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Make love, not kids


Arizona Daily Wildcat

By Ashley Weaver
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 23, 1999
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Earth is starting to look like a sphere with a bad case of lice over 6 billion strong. In the last 30 years, the population of Vastogirardi, Italy, has dwindled from over 3,000, to 823. One baby was born last year, and the schools are in danger of shutting down, but none of this seems to bother the local residents. They're too busy making wine and playing soccer. The only person it bothers is Mayor Vincenzo Venditti, who has proposed a tax for the town's singles unless they marry. Hopefully, this will produce more children and save the small mountain town.

Hopefully? Perhaps Venditti isn't aware that, while his citizens hunt their own food and make their own mozzarella, much of the world is starving. According to a report by David Pimentel, "Will Limits of the Earth's Resources Control Human Numbers?" grain production has declined since 1983 "due to a 20 percent decline in per capita cropland, a 15 percent decrease in irrigation water, and a 23 percent drop in the use of fertilizers."

From before biblical times through even 1066, the battle of Hastings, the world's agrarian population was about 300 million. But, according to "Nanotechnology and the Next 50 Years," an R. E. Smalley Presentation, since the time of Galileo and the Industrial Revolution, this great brood of men and women has been increasing, along with the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, which we now have 28 percent more of since then. At the time of WWII, we were 2.5 billion people strong. Over the last 12 years, the population of the earth has swelled from 5 billion to over 6 billion.

Right now, Mother Nature is probably wondering where she put her space-shuttle sized can of Raid.

Crowded together in the big cities, where pollution is the No. 1 killer of children, those who do survive are either inadequately educated about reproductive health or they are encouraged by religion to create more followers of some "true faith."

Being a devoutly Catholic town, religion may be a cause behind some of the push toward the bedroom. Religious figures such as Father Phil Bloom, of Holy Family parish in Seattle, has an entire Web page dedicated to alleviating fears about overpopulation. "To block conception with artificial means is gravely against the law of God, not only for Catholics, but for all people," he says. While pushing his religion upon the rest of the world, Bloom also encourages people to "Have many, many children." As for the food issue, he says the same. "We are far from a food shortage," he claims. Apparently the 800 million people worldwide that are malnourished just don't matter to Father Bloom. They aren't the people sitting in his Seattle pews every Sunday.

In Spain, the government offers gifts to couples who have children. France offers financial incentives for the same. If the small Italian town needs children, they have an entire world full of unwanted ones. There is no need to force more unneeded children into the world today. If children get the love, attention, well-being and security they deserve, then a planet full of happy people could be a good situation. But not when they hump like rabbits and eat up all the feed, all the while polluting the hell out of this fragile ecosystem in the process.

Our arable land is eroded, deforested or turned into golf courses by the elderly who survive due to technology, and are now bored out of their minds with these extra years. Five hundred kids in a lecture hall may be the goal, as guilt-tripped parents submit blindly to religion and refuse to put on a rubber, producing more and more children who live to adulthood, thanks (or, no thanks) to technology.

Mother Nature will have to keep scratching until this virus disappears. Like many, it will eventually kill the host and, by doing that, kill itself. But the Earth will survive.

If Y2K doesn't kill us, we will. Someday down the line, we may sympathize for Kevin Costner and be drinking our own urine.

But we'll always have Twinkies and roaches.

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