Saturday, November 29, 2008

Do the Math

November 29, 2008 at 01:48:01

Do the Math

by Sankara Saranam Page 1 of 1 page(s)

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Let's say you had one hundred women and hundred men on a planet and asked them to go at it and procreate as much as possible. Assuming the planet provided food and medical supplies, all one hundred women could get pregnant once every year, if not slightly more often. If we asked the next generation to carry on the experiment with the same vigor, every daughter could get pregnant as soon as she began ovulating. A generation could be twelve years in duration, or perhaps even less.

If all but ten of the original one hundred men were sterilized, and we asked for the same results, those ten man could still impregnate all one hundred women. If we then sterilized 90% of the male population before it reached maturity, the remaining 10% could still continue the experiment and impregnate every girl.

But if all but 10% of women were sterilized in any given generation and none of the men were sterilized, every generation would see 90% less pregnancies.

Long story short: Women make babies.

That's important to remember, because the biggest, and perhaps the only, challenge facing humanity is overpopulation. Challenges emerging from peak oil, global warming, and war are compounded by human population to the degree that radical responses to these issues are practically nullified unless humans depopulate planet earth. Moreover, we can greatly mitigate most of the dangers these issues pose if we radically depopulate.

The best thing about depopulation is that humanity loses nothing. No culture, nation, or language is sacrificed. Humanity is not any safer or progressing any faster by having over six billion people instead of under three billion people living on the earth. In fact, the opposite is the case. We might have twice as good a chance of giving birth to a genius, but with overpopulation we don't have the resources to properly educate every child, so that potential is wasted. Not only that, it is a lot more efficient to have a billion fully educated humans, and no others whose existences are limited to surviving, than over a billion educated with 6 billion more that tax resources.

Sterilizing women is the key to depopulation, and that may mean it is the key to humanity's harmonious survival. Incentives to depopulate in the form of cash, education, jobs, tax relief, free tubal ligation, and easy adoption should be targeted at women. Casting women who sacrifice having their own children in a heroic light should be an essential of advertising world over. Sex education must provide free contraception and impress the importance of women waiting to have children and having only one child and no more than two if they are determined to have their own. Incentives can be scaled to decrease with one and two children, with tax social penalties for women that have three or more. Social services must reward depopulation and cease to support overpopulation.

Legitimate incentives will also increase women's social power, which will engender more balance and fairness in our societies.

This idea needs to get more popular and current, and fast. The more the necessity of depopulating the earth comes into focus, the sooner we can inject these ideas into the machineries of our political, economic, and even religious institutions. If we do not act in haste, it may even get to the point where we need to apply the kind of pressure that considers women who have children at an early age and/or three or more children to be selfish.

Without this concerted effort, as unpopular as it may be, we are left with a much grimmer and darker alternative. Either way, humans are going to depopulate this planet. We can do it consciously, peacefully, heroically, and proactively, or the planetary circumstances will do it for us instinctually, violently, frighteningly, and passively.

Sankara Saranam is a writer, philosopher, lecturer, and tireless proponent of pranayama, a technique of intuitive mysticism. He traveled extensively in India and Israel researching and writing on spiritual issues. His first book, Yoga and Judaism (Astrologue, 1997), showed that the Hebrew Prophets were practitioners of various systems of asceticism and pranayama (sense-introversion). His most recent work, the multi-award winning God Without Religion, seeks to balance the world's divergent and divisive cultural views of God with a scientific method of personal introspection and pranayama. An ascetic and mystic, Sankara Saranam founded The Pranayama Institute as an expression of his ideal to make pranayama techniques available worldwide at no cost to students. S. Saranam graduated from Columbia University magna cum laude as a student of religion. He has a master's degree in Eastern texts and Sanskrit from St. John's College. He is also a poet, composer, singer, and classically trained guitarist. S. Saranam currently lives with his wife and son in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

1 comment:

Pete Murphy said...

Rampant population growth threatens our economy and quality of life. I'm not talking just about the obvious problems that we see in the news - growing dependence on foreign oil, carbon emissions, soaring commodity prices, environmental degradation, etc. I'm talking about the effect upon rising unemployment and poverty in America.

I should introduce myself. I am the author of a book titled "Five Short Blasts: A New Economic Theory Exposes The Fatal Flaw in Globalization and Its Consequences for America." To make a long story short, my theory is that, as population density rises beyond some optimum level, per capita consumption of products begins to decline out of the need to conserve space. People who live in crowded conditions simply don’t have enough space to use and store many products. This declining per capita consumption, in the face of rising productivity (per capita output, which always rises), inevitably yields rising unemployment and poverty.

This theory has huge implications for U.S. policy toward population management. Our policies that encourage high rates of population growth are rooted in the belief of economists that population growth is a good thing, fueling economic growth. Through most of human history, the interests of the common good and business (corporations) were both well-served by continuing population growth. For the common good, we needed more workers to man our factories, producing the goods needed for a high standard of living. This population growth translated into sales volume growth for corporations. Both were happy.

But, once an optimum population density is breached, their interests diverge. It is in the best interest of the common good to stabilize the population, avoiding an erosion of our quality of life through high unemployment and poverty. However, it is still in the interest of corporations to fuel population growth because, even though per capita consumption goes into decline, total consumption still increases. We now find ourselves in the position of having corporations and economists influencing public policy in a direction that is not in the best interest of the common good.

The U.N. ranks the U.S. with eight third world countries - India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ethiopia and China - as accounting for fully half of the world’s population growth by 2050.

If you’re interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, I invite you to visit my web site at where you can read the preface, join in my blog discussion and, of course, purchase the book if you like. (It's also available at

Please forgive the somewhat spammish nature of the previous paragraph. I just don't know how else to inject this new perspective into the overpopulation debate without drawing attention to the book that explains the theory.

Pete Murphy
Author, "Five Short Blasts"