Human Beings on Planet Earth: Man's Domination and Consumption

About human beings on planet Earth, how they came to domination of the planet, the problems of high population and consumption.

PEOPLE ON EARTH

Man's ascendancy as ruler over the earth was accomplished as he gradually advanced from hunter to herdsman to farmer--Homo agriculturus. Within the Green Crescent of the Near East, man, or perhaps woman (because man was busy hunting--in packs--wild animals in the woods), 1st learned to plant seeds and harvest crops. Today all humankind lives by a fantastic expansion of the 1st skills of these simple farmers. The plow, the combine, and the tractor obsoleted the use of mere human power and led to an age of modern agronomics.

In The Population Bomb (1968), Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich warned that "The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines--hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate. . . . We must have population control at home . . . by compulsion if voluntary methods fail. We must use our political power to push other countries into programs which combine agricultural development and population control."

In 1971 the U.S. population growth rate fell below 1% for the 2nd time since 1940. Although the 1975 population of 212 million Americans represents a mere 6% of world population, Americans presently consume up to half the world's annual consumption of raw materials. A UN World Population Conference in 1974 came to the feeble "decision" that all countries ought to reduce their birth rates by 1985. Population growth is presently dropping in the U.S., Sweden, West Germany, Japan, Hungary, and Romania. But it continues to rise by about 2.3% annually in the underdeveloped areas, far faster than their increased production of food.

When man 1st emerged as a separate species, imminent danger of starvation was a constant menace. From the 1970s onward, this same fear is going to provide motivation for finding new ways of creating plenitude. Homo, the different animal who's already invented so many dramatic new ways of accomplishing wonders, is fully capable of solving this problem.

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