redress the balance with climate change now, for whatever reason it is happening, if it is indeed happening at all, will not be pretty and its goes against the grain of human compassion, but I'd see it as being cruel to be kind. Stalling that which may prune our numbers in the foreseeable future will just result in some other more brutal, more difficult to counter and more devastating occurance in the slightly longer term future. We cannot "win" as long as we multiply like we are and make the ever increasing demands we are on finite resources.
I agree that there are too many people on the globe, so what are we going to do about it? Let's look at the options.
1. A cull
This immediately raises further questions. Who lives and who dies? Should we, for instance, kill the poorest 3.5 billion, as they are the ones having all the babies? Or should we kill the richest 3.5 billion as they use the most resources? Or should we just all toss a coin, heads you live, tails you die?
Then there's the method of culling and the disposal of the bodies. The Nazi's came up with a most efficient and humane (for the operators) method of mass killing: the gas chamber, and with the myriad of painlessly, instantly lethal nerve gasses designed during the cold war, we can do considerably better than Zyklon B these days (which would make the victims part in the proceedings much less traumatic). The disposal of the bodies, however, presents a more intractable problem. Burning them (as the nazi's did) is out as the carbon footprint would be huge and add to the problem we're trying to solve. Perhaps we could get each of the victims to dig their own grave before entering the gas chamber, or we could uses airtight ovens to turn the bodies into biochar, then use them for fertiliser.
Then, of course, there's the problem of who operates the execution chambers and the administrative problem of enforcement. After all, not all of those selected for death might be expected to walk into the killing chamber voluntarily. But I'm sure there would be plenty of volunteers (such as ghostrider) to enforce compliance. We all need to do our bit to save the planet.
(BTW, heads, I live. Your turn.)
2. Let nature take it's course
In many ways, this would be the easiest course to follow, after all, all we have to do to ensure it happens is... nothing. Nature (or Gaia, if you prefer) will do the messy bit for us. Nature will also take care of the knotty problem of selection, it truly will be a case of survival of the
fittest richest. And there is much we could do to help nature along in this unpleasant task. Ending food aid, AIDS drug provision, vaccination programs and research into tropical diseases would speed things up considerably, and save us a pile of money to boot. Something would have to be done about the media, though. We don't want to have to spend the next 30 years staring at starving African babies on our TV's (and I don't think I could put up with 30 years of Geldof, Sting and Bono preaching at me, could you? Perhaps we should just shoot them first.).
But there's a problem with letting nature do our dirty work for us. Nature is not the most efficient of killers and starving people tend to eat whatever they can find within reach before they die. This would include every animal, insect, tree and blade of grass. Surely the whole point of the exercise is to get rid of the people without destroying the land they currently live on, else we would lose the use of this land, reducing our
lebensraum living space and leaving us right back where we started, too many people trying to live on too little land. (Though, the resulting cannibalism would reduce the body disposal problem somewhat.)
Now, as I hope you have all realised by now, I am not advocating either of the above options as a serious solution to the problem (though some on this forum are advocating option 2), I simply thought I should spell out the (theoretically) available options in order to prompt some serious consideration of the awful consequences which would result from the application of some of the throwaway comments which have been posted on this subject in the past. There is, in my opinion, only one sane, moral and ethical (morals and ethics, what's the difference?) solution to the problem, which is option 3 which I will discuss in my next post.
So, anyway, chew on this for the moment.