MY TURN-Whether it's lions culling the weaker members out of a zebra herd or a virus or other micro-organisms attacking humans, the gene pool of every living species on earth only retains its viability by continuing to be subjected to these apparent hostile attacks of nature.
In reality, such onslaughts have only served to eliminate the less viable members of a specific species from their respective herds. What is counterintuitive and makes this more difficult to understand is that there is something that seems illogical about our ultimate viability as a species requiring this continuous culling out over time.
Another example of this apparent contradiction is to see how the splendor of the Renaissance in the 17th century Europe was enabled by the untimely death of several hundred million people during the plagues of the 13th through 17th centuries in Europe and Asia. These events caused a surplus in the food supply, which in turn subsidized the human intellectual processes that led to the Renaissance and later, to the Industrial Revolution as well as the unprecedented well-being these developments brought to humanity.
But this subsequent human age of enlightenment and unprecedented accomplishment that supposedly tipped the scales of life in our favor actually put more pressure on other species. This resulted in the destruction of living diversity – a prerequisite for all viable life forms on the planet – as we saw more and more species put on the endangered list or become extinct.
There has been an unchecked ballooning of human population over the last three centuries to well over 7.6 billion people, with no end in sight. The effect on the globe -- whose capacity for living in harmony with the other species has long been surpassed -- is something most humans seem incapable of appreciating, expressing itself in the related yet phenomena of global warming, overpopulation and Corvid 19.
The solution to all three of these problems is well within our present ability to manage and accomplish, but remains precluded by our militant unwillingness to employ what we have already learned over the ages:
1. Global warming: If we could build an atomic bomb in three years with 1940s technology, how long would it take us to get off carbon fuel with 2020 non-carbon alternative fuel sources?
2. Overpopulation: A real threat to continued human existence was only at issue during the plague, when the very survival of humans as a species was truly threatened. Today, not allowing birth control or abortion to segments of earth's population that are already poor and starving makes no sense. Raising the standard of living is probably the greatest form of birth control, since well-to-do people don't overpopulate. It is telling that those who are most ardently against abortion for any reason are also the least likely to adopt these unwanted children.
3. Covid-19: Viruses like this are a good test as to whether we have a population that is even capable of social distancing, given its present over-density due to overpopulation.
(Leonard Isenberg is a Los Angeles, observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He was a second- generation teacher at LAUSD and blogs at perdaily.com. Leonard can be reached at Lenny@perdaily.com.) Photo: Getty. Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.