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View Diary: More on the Issue of Human Monsters (11 comments)

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    Coincidentally, cynndara, that image of the binding of the traditional (elite class) Chinese woman's foot is one I use as a metaphor for the condition of human beings being shaped by civilized societies which were themselves shaped by the selection for the ways of power.

    Explaining that metaphor, I wrote (p. 145):  "We are plastic enough to develop into the stunted form that the forces imposed on us demand.  But how painful not to grow into our true human shape."

    Regarding the serious problem of human population in relation to the earth's sustainable carrying capacity.  The environmental challenge is but one dimension of the transformations needed for a more Whole civilization, but it is an essential one.

     Doubtless there are difficult times ahead:  the disruption of our climate by itself will see to that, even if we made no choices to change in more sustainable directions. But the reduction of human population can be achieved over time without "a lot of people dying."  There are advanced countries now, e.g. in Europe, and I believe also Japan, where the birth rate is lower than the replacement rate. Without immigration, the population decreases-- and without people dying to achieve it (except of course dying in the natural course of the human life-cycle).

    Whether you're right that it would be impossible to have a sustainable population on earth over 700 million people, I don't know. But my guess is that ways of organizing our flows of material and energy could be devised that would be friendly to the biosphere and also could support more than that "tenth of the current population."

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