On November 18, 1978, cult-leader Jim Jones ordered members of his commune to commit suicide by drink poisoned kool-aid. Some were forced to drink it and some (such as small children) drank it unknowingly. Roughly 918 people died. The world is infected with mind viruses of overpopulation, climate change and other anti-children fears.
NOTE: Since, people are choosing to misinterpret the last sentence. Here is a clarification. Climate change is caused by 1 trillion tons of excess CO2 and other gases in the atmosphere. This can be offset by increasing the number of trees globally from 3 trillion to 4 trillion. The current efforts to grow trees are by a few dozen poorly funded groups which grow a few billion trees per year which is enough to offset about half of the deforestation of 15 billion trees lost per year. If we were to densify and increase the productivity of farms we could get all the food we need for ourselves and more people and allow the farmers to convert 20-50% of their land to growing trees. This would guarantee the success of mass scale tree growth with forest management. There are high productivity seeds grown on test fields that would triple the production of farms when they are distributed over the next ten to twenty years. Greenhouses can be built at scale which can solve mass starvation and water usage for larger human populations and be part of solving global warming.
Genocide is the intentional destruction of a people in whole or in part. Genocide is a crime under international law. When a people keeps a fertility rate below the replacement rate of 2.1, then it is committing a slow self-genocide to itself. When a person kills themselves that does wrenching damage to the community. Ethicists argue community damage must be counted among the “moral harms” of deliberate self-destruction.
Having a whole population at a total fertility rate of 1.0 means there is halving of the fertile female population every 30-35 years. Sustaining this behavior across a population causes a decimation in the number of grandchildren. Total fertility rate of 2.0 results in four couples having eight children and eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Total fertility rate of 1.0 results in four couples having four children and two grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Decimation is the killing or destruction of a large proportion of a group.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Indian Health Service (IHS in the USA) and collaborating physicians sustained a practice of performing sterilizations on Native American women, in many cases without the informed consent of their patients. In some cases, women were misled into believing that the sterilization procedure was reversible.
Malthusianism is named for the early 19th century scientist Thomas Malthus. He stated that having too many people in the world is the inevitable cause of hunger, starvation, disease, and war. The theory suggests that the population of the world grows exponentially while food production does not with the inevitable result of massive starvation. Modern farming techniques have grown food supplies faster than population growth. The technology of greenhouses can grow ten to thirty times as much food in the same area of land. China is now making 4 million hectares of greenhouses. This mass production of greenhouses will increase the available food by 50%. China will complete making the greenhouses in 2025. Greenhouses also use ten times less water. Greenhouses have existed for hundreds of years.
Stephen Shaw describes how most couples who zero children were actually planning to have 2, 3 or 4 children but were mistaken in believing they could have children after they were 30 and had established a career. Shaw says there is a crisis of unplanned childlessness. 30-40% end up childless because they fail to prioritize having children in time to actually have children.
In fictional story of Silence of the Lambs, the evil villain, Hannibal Lector talks someone in a neighboring cell into committing suicide.
In the science fiction show SG1, there are aliens Aschen. They give a sterilizing anti-aging vaccine to the human population.
Genocide is wrong and one of the worst crimes. Suicide is wrong. Self-Genocide is wrong even if it happens over 100-200 years.
Ideally, we need to cure people of the mind virus that more humans is bad. However, failing that governments will need to maximize the use of fertility treatments and rewards for those willing to have large families. Governments will need to support healthy egg harvesting and wide scale use of surrogates and massive financial support for families.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.