It’s Your Turn: People – The Mountain-Ear | #predators | #childpredators | #kids | #parenting | #parenting | #kids

Dave Gibson, Everywhere. When I was born in 1960, there were 3 billion people in the world. Sixty years later, we are pushing 8 billion. At that rate, in another sixty years there will be 21 billion. Imagine! When I moved to Colorado in 1982, I used to fish the Big Thompson River in Rocky Mountain Park surrounded by bugling elk. Now it is an impossible crowd scene with the river off limits during rut. 

When I first began going on safaris 15 years ago, there were more animals than there are today. Elephant tusks make nice trinkets to some and rhino horns good dagger handles to others. Villagers trying to preserve their herds poison carcasses that kill lions and other predators when they wander from protected areas. Nature reserves are now merely islands of genetically un-diverse survivors surrounded by the crush of humanity.

Without expounding on volumes, everywhere you go, there are too many people and they all seem to be in my way. Ruining the planet with their greedy self interests isn’t of great importance to most. Jobs! Growth! Jobs! Growth! has been a running mantra with politicians for decades. They get elected because the majority of voters think it might put more money in their pockets. Tax breaks are given to people with children and the more children they have, the more of a discount they receive! The growth is myopic and unsustainable. In the 1960s overpopulation was a topic of discussion, now it is hardly mentioned as the planet is plundered by more hungry mouths. Every birth is a miracle to be treasured. The birth of your own child is the most incredible and rewarding experience in life, but if you had or have more than two children, you are culpable in contributing to the destruction of our planet and potential demise of all its inhabitants. Until the root of the problem is addressed, I’m tired of hearing about all the other resulting problems. 

Human beings’ inventiveness has saved millions of lives. There are countless good people doing great things for the human condition and the environment, but their efforts are just BAND-AIDS that can never heal the wounds. Probably a pipe dream at this point, if our ingenuity were applied to controlling population growth by stabilizing numbers and later somehow reducing them to say, a more reasonable 3 billion people once again as in 1960 and maintained, there would be economic pain, but lives would improve in the long run and the world would be a better place. Wake up! Make America great again? Let’s make the Earth great again!

The year 2284: Pandemics sweep the globe killing tens of billions of people. Blistering temperatures and acid rain makes growing crops or raising livestock impossible. Birds disappear and all mammals except humans and small rodents have been hunted to extinction. Fresh water is scarce and the oceans are devoid of fish. Having nothing left to eat, human beings turn on each other in roving bands killing anyone they can for sustenance. With the world’s forests long since cleared and the landscape nearly denuded of vegetation, breathing becomes difficult. Those that remain huddle in small groups drawing straws to decide who will be sacrificed for the next meal. In the end, only one person is left who stares blankly into space and expires. 

(Originally published in the June 25, 2020, print edition of The Mountain-Ear. It’s Your Turn stories are reader submitted quarterly and published in print and online throughout the year.)

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