[permaculture] Design-Bioregional-Energy/overpopulation

Tommy Tolson healinghawk at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 20 14:21:10 EDT 2007

Charles de Matas wrote:
> I think that overpopulation is a real problem.  It's just another one of 
> those things no one, especially politicians, likes to talk about.  The new 
> limits to growth scenarios seem to indicate that the human  population may 
> have already overshot the carrying capacity of the planet.  We've done this 
> using relatively cheap food produced by fossil fuel inputs in agriculture.  
> I don't think anyone is recommending mass extermination programs. It may not 
> even be necessary to do much intervention.  In many countries, including 
> where I live in T&T, falling sperm counts in males are contributing to much 
> reduced fertility levels.  I'm not sure what is causing this, maybe certain 
> hormones fed to animals, or chemical pollutants like plastics.
>    I think all the things being mentioned are important to restore 
> sustainabilty: population control, reducing levels of consumption, 
> non-growth economics,  buying locally produced foods etc etc.  It may not be 
> effective just to focus on one strategy.
Cheap oil purchased what Ecology calls "ghost acreage," where an acre 
produces more than it possibly can.  We have overshot our ecosystemic 
carrying capacity by a factor of between three and four.
Without cheap oil, Earth supports perhaps two billion humans.  Even 
then, we threaten biodiversity, the engine of life.
We now have six billion humans on Earth.
We no longer have cheap oil and we will not see its return.  Oil is now 
so expensive that it produced the cash flow for the oil industry to 
purchase outright the government of the US.  No other energy source is 
as efficient as oil at producing usable power.
Estrogen- and androgen-mimicking chemicals in the ubiquitous 
organochlorine soup that the environment has become due to the political 
power of the chemical companies have been implicated in falling sperm 
counts and increasing hermaphroditic births.  By 1998, half the birds on 
the Thames were hermaphrodites, as I recall.  Now, in the US, so many of 
the common songbirds we used to see in our landscapes are gone that it 
has caused status quo Science to awaken from its slumber and begin to 
sound the alarm.
Life on Earth is in deep trouble and the biggest problem is human 
ignorance and denial of the ecological crisis we are in.
Permaculture needed to hit the ground running before Bill and David 
introduced it.
Permaculture was too utterly weird.
We wasted more than thirty years of critical time.
The future is grim, and grows grimmer each day that people cling 
protectively to the mortally wounded remains of their Volitional 
Potentials (their souls, in shamanic parlance) instead of 
ecopsychologically healing themselves and setting about turning the 
world back upright.
The Five-Fold Path is key: healing, consciousness change, resistance, 
alternatives, and creating community.  None can be neglected.  We must 
heal our souls, our political selves.  We must develop ecological 
consciousness.  We must resist the forces of death that have overrun 
us.  We must create viable alternatives to dominion's ecocidal 
institutions.  We must create sustainable community that supports and 
renews us.  We must do it all now.  Our designs must advance the 
Five-Fold Path. 
The Five-Fold Path is how we avoid extinction.
We are running a race with ignorance and death.
Will we win?

Tommy Tolson
Austin, TX

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