There has been a new documentary circling around on the internet since yesterday and I have a feeling this is going to be a major hit. It is a documentary by Michael Moore called Planet of the Humans.
While it is an eyeopener to find out, for those who haven’t yet, that the current technologies and methods we use for green energy aren’t green at all. In fact, new innovations make no difference compared to the previous innovations we used. There is however a solution (or rather a method of delay) that the system is going to implement with a sleight of hand trick.
Michael Moore, and many others, are attacking the system incorrectly, if they value wildness. If not, they are doing a great job pushing the system into a direction it is already going. In the documentary they proposed the following:
i) limit population growth
ii) limit energy consumption
I don’t agree with the above proposals for a very simple reason: because humans are obligated to adjust to the needs of the system. In essence it is again a “The System’s Neatest Trick” strategy. Many people who advocate limitations on population growth and energy consumption will be silenced once the system regulates population growth and energy consumption. The system will expand itself and its destruction continues while it takes control of loose ends. It won’t be the system that limits its own energy consumption, it is us who will. Thus the problem persists.
What people do not realize is that we are able to increase in numbers because of industrial civilization and only because the system has not regulated population growth and energy consumption yet. Without modern medicine, modern housing, and industrial agriculture we would not be able to proliferate.
Once the system decides who gets children and who doesn’t (and which industries uses most energy) instead of the natural world, it has to taken care (temporarily) of the problem of overpopulation and excessive energy consumption. In the wild nature it is nature who controls such factors, not the system. In the wild nature it is often the weak who are not surviving. So in essence by limiting population growth and energy consumption we are helping the system by giving it control. The system takes away our last bit of freedom, autonomy and dignity and continues its own expansion, destruction and control.
What is life if not lived naturally and free from artificial systems?
Ted Kaczinsky answered this question quite thoroughly in his manifesto.
In the end, it boils down to an individual question: what do I have to do.
Asking a general philosphical question: “should the population decrease”, is irrelevant because you have no lever, being a powerless individual, to change the course of population evolution (people in industrialized country cannot have many kids and their share in the population dynamic is now irrelevant).
However you can choose or not to have children, keeping in mind that you want the natural world to function and thrive.
But, If you are asking yourself such questions, then you have to try to preocreate, according to T.K. If you don’t, will only procreate those who do not give a damn, weither due to genetical disposition (favoured by the indsutrial society who rewards and selects the “nature rapist” attitude) or deeply grounded cultural values that most likely only parenthood can influence. In the end those who raid nature will remain alone and keep plundering without hindrance (and disappear in the end as well).
We are at war and a war need soldiers. This is why we need to have children and not leave the earth to others.
If you are deeply concerned and have a real connection to the natural world you will face anyway a lot of hindrances coming from nature itself (tough to have kids beacause you do not earn much and cannot produce a huge amount of food if you do not use all sort of machines, time consuming to parent them if you want to pass knowlege and not let the system educating them). Hindrances also come from the industrial society which does not favour reproduction of its own members (prefer cheap labour from outside to maximize profit, infertility due to pollution will only worsen and necessary measures to alleviate the burden of parenthood are minimal and costs rising fast).
It is also not clear how much of a burden humans are. Industrial humans are clearly a terrible thing, but there was a natural drive to create human beings as they are and humans can also have a positive impact if they craft nature toward resilience and diversity. Human can bring water, bring species where it would take for them too long to spread without help.
But using industrial tools to engineer Nature can only lead to collapse. Industry needs standardization, sped and mass production to function, Nature has its own cycles needs complexity and diversity.