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Earth Day '09

We seem to have made it through the whole winter without contracting anything vile, but now, as the spring begins in earnest, Spooky and I both appear to have come down with something unpleasant. Which just figures.

Yesterday, I wrote a very respectable 1,451 words on "At the Deeper Gate of Slumber." It's coming out a sort of sequel to Lovecraft's "The Haunter of the Dark" (1935). I think I'm liking where it's going. Anyway, it'll appear later this month in Sirenia Digest #41.

We had rain last night, and it was a fine, hard rain. The sort I just want to lie in the quiet and listen to for hours. The sun's back this morning. There was a moderate seizure late yesterday. Which I should have seen coming, after two nights of bad insomnia (and last night made night #3).

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In last year's Earth Day entry, I noted that as of "...14:57 GMT (EST+5) today, the Earth's human population had reached 6,662,970,347 (with the US population accounting for 303,912,188 of those humans; that's one birth every 7 seconds in the US)." This year, the human population has risen, as of 14:35 GMT (EST+5), to 6,775,017,443 worldwide, with the US population weighing in at 306,268,833*. Humanity has radically outstripped the carrying capacity of its environment. "Carrying capacity" is defined as the population of a given species that can be supported indefinitely in a defined habitat without permanently damaging the ecosystem upon which it is dependent. For humans, the Earth’s carrying capacity is estimated by ecologists to be about 2 billion people. And we passed that number 4,775,017,443 people ago. As I wrote last year (quoting my entry from 4/22/07):

"And today is Earth Day. And it seems to me that people are more concerned with finding 'green' solutions that will permit business as usual, and continuing technological escalation, rather than drastically scaling back this runaway civilization, which is the only truly 'green' solution. The only solution at all. I might as well be asking for world peace, and I know that. Humans hate. Human breed. Humans consume. Humans spoil. There are other things that humans do, and some of them are wonderful, but the global effects of these wonderful capabilities pale by comparison with all the hating, breeding, consumption, and spoilage. I do not hate humans, and I don't want to give that impression, but I see no point in denying that today, on this Earth Day, I'm rooting for the other team."

* courtesy the US Census Bureau's US and World Population clocks.

Comments

( 13 comments — Have your say! )
robyn_ma
Apr. 22nd, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
'And it seems to me that people are more concerned with finding 'green' solutions that will permit business as usual, and continuing technological escalation, rather than drastically scaling back this runaway civilization, which is the only truly 'green' solution.'

Fuck yeah. ZPG, baby. That's where it's at.

I think it was George Carlin who said something like 'Fuck the planet, the planet will survive, it's humanity you environmentalists care about saving.'

Someday the earth will just shrug us annoyances right off its back. I'd be wholeheartedly on board with that if not for the blameless species we're taking down with us.
greygirlbeast
Apr. 22nd, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC)

I think it was George Carlin who said something like 'Fuck the planet, the planet will survive, it's humanity you environmentalists care about saving.'

As usual, there's no improving on George Carlin.

Someday the earth will just shrug us annoyances right off its back. I'd be wholeheartedly on board with that if not for the blameless species we're taking down with us.

Ditto.
robyn_ma
Apr. 22nd, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC)
I see people on my Facebook going 'Happy Earth Day!' and they've got, literally, four kids. Cognitive fucking dissonance.

Harlan always likes to say he believes in a species that can write Moby Dick and paint the Sistine Chapel. Well, it's been a long time since both of those.
greygirlbeast
Apr. 22nd, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
I see people on my Facebook going 'Happy Earth Day!' and they've got, literally, four kids. Cognitive fucking dissonance.

What is it "kids these days" say? Oh, yeah. "facepalm"

Harlan always likes to say he believes in a species that can write Moby Dick and paint the Sistine Chapel. Well, it's been a long time since both of those.

Hey, but..um..what about the XBox 360, and plastic water bottles, and disposable diapers, and the iPhone?
robyn_ma
Apr. 22nd, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
What is it "kids these days" say? Oh, yeah. "facepalm"

Actually that takes too long to Twitter. Nowadays it's just 'face'

Hey, but..um..what about the XBox 360, and plastic water bottles, and disposable diapers, and the iPhone?

Or Alabaster in a new trade paperback, shipping soon from Subterranean Press?

C'mon, you're slippin'. 'Do you want dead trees to go to waste? Of course you don't. That's why, on Earth Day, you need to pre-order this. Zac Efron Twittered that it's 'the rad read of the year'! Remember, kiddos, if you don't order this today, you might as well just chop down a baby tree and piss on it.'
greygirlbeast
Apr. 22nd, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC)

Or Alabaster in a new trade paperback, shipping soon from Subterranean Press?

Touché.
greygirlbeast
Apr. 22nd, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)

Oh...and just to show how "current" I am these days, I assumed that Zac Efron was a name you'd made up. But I just looked it up on Google and discovered otherwise.
txtriffidranch
Apr. 22nd, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
As always, he was absolutely right. The planet's survived far worse mass extinctions, and come back with even more biological diversity. Humanity, though, is now at the point where it's about as specialized as a giant panda, and the concerns about saving the panda are really just concerns about seeing reflections of the panda's keepers in its eyes.
greygirlbeast
Apr. 22nd, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)

Humanity, though, is now at the point where it's about as specialized as a giant panda, and the concerns about saving the panda are really just concerns about seeing reflections of the panda's keepers in its eyes.

Nicely put.
mr_earbrass
Apr. 22nd, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
Not to be a threadjacker but the blank, if not horrified, looks I get from people when I tell them I got a vasectomy because if I ever want kids I'd prefer to adopt still weirds me out. I can understand the urge to raise children but we've got so frickin many already here and in desperate need of a loving, if not biological, parent...Between the legions of unwanted and orphaned children and the environmental impact of creating more humans, one would think there'd be some kind of effort to educate people on adopting needy kids instead of popping out more. Then again, considering the most forward-thinking US president in memory opted to get his dog from a breeder instead of from a shelter I suspect the chances of getting him--or anyone else of comparable authority--to back a domestic ZPG incentive is nigh inconceivable.

OK, I'm done with this here soapbox if anyone else needs it.
txtriffidranch
Apr. 22nd, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know. Both my wife and I have the same exact attitude, to much horror from both sides of our extended family.
txtriffidranch
Apr. 22nd, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC)
You aren't saying anything I haven't been saying for quite some time. My wife and I are now taking quite a bit of grief over our decision not to have children because of some idiotic idea that "the smart ones should be breeding." This isn't just an incredible presumption that (a) any children of mine are going to make any contribution to the planet, (b) their father was anything more than free-range Soylent Green, and (c) that the children of "the dumb ones" won't eclipse anything any of my genetic heirs attempt to do. I'm also insulted because these dolts keep asking me "Are you sure you don't want children?" No, lady, I only went through the discomfort of a vasectomy because I like getting non-critical surgeries.

Besides, the way I look at it, it's one thing to espouse a position, but it's another to take active steps to do one's part to make it happen. I find it really interesting that far too many of the "this planet is too crowded" contingent (and I want to emphasize that this does NOT include you) figure that everybody else should make the sacrifice by not breeding. Forget that noise.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Apr. 23rd, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)

Have you seen the campy-yet-interesting Japanese film Tokyo Gore Police? Sounds like an anime, though it's live action. With much, erm, gore. It's set in the future and...in particular, the fetish club scenes and the limbless woman with interchangeable weapons for arms and legs came to mind while reading.

I haven't, though I have heard of it. I should warn you, though. I'm kind of touch and go when it comes to campy. Sometimes it works for me, but not usually.


I thought you might get a kick out of that old picture of Vince Locke and I.


That is an utterly adorable photograph.

Really loving Sirenia Digest, btw.

I'm very glad to hear that!
( 13 comments — Have your say! )