Undoubtedly, one of the main challenges facing the planet is the proliferation of the human species. Education will help, but certainly not adress the full challenge. To preserve the planet we need to adress the topic directly and from many angles at the same time.
Even if we produce energy ever more efficient and resource-saving and reduce energy consumption in production and use, these efforts will be nullified in the medium term by the worldwide increase in population and the ever higher demands of both developed and emerging societies. At some point, there will no longer be enough energy sources, food and water on spaceship earth. We need to start addressing the challenge as soon as possible. If this problem is not tackled planet-wide from a non-discriminatory organization, ethically dubious solutions or struggles for resources will inevitably result. If, for example, China or some other powerful nation feels compelled to solve the planet’s overpopulation problem to have a future of its own, very radical solutions may emerge.
Campaigns that propagate small families with well-educated children can support the cause. Somewhat more radical would be a self-commitment of the members of the terraistic association not to have more than two children or a financial incentive of employers organized in the association for families with a maximum of two children. In many and very relevant countries around the world, such support would not need to be high to make a difference. The free or subsidized distribution of condoms and IUDs would probably also be a benefit to the planet’s overall welfare balance.
Delicate, but in my opinion unavoidable, is to deal with the religions of this world. It cannot be that the Catholic Church in the third millennium after Christ’s birth still propagates contraceptive-free sexual intercourse. In industrialized societies, only marginalized groups adhere to it anyway, but precisely where a lower birth rate would be desirable – in Latin America and parts of Africa – a change in policy could make a difference. As a secondary effect, the usage of condoms would help tackling some diseases and improve world health. I have not researched on the dogmas of other religions in detail in this area, but they exist. Wherever one finds teachings condemning contraception or praising abundance of children as God’s will, this should be counteracted. A non-profit organization committed to Terraism would be the right partner to engage in dialogue with religious representatives, organize conferences and bring about transparency and publicity about the approach and effects.
Many of the above topics will not be adressed by nations. Partly because of their committment to tradition and religion and partly because the topic is so delicate adressing it may cause approar and uneasy disputes. An independant association is in a much better position to tackle the challnge based on donations.
Next week we will see how the terraistic association may contribute to the planet preservation by dealing with green technology.