April 2013

The best way to help the poor

By Galen Larson

Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil.

One doesn’t have any more fears if you are dead. I have no fear of dying as there is nothing I can do about it. I have no fear of the afterlife; it must be okay, as no one ever comes back.

But enough of the philosophizing. As the country song goes, “Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful memory.” What better memory could one leave for his heirs than a good education and plenty of clean, clear water? Water to quench our thirst and help us grow green pasture.

For religious leaders to continue to teach from the pulpit that we still need large families is insane. War, plagues, disease and abortion have done little to stop the burgeoning population in the world. We are now at 7.5 billion people and it is projected that number will be 12 billion by 2050. And it is estimated that one-sixth of those do not have reliable, clean water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. That should be frightening to us and those we will leave behind.

It took us thousands of years since we rose up on our hind legs – or, if you prefer, since God created us – to reach 7.5 billion, but in just 37 years we’re going to add another 5 billion. Overpopulation and its effects are the greatest threat to life on this planet – not just ours, but the lives of countless animal species as well. Education is the answer to the situation, and who can deliver this most easily and most effectively? The prophets of our various religions, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist. They need to get out of the past and into the 21st Century. There is no longer a need for large families with lots of children to labor in agriculture and domestic chores. Continuing to propagate the way we have been will be the death of the human animal. There is only a finite amount of water on this sphere, and much of it is locked up as saltwater. As I have stated before, no water, no life.

I am sure that the prophets of mythology know this, but are so blinded by greed, they refuse to relay their message. They want their congregations to have lots of children to keep growing their own particular religion, so they refuse to preach the wisdom of small families.

So many people in this country today are all lathered up about the national debt we are leaving our children. Bosh! (Or b-- -s---.) If our heirs have clean water, clean air, and a space to live, they can overcome the debt. We have done it before; it can be done again. But if they don’t have enough water or food, they’re in big trouble. So why aren’t these same folks worried about the sort of environment we are leaving our children?

If we continue to overpopulate, we do our descendants no favors. This is one situation where doing less gives us more. Are others thinking about this situation? You bet. Remember T. Boone Pickens, a corporate raider who made his money from oil and gas and invested in wind energy, then cut and ran when government subsidies ran out? What is his one big investment now? Water. He has purchased huge tracts of barren land with aquifers underneath so as to obtain the water rights. Coca-Cola, Pepsi and many other corporations are buying up water rights all over the world, investing in filtration plants. Water will be the gold of the future. No water, no grapes for wine for the sacrament. No beer for the boys, no champagne for the ladies. No cabbages for the pot, no beef for the plate.

Of all the problems we are pelted with, there is only one that if not addressed will bear no fruit, and this is it.

If the new pope really wants to help the poor and the environment, as he says, would issue a statement calling for people to limit the size of their families. Unless procreation is brought under control the human race may not have many years left. For those who believe they will be transported to green pastures after death, won’t God be somewhat put out over what condition they have left the earth in for the coming generations? Why do we care so much about the debt if we don’t care about the condition of the planet?

I’m concerned about the children born today. Will we leave them as good a life as our forefathers left us? The preamble of the Constitution states, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity [my italics], do ordain and establish this Constitution. . .” To do this, we the richest and most powerful nation on earth, must also help care for all the peoples of the world, not by force but through education.

If you don’t believe me about the coming water crisis, there are three books in the Cortez Public Library that can offer you a wealth of information: “The Ripple Effect,” by Alex Prud’homme; “Blue Death,” by Robert D. Morris; and “Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization” by Steven Solomon.

Galen Larson writes from Montezuma County, Colo.