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Unhappy Earth Overshoot Day!

Unhappy Earth Overshoot Day!

Today is the day that we humans as a species are officially considered to be overdrawn on our use of the Earth’s Bank Account.

What is the Earth’s Bank Account?

That term refers to the Earth’s natural resources: healthy food, safe and clean water, clean air, space in which to live, minerals, etc.

There is a website that deals with this issue called Earth Overshoot Day:

Earth Overshoot Day 2016

Earth Overshoot Day Logo

On this site, one can look up the human ecological footprint in various spots around the planet. It’s fun and interesting to look up…and depressing.

We humans currently, as of this writing, number 7.4 billion. The precise number keeps rising, but here is what I just found: 7,417,192,146.

There are several world population meters online, but this one is my favorite: http://www.eahdfoundation.org/world_live_clock.php

It has a lot of different categories, including geographic, demographic, age, health, type of death, births, miscarriages, abortions, etc.

I like to see the breakdown.

Last night, I looked on the Population Matters page of Facebook and found myself reading article after article.

It doesn’t help that the Summer Olympics of 2016 are currently underway in one of the most water-polluted cities on the planet, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There have been several articles about that problem this week, including run-downs of the bacteria and viruses that are 50 percent higher there than in nations with better infrastructure, such as the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Britain, etc. The point is that the relatives and coaches and other foreigners in that city to watch the athletes will likely get terribly sick if they go near the beaches or rivers, as will any athlete not taking preventive antibiotics. Even then, it’s a significant risk.

Here is the article I found last night:

‘Don’t put your head under water’: Athletes who ingest just three teaspoons of Rio water risk getting violently ill

This morning, I found another one on Rio’s fetid water:

Brazil’s sewage woes reflect the growing global water quality crisis

Each article includes several photographs to illustrate the point, but it is a far cry from being there, seeing the fecal matter and trash up close, and smelling it. People attending the Olympics will come away with a profound sense of disgust and, hopefully, alarm.

But will anything much be done about this once the event is over? Human nature suggests that it will not.

I kept reading because I was hooked. Population problems drew me in as usual.

Egypt’s population has increased to 90 million. Irrigating the banks of the River Nile will only go so far, and then it can’t reach everyone, because there are just too many people who need to be reached. They also don’t have enough jobs or food, and struggle to pay the rent. What they really need first and foremost is access to birth control, but stupid husbands who block their wives’ access to it in various Islamic nations get in the way. This NPR story highlighted a family with 9 children who can pretty much forget about a future with a good life of fresh food and education, nor of interesting work. Actually…forget about the work too. No work.

Egypt’s Population Surges Past 90 Million, Straining Resources of a Poor Nation

It doesn’t get any better in China or India. In fact, it gets worse there, with India looking ahead to a thoroughly miserable future of millions of young people, both skilled and unskilled, seeking nonexistent jobs. I have chatted with some of them online. They want to get married, they are very unhappy being celibate (due to their culture and unmarried status), and they are unconcerned about preventing future births. I find this appalling but not at all surprising. They will be passing the same miserably unsolvable problems on to a subsequent generation if they proceed. If I were one of them, I would already be furious with my parents for creating me and thus foisting this situation upon me. But…too bad! There must be offspring to act as old-age caregivers to the current parents of adult children. Silly me…I thought that reproduction was a gamble, and one that may or may not pay off. The offspring may move far, far away and thus not be a caregiver to you. The offspring may get killed in an accident or resource war. They offspring may simply not want to be a caregiver. Life brings all sorts of nasty and unexpected surprises.

This article discusses the statistics of future humans in India and the misery that they can expect with unemployment, in some detail:

By 2050, Millions Of Youth In India Are Going To Be Unemployed: Report Reveals How

It even has a disturbing image of unhappy Indian guys staring back at the reader. They already exist! The article wastes no time in mentioning that this situation is already leading to violence. Oh, yay! So much for women traveling in the Land of Spices to see the beautiful sites, hear the sitar music, and taste the delectable Indian recipes. The land will be overrun with angry young men, full of hormones…

The BBC took the anxiety to another ring of hell on Earth by discussing the difficulty of inducing men in Africa to use condoms and thus prevent the spread of disease, such as Herpes and AIDS. It’s also nice not to end up stuck with children who can’t be fed, clothed, or educated due to such carelessness, thoughtlessness, and selfishness, which is still a major obstacle to condom use.

How do you make a man wear a condom?

Meanwhile in the developed world, we in the United States are insufficiently concerned about human overpopulation. We are still reproducing at a rate that far outstrips our own resources, importing much of our food, and using more and more space for housing and cemeteries (why can’t we all just be cremated, and thus save space for the living while never giving the maggots a chance to feast on us?!).

Growing population drives demand for housing

I mentioned cemeteries, so here is an older article, entitled City Cemeteries Face Gridlock, that deals with the problem:

Hindus who go to the River Ganges for purification ritual baths now encounter rotting corpses. Not quite the experience they were looking for…

Dead bodies found floating in Indian river: More than 100 decaying bodies thought to be water burials surface in river Ganges considered sacred by Hindus.

Hong Kong and Singapore are having trouble keeping their dead in one place, as there are time limits on space due to new dead coming into cemeteries every 15 years. Cremation seems more feasible, and many are opting for it.

How Asia’s dead are causing instability

I wonder when cremation will become the norm, and then the standard, and then required for all? Not soon enough to help the planet, and us!

Cremation on its own would be enough for me, but this idea takes it a bit farther, to growing a tree where the ashes go. Great, but scattering eliminates the need to visit a cemetery, which are often dangerous places due to humans with criminal intent. Still, I like it.

How to Turn Into a Tree After You Die

But as long as we are overpopulated by living humans, we have quality-of-life issues to deal with:

What happens when a nation can’t accommodate the needs of its population? The population migrates elsewhere. Never mind whether or not “elsewhere” can accommodate both its own population and newcomers, though. It is considered politically incorrect and reprehensible to protect one’s own nation’s space, resources, and cultural identity by refusing to take in migrants. Places with stable, native populations are under siege, and those native populations are not happy about it. Hence the salutation of this post, “UNhappy Earth Overshoot Day”.

Britain’s population could overtake FRANCE within a decade as migrants looking to start families flock to the UK

This story by Bloomberg News talks about the result of all of these problems that we can reasonably expect. We can expect it right now, in fact.

Recipe For War: Remove Water and Food, Add Ethnic Strife—Then Stir

Women who are not maternal and who do not wish to reproduce ought to be respected rather than criticized, and since I am one of them, I demand this from people in my everyday life. There is nothing wrong with not wanting babies, with having other personal goals, with loving cats instead of unnecessary human offspring/DNA replicants, and thus not making Earth Overshoot Day come any earlier in the year than it already does.

For the record, we are NOT childless. We are called child-free. This term reflects the fact that we are happy about our situation.

People who don’t have children benefit our environment more than any campaign – it’s time to celebrate them

I want fresh fruits and vegetables for all, great educations for all, interesting, fulfilling work for all, and plenty of personal space along with respect for people who choose not to reproduce. That’s why I put all of those ideas into a dystopian science fiction series. I want people to think about all of this, the ramifications of what will happen if we do nothing about any of it or if we do much about it – both good and bad ramifications – and I want them to discuss it. No solution is perfect, but questioning nothing and doing nothing different is idiocy, so I wrote my books. One more is in the works. Almost finished!

Final Nae-Nee Cover Art - Katelyn M. Gagnon - Lulu Publishing Format Vaccine - The Cull - Final Cover Illustration by Steve Palmerton

The Nae-Née novels are available in digital and printed formats on Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s websites.

Please check them out. They tell an interesting tale of overshoot and lead the reader on a merry tour of the world and its ecological bank account.

The first book was even trolled, which means it touched a few nerves, so it’s not dull, bland, or unremarkable. Quite the opposite is true.

Unhappy Earth Overshoot Day to you!

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