A Key Question To Ask Everyone You Care About

By Donald A. Collins | 18 March 2023
Church and State

(Photo: Dreamstime.com)

Recently, after years of writing and reading about and personally experiencing firsthand the effects of climate change, the detailed credibility of the environmental science has convinced me and most scientists that they are correct in predicting the serious onset of the 6th Extinction beginning in this century!

Since my many of my op eds go to family and people I know, they at least know the well publicized definition of the 6th Extinction.

I have not done a complete survey of my many op ed recipients, but I suspect some do not believe this possible outcome or that it is so far in the future as not to impact their lives or those of their families.

You need to ask people if they know or have heard about the 6th Extinction!!

You can read its definition here.

The above noted recent research report from the World Wildlife Fund giving the history of the 5 previous planetary extinctions (the 5th killing the dinosaurs 65.5 million years ago) and the indisputable scientific evidence that we are now amidst the 6th Extinction which may begin to reach irreversible levels later this century.

The WWF findings were cited along with many collaborating its evidence in a stunningly powerful and all too rare commercial tv segment on 60 Minutes, hosted by Scott Pelley, which has been frequently posted on this web site as it is here again.

This dire state to this level has evolved for over 50 years. I was still naively positive in the late 1960’s that efforts to make widely available safe, affordable, accessible methods of family planning could arrest benignly the rapid historic growth of unsustainable human numbers.

Buttressing such optimism was the existence of major new methods of female contraception such as the birth control pill FDA approved in 1960 and continuously improved by lowering dosage levels of estrogen and progestin allowed FDA decades ago to assure women of the methods marketed by several companies as safe.

Intrauterine devices, the most popular model was invented by the late Dr Jack Lippes known as the Lippes Loop got used by millions of women around the world. Dr. Lippes, who died on December 7, 2021 at 98, never stopped advocating or working on specific new ways to help women achieve better family planning choices. His outstanding career story can be accessed here.

The Supreme Court’s Blackman decision in the Roe vs Wade case in January 1973 and gave women the national right to obtain safe, affordable abortions, most of which occur in the first trimester of pregnancy. Many years ago the FDA approved the now widely used abortion pills featuring two drugs mifepristone and progesterone and which permit early safe medical abortions.

Read here about their use and how that safe, health related decision may be interrupted by a specious legal maneuver by a far-right Texas judge.

I was not alone in my early political naivety in the 1960’s as millions of dollars for family planning were invested by governments and private donors in non governmental agencies such as The Population Council, Planned Parenthood, FHI360, then called International Fertility Research Programme, Guttmacher Institute, Ipas, and other family planning NGOs. I served for many years on the boards or as an officer of several of them.

Certainly, such efforts were not in vain, as millions of women and their families have had the ability to control unwanted fertility.

However, the attacks by the Catholic Church and other conservative religious groups escalated in the early 1970’s with Congressional passage of the Helms and Hyde amendments which limited funding for family planning here and overseas.

Of course, the Blackman decision was effective for women for nearly 50 years. It had become the main target of the RCC and finally enabled the killing of Roe by the far right Catholic majority of the US Supreme Court on June 24, 2022.

When I began working professionally for a foundation with one of its major programs involved helping to expand family planning options in 1965, total world population was 3.3 billion and in the USA 93 million, numbers the planet could support sustainably, albeit with wide disparity between those living well and those much poorer and in poorer circumstances.

In the USA efforts to deal with racism and abetting female empowerment were only getting a start. Today, despite considerable real progress we are far from acceptable solutions to those and many other problems.

However, it is understandable why the possibility of something as seemingly unbelievable as the 6th Extinction is to most people impossible to believe. They could plausibly ask, “Have you been in a Whole Foods store lately??

Yes, the now accelerating 6th human extinction now gets vast lip service but is still inadequately unacted upon even by those who believe the science is correct!

To my dismay, as I mentioned above, when I ask people, “Are you worried about the 6th Extinction?” I sometimes get answers like “Don’t know about it.” or “Not likely.”

With no humorous connotation intended, I offer my double entendre at 92, having lived as world’s human numbers multiplied 4 times in my lifetime, and certain most future generations certainly will not live as well as most in my generation in America unless we change course now.

Primary suggestion toward gaining certainty about the above: View Sir David Attenborough’s deeply troubling, yet slightly optimistic 2020 documentary you can access here.

Attenborough, now 96 and still at work for humanity, in this documentary counsels that the only route to human survival is by restoring the one third of our natural world that remains to its former size to support life sustainably.

It is that natural world we have so decimated two thirds of in just 200 years:

My Second entendre–Ave, Imerator, niruturi te salutant!!!!

Okay, look it up with the above prompt. Extinction may well become the major birth control method.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 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”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”, “Will Choice and Democracy Win?” and “Can Our U.S. Survive 8 Plus Billion of Us”.

Earth currently experiencing a sixth mass extinction, according to scientists | 60 Minutes

How the abortion pill case landed in a ‘tiny MAGA jurisdiction’ in Texas

A Life on Our Planet David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough on overpopulation

The conservative movement transforming America’s courts

Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here