Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Bravo, Mr Shatner

I stumbled on an interview between Glenn Beck (goodness knows who he is – possibly a radio talk show host, maybe even a right-wing radio talk show host) and William Shatner, the full transcript of which can be read here. However, it’s Mr Shatner’s views on population that had me applauding – if only the rest of us would come out and engage with those views instead of pretending we can go on multiplying like rabbits with no long-term consequences to worry about…

GLENN: You said almost every problem we have right now is due to overpopulation.


GLENN: And I said there are just too many stupid people on Earth. You said there's too many smart and stupid people. So what is the solution to overpopulation?

SHATNER: Well, nature, nature eventually will take care of that problem like they did, like nature does with animals. We're overgrazing. So when deer multiply, when the natural order of things is disturbed and predators are taken away, for example, the deer, they overpopulate, they eat too much of the food and they starve. And we're going to -- if we don't curb -- how do we stop the overpopulation? I guess it's by education and saying you've got to have less children, you can't have all the children you want anymore. There's a difference in the world now. Or nature will take care of it.

GLENN: How many -- well, I just want -- I mean, in 1968 they said by 1980 the world would starve to death. Food production --

SHATNER: But there's no question that technology has increased the yield per acre. But in increasing the yield per acre, we have defiled the planet even more. By putting more fertilizer on the ground, we have the runoff and we have the seas dying as a result of all the fertilizer.

GLENN: Do you believe that the Earth takes care of -- and I mean this as a sincere question. Do you believe that the Earth takes care of problems in the way that this cyclone hit or this earthquake in China? Is that the Earth saying, enough?

SHATNER: Well, no. The cyclone itself is a natural order, but the number of people killed, which would have been three in another age, is now tens of thousands. And that's the result of overpopulation. The population of the world is taking over niches for living space and agriculture that they wouldn't have done before. So they are on low-lying islands that are inches above water level or cutting back mangroves like we did in Florida in order to get land and ultimate, whereas nature would have softened the blows of some of these disastrous storms, now that isn't taking place. Eventually and when that will happen, it's hard to predict. But we know it's not going to be that far away. Nature will be killing more and more people because there are more and more people to be killed. They're in the way of these natural forces.

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