Feedback overpopulation:
There is a newsletter called It Goes on the Shelf, or IGOTS by a man named Ned Brooks about books he has got, mostly fantasy and science fiction that he has collected.  He has an evident love of books and a wry and charming style of reviewing them.  He has been kind enough to review in his November 2008 publication.  His website is

Since I have been working on this issue for more than 10 years, just about no one else has seen fit to write down a response and never to respond in writing in public.  Precious few indeed even respond verbally when cornered.  I cannot speak for those who refuse to speak, but I suspect that it is somehow a matter of courage.  So here is someone I invite you to respect.

The courage issue still baffles me.  If you recall the lament, “They make a desert and they call it peace,” it was part of a speech by a Scot referring to the notoriously murderous Romans.  His major point was that it took no courage to resist Rome.  What the Romans regularly committed was so heinous that the most abject coward would throw his life on the line rather than risk succumbing to them.  I occasionally feel the same way about this matter. 

So one man has spoken up, and since he has I take it that he speaks for everybody.  He raises two issues that I suppose are on everybody’s mind.  The first is overpopulation, and the second I shall address in a couple of day.

He properly points out that I say stirring up the gene pool results in reduced rates of reproduction.  He mentions globalization and immigration, but they are not actually important.  Stirring up a gene pool of a few a few thousand people is already to invite catastrophic fertility loss.  He goes on to say that I feel this is a “bad thing.”  (He uses italics to indicate irony.  I use capitals.  When I use italics I mean is straight.)  But he remains unmoved because the world is on the way to overpopulation. 

As for the bad thing thing, I confess he has a point.  I occasionally blurt out that the survival of civilization itself is on the line and I would hate to see the treasures of civilization lost.  But that is only a personal opinion.  Some strange thing about the wiring of my brain makes me like just about everything I am accustomed to.  But I suspect I am in the minority in having this reflex, and I am in no position to be critical of those with a different attitude.  If people want civilization to perish, that should be their choice, little as I may like that myself. 

What I do think is that people need to know what they are doing.  If the intent is long term survival, then the question of gene pool size must be considered.  I simply don’t understand how such an enormous issue can honestly be left to ignorance. 

Perhaps if he as said “a degree of drop in fertility” or “some drop infertility” or “a temporary drop in fertility” would be good then we could easily find common ground.  But that is now what he said so since he is speaking for you, you must be assuming any fertility is always bad.  You certainly have a lot of company, and I admit you cannot number me among that company.  If in fact you think the continuation of humanity is desirable, then you need to get very busy getting the word spread.

There is another issue with overpopulation.  Suppose I wanted to run people’s lives.  I do not, but a lot of people are more than willing to get power and then force others to their will.  Suppose that is your mental set.  You want to run things.  And suppose you decided we needed to keep having babies.  What rules would you establish?

You would take anybody who was a potential parent aside and quiz the person.  The first question would be, “Are you healthy and strong enough to have children?”  If not, don’t.

The second question you would ask would be, “Do you want to have grandchildren?”  If the answer is no, then you simply advise the person not to have children.  That is easy.

Next you ask, “Do you want to have children?”  They are expensive and time consuming in a way that grandchildren are generally not.  If the answer is no, then again you advise the person not to have children.  That is easy too.

Next you ask, “Can you afford them?”  If not, don’t do it.

Next you ask, “Do you know any third through sixth cousins?”  If not, don’t bother making the effort. 

Then you ask, “Would one make a suitable mate?”  If no, no go.

Then, “Does that cousin want children and grand children and is that cousin strong enough and prosperous enough to do it?”  That is four questions. 

Finally, “Are the two of you in love, you with the other and the other with you?”  If you have 12 straight yes answers, then you suggest action. 

I fail to see how this leads to overpopulation in the foreseeable future.  I don’t know a single person who would pass on every point.  Such a strategy would take an already unsustainable birth rate and reduce it drastically.  On the other hand, what children were born would actually be happy, healthy and fertile.  There might even be enough of them to carry on a literate society. 

As I said, I have no agenda.  I don’t want to force anybody into anything.  But I want people to know the truth, and I think nobody in good conscience could oppose it.

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