I despair at the stupidity of hearing that in Australia we have a small population; that, in such a big country there is plenty of room for more humans. Our governments try to increase population size through tax incentives such as the baby bonus, and through immigration. This is another example of human narcissism, where there are never enough of you. But what about us beetles, and my other friends from the non-human world? How many lives must be lost while your numerical rather than mental growth continues?

Everything about you costs. Unlike other species that live sustainably, you do not, so growth means take from something else, causing its erosion and destruction. In Australia, 90% of the land has already been appropriated or cleared to support human survival. 90% for your species, and 10% for the 566000 non-human species that once resided in Australia. Is that fair? Humans are surely the most narcissistic species on the planet. How will the land cope with even more of you!! You want to ‘open up’ the far north of Australia for more. As though it is empty and in need of your magic touch. Dam rivers, irrigate land with more pesticides, contaminate the land with nuclear waste or burn more coal to cook us where we stand through global warming. You want to pump chemicals through the soil and frack the land for gas. Over fish, over extract, over cut. 

Don’t you get it, more humans = more death to nature! There is no way around it. You are a struggle to survive. Throughout the world you are causing around 13 to 190 extinctions per day, way higher than natural rates. We currently have 7 billion people in the world, and this number may plateau at around 11 billion according to Hans Rosling. As though therefore there is nothing to worry about, as the planet could support such a number. Such narcissism. The problem is of course, that even if the population plateaus at 11 billion, the want and ‘growth’ does not. All will want to have first world life styles, and escape poverty. Of course you would. Even the first world wants more. They want bigger houses, more travel (air pollution), the latest gadgets and fashion (more landfill for the obsolete), continual home renovation to stay modern, a holiday house, more cars, a TV in each room, etc. To nature, 11 billion rich humans will be like adding 110 billion more humans to the planet in terms of the resources they chew up.

Sure, you could live sustainably. Get power from the sun or wind. But even that will cost, the solar panels and turbines still cost. Each new apartment costs in materials. Each new acre of market garden, or land ‘development’ for the urban sprawl costs thousands of other creatures their homes. Each diverted river alters long held ecologies to which the existing species have adapted.

So do you really think that growth and overpopulation will make you a happier species? It will destroy more of the beautiful things that are not you, so you will have to look inwardly amongst yourselves for happiness. You will have to feed off your own narcissism, take selfies perhaps. Other species and natural beauty will be lost. National parks will be commercialised, or crisscrossed with walking tracks just for you. Your narcissism will skew your morals even further.

The problem with growth is that it is a lie, and it keeps your mind trapped within narcissism and conceit. It will not allow you to mature mentally. You cannot create growth out of thin air. Something else must change or die to support it. Growth is code for people who want to take more from you, or more from nature. Apart from the destruction it causes, it also produces an untrustworthy society, where for many it means ‘I will get the better of you.’ And so your society is riddled with cons and crime, dishonesty. You sell Nutella to children as though it is a healthy food, energy drinks to make you ‘high’, internet scams, rising crime. Such cons are tolerated because they are supporting ‘growth’. Someone is making money, rather than being called out for what they are. Many economists agree that more growth and population will actually mean greater disparity between the rich and poor. Someone has to be taken from. Home ownership is fast becoming a fantasy for many.

You should aim for a no growth economy, one that is stable and sustainable, as then, your energies would be diverted towards finding greater quality within the resources that you already have. You could also then join with nature. Without growth, the things in your world would sort more quickly into a set of higher quality interactions that are more efficient and parsimonious. Sustainable economies tend to have lower crime rates. People become happier and more trustworthy. But in a growth economy it is dog eat dog, it is a mindset of taking. The people who want growth must have empty souls. They seek fulfilment by surrounding themselves with more trinkets and artificial. They seek ‘power’ to make things conform to their narcissistic minds. They lack the feeling that they already have all they need to feel good about themselves, where you can just relax, breath and see beyond your possessiveness. Find the strength and grace needed to see beauty in the non-you world. If only you could see the beauty being destroyed within the narcissistic world you are creating.

(posted January 2016)
Overpopulation and growth
by Dr Beetle
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