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For some reason this number makes me despair.  Here I am thinking about biking to work again.  I use estate sales to buy some of the things I want, clothes, kitchen stuff, tools, partly because it's cheap and partly because it's true recycling.  I put in energy efficient bulbs.  I keep the heat turned down.

 

Meanwhile the human race is reproducing like bunny rabbits.  Is any individual effort even remotely meaningful?   Should I care about the next wave of floods and storms and droughts killing off a hundred thousand at a sweep?  Should i hold back on charitable giving for medical care to the destitute, and spend it on a trip to Vegas?

 

I don't know what's right, or what's humanistic.  The human race is pretty much like a bunch of pigs in a pig sty, and are rushing headlong to self destruction.  If we consume every thing in site, drown ourselves in our own shit, and continue pumping out litters of babies, why should I even try?  How do I know what's right and what's wrong?

 

My 2 cents.

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Blaming "others" is easy, but any solution will have to be universal. That means a well off couple in Manhattan will have the same "rights" to reproduce as the poorest person in Somalia. Wealthy white folks with two children in developed countries are just as much a part of this problem as "Muslims, black Africans, Mormons, Catholics/Filipinos, and ...other... people that are reproducing like bunny rabbits." because we generate vastly more greenhouse gases and consume vastly more resources. The only solution that will work is a fair one in which poor people won't need ten children to assure they don't starve when they're too old to work, because eight of them will have died.
I think overpopulation will completely destroy our traditional conceptions of morality. The example of the Inuit who kill their children and elderly first in the event of a resource shortage is case in point. You cannot separate morality from utility and/or environmental realities.

That was true of pre-sedentarised, pre-technologised civilisations, but the more technological we become, the more vested interests the powers that be have in conserving enormous masses of cheap humans as means of production to preserve their wealth and power. I don't think that trend is anywhere near done yet. Today's golden rule is : thou shalt not kill the fucker who is ruining your life... :)

Wealth and power spares from the law, people in positions of power do not need to follow the golden rule, they simply buy their way out of shit.

It is also worthwhile to note that humanity has destroyed many of the other ecosystems and species on this planet. This leads to the the hilarious contradiction of animal rights activists. 

 

"Don't put the cheetahs, lions, and tigers in captivity, it's 'inhumane'" they say. Having Exotic pets is inhumane and/or dangerous - ban them. Well here is the choice they and we have to make - either we make the other species of the planet useful in someway to humans or they will be eradicated by resource pressure. Funny thing is that we are killing the most iconic species, animals that we have an affinity for, the more intelligent apex predators, because they require intact ecosystems... while those animals we dislike like parasites, and cockroaches become more common. 

 

Just some thoughts.

Maybe the cheetahs, lions, and tigers would have a better chance if we fed them human babies.  Low carb/high protein.  That would also help with the overpopulation problem.
That's because the animals at the top of the food chain and which are large and mobile take up the most room to live. A Cheetah has a far greater range of living than does a tiny parasite. If it can live in the worst of circumstances and we destroy the land so that the more exotic and (not to be condescending) interesting animals cannot live there then the death we cause only breeds further death. All of the bottom feeders will spread in the decaying land and become more invasive to us.
Im not sold on the rape analogy, sorry.  To me this is more like, you're on the Titanic and all of the lifeboats are gone.  There are a thousand people left on the ship.  There are no floatable items left, but there is a huge plate with 100 jelly donuts in the ballroom.  You have diabetes and heart disease.  Should you avoid the donuts for your health?  Should you divide the donuts so that everyone gets 1/10h of a donut?
What, did the bar run dry?

How about making an announcement that there are 3 lifeboats discovered at the other end of the ship - quick everyone, now is your chance!  Then the jelly donuts are mine, all mine!  Mine!

 

Or... like you say. maybe the ship isn't really sinking - it stablilized but with no engine power.  But there's a thousand people on board!  No radio, no power, no food when the jelly donuts are gone.  And the toilets don't flush.  Time for a lottery.....  

 

(ever read Life of Pi? Not the same analogy tho.  All alone in a lifeboat with a tiger)

I could dunk the jelly donuts in Champaigne!
I kind of like the Titanic analogy. However, it seems different than the donuts. It is not about doing something that is considered to be enjoyable in your last moments. It is instead about living your life the way you want to. If you value being a good person and making the right decisions, such as concerning your health, then it seems this should be how you spend your last moments. Nor does dying tonight mean you should scramble to finish your bucket list it. The issue is about being who you really are and (more importantly) want to be. If you were a good person yesterday, why change that today just because tomorrow may not come?

For me it's largely about seeing what I value being taken away, and feeling completely unable to do anything about it  - a beautiful planet with diversity of species, humans with some hope of living lives without poverty and scarcity (never happened before, I know, probably never happen anyway), the world essentially turning into a pigsty.  

 

If I could invent a virus that would spread like the flu, and result in 95% infertility, with no other lasting negative effects, would I?  Yes.  People would have to take care of themselves in their old age, but the world overall would be better.

 

But that is a fantasy and wont happen.  I just feel like my own efforts are futile in light of how small I feel in front of the word "billion".

 

As is happens, a lot of things that are good for the planet are healthy - living close to work, walking or bike commuting, those reduce risk for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and are psychologically beneficial.  Frugality, such as buying 2nd hand goods, tools, etc, means more security for the future.  Organic gardening, composting kitchen and yard waste, all healthy and pleasurable.  But I feel Im fooling myself to say it will matter to "the planet" or to humanity.

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