Hot Air: Numbers Game

The New York Times today reports that up to a quarter of our species-mates on this planet are in danger of going dry. That is, the fresh water available to them is vanishing.

For example, Mexico City, acc’d’g to the report, has drained its groundwater to such an extent that the city itself is starting to sink.

The cited “quarter of humanity” figure that’s on the brink of going thirsty is based on the total populations of the countries whose big cities are most at risk. There are a gazillion reasons for this crisis, including building over lakes and ponds, mega-scale agriculture operations, recreational and esthetic uses, and global warming, among many others. All of them, though, have to do with one simple fact.

There are too goddamned many of us on this Earth.

Add to that, the world’s dominant economic system, capitalism, is essentially a pyramid scheme whose continued success depends on a constant flow of new participants (i.e. people) in order for markets to expand and wealth to increase. Economists refer to this in a term they have accepted as sacred — growth.

Growth will be the death of us all. It’s starting to kill us already.

The NYT article mentions a number of potential fixes for this crisis. Population control is not one of them. Global overpopulation is just about the last taboo when it comes to the topics we argue about over coffee, bourbon, or our device screens.

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