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The Doctor Game: Has the Texas disaster taught us a lesson?

Readers respond to Dr. Gifford Jones column on the consequences of adding 70 million people a year to the planet
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I recently predicted our planet was doomed due to either nuclear holocaust, viral pandemic or azoospermia (lack of sperm). Biology 101 proves that adding 70 million people a year to our world will result in catastrophic consequences. The Texas flood disaster helps to prove this fact. Here is what readers had to say.

JW writes, “For the sake of our planet I pray your prediction is right, namely the gradual reduction in male sperm and returning the world to animals. If that happens, perhaps evolution would reduce the scourge of human curse that we are experiencing today. If only governments had the “balls” to curb population growth like China. But it won’t happen here where religion plays a powerful role.”

He continues, ‘Your research about rats fighting when more are added to the cage is very interesting. Humans are able to pick up a club and have no problem slaughtering each other when guarding a food supply. Today, we kill one another because of the colour of skin, or they don’t believe as we do. Keep up the good work and do monitor the sperm count even though it only takes one to the same damage.”

JC replies, “Your comments are informative, insightful, and often have a touch of humour to lighten one’s day. The real issue is not the number of sperm, but their energy to travel and locate and penetrate the egg. Regarding a pandemic, it doesn’t take much for a virus in a civet cat to start a global SARS epidemic. Or, to have a strain of the Ebola virus to wipe out monkeys in a holding area in Restron, Virginia, near Washington.

The writer goes on to say that the real worry is the “Stupid Factor”. For example, he reports “a technician opened a cabinet and discovered six unlabeled containers. Luckily she did not open them. Later, it was discovered they contained the smallpox virus that is deadly and spreads easily.”

Here are thoughts from a mathematician. “It’s refreshing to read a column dealing with population explosion, a topic politicians avoid at all costs. Years ago when teaching exponential function I used to point out the world’s population as doubling every 45 years. If that is the case, the population in 2,100 will be 18 billion. I Hope this will become a widely discussed subject before the problem becomes too difficult to solve peacefully.”

He continues, “As far as I know China is the only country to have tackled the population problem by limiting families to one child. But I understand they have changed this rule and allow more than one child. But I believe you’re right and one or another problem will end life on our small planet.”

From The Times Colonist in Vancouver, RR replies, “Education may save humanity. Educated societies have fewer birth rates. This means helping people to become aware of their own unique capabilities where they develop esteem and self-confidence.”

A woman, MA, says, “Love your columns. I too think we are spinning out of control, the stupidity of our species knows no bounds. I have little faith in our species to do the right thing.”

Finally, JC remarks, ”Our human world is crazy. Where are all the brilliant minds that could lead us to peace and sensibility? Think of the stupid cities with too many people. I enjoy your columns and wonder if you get realistic responses?”

I certainly do, and some readers disagree with me. For instance, some challenged the effects of overpopulation. Others said that God controls the universe and I should spend more time reading the Bible. And many thanked me for the opportunity to vet their opinions.

But have we learned anything from the Texas disaster? One, realize you can’t beat nature when extreme conditions strike. Two, good sense dictates you can’t cover up wetlands with shopping malls and homes and expect water to pass through concrete. Third, extreme conditions of climate change will get worse in the years ahead. This is not surprising. The only thing that’s surprising is that what we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.

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