Friday, January 13, 2012

Protect the planet

Recently, the 7 billionth person was born into this world. Almost certainly, she is going to want her piece of the limited resources the West has been consuming like there is no tomorrow

We moderns have successfully convinced ourselves that we can always exploit more, dig more, drill more and depend on new technology to save us from having to face issues that seriously challenge the way we live. Whether humanity has the wisdom and political will to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the future, however, is now clearly up for grabs

Political economist Thomas Malthus discovered 250 years ago that resources, largely food, grow arithmetically while population grows geometrically, inevitably leading to a significant decline in overall standards of living and the collapse of populations through disasters. For Malthus, and many who have followed in his footsteps, the most appealing solution is to blame someone. And who is better to blame than the poor.

As much as we might try to avoid seeing it, the ever-increasing number of humans, rich and poor alike, is putting more and more strain on our world. Global man-made climate change is producing wild swings in weather patterns with larger tornadoes and more powerful hurricanes. The ice cap is melting. Potable water is becoming more precious than oil in many parts of the world.

Protecting and sustaining our planet for future generations will require us to replace blame with shared responsibility and shared sacrifice. We will need to change how we look at our world, to give up the cherished view that bigger is always better, if we hope to avoid the dire consequences that Malthus predicted.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.