Photos from 3 weeks in Todos Santos, Mexico. After living there last winter, it was restorative to spend time with family, old friends, and mountains. Quotes from Alan Weisman’s (“The World Without Us”) newest book, Countdown. Incredible achievement covering the complexities of our world population predicament. Heavy. Bleak. And important as hell. Read it.
A World Bursting its Seams. “Even if today’s breeding generation is having fewer children per family, because their grandparent and parents had so many, every four-and-a-half days, there are a million more people on the planet. Even to a schoolchild, that does not sound very sustainable.”
The Great Wall of People. “Throughout China are troubling messes born of the one-child policy: single men in factory cities, squandering their hard earned yuan on prostitutes. Vietnamese women running away when they realize they married a guy who saved for ten years to buy a bride but who now can’t afford to buy a house…single women abandoning rural life for cities where men with money compete for wives…kidnapping rings stealing wives from one province…and selling them to women-starved men in the next. Rising divorce rates as marriages last mere weeks.”
Parkland Earth. “In today’s tightly bound 7-billion-and-growing world, our antibiotic armor is being breached by mutating, resistant strains of infections from gonorrhea to streptococcus. Like every monoculture that replaces a diverse ecological mix, the one of known as Homo Sapiens is more vulnerable to opportunistic pandemic than ever.”
Post Colonial Hangover. “Until 2007, just 5 percent of Nigerian women used contraceptives, she says. There is still tremendous resistance; women–or their husbands–often believe that birth control and child immunizations are a secret foreign plot to sterilize them and seize their lands when they become too few to defend them.”
Shrink and Prosper. “A growing population keeps giving birth to more new consumers. This is one of the two reasons why economists traditionally favor population growth. The other is bigger labor pools: the more workers competing for jobs, the less companies have to pay them. Unfortunately, for those economists–and for us, as long as the system works this way–on a finite planet, an economy dependent on constant growth is no more perpetual than a chain letter or pyramid scheme, which always needs more people buying in. Eventually, there aren’t any more, and everything collapses.”