Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Too Many People?

Talk of overpopulation as the prime problem facing the planet - even if it comes from the lovely lips of Selena Dreamy - always leaves me feeling queasy. The question is, what would you do about it? (Not you, Elberry - death sqauds aren't an altogether realistic option, outside South America anyway). Enforced contraception was tried and failed in India (a brutal business too - see Rohinton Mistry's great novel A Fine Balance). Even a totalitarian state like China was unable fully to enforce its one child policy, despite forced abortions etc. Surely the only humane solution is to encourage capitalism, as it seems to be universally true nowadays that the more economically active and money rich we get, the fewer children we have - the prosperous natives of most of Europe are barely bothering to breed at all, leaving that kind of thing to the underclass. Elsewhere in the world, the poor breed because they have to - lift them out of poverty (microcredit? I'm all for it) and they'd soon stop. Anyway, there's always Nature, currently hard at the work of depopulation in Burma and Sechuan. Or we might just wipe ourselves out...

9 comments:

  1. Well one way to start would be to demand that anyone who complains of an overcrowded planet should be required to remove themselves from the ranks of the living immediately or stop whinging about it.

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  2. The mechanics of depopulation then, I leave, and emphatically without regret, to the genius of Recusant...

    But that apart, there is not one problem that I can think of today that would not be alleviated by population reduction. Global warming, pandemics, crime, drugs, poverty and education etc. Just because the problem leaves us feeling queasy doesn't warrant us to ignore it. As Prince Philip recently said: “ "People don't realise it is the species that matter - not the individual - from the conservation point of view. You've got to be fairly hard-hearted about it.”

    Of course, he was talking about pheasants - bless him, but the principle still applies.

    The fact of the matter is, that random population growth impacts directly on everything, including the invasion of a personal boundary and the denial of primary needs, while attempts to encourage a mature debate about rising population levels are almost universally met with ever more desperate self-deception. So it is certainly true that one of the most pernicious and misleading beliefs is that there is something called >demographic levelling out<. For if the prosperous natives of most of Europe are barely bothering to breed at all- they certainly provide the conditions for the less prosperous to compensate - and that at a terrifying pace.

    Believe me, nature intended otherwise! - and I am rather less concerned about preventing Malthusian Typhoons and Tsunamis, than I am deeply afraid for the state and the nation of England...

    Dreamy

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  3. i think mass sterilisation is the most humane and reasonable option. When i am made Prime Minister, as will surely happen in good time, i shall have everyone living in certain areas sterilised, also anyone with a violent criminal record and anyone below certain literacy levels.

    Now, if you'd give me free rein i'd not only sterilise but exterminate the brutes. Think of the economic advantages if 95% of the denizens of Middlesbrough & Sunderland were exterminated, what a great weight taken from the taxpayer's shoulders in terms of benefit payments to junkies and Geordies.

    Charity starts at home.

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  4. i've been getting quite excited thinking about this mass extermination plan of yours, Nige. It is clear that, under Nu Labour, the lower man - the beast on 2 legs, barely capable of speech or reason - has waged war on the higher man. It is time for the higher man to fight back, not with any middle class scruples but with cunning, ruthlessness, and a heavy hand.

    The day when a group of men in tweed can stir terror among the ghetto-dwellers, and enforce the rule of law by foul means alone, will be a glorious day. i anticipate a future in which Oxford dons will take up the sword of the Lord, and take to the streets to administer some hard education to the base masses.

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  5. When you become PM elberry, I fully expect you to turn into chemicalberry and depopulate Sunderland. The simple, pragmatic solution to a surfeit of saucepan lids is to ban women from the planet, ther'e a real pain in the backside, always moaning, wanting to be in charge, yeah, right!. In my 65 years on this earth the one basic truth I have learnt is that women equal trouble.
    Tell me this, if women are now as emancipated as they say they are then how come the real eye candy with pointy knockers always marry the sweaty, ugly, old men with money instead of cool, Robert Redford types like me? Screw the lot of them, that's wot I say, oops, that's a contradiction, that would increase the population, now let me see.
    I know, lets have a nulab solution, ban nookie.

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  6. Frau malty has just told me to retract that statement about burdz or there will be no dinner for me tonight, statement retracted.

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  7. ...ban nookie?

    Are you quite sure, Malty?

    I'd first like to show you how I look on all fours...

    D.

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  8. If you wish selena, I will make you the exception.

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