Saying the Unthinkable

by fmhilton

The other day, I was perusing TechDirt. As usual I skimmed through it, and a brief article caught my eye-about how some governments, faced with the aging of their populations, have gotten into the act of encouraging people to have more children for their future growth as a nation.

They mentioned China (recently dropped their 1-child limit), Denmark and a few others. All of which I believe (along with others) are rather stupid.
As usual, I posted a brief and concise commentary on the idea. I figured that was the extent of the idea and logged out.

A few hours later, I went back to check to see if anyone had posted a rebuttal to my comment.

Imagine my overwhelming surprise when the comments thread was headed with my comment in 16 bold print.

It had been chosen as the comment of the thread and the day. I was stunned to see it commanding space that normally would not have been taken over by any comment.

“More people?
Let’s put it this way-with 7 billion people on this planet, there is not one good reason for more people to have babies.
We’re on a course for self-extinction the way we are. Putting more people in it for sake of having future workers is pretty short sighted and ignorant.
Don’t worry, we won’t have to live here forever, will we? We’ll colonize Mars any day now, won’t we?
—FM Hilton

Now, normally, you would never catch me being so downright pessimistic or negative about the future of mankind-at least in public.

But as time goes on, I’ve grown extremely disabused of the notion that we can save this planet from extinction. Through meagre half-steps and sops to public outrage, we’re assuming that we can survive just fine and dandy without dramatic and stunning change.

We won’t. It’s almost a guarantee now.

You read my comment right. I am outright stating that we all should stop having children, period. No ifs, ands, or buts.

I will not apologize for this. I will not back down, nor will you ever hear of my back-pedaling it.

Because it’s the truth. The sooner we all face the fact that we singlehandedly destroyed the very planet we inhabit, the sooner we’ll stop thinking we can save it in bits and pieces.

“Oh, but you have had children, you’re part of the problem”, might be your answer to my diatribe.

But you’re wrong. At an early age, I realized what was going on, and decided that I would not bring a child into a world that was disintegrating rapidly. I would not have any child of mine inherit such a horrible mess.

So despite everyone badgering me for it, I kept to my vow. I don’t have any children. I know quite a few others who have done the same. Not for the same reason, but it’s pretty apparent that pretty soon your grandchildren, and their children will be inhabiting a world that has fallen apart and can’t be fixed easily, if at all.

It’s long overdue for us to face reality: we did this, and we have nobody to blame for it but ourselves.

What we do with this knowledge now is up to us.

Not the corporations, the oil companies, the mining companies, entire countries. They would have you believe that it’s not a real problem, global climate change, or that it’s not becoming worse every single second another human being is born. They’re in it up to their eyeballs. Denial is their official currency.

We get to decide what we’re supposed to do with this world. Everyone is involved.

As the old saying from the sixties goes:
“Either you’re part of the problem or you’re part of the solution.”

Which part are you?

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