Once again the media draws my fire. This time it is not the local media but National Public Radio. I have known for a long time that if I really want to learn what of importance is going on in the world, I need to be awake at 5:00 am to listen to the BBC broadcast. The contrast in the coverage of the same events is usually not flattering to NPR.
This time it is the report of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment . This report got several minutes worth of detailed coverage on BBC radio yesterday but barely rated a minute or so on NPR. I looked it up on NPR’s web site to find that a brief summary of the report is sixth down in the list of stories listed in NPR’s expanded coverage of Health and Science, behind such stories as Sesame Street taking on the problem of. childhood obesity and the repair of fossil dinosaurs.
Where it belonged was top of the list along with the story of lice which infect farmed salmon spreading to wild salmon nearby.
This report brings to our attention the serious ecological damage done to natural systems totally necessary for human survival. We are not told by any of the media whether the report itself mentions the basic reason for the problem, but certainly none of the media, and this includes the radio and web site available program on ecological issues Living on Earth, have ever touched it--OVER POPULATION.
It is primarily the agribusiness driven techniques and crops which have caused the harm done to natural systems. These have been developed principally to deal with this over population by our attitude that we have the right to do what we want to exploit this planet rather than learn to live on it in harmony with the rest of the natural world. When we talk about the shortage of clean water, desertification of previously arable land, or the erosion of land on mountain sides, we are stating that we have a problem first and foremost with too many people.
The Chinese are very unpopular with much of the rest of the world right now because they are the only country trying actively to do something about their own grossly overpopulated country. The rest of the world had best get its religious noses out into reality, and, if it doesn’t like the methods China uses, get some of its own up and running in order to decrease the number of people trying to live on this planet or we will not have grandchildren and great-grandchildren to follow us..