Donnie Dark Strikes Another Blow At Planet Earth … And Women

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” – Mahatma Gandhi

There are currently some 7.5 billion people with whom we share a planet.  Think about that for a minute … 7.5.  Billion.  People.  That’s a lot of people.  The point of this post is not the over-population of earth, but we need to put this into perspective.  Most, myself included, would argue that we need to control population globally, not just in the underdeveloped nations, not just in the wealthier western nations, but globally.  Is there evidence that the earth is overpopulated?

The population of our earth only hit the one billion mark in the early 1800s, and it was only in the 1920s that we hit two billion.  And today, less than a century later, we are at the 7.5 billion mark and counting – growing.  Yay us … we learned to make babies. It is predicted that, given current growth rates, the human population of the earth will exceed 11 billion by the end of this century.  Can the earth support 11+ billion people?  Most scientists think it is doubtful.  Most believe the maximum sustainable population for this planet is somewhere between 9-10 billion.

Harvard University sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson, bases his estimate on calculations of the Earth’s available resources. As Wilson pointed out in his book “The Future of Life” (Knopf, 2002), “The constraints of the biosphere are fixed.”

Aside from the limited availability of freshwater, there are indeed constraints on the amount of food that Earth can produce, just as Malthus argued more than 200 years ago. Even in the case of maximum efficiency, in which all the grains grown are dedicated to feeding humans (instead of livestock, which is an inefficient way to convert plant energy into food energy), there’s still a limit to how far the available quantities can stretch. “If everyone agreed to become vegetarian, leaving little or nothing for livestock, the present 1.4 billion hectares of arable land (3.5 billion acres) would support about 10 billion people,” Wilson wrote. – Live Science, 11 October 2011

David Satterthwaite, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, has a slightly different take on the issue of over-population:

“It is not the number of people on the planet that is the issue – but the number of consumers and the scale and nature of their consumption.”

He posits that since most of the growth over the next two decades is predicted to be in urban centres in what are currently low and middle-income countries, and those people consume little, then perhaps overpopulation isn’t quite the dire threat that other scientists think it to be.  While Satterthwaite’s reasoning may or may not be sound – I am certainly no scientist and therefore cannot say – it is, I believe, a rather inhumane argument — as long as we can keep the poor, poor, then we will have enough water, food, and energy for all. Either way, the earth is not expanding, nor is it likely to, and humans are expanding.

The United States is already overpopulated. As far back as 1972, the Presidential Commission on Population Growth and the American Future recommended population stabilization, saying that over-population is the root cause of land and resource shortages, ecological degradation and urban congestion. The current population of the United States is, as of this writing, 326,330,503 and growing by the minute. Granted, the rate of growth has slowed in recent years, but we still add about 2 million to our population each year.

The defenders of population growth are almost universally institutional, not individuals. The public is generally concerned about continued population growth. The discrepancy between citizen and institutional interests is clear. Individuals benefit from moderate population density, open spaces, and a healthy environment. Institutions benefit from increased membership and large consumer markets and labor pools.

I could easily write a couple of posts about the topic of human overpopulation alone, but again, that is not my purpose tonight, so let us move on.

At the end of May, the Trump administration drafted a proposal that would virtually remove the birth control mandate from the Affordable Care Act. Under current law, most all insurance plans are required to cover birth control.  If Trump’s proposed regulation is finalized, that mandate will, for all intents and purposes, be gone.  Any company, from non-profits to major publicly-held corporations, will be able to claim exemption from the rule if they simply state they have a ‘moral’ objection.  ‘Moral’ is not defined in the proposal.  This proposed regulation does not have to be approved by Congress, but like an executive order, becomes law upon being published.

We have just looked at the issue of over-population from a long-range, global view, and it should be obvious to anyone who can read and think that birth control is one means to slow the population growth rate.  But now let us zoom in and talk about it from a national, and also an individual level.  Nationwide, there are an estimated 12 million single-parent households in the U.S., half of which are below the poverty line.  These are families that do not need another mouth to feed, and they are also mothers who cannot afford to shell out up to $50 each month for birth control.

Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, when asked by a reporter where low-income women would be left if the mandate was rolled back, replied, “Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one. The fact of the matter is this is a trampling on religious freedom and religious liberty in this country.”  Gem of a guy, don’t you think?  And now we see why Trump selected him to run “Health and HUMAN Services”. One problem is that since the administration is comprised almost exclusively of Trump’s millionaire buddies, they have no concept of how hard it can be for a family barely able to put food on the table, to scrape up $50/month for birth control pills!

The Trump administration has a similar response, claiming that women can turn to federally subsidized family planning programs.  But now think about this one.  They are also proposing cuts to Medicaid as well as threatening to entirely de-fund Planned Parenthood!  So where are all those “federally subsidized family planning programs”???

Trump-earthTrump & Co. have already proven their disdain for Planet Earth by removing environmental regulations via executive order, restarting oil pipeline projects without proper environmental impact studies, and announcing his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords.  This proposal to roll back the birth control mandate is yet another slap in the face to our planet, but also to every woman in the United States.  I understand that abortion is a thorny issue, and I understand why.  I am personally pro-choice, but I understand why abortion is a deal-breaker to many.  However … birth control should not be a controversial issue, and I DO NOT understand any moral objections, religious or otherwise.  And, for those who are so against abortion, the reality is that if we reduce women’s access to affordable birth control, we will see an increase in abortions.

Congressional-oversightThere is a reason that our Constitution calls for three branches of federal government.  All presidents, bar none, have used executive orders and such to bypass Congress when action needed to be swift.  Some have abused the privilege, but I know of none who have taken the level of abuse to the extent that Trump has.  There is no valid justification for this latest regulation which, like so many of his other proposals, is destined to hurt the very people who supported and voted for him.  Fortunately, some states are taking counter actions, including California, Nevada, Illinois, Vermont and Maryland.  Hats off to them, and I hope every state jumps on this bandwagon!  Oh, and one final note … though not mandated, and not covered at 100%, most insurance policies DO cover some portion of the cost of Viagra.  Anybody still think it isn’t a ‘man’s world’????

mans world.jpg

36 thoughts on “Donnie Dark Strikes Another Blow At Planet Earth … And Women

  1. Dear Jill,
    This is also why we need to put more women into legislative positions. I am both anti-abortion and pro choice and yes this is possible. I find for the most part, the policies that the pro-life groups support, increase the number of abortions needed because of unexpected/ unwanted pregnancies; because of their need to cut back on sex information provided to young peoples; their wanting to cut off women’s’ access to contraception methods; and because of their sanctimonious cutting back of safety-net support for young families. They also don’t seem to give a hoot about the USA having by far, the highest infant mortality rates among all the developed countries.

    Get these men out of our bedrooms.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    • I fully agree!!! Men are not the ones who have to deal with the consequences of pregnancy and they should not have the right to make our decisions for us. Perhaps of equal importance is that the wealthy men in Congress have no conception whatsoever what average people go through just trying to feed their families, and protect their children. Some members of Congress are good people, have spent time trying to learn what the concerns of their constituents are, and I applaud them for that. But the majority in this Congress do not care and have only their own self-interest at heart.

      Hugs!!!!!!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Jill, great post on an important topic. A British professor spoke on a Ted Talk a few years go. His premise was simple and consistent with what you report. He said if we consume like the average Rwandan, the earth can support about 15 billion people. If we consume like the average North American, the earth can support only about 2 billion. This is a key reason The World Economic Forum places the global water crisis as the number one long term risk. Yet, very few people are talking about this risk, at least in the states. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Many thanks, Keith! Yes, I think very few of us have given much thought to the resources our planet provides vs the number of people consuming those resources. And the old “can’t see past the nose on your face” adage applies here, too. So many take the attitude of “live for today, to heck with tomorrow”. I should probably think about doing a post on fresh water resources … it is at least as important as food, perhaps more so. So many issues to think about today … so little time. I am amazed that some people actually have time to carve avocados (see Monday a.m. post 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, you should. By the way, no water, no food. If you like books on history which builds to a warning for our future, read Stephen Solomon’s book called “Water.” Its subtitle is something like “How civilizations rose and fell based on managing it.” He is the person who created the term “Water is the new oil,” which I first heard echoed by the former CEO of Duke Energy. Keith

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    • Just think if we actually had some relevant gun regulations in this country … the world population might be at 8 billion by now instead of just 7.5 billion! Oh, my aching head … whatever happened to common sense, not only in government, but also among the citizenry?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. …genderism. To remove access to birth control is so detrimental as to wonder if the conspiracists who think the world is run by part alien lizards (Anuki or something like that), using humans as slave labour and food, starts to sound faintly possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 😀 😀 …. you would get on well with my friend H!!! But seriously, yes, removing access to birth control is just stupid. And I do not understand the far right, the evangelical ‘Christians’ objection to birth control, do you? It is not abortion, it is simply prevention. No different than the aspirin I take daily to prevent an unwanted heart attack. No different than a thousand other drugs that are taken daily to prevent unnecessary complications. And bottom line is that if a woman is not ready to have a child, it is in the best interest of all for her NOT to have a child. A story in the news tonight about a woman who left her 2 kids in a hot car in Texas for 15 hours because she was visiting a friend and could not be bothered with her children. Best advertisement I know for birth control!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t understand any objection to birth control. It is just a a misogynistic plot to take away women’s freedoms. Abortion (last resort) is so much harsher, puts women at risk, and obviously ends a life. Prevention in everything is a much better option. DDT doesn’t seem to understand the difference. I am beginning to think that his success in business is an accident of birth to his father (who gave DDT enough of a start, that he shouldn’t fail unless completely stupid!). I certainly am beginning to think that America has voted in the worst kind of leader possible; one who makes up his thoughts based on a highly limited knowledge of anything. A dangerous man indeed!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Actually, Trump’s “success” in business is far less than he would have people believe. Many economists have studied it and determined that if he had simply invested the original gift/loan from his father, he would have far more now than he has. He has filed bankruptcy 6 times, and has over 4,000 lawsuits to his name. He has repeatedly skiffed contractors who did work for him in good faith, and then he refused to pay them. And he has many failed ventures to his name, Trump University, Trump vodka, Trump airlines … and the list goes on. He really isn’t very smart nor successful compared to many others. I will applaud, cheer and sing the day he leaves office. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

            • Well … yes, for me six chocolate biscuits would definitely be living on the edge!!! I am insulin-dependent diabetic 🙂 But still … chocolate biscuits sound good … now you’ve got me wanting to go bake some! 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

                    • Well, my friend, I suppose it is. I don’t usually share a lot of the personal, but you are a special friend, so … I see it this way … I have several things that are drawing straws to see which will be the first to kill me. Now, I can sit and whine about it, run to the doctor every time I have a pain or an issue, and then one day, I die, and I say, “damn, I wasted all that time worrying and whining”. OR … I can ignore the whole lot of them, choose to LIVE my life, whether it be for a day, a week, a year or two years, and have a great time doing it. Then at the end of the day I can say, “yeah, that was fun … let’s do it again!” Sooooo … I walk about 4 miles a day, spend 8-10 hours (sometimes more) researching and writing for this blog, try new recipes, do laundry, clean house, plant flowers, sleep only as much as I absolutely must, and have a special guy with whom I sometimes engage in battle royale (we are happy again, by the way). Y’know what I want most to be able to say at the end of the day? I want to be able to say “I made a difference. I left the world just a wee bit better for my having been here.” So yeah, it is a philosophy … it is a choice to enjoy life rather than to waste it feeling sorry for myself over a bloomin’ donut! 😀

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Hi Jill.
                      So sorry for the delay. Been a bit fixed with the media over the past two days over the Grenfell Tower Block fire. Then working on the book for some lightness. And of course…chores!
                      Glad to read you are back with your guy again.
                      I think you are showing drive, determination and courage in your personal and national circumstances. By spreading out a message of tolerance and by standing up against the hate-mongers you brining your own little important candle to the world.
                      Keep on keeping on.
                      Roger 👏

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Never apologize to me, dear Roger. I am often remiss in timely responses, and I know we all have lives outside of blog-land … between friends, apologies are not needed.

                      Thank you for your kind words. I like to think I make a difference with my writing, else it would be a waste of time. But no, it really wouldn’t be a waste of time, for this blog has opened the door to so many wonderful friendships!!! Present company included! 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

    • Awww, you would just have to buy a new keyboard, and maybe a window, or … well, remember your boys … wouldn’t want to whack one of them in the head with a swinging keyboard! As re the meme/photo … no, I did not photoshop, but I got it from Google images when I typed keyword “man’s world”, and I strongly suspect it originated on a satire website. So, calm down and have a cup o’ tea, my friend! 😀

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      • Good. Phew (said the keyboard). Would be a shame to destroy it … it has lovely keys that can make “ä” and “ö” and “ü” and “ß” … very useful when writing something in German. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am so glad you had mercy on the keyboard … and the boy’s heads!!! And speaking of writing in German … how’s the book coming, my friend??? You realize that either it has to become a bestseller quickly so that they will translate it into English so that I may read it, OR I shall have to enter each sentence individually into Google translate in order to read it. At that rate, it should only take me 5 or 6 years to read it!!! 🙂

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          • I am not sure if Google translate would make a readable novel out of it 😉 At the moment I am fighting a constant battle against my to-do-lists who try to eat up my writing time …. end of school year approaching, you know, with lots of events that are lovely but still filling your calendar relentlessly. So … I am trying!! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, I don’t have young children, but even I find that there are never enough hours in a day! And yes, I am sure the book would lose something in the translation via Google translate. Even simple things ofttimes come out making no sense at all. Good for some laughs, though! 😀 Hard to believe the school year is over … kids have been out for two weeks already here, and while I do love seeing them out playing rather than staying inside playing video games, having 50 in your backyard tossing a football, engaging in the occasional fist fight, and kicking over the flower pots gets old quickly. 🙂

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