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The Magic House

Billy Faier

There was a magic house in our neighborhood; a very old, very large house.  In it lived a family of people who had never lived anywhere else. In fact, because the house provided them with all their needs, they were completely unaware of anything outside of the house. Unlike other houses, which are built by people, this house created the people living in it. Their life was hard. From the very beginning, lost in the mists of their memory, their numbers grew.  The one single thing in that world that did not, could not grow, was the house itself. Nor could its capacity to provide sustenance increase, though, in the beginning, that capacity seemed enormous. 

As their numbers grew, the people slowly filled all the rooms in the house. Each branch of the growing family staked a claim to the use of some of the rooms, which seemed to be countless. And, using the bounty and substance of the house, they created silverware which made everyone's life more pleasant than it was in the harsh beginnings. But the substance of the house was being used up for this and the people quarreled among themselves as to who got to use it.  These quarrels caused heat which set fire to the house. When last seen they were arguing over who got to keep the silverware while the house burned down around them, ending their existence.

This is a work in progress.

The Earth is finite!

We are now reaching the limits of the number of people the world can sustain.

With the exception of the few remaining primitive groups who live in harmony and balance with their environment, all economic systems depend upon steady expansion to maintain their viability. This is because all 'civilized' people seem to always want to better themselves. They want their kids to have a 'better life' than they did. Unfortunately this better life is most always symbolized by the acquisition of more physical objects, land, control of others, bigger, better, faster stuff, etc, all things that use up the substance of the Earth but do nothing to improve the quality of life except to make it physically easier and faster to get the job done so that they can have more time and energy to 'enjoy' life. And in their enjoyment of life, these same folks need more bigger and better stuff like motorized sports vehicles, snowmobiles, jet skis, motor boats, bigger and better houses--all things that further use up the substance of the Earth and consume enormous amounts of energy.

Growth seems to be their constant aim of the politicians and the economists. "Unlimited growth is the philosophy of the cancer cell."*

Both Capitalism and Communism suffer from the same defect. As the Earth's bounty becomes scarcer it becomes more valuable. More control is needed to ensure its fair use and distribution. Thatís the best case. The worst case is a slave economy. Both cases mean more and more control. Without room to expand they become totalitarian. But there is no more room to expand.

Therefore Population Control is the most pressing problem the human race faces today. Involving ourselves in any and ALL other problems, without concentrating primarily on Population Control is insane. It is exactly like arguing about who gets the silverware while the house is burning down around us.

The Earth would be a Garden of Eden were there only about a billion people on it.

How to deal with it all. The business of providing life's basic necessities: food, water, health care, shelter, and education must be on a non-profit basis and run by altruistic leaders and World Governments. In a Garden-of-Eden world of only one billion people these necessities could be almost free. The biological life of the world is self-renewing, but only at a set rate. That rate can support a billion people, no more, and perhaps even less.

In an infinite world education would not be one of the basic necessities but in this finite world it is of supreme importance. It is only through education that we can hope to deal with the many problems that hypnotize us while the invisible fire of population expansion consumes our world.

Most of these problems are caused by our differences. The first step in dealing with our differences is to eliminate all borders. We must eliminate nations, laws that attempt to control morality, and all other conditions that keep us apart.

Nationalism and Patriotism are vices the world can no longer afford. We must be indifferent to differences.

It is education that will bring this about.

The preservation of our Earth through Population Control must be the primary cause for humanity.

No one wants to be told how many children they can have. In a free society it is a decision that must come from the heart based on the person's education. By education I mean instilling in all of us the consequences to the world of our most insignificant acts.

All people, by virtue of the fact that they are human, have equal right to the Earth's bounty. The only way to raise the general standard of living is to decrease the population to a point that is sustainable. Until that happens we, in the richer countries, must be prepared to accept a lower standard of living in order to provide a livable standard to the less fortunate. Otherwise they will always try to wrest it from us by force. Basically, that is what is happening in the world today.

Individuals and nations have worked for what they have and therefore feel they have a right to it; they own it. They will defend this attitude to their death, if necessary. And that is exactly what will happen--- it is happening today. This process can only lead to the extinction of our species---or the Brave New World of complete totalitarianism.

Population Control must come in two stages. The first stage is to reduce the population of the world to a number which can be easily sustained by Mother Earth. The second stage is to keep that number steady.

Stage One. It will never be necessary for individuals to actually give away part of what they feel they have earned and own. What is necessary is for us to eliminate all borders and allow anyone to travel and live and work wherever they are able without the restraint imposed by states or any other political entity. An immediate flood of people looking for a better life will cause many of us, who have always lived on the top of the heap, many hardships. But none of us will starve or die of curable disease, as is the case with many of our world's underprivileged. This lowering of overpopulation pressure in the third world will help the people in those areas to improve their lives with their own resources rather than having to depend on the miserable handouts we now give them in order to assuage our own guilty consciousness. Our standard of living will go down; theirs will go up. When this is accomplished more people will be able to accept the reality of the danger of overpopulation. Sex is the free entertainment of the poor. When there are less of them, population growth will slow. And with the spread of real education the growth will stop and begin to decline.

Allowing all people to come to our shores and compete for available work and exporting many of our jobs are two ways of evening out the standard of living in the world, a prime necessity if we are to survive.  I am a sincere admirer of Barak Obama, our president, but I am distressed to hear him, in his speeches, citing growth of the economy as one of his goals.  I was also distressed to hear him shout an unqualified "No!" when asked, during his campaign if he believed marijuana should be legalized.

Spending untold billions of dollars of our money in the attempt to stop the drug trade is the most stupid thing our government has ever done.  It is criminal! And it doesn't work. Prohibition does not work.  It didn't work for booze.  It doesn't work for drugs. The Government may as well try to outlaw food or sex.  Drug addiction is a medical or psychiatric condition. Drug use, despite the anti-drug insanity, is as common now as it has ever been.  The War on Drugs fills our jails with millions of harmless people.  Thousand of people are killed every year in the drug-producing nations to the south.  They are on the verge of civil war between different Drug Lords, fighting among themselves for the billions of dollars we, in the richest nations, spend on marijuana, cocaine, heroine, and amphetamine.  The overwhelming majority of these dollars do not come from the occasional pitiful addict seen on the streets, but from  the average businessman, policeman, lawyer, doctor, broker, man or woman, government worker, congressperson, teacher, engineer; people from every walk of life who know how to use drugs intelligently and not get caught.  Furthermore the Government and all its agencies, police forces, Border Patrols, armies, navies, all know these facts.  But fighting drugs is the biggest business in the world.  It never ends.  Even bigger than War.  At least Wars occasionally end, if only to give nations time to re-arm.  As much money is spent on interdicting drugs, as is spent on the drugs.  By legalizing the use and trading of drugs we would, in one fell swoop, eliminate these two huge, nonproductive drains on our resources, our energy, and our lives.

These are good examples of how we deal with real problems in our lives. We allow FBI statistics, buzz words like addiction, sensational media treatment, etc. to form our opinions, instead of going out and finding out for ourselves what is really happening. Your personal experience is the only thing you can really trust. If your lifestyle is such that you come in contact with drug users, you must know that for every addict you see there are hundreds of users who never get busted and whose lives are not ruined by their drug use. Alcohol and nicotine, both legal drugs, are each responsible for thousands of times more deaths than drug overdoses.

Another huge drain on our economy is the cost of legal drugs; those provided by our pharmaceutical and medical establishments.   Good arguments are increasingly being made that they cause as much harm to us, in the long run, as the good they do.  The pathogens in our environment that sometimes infect us, are becoming immune to our antibiotics through the process of evolution. And so we must develop stronger and more expensive antibiotics. In other words, our species is becoming addicted to drugs.  If you doubt any of this ask yourself why the television ads for prescription drugs devote as much time to warning you of the possible adverse side effects ("including death") of their wares as they do to the benefits.  

The biosphere of the Earth is a living breathing being.  As in our own bodies, its health depends on all the different parts living in balance with all others.  When one part of our body grows out of proportion to the rest we call it CANCER and unless it is stopped, it will overwhelm our body and cause its death. This is exactly what is happening on our Earth, and we, the homo-sapien species, are the Cancer.  Our enormous presence tends to destroy other species, all of which are necessary to our own survival.  The first sign of most infections and diseases in our bodies is usually a fever. GLOBAL WARMING IS THE FEVER HERALDING THE SICKNESS OF OUR PLANET'S BIOSPHERE. There are simply too many of us for the world to support.

Since the beginning of the Earth, carbon-dioxide has been emitted by volcanic action, along with many other gases. Through the process of photosynthesis, plant life has separated the carbon from the oxygen, leaving the oxygen to sweeten the atmosphere and locking the carbon into the forms of coal and oil, both underground. These concentrated forms contain billions of years of sunlight energy. In about two hundred years humanity has released practically all the energy stored in oil and perhaps most of the energy stored in coal back into the atmosphere, by recombining it with the oxygen, causing Global Warming. This upsets the balance of heating by the Sun against the cooling of the Earth through the radiation of heat back out into space. Life on Earth depends upon that balance. Only through the complete cessation of human activity or the moving of the Earth out into a slightly larger orbit away from the Sun can that balance be restored. Neither option is practical, though the former is a possibility if we continue on our present course. But by reducing the population to a billion or less, humanity can fit into the small margin of variability allowed by the biological activity in the biosphere which provides a small, but certain flexibility in the balance.

Probably the most difficult concept for most people to understand is that, in a finite overpopulated world, ownership of land is theft. Ideally, in a balanced functioning world, we are custodians, not owners, of the world. The only thing we truly own is our own bodies. The only way to save the world is by bringing the population down and sharing the bounty of the earth, regardless of who the custodians may be.

This has to happen soon. The gap between the rich and the poor is steadily growing and the middle class is fast disappearing. This is because, in a world of declining resources, it becomes more and more expensive to maintain any given lifestyle.

Stage 2 will be relatively easy once we accomplish stage one. A couple having more than two children will be severely criticized. Adoption will be the solution to those wanting large families. There will be no more homeless, parentless children.

This does not mean that we will all be 'the same', 'cast from the same mold', or any of the other labels that are commonly used in the place of rational discussion of our problems caused by our differences. We must all learn to accept other's differences no matter how we may feel about their lifestyles. And once the peoples of the World start to mix freely these problem-causing differences will disappear. I, for one, do not believe in the divinity of Jesus but I have total respect and love for those who do because, like me, they are devoted to a cause higher than themselves. My religion, if it can be called that, is the preservation of our Mother Earth and us, her children.

* I forget who said this first.

Overpopulation, the most severe problem facing our World today, is never felt on a day to day basis.  Most of us are totally unaware of it because it never interferes with our daily lives--a complete abstraction. And yet, it is the cause of all of the problems that do consume us. It is the root cause of inflation, global warming, the rise in the rate of the disappearance of different species of plants and animals, all necessary to our survival as a species.

All the other problems that consume us are made ten times worse and harder to solve because of overpopulation.

1.  The following is an attempt to summarize and trace the human story from the earliest beginnings to the present and to show the inevitability of conditions, as they are today, which lead directly to the extinction of the human race.

2.  This will be followed by an attempt to offer a solution enabling us to circumvent this inevitability through the use of education, technology, and most important, common sense.

The most basic attribute of life is MOBILITY. Whether it is the mobility of animal life in its search for food, mates, the construction of shelter or the mobility of seeds for the reproduction of stationary plant life, motion is required.  And that motion takes energy. It is an interesting thought that even if the world were twice as large, the situation would be exactly the same because in a twice-as-large world we, all life, would be twice as heavy, and therefore it would take twice the energy to provide the necessary motion. Carrying this thought to a ridiculous extreme; in an infinite world we would all be infinitely heavy and would need infinite energy. Of course the most widely accepted theory of the birth of the Universe, The Big Bang Theory, postulates all matter and energy confined into a singularity of infinite smallness. No room for economics, racism, or any other differences there.

In its earliest beginnings life came from non-life.  In the almost infinite complexity of energy and matter interchanges occurring as the planet cooled, a unique event occurred, whether an accident or at the direction of a supreme being.  This unique event differed from all previous atomic or molecular energy exchanges in that it caused a bit of matter-energy to replicate itself, drawing on other matter-energy in its surroundings to create copies of itself that were not simply another haphazard result of the constantly seething froth of matter-energy exchanges.  To describe and understand this unique event is the Holy Grail of all the physical and biological sciences because it is the moment that biology emerged from physics; the beginning of life.  

My own lack of education in the sciences prevents me from intelligently theorizing what happened next except to say that the same matter-energy exchanges which created life now caused it to mutate into more complex, higher forms.  But my intuition tells me that this process was extremely self-limiting; that it wasn't until it started consuming--eating-- other life forms; that true biological expansion started. This is because the other forms have already begun to transform the original matter-energy exchanges into living, organic substance; a much more efficient use of energy for the consumer; more bang for the bite. And so death has come into the picture. The living lower form is food for the higher form.  And the dead higher form is food for the lower form. Only one step remains to complete the picture as it is today; the beginnings of awareness.  

At some point this growing number of replicating life forms mutated to a condition which made it necessary to consume only other life forms to continue living (it would be millions of generations before the consumption of water and oxygen and other inorganic elements would be needed to live). No longer could our new life forms exist on the matter-energy exchanges which originally created it. Living food was needed and the processes of evolution dictated that those individuals that absorbed more living food and less inorganic material were more likely to reproduce thereby creating individuals with ever greater needs for living food in order to continue the process of expansion and growth which seemed to be inevitable and natural.  Somewhere in all this came the ability to recognize and select organic over inorganic food, the raw beginnings of awareness.

The die is cast for the next three billion years. Eat and be eaten. As different species began branching off from the original bit of life, awareness grew to include recognition of species.  Those who did not eat their own species tended to reproduce more then those who did. When sexual reproduction came into the picture awareness included recognition of the opposite sex. And so on!  But there never were any sharp dividing lines in the development of behavior. There may still be cannibals today. Most of us don't eat each other, but we certainly kill.  In the earliest times killing was sufficient to control population. This worked for many hundreds of thousands of years.

Then came the opposable thumb. Before the thumb there was little or no reason to pick up anything with claws except to eat it.  Now the parents could handle their offspring, leaving them free to groom them with tooth and tongue, ward off enemies with their teeth, examine them from all angles, generally take better care of them; thus insuring their likelihood of survival.  The opposable thumb also aided in maneuvering through the trees which gave the thumbed animal tremendous advantage. And, finally, the thumb made possible the dawn of technology, the use of tools; the ability to hold and use something, an advantage not provided to any significant extent by claws.

In the earliest times awareness was the same as memory.  Those individuals able to repeat a successful act were the ones who survived.  

In a closed system, in which survival depends on eating other living individuals, plant or animal, the health of any species depends upon the availability and health of its food.   

As human activity reduces the number of species it is also reducing the availability and diversity of necessary elements in its food.  

Life is possible on Earth because the rate of cooling equals the rate at which the Earth is warmed by the Sun. The inferior planets, Venus and Mercury, are too hot for life as we know it.  The superior planets, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune , and Pluto, are too cold. Life on Earth is completely dependent on our ability to maintain the exquisite balance required by physical law and our place in the Solar System. The Sun, of course, will continue providing us with energy for a few billion more years so, at present, we may consider it endless.  But the rate at which the biosphere of the Earth can transform that energy into living matter is set.  That rate is just as important to life as the rate of energy from the sun. It cannot increase because of the limited availability of land and water, necessary to this process.  There is plenty of salt water available to maintain life in the sea.  But most, if not all, life on land is dependent on fresh water to survive. Our fresh water is limited to the present amount.  It requires an enormous amount of energy to desalinate sea water.  The creation and utilization of this amount of energy will greatly increase the pollution of both the atmosphere and existing fresh water and increase global warming.  Anything that we do in an attempt to solve this problem will only increase the problem elsewhere. It is like Mickey Mouse ears.  You squeeze one and the other pops up.  But unlike Mickey Mouse ears, each time you squeeze, the other pops up a little bigger than before; because the squeeze puts more energy into the system. More and more people use more and more energy.  Burning fossil fuels, coal or gas, further increases global warming.  Clean Coal is a lie; I find it hard to believe that President Obama has bought into this. Nuclear Power, aside from the inevitable accidents--even without these accidents--creates an impossible to solve waste problem and further increases the background radioactivity of our world, which, in the long run, may prove to be the worst problem yet.

And what about the long run? Technology can only postpone the inevitable end; a world of disease, inflation, war, discomfort. It cannot prevent it.  And so we leave to our future generations a world in which all energy and effort is devoted to mere survival; exactly as it was a hundred thousand years ago, but without the jungle, the forests, the pristine oceans, the blue sky, the snow capped mountains, the beautiful world of that time. That future struggle for survival will be surrounded by technology, machinery, chemical foods, plastics (everything is going to be plastic), mountain tops stripped of their underlying coal and other commodities, more and more noise; nothing that makes life worth living according to today's standards. It will be an insane institutionalized life. To prevent this we must reduce the population of the world  to a billion people or less, and keep it at that number forever.

The process of evolution, which determines the way life grows and changes, is totally unrelated to the physical laws that govern that process. That is to say, there is no 'purpose' behind evolution. Evolution does not 'know' that the world is limited. It will continue to operate as long as the energy comes in and the space lasts.  But we are running out of space. If things keep on this way the population will grow until wars, epidemics, starvation, and the like balance the population.  For every person born, someone will die.

That is the way it should be as long as the population is low enough to be supported by the biosphere.  But with overpopulation the biosphere is already changing. It took four billion years for the biosphere to grow and develop the incredible complexity necessary to support our life.  In less than four hundred years we have crippled it to a point where it's basic nature has changed.  The Industrial Revolution has raised its average temperature.  With our great numbers we are crowding out a growing number of plant and animal species, all of which are necessary to the continuation of life as we would like to know it.  This rate of change is speeding up while its cause, the expanding population, continues to grow.

The loaded gun is in the hands of the small child who believes it to be a toy!  

What can we do about it?

I do not claim to have the answer. I don't think there is any one answer.  But certain things are obvious.  The world, being the way it is, divided up into hundreds of smaller factions, cannot arrive at the answer unless a majority of people agree that overpopulation is the most important problem in the World that must be solved if the human race is to survive. If humanity disappears the World will adjust and go on.  If we are to survive this crisis we must agree to fundamentally change the way we live in the World.  We must completely end the ties between ecology and economics.  Ecology is the breath of our human life.  Economics merely the silverware we use to make it easier to live.  

I personally believe that the elimination of borders is a necessary first step that will encourage the mixing of populations in order to even out the general standard of living in the World. If we, in the developed countries, share our wealth and resources simply for the greater good, rather than for profit, it will eliminate all wars.   Religious fanaticism will lose its appeal when all people can live and eat well.  That world will be ready for the education that will lead to humanity lowering its numbers to the biosphere's sustainable level.



(apologies to Woody)


This is a work in progress.

I do not intend to get into a religious debate. I have already stated that I do not believe in the divinity of Jesus which many will interpret as disbelief in a creator. But respect for the opinions of my readers forces me to make a few statements about my beliefs.

I cannot imagine a God that would create us and not want us to use the abilities and gifts given us.  Our brain, the greatest gift of all, is the seat of our intelligence, our reasoning, our feelings, and perhaps, our soul.  Could this marvelous instrument of life, with all its capabilities, it's ability to learn, it's APPRECIATION of life, have been created for the sole purpose of adoring it's creator?  I doubt it.  But if you believe that the Earth was created by God for us, what greater demonstration of faith in that god could be shown than preserving it in its beautiful, bountiful state, rather than what we do today; ravishing, exploiting, destroying its life and its beauty in the hopeless belief that Jesus, or any other messiah, is on his way and will make it all right.  There may be an intelligent being, or creator, watching it all happen. But this I believe; our destiny is completely up to us. There is no help out there.

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