Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Voluntary Human Extinction


Hi everyone,
today in class we mentioned the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, or VHEMT.

The VEHMT web site summarizes the movement's philosophy: "Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth's biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense."

You can check out more of their philosophy on their web site at http://www.vhemt.org/ . Enjoy.

1 comment:

Nathaniel said...

I would like to add 2 additional points.

Point 1:
I think that it is easy to see humans can do great damage via pollution, even if you don’t think global warming is happening (and I feel odds are that it is these days) there is still the toxic pollution that has been added to rivers, lakes, and some pieces of land that has a detrimental effect of plant and animal life in that area. So we do cause pollution and it does cause harm.
Does that last point mean that life/from Earth would be better without us? I argue no. Not only are we part of life on/from Earth but if we are able to limit the damage we do to various ecosystems around the world so they do not collapse then we provide means by which life on Earth will become life from Earth and those have the potential to survive past the point (in about 5 billion years from now-so keep paying your mortgage) when the sun expands and most things remaining on Earth get cooked. While humanity should learn how not to damage other forms of life on Earth and should actively work to avoid harm now, we are the only species likely to currently enable space travel and thus create the ability to evacuate the planet when such an evacuate becomes necessary to sustaining most of the life on/from Earth (not just us).
Thus calling for human extinction actually removes a potential boon to the survival of Earth’s various life-forms.


Point 2:

I would argue the harm via pollution that humans cause is mainly not do to the number of humans but to the manner we go about economic development. Global Warming is caused by greenhouse gasses. This are released by the burning of fossil fuels. If not for the latter the former would not be a problem. Also look at China, it has a great deal of problems relating to both air and water quality because of the many emissions (some of which are quite toxic) put into each. China's emissions problem (touching on fossil fuels again) has grown worse after it started its population control program. This is because of the fact that there is no stable ratio between the amount of humans and amount of emissions, factories, cars, coal powers plants, and so on. China jumped ahead of the USA in CO2 emissions not by a population boost but through rapid and reckless economic development in which consideration of the environment was not an issue. Thus focusing on economic systems systems to be the logical way to prevent pollution and environmental damage.

Note: Population control does not involve counting and limiting the amount of emissions-only the number of humans. This is why it actually fails to serve as effective protection for the environment.