George Will’s June 28, 2020 Column Misses The Real Point of the COVID-19’s Significance: Population Growth In One Lifetime, MINE!

By Donald A. Collins | 29 June 2020
Church and State

(Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay)

Yes, George, most are not thinking or acting on Earth’s Greatest Crisis as the urgency of the current COVID-19 situation bears down on the world.

Your column of June 28th bores into the horrors with which we are now engaging namely the helter-skelter manner created by the way, at least in large measure how Trump dismissed the first true world-wide threat at COVID-19’s outset.

But Will’s piece and most on the subject of numbers now contributing fail to mention the fact that since my birth in 1931 the planet has added almost 6 billion people versus the 2 billion that were here then. Yes, almost 4 times then and still projected to 10 billion by 2056.

Let’s be fair, most nations, including China with some delay did own up to COVID-19, but understandably in light of the confusion at top authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and others that claims by its earliest reporters like those of Dr. Camilla Rothe in Munich about the asymptomatic transmission of the Coronavirus were dismissed early on.

But even before and ever since blame has flowed generously from Trump, who along with many others who quickly changed their minds. Understandably Trump seemed tried to early and quickly minimize the threat to his campaign rhetoric that the USA would carry anything communicable in a world of international plane communications.

If Trump wanted to wave a Confederate flag at his rallies would it have been worse than his not wearing a mask?

In fact as the Washington Post’s June 28th front page story tells us,

Five months after the novel coronavirus was first detected in the United States, a record surge in new cases is the clearest sign yet of the country’s historic failure to control the virus — exposing a crisis in governance extending from the Oval Office to state capitals to city councils.

President Trump — who has repeatedly downplayed the virus, sidelined experts and misled Americans about its dangers and potential cures — now finds his presidency wracked by an inability to shepherd the country through its worst public health calamity in a century. The dysfunction that has long characterized Trump’s White House has been particularly ill-suited for a viral outbreak that requires precision, focus and steady leadership, according to public health experts, administration officials and lawmakers from both parties.

The Post also today noted that Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md) accused some Republicans colleagues of not wearing masks, as the Washington Post quotes him, “as provoking” “terror and fear in your colleagues”.

Let’s be very clear, Mr. Will is very sure and apologetic about USA’s racial injustices as this column’s quote reveals.

A nation’s gravest problems are those it cannot discuss because it dare not state them. This nation’s principal problem, which makes other serious problems intractable, is that much of today’s intelligentsia is not intelligent.

One serious problem is that the political class is terrified of its constituents — their infantile refusal to will the means (revenue) for the ends (government benefits) they demand. Another serious problem is family disintegration — e.g., 40 percent of all births, and 69 percent of all African American births, to unmarried women. Families are the primary transmitters of social capital: the habits, dispositions and mores necessary for flourishing. Yet the subject of disorganized families has been entirely absent from current discussions — actually, less discussions than virtue-signaling ventings — about poverty, race and related matters.

Today’s most serious problem, which annihilates thoughtfulness about all others, is that a significant portion of the intelligentsia — the lumpen intelligentsia — cannot think. Its torrent of talk is an ever-intensifying hurricane of hysteria about the endemic sickness of the nation since its founding in 1619 (don’t ask). And the iniquities of historic figures mistakenly admired.

In Will’s last paragraph, he could have surely named the President!

But this is a planetary problem requiring out of the box thinking, political courage, and above all, honesty! So far I have not heard many if any comments which were on the world population issue and now especially honest as observations ought to be.

A major part of my working life has been spent dealing with the unavailability of birth control options for women and their families. As a member of the National of Planned Parenthood of America in NYC (PPFY), I was privileged to know leaders such as Alan Guttmacher and his wife Leonore and many other early leaders such as Fred Jaffe and Jeannie I. Rosoff who started the Guttmacher Institute with the blessing of Dr Alan Guttmacher. Alan was a famous OB-GYN from Baltimore who served as President of the PPFA and whom I also was so fortunate to get to know and travel with as he preached family planning to supporters around the US.

These advocates sought supplying birth control options to all who desired them as a form of true equity for women. What most of us then did not fully envision was the effect of the growth of world human numbers as they cut far into the heart of our animal kingdom and harvested too fully of Earth’s seemingly limitless bounties without acknowledging our near limits to the animals and to us humans.

Now many of those of us who have been arguing for decades for full access for all women (and everyone to support) to have easy, safe, inexpensive access to fertility control are now suddenly aware that an adequate form of safe gentle inexpensive method of human birth control now DOESN’T serve the job of limiting us.

All our careful efforts for perfection in providing mothers with the way to have healthy babies are worthwhile and should be available but the birth control problem is not going to be settled with a new or better method.

It is going to be settled by the world full of us humans realizing like biologist Garret Hardin did in his noted lifeboat analogy or his more famous essay “Tragedy of the Commons” that Earth is smaller and less unlimited than believed by most of us. Or not settled at all.

At the beginning of my lifetime in 1931, now at going on 90, it is painfully clear to me and to almost all clear thinking people that the present sized human invasion of our Earth cannot continue to support these growing numbers without terrible conflict.

Would it be too soon to advocate cooperation and embracement of all forms of fertility regulation? Obviously not likely since many nations seek more hegemony and more power. However, the result bid fair to be that the only fully effective prolonged and much harsher form of birth control will be DEATH.

There is already existence of that slow grinding process in too many places in the world that has brought so many millions of people come down to the bare level of human survival. We can go farther but surely powerful people of such wealth and power both here and China and all around the planet now can visualize the bitter acrid, inevitable futility of such an end. Or can they?

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013

By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
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Jane Goodall @ Population Matters Conference 2019

Sir David Attenborough on Overpopulation

The Threat of Overpopulation

How the world went from 170 million people to 7.3 billion, in one map

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