The Bad Influence
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The Bad Influence

The Sixth Mass Extinction is Well Underway

There is no scientific doubt that it’s happening.

A Landsgemeinde of the canton of Glarus, an example of direct democracy in Switzerland. . . By Marc Schlumpf, CC BY-SA 3.0,

If you study the population graphs of humanity over the past half-century, you won’t see any dips. Not like if you went back 100 or so years and looked at graphs during the Spanish Flu pandemic, which was our most recent truly deadly human die-off.

CC by the author Max Roser

If the Spanish Flu came back now and killed the same percentage of people as it did 100 years ago, it would kill 80 million people, at the least. Compare to 4 or 5 million people who’ve died, or will die, from Covid-19. We had similar death rates from flu bugs in the 1950s and 1960s, and the populace didn’t go into abject despair as they have with Covid-19. (Methinks there’s a game afoot.)

— — — — — — —

Okay. Ignoring viruses, what needs doing if we want to avoid human extinction? (Regardless of the fact you think it will never happen.)

Let’s start with ending capitalism. That is one requirement, and I say, No way can the people give up their goods. Plus the governments and corps obviously wouldn’t end capitalism.
Let’s end with universal, worldwide birth control, another necessity that’ll never happen. (As of 09/16/2021.) We need 3x the current deaths or 1/3 the current births to start reducing our population overshoot. Better yet: do both.

Here’s one currently insurmountable problem. People — and I mean the people — won’t take direct action until a natural event or act of war kills off a few hundred million or even a billion of us. And people are capable of acting. (See the photo above — a village-sized group of people taking direct action in their own government.)

— — — — — — —

If actions are not taken with the next 3 or 4 years, the extinction will happen. At this point it could happen regardless. There are: climate problems, population overshoot, authoritarian governments and their attendant billionaires, media, and armies. The sea levels are rising, and that’s long-term. The seas won’t get any lower in our lifetimes. Extinct species of plants and animals won’t be resurrected.

Humans won’t likely go extinct completely. There will be survivors, or at least the fat-cats and their families in bunkers in New Zealand. Agricultural land will return to a natural state — it only takes soil about 100 years to recover its nutrients and repopulate with insects and bacteria and viruses.

— — — — — — —

We are frankly on unknown ground as to what’s going to happen next. Climate is unpredictable by nature: it’s a complex system with many unknown tipping points. Like the 1.1°C we’ve already reached in global warming — and it has brought fires, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. What the hell will the future bring when we hit 2.0°C?

Humans and governments with nuclear and other weapons are unpredictable too. There are various lists of existential threats being studied. Generally they list between 8 and 12 different bad things that could happen.

— — — — — — —

But what I am saying is that some bad things will happen. No, not like what’s happened in the past couple of years. I mean massive human die-offs.

This year our population overshoot day was July 29th.
When an organism (say, e.g, humans) overpopulate their environment, mother nature by hook or crook solves the problem with a massive die-off. It’s always been that way, so stop worrying and whining.

Estimates are that we’d need to reduce population by a third to allow the ecosystems to begin healing. In other words, up to 3,000,000,000 people need to either die or not be born.

I say, Good luck with that one.

Our impediments are built into us. We don’t want birth control. We don’t want to reduce population, or to grow our own foods, or to end capitalism. We want to keep going the way we always have. And we think they “they” — the government I presume — will fix the things that are broken. Even though the governments and industries are the ones who broke everything.

No, humans have some great traits. They’re the most advanced mammal on Earth. But they (we) have weird wiring, and that can’t be helped, except by self-awareness and deliberate changes.

(We are good at walking and running. That’s what made us superior to other animals. Modern city-people don’t even know this important fact. We have incredible endurance, and can walk for 24 hours very efficiently. A great skill when following game or outracing bad weather or climate.)

But who walks now? Where I live there is me and about 15 other people who walk a lot. There are 3,000 who take other transportation.

— — — — — — —

I had to grab the article linked below.

This is the first scientist I’ve read who has an excellent idea of how to provide birth control.* He seems to push back at his naysayers, while people like me are hamstrung because of all the religious shit spouted by (white) men that keeps women pregnant and in the kitchen (cooking, barefoot) and who apparently hold that an unfertilized egg cell has a right to life.
Anyway he writes in Swedish, is based in Finland and Ecuador, and studies the use of renewable resources in the Amazon basin, name of Anders Sirén:

[… ] “World population is still growing by 80 million people a year and natural ecosystems continue being replaced by artificial production landscapes at an alarming rate.” [I think he means pastures and huge farms.] “Measures to reduce births must be based on voluntary action and financial incentives. The international community should simply pay money to women who give birth to no children or at most one child — a global reverse child benefit.

“In terms of reducing consumption levels, the greatest potential lies with the world’s rich. A further reduction in the level of consumption is unthinkable for the world’s poorest, who barely have what it takes to survive. Human civilization will only survive if we succeed in a historically unique leveling of the gap between rich and poor.”


The author responds to some criticism and comments:

“Critics of the article have concentrated specifically on the proposal of a ‘reverse child benefit’. Some have argued, somewhat contradictorially, that this for one part would be ineffectual because people’s choices about how many children they have are guided by other considerations than the purely economic, and, for another part, that it would be coercive and unethical.

“There is, however, no doubt that economic considerations are important when people decide how many children they have. One important reason why Total Fertility Rates have fallen drastically in many countries in recent decades is exactly that people find it too expensive to raise many children. On the other hand, one explicit reason why governments in many countries pay child benefits to families with children is precisely that they want to encourage childbearing. Paying people money for not having children is of course no more coercive or unethical than paying them for having children.” (By Anders Sirén.)

*Well, okay. One of my favorite science fiction authors (Arthur C. Clark?) once said that the world needs a highly addictive soft drink with birth control medicine mixed in.

I talked about population graphs:

Like I said, the Spanish Flu killed people. Of coronaviruses, not much to report. They’re usually 1/25 in deadliness compared to Spanish Flu. Though SARS-CoV-1 was deadlier than Covid-19, and MERS was even more deadly yet, but it didn’t spread well.

Look at birth vs death rates in our current world, and then PLEASE, Please!!!! stop buying into the terror and the panic the government, media, huge corporations, and billionaires like Bill Gates are feeding you! Trust me, for the moment you have things to worry about, but not covid and not all climate things.

But in terms of other climate things and lots of other things . . . yeah, go ahead and worry. You might have to act — to literally take actions.

— — — — — — —

Listen readers, people. All this is end-of-world shit. Sure you’re gonna die. It works that way. You were born from the womb, a mystery to your parents. And after genes did their crossing-over viral tricks and you became a unique human, you began your post-partum phase of development. For me, by age 8, I became my own person — separate from my parents and their God and separate from all the rest of humanity. Each of us is unique, and lives and dies solo.

You *are* going to die.

A Funny Thing about Reality

The past is remembered but unalterable, the present doesn’t really exist because it instantly and constantly becomes the past, and the future is unknown. (Examples: Tonight a meteor will come through the roof on top of your head, or the Sun will go supernova while you’re sleeping. Or, alternatively, you’ll just go to the beach tomorrow as planned.)

Here’s my core belief:
I never existed before my birth, my life is up to me, and my death is certain within the next century. This is all just fine and does not create fear in me.

Here’s How Everything Ended for One Family

Egon Schiele (1880–1918) — Die Familie (The Family), painted a few days before his death, just after that of his wife Edith. . . . By Egon Schiele, Public Domain,

Sick as a dog with Spanish Flu and what did he do with his remaining days alive?

He made this painting.

If you’re breathing and conscious, you can still take actions. There’s little value hiding your head in the sand.

… Fred Ermlich




We’re a Bad Influence because we INCITE change through inclusion, thought and creativity. We imagine a world where people can think critically, express themselves, and thumb their nose at the status quo, together.

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Fred Ermlich

Fred Ermlich

Living in rural Panamá — non-extractive, non-capitalistic. Expat USA. Scientist, writer, researcher, teacher. STEM mentor +languages.

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