By Dennis Renner

I imagine I will upset quite a few people with this blog. My purpose in writing it is to cause people to think. It's time humanity took a long look into the looking glass.

I hear and see science applauding its' self all the time for the miracle drugs and vaccinations that it has produce for humanity. I also see science applauding its' self for our modern agricultural practices capable of feeding billions more people than ever before. And Humanity in a deluded state said. “It is good.”

When we study other species that we share this planet with we approach it from a purely analytical view point. We understand that evolution in order to create a balance in nature often uses disease, food supply or predators to keep a specie's population numbers in check. We have seen what can happen when a new species is suddenly introduced into a habitat that fails to have these natural balances. For instance the introduction of the European Rabbit into Australia. Here the rabbit had no natural enemies and so it spread like wild fire across the outback eating everything in its path.

After the European Rabbits introduction in 1859, Australia's ecology suffered devastating damage. The European Rabbit has been the suspected cause of the largest species loss in Australia. They are also responsible for devastating erosion across Australia by leaving the top soil exposed. Australia's ecosystem will never return to a pre-rabbit environment.

There is another species on this planet that is doing far more damage than the meek rabbit could ever do. Yes I am speaking of the human species. In an emotional response to the factors that held our populations numbers with-in check, we have arrogantly seen ourselves as some sort of divine creature superior to all others. If predators threatened us we destroyed them. If a disease causes massive death we created vaccines to put a stop to what we saw as pain, suffering and untimely death. We totally disregarded the fact that we needed such diseases to keep our numbers in balance with nature. We also failed to see that even though diseases may kill off large numbers it allows the strongest to survive there by strengthening the species. Yes it is how evolution works but humanity has tried to side step natural selection with the use of science.

The food factor: Today we grow and raise enough food to feed 7 billion people. Some too excess and others at nearly a starvation rate. Never the less through modern farming practices and using industrial chemicals we can produce more food than ever before. (Big Applause) Well maybe we need to look a little closer at our modern miracles before we get too emotionally excited. Perhaps we have forgotten that in science there is a law known as; Cause and Effect, and that it should always be studied before we act.

Humanity has been blinded by our emotions. We failed to see that our causes like eradicating diseases and producing major amounts of food could have some very serious effects. First, we now see our human population grown to an unsustainable rate. We are using up our natural resource, way beyond our planets ability to replace them. Resources like oil and certain minerals are not replaceable. Arable land is being destroyed at an alarming rate. It is already estimated that the amount of farm land that has been destroyed by modern farming practices equals the land mass of China and India combined. In America we are loosing our top soil, polluting our water ways, and creating dead zones along our oceans coastal regions all do to our scientific modern farming. On top of that we use billions of gallons of oil and natural gas to produce our food. With our current agricultural practices it takes 10 calories of petroleum for every 1 calorie that reaches our plates. Current food production is based on a finite resource.

The truth of all of this is that our modern food production both plant and animal is not even close to being sustainable. The effect will be like hitting a wall. As the human population moves on towards nine billion our petroleum resources, and our ability to feed the worlds population will collapse. To complicate things further our fresh water resources will fail to meet our agricultural needs. All ready many of our reservoirs and underground aquifers are seriously low.

The end result will be a massive human die off. I have read information off some of the scientific sites estimating 5.5 billion human deaths due to the affects of peak oil. Massive disease and starvation are still predicted to be the effect of our irresponsible arrogance and our scientific efforts.


Scientists and the rest of humanity should have seen this coming a long time ago. When considering any new technology it is always important to completely study the environmental effects. Just because we can do something does not always mean that we should do it. The side effects of the oil age, modern farming, and disease control have been proven to be disastrous for humanity. Over population is the result and it is pushing us into another extinction as we loose more and more species due to habitat and environmental destruction. Our mistake was in not realizing that we were symbiotically connected to nature and we needed to live and work responsibly with in nature instead of against it. In our arrogance we humans thought that we could outwit evolution and nature with our superior intellect and god's help.


Views: 75

Comment by Jānis Ķimsis on April 14, 2010 at 9:52am
There are only two options for humanity now - reduce number of humans or do more science to try and fix what we've screwed up. I want to ask you - will you be the first in line to the suicide booth?
Comment by Dennis Paul Renner on April 14, 2010 at 11:07am
No! Poor third world nations are already feeling the effects. That places their people in line ahead of me. I would like humanity to wake up and fix its' mess. Reduce our population and impliment green tested technologies. I think both our archaic monatary system, and religions, currently stand in the way of making any real progress. I think I will wait around till my time is up to see if humanity will rise to the challenge.
Comment by Jānis Ķimsis on April 14, 2010 at 3:41pm
Yeah, everyones all for limiting the human population, as long as they aren't the ones put to sleep. This is the problem: whos going to decide who lives and who dies, and what will give him the right to decide. So the only humane thing to do is to try and make it work without having to kill anyone. Anything you say to the contrary is somewhat hipocritical, as I would expect someone who has everyones best interests in mind to be the first to off himself as an example.
Comment by Dennis Paul Renner on April 14, 2010 at 7:33pm
Janis you completely read something into my blog that was not there. I never acvocated suicide or euthanasia or any kind of killing off of the population. I would advocate birth contol and programs like China implemented with one child per family. 26 years ago my wife and I decide just that and we stuck to it. Our daughter has decided not to have children for the same over population reasons. If this kind of program was implemented world wide we could reduce our population to a sustainable size with in just a few generations. My issue is that many religions and cultrual myths stand in the way of reason when it comes to family planning.
Comment by B. on April 15, 2010 at 12:33am
This kind of made me sick to read.

Condemning scientific accomplishments -- especially something so incredible as vaccines -- is atrocious and, I would argue, grotesquely immoral.

I don't think you understand how susceptible you are to infection. There are many, many viruses and bacteria that would love murder you in the name of their own propagation. Disease is a byproduct of communal living, the fact that we have learned to thwart it can only be interpreted as a triumph -- anyone that says otherwise is merely ignorant or stupid, or both.

If we dare get rid of vaccines, we must get rid of our global communities. Shrink our cities and give up international travel. Heck, it's probably not safe to travel between states, or even cities. Once people start interacting with one another, they start sharing microoganisms, and if we're going to give up vaccines and antibiotics in the interest of "population control", we better be willing to give up trade and travel.
And we'd have to take on tremendous risk. Measles. Small pox. Polio. Influenza, malaria, yellow fever. I'm sure we could get something like the Black Plague back.

One of the reasons our population is exploding is because it's SAFE to have children now. Complications rarely kill the mother. In the past, having a baby was a tremendous physical risk. Many women died in childbirth -- often the child died too -- either from the trauma of the delivery, or the infection that set in afterward.
You're life expectancy, your very existence, is so grossly inflated by science it's probably impossible to determine if you'd have lived at all if we regressed to a time before technology. If you are against it, you are against yourself. You can't oppose vaccines whilst enjoying their protection. It's hypocritical. Likewise complaining about the condition of the world from a computer screen. What's your carbon footprint, exactly? Are you willing to take responsibility for it? Having a child, period, was the greatest carbon contribution you could have made, and you did it -- but oh look! It was just one, so it must be ok!

You're not for real.

Evolution is never "outwitted". This is our evolution. An animal altering itself and its habitat to propagate its species is pretty standard. It's essentially all the evolution truly "is".

Also, there was never a God whose help we could shun.
Comment by Dennis Paul Renner on April 15, 2010 at 2:38am
To: B. Good I made you think. If we want to benefit from all the advancements in medicines and vaccines then we need to counter act the side effects of over population by implementing birth control on a global scale, or all these benefits will have been for nothing. Over population of our species is placing humanity on a path of self destruction. We have to contend with this fact or all the advancements we have made will not benefit our children in the future. Humanity will have no future.

Of course there was no god, you missed the sarcasm in my statement.

As to the carbon foot print statement you spoke from emotion and not rational thought. Reducing the number of offspring is the best way known, to reduce resource demand and reduce our cabon foot print. Becoming a vegan is next: My wife daughter and I are all vegan and put into practice every aspect of reducing our carbon foot print that we can. We take these problems very seriously and live our lifes accordingly.

I am sure that you can see that humanity is facing many dire challenges at this point in time. We as a species must wake up to what we are doing to the planet. I am not against science used in a responsible way. The fact is that science is the only tool we have to solve the problems of healing this planets ecosystems.
Comment by B. on April 15, 2010 at 10:44am
You didn't "make me think". This is not a new topic or something that has never occurred to me before. I only hope I made YOU think, so you can reduce that glaring ignorance that manifested itself in your first post to something more tolerable in the future.

I was not "speaking with emotion and not rational thought" concerning offspring. If you agree that limiting your number of children is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint, it's ironic (or just hypocrisy?) that you went ahead and had a child anyway.
Essentially this says that it is more important that you as an individual reap the rewards and benefits of parenting than not, even at the expense of the destruction and waste your offspring will produce by merely being alive. You put your experience as a father ahead of clean air for someone. You called it more important than the extinction of dozens (possibly hundreds) of species. It doesn't matter if your vegan, you did the most damage you possibly could such that everything else pales in comparison.

I don't think we can "implement" birth control on a global scale so much as we can can merely suggest it and hope people take it up. For undeveloped or developing countries, a huge solution is female literacy. If you teach women to read, they have more control of their lives, and ultimately their fertility, which usually results in them having less children. The relationship is strongly correlated.
But there is nothing we can do beyond encourage it. There can be no sterility treatments or any form of "forced" birth control "implemented" for the benefit of the planet (a grotesque suggestion you seem to intend with your post -- likewise insinuating that undeveloped countries deserve to be ravaged by disease because we should have never made vaccines and interfered with nature's "population control").

Science probably won't heal the ecosystems. They've been lost, or changed, and probably permanently.
We can try to preserve what we have or prevent further destruction, but essentially the face of the planet has changed irreparably. BUT people need to stop crying over it and realize that that doesn't mean this isn't a place worth living or something we can improve on.
Comment by Dennis Paul Renner on April 15, 2010 at 1:02pm
Reply to B “Something we can improve on.” This is my entire point. We have to recognize the mistakes we made in the past if we are ever going to fix this mess. Because of greed and human emotions we often only do half the science. When we create a new technology companies try to get it to market as fast as possible to gain profits. We often shortcut or never carry out the environmental impact studies. There is a long list of medicines that have been recalled or have been highly restricted because after their release into the public. Serious health issues arose, often death. This was sloppy science yielding to the pressures of corporate profits.
Our modern farming technology would never pass any kind of scrutiny when exposed to real scientific environmental impact studies. The large corporations like Monsanto have bought and paid for restrictions on the EPA to prevent them from doing their job because they are well aware that their products are an environmental disaster, but the profits are good. So the planet is now contaminated with PC-B's Dioxins and other really nasty pollutants. And the insanity continues because of human greed.
I know that we both want what is best for humanity. I think we are both frustrated in seeing how to reach a workable solution. If we are not able to control the world human population using science logic and reason then what is left. Nature. Nature will in the end try to re-balance its' self. The path that humanity is now on will lead to massive starvation and disease regardless of our modern medicines and vaccines. We simple have no way of administering medicines or controlling Cholera, Typhoid or many other killing diseases once billions of people quickly begin to die from starvation. Why do you think scientists are so afraid of a world pandemic? They know that once it gets rolling there is no way to really stop it. Sure you may save a few thousand lives but because we really did not think about cause and effect things are going to be a lot worse. Pain, suffering and death of billions more people will be the effect. In the end your miracle medicines and vaccines will have only lead to over population and will make things much worse for humanity when our ability to feed a hungry world comes to an end..
I do not ever expect us to agree but I do think the dialog is good. Those who read both sides of the issue will begin to think and out of that perhaps solutions will arise.
Comment by Jānis Ķimsis on April 15, 2010 at 1:05pm
To Dennis: Yeah, I was wondering if I was reading in too much.
Comment by B. on April 15, 2010 at 5:55pm
Dennis, I don't think you actually understand the process and cost of getting a medical treatment to sales. It actually takes years of research and approximately $1 billion. The errors scientists made were almost unavoidable -- the only way we could have known drugs would have those negative effects was to use them. Both our bodies and diseases are highly dynamic and changing all the time, it's nearly an impossible challenge to keep up with circumstance.
I don't think you understand or realize what a hassle it can be even to obtain lab mice for an experiment, let alone progress to trials on human subjects. There is a staunch system in place in the interest of safety that ensures new medical treatments are put through considerable testing before their released to the public. If they have a negative consequence on the mass market, it's usually not because we simply didn't test it enough, it's because we didn't actually have the resources to perform such a large scale study.
The red tape and cost to produce a treatment can be debilitating because we simply know more than we did 30 years ago. We understand the toxicity of more compounds. We realize how quickly bacteria & viruses can mutate. But we know these things because of accidents, all of them from the Thalidomide debacle to the horrors of the revertant polio virus. I'm not saying these mistakes weren't tragic, but the expectation that they are avoidable is completely unreasonable.
Furthermore, if someone is suffering from or at risk of a fatal disease, they will often choose a treatment, even if it's experimental, even if it has risks, because seriously: the treatment is not as bad as the disease.

That said, scientists are not afraid of a global pandemic because of the death & destruction that could be wrought, we're afraid of the panic. Nothing is more rampant than idiocy, and that's what would be the downfall. People wouldn't take measures to avoid passing the disease a long. There would probably be looting & riots, if it was really serious.
But any good scientists knows a portion of the population will be immune. It doesn't matter what it is -- even HIV -- someone is ALWAYS immune. Usually a group of someones. And the disease won't touch them.

Nevertheless, vaccines saved the world. Period. There's no greater human invention. You think disease is just "nature's population control" but I don't think you realize what you're immune to because of vaccines. Immunity to contagious disease is one of the main reasons our lifespan nears 100. Do you like being 40/50? Do you want to e 60? What about 70? To you want to see your children thrive & grow, or meet your grandchildren? Vaccines did that for you. Nothing else has come close to giving what vaccines have. It's worse than hating electricity, because that's a luxury but vaccines have been an absolute necessity in your life. You would not have survived without them. You keep talking about the global population, but this is also about YOU. The third world countries don't have the medicine you have, they don't benefit the way you do from vaccines and antibiotics. Their immune systems are generally much, much better than ours. YOU are the weakling. You are the one vaccines ensured would survive, not the starving African or Indian children across the globe. You. They made it to 6 years old without a vaccine, you probably wouldn't have. They'll make it to 25 without antibiotics, you probably can't say the same.

As for the environmental science, it's brand freaking new. There were no standards for equipment or processes in the past because we were totally ignorant of how the environment worked and was affected by us. Have you read the literature? Most of it was published within the past 30 years -- I would dare say the bulk of it in the past 15. I don't know if you know how they measure pollutants & toxins and weather phenomena, but they really weren't all that high-tech in the 80's. Their instruments were shoddy and the data told them essentially nothing. People didn't know what they were doing, they couldn't measure it. You can't blame them for producing a pollutant they didn't know existed or could cause harm.
Our only crime now is persisting in destructive behaviors when we know better, but if there isn't an alternative, we can't just stop. That would be as detrimental as a global pandemic or the over-population you can't stop whining about.

Complaining this is "sloppy science" is profoundly ignorant. There was no science to be sloppy, we were complete newbies, we didn't know what the hell we were doing. Science is the reason you exist, the reason you enjoy anything in life. Criticizing just shows how little of it you actually understand.


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