Re: Enclosed article: "The People Problem" (i)
- A lot of SPs political strategy is totally ridiculous. You don't need
Catholic clergy on your board and should remove them. You don't need
them as they are politically irrelevant even to Catholics and they are an
obvious drag. Then you need to hire a moving van and MOVE to a town that
funds municipal contraception, like NYC and DC, though smaller towns are
better, and then lobby CITY HALL to increase contraception as a
percentage of town budget, primarily to save on school taxes. Use The
Big Sort! http://www.thebigsort.com/maps.php It's the ONLY way! In a
balkanized America, we can win environmental contraception funding,
beyond free, in one part. Enough funding for ALL parts!
Please read these petitions advocating municipal environmental
contraception funding, which is increasingly politically realistic due
to The Big Sort in more and more towns, and helps women's rights, quality
of life, and school taxes as well as being at
least 5 times more cost-effective than any other environmental effort.
The prochoice and contraception movements are placing too high a priority
on defensive actions in the red states when we should be going on the
offensive, the side of "change", in the blue states, and cities. The
will get even worse no matter what we do, but the unrealized political
potential, the low hanging fruit, is in making the best places even
better. This opportunity is being caused by The Big Sort. Mayors are not
answerable to rural voters, unlike governors and presidents.
We americans love cars more than babies, Very soon we will have to
choose, and we will choose cars.
On Tue, 05 Mar 2013 15:48:18 -0600 (CST) "World Population Balance"
Dear Sustainable Population Friends,
Enclosed is the actual article recently published about the
overpopulation crisis and David Paxson's work.
Yours for sustainable population,
Secretary to the Board
Richfield man a lonely voice against overpopulation
By Andrew Wig on February 28, 2013 at 10:22 am
David Paxson stands on the Penn Avenue overpass at Highway 62, on the
border between Minneapolis and Richfield. (Staff photo by Andrew Wig)
Forget about global warming. Forget about saving the ice caps, or the
whales, or the rainforest. It all doesnt matter, says one
Richfield-based activist who has made it his lifes work to let the world
know: Whatever your cause, its a lost cause.
David Paxson has a metronome app on his iPhone at the ready in case he
needs to reinforce his point. The tool ticks at 147 beats-per-minute,
roughly the net rate at which the worlds population is growing, notes
Paxson, a Richfield resident of 32 years.
Paxson has spent the last 20 focusing on one underlying message, he
explained during an interview in a noisy coffee shop:
Were headed toward this cliff of collapse pretty fast.
Unless, that is, we stop population growth and reduce population.
Paxson is part of a quiet chorus around the world that warns of the
dangers of overpopulation. They point to depleting aquifers and energy
reserves and farmland and to a coming humanitarian crisis if something
isnt done to curb the growth.
They address the truth that there is only so much room to live and so
many rocks to mine and so much water to tap on one planet, and that there
are more and more souls demanding those resources.
David Paxson presents to a group at an Isaac Walton League chapter in
Brooklyn Park, where he outlined a scenario of declining resources and an
increasing population. (Staff photo by Andrew Wig)
Paxson may be the loudest voice in Minnesota sending that message
neither he nor supporters interviewed were aware of anyone as active with
It was 20 years ago following a moment of clarity that Paxson founded
World Population Balance, an organization operating with a skeleton crew
out of Central Education Center in Richfield.
Paxson, who has worked in real estate, financial planning and at the
Center for Population Studies at the University of Minnesota, recalled
his moment of inspiration, when a minister asked him, What are you
really concerned about in this world?
What concerned Paxson was not a new realization.
He thought back to the 1970s, when he says his father first came upon
warnings about overpopulation. The best-selling book, The Population
Bomb, had come out a few years prior and his father told him that had he
known better, he wouldnt have had all three of his children. Paxson
And Im the youngest, he said.
Along with his iPhone metronome, Paxson carries several newspaper and
magazine articles to make his point. Some of them are from the fall of
2011, when the United Nations declared that the Earths population had
reached 7 billion.
But instead of reacting with concern, the media whitewashed the issue,
One of the clippings, which he cut from the bottom of page 1 of the Oct.
31, 2011, Star Tribune, says in its subhead, As Earth hits a population
milestone, there is concern, amazingly, about too few babies.
The article was about a fertility crisis in several developed countries
around the globe. It outrages Paxson as much as it seems the agreeable
66-year-old can be outraged.
I mean, that is so downstream on this. That is so delusional, he said.
So is the frustration that comes with being one man against 7 billion.
But Paxson does have friends on his side.
One of his supporters is Karen Shragg, the director of Wood Lake Nature
Center in Richfield, an author and activist in her own right.
The concept that Earths population growth must be curbed at some point
is just a very hard thing to talk about, so people dont know how to,
said Shragg, who gives several of her own talks about overpopulation each
A recent Star Tribune article from Sunday, Feb. 24, helps her and Paxson
make their point. The headline says, Minnesota draining its water
supplies. It goes on to describe water disputes and an unsustainable
rate of water use in the state.
It is the latest in a long line of case studies Paxson can draw from as
he makes his point to whomever will listen, travelling the state speaking
before groups at venues such as churches, Mason lodges and college
Paxson is not necessarily trying to reach the largest possible audience
just the right audience, people who already get it to some degree, he
said. The next step is to get those would-be activists overpopulation
literate and articulate so they can spread the message themselves.
Last weekend, he led one such gathering of like-minded individuals at a
Brooklyn Park chapter of the Isaac Walton League, a small retreat-like
setting on the Mississippi River centered around a log-cabin-style
building. There, he outlined facts and figures as graphs detailing
depleting resources and a growing population glowed behind him. He wants
to set up more workshops like that one across the country.
Right now Im opening doors. Im planting seeds, he explained. Thats
where it needs to start.
The one-child solution
Paxson is less aggressive with others. Some of his neighbors and
acquaintances know what he does, but he says doesnt actively advertise
Although he is armed with his iPhone metronome and business cards that
outline his point, Typically I dont bring it up at all, Paxson said.
He believes he must be careful not to offend, especially when describing
his solution to overpopulation: humane population reduction.
That could be achieved, he says, if couples would all agree to have just
one child a piece. Paxson, who said he and his wife decided not to have
children, does not does not advocate that solution as an edict, but is
firm on its necessity.
He shudders when technology is instead presented as an ultimate solution.
Technology is not going to bail us out of this, he declared.
But in a world where humans have been conditioned to produce offspring
for the sake of the species survival, the proposal from Paxson and
others is a hard sell.
For instance, he admits that his message would be political suicide for
someone holding or seeking elected office. Not that they dont get it on
a conceptual level.
I wouldnt be surprised if Barack Obama understands a lot of what were
talking about today to some degree, maybe even George Bush the First,
reasoned Paxson, who describes himself as politically moderate.
In general, Paxson believes his message goes over the heads of
Not only are both parties failing on this issue but so are the people
in the Independence Party, in the Green Party. I dont think even the
Green Party gets this issue, Paxson lamented.
The religion question
While the political system comes with obstacles, so does religious
doctrine, which marks a point of conflict even within Paxsons own
Members of Paxsons Board of Advisors, a collection of 22 supporters,
include three leaders from the Catholic Church, which officially stands
against birth control.
Two of them are nuns, one of whom declined to speak with the Sun Current.
Through a communications coordinator at her rectory, she said she would
request to be removed from Paxsons Board of Advisors, prompted by an
inquiry asking how she reconciles her role in the church with her
affiliation with World Population Balance.
The other nun on the board was willing to speak at length about
overpopulation, just not birth control.
She called the issue the white elephant in the parlor and complained
that nobody talks about it. She observed that farmland in her area is
being depleted, which supports a statistic Paxson likes to cite, that
each year the world loses the equivalent of Iowa and Wisconsin in
But when the subject came to her role as a Catholic leader, she asked
that her name not be connected to the birth-control question.
Among the Catholic officials on Paxsons board, there was one who agreed
to explain how he reconciles his affiliation with Paxson and his
religious beliefs. Father Tom Power, who is retired from Pax Christ
Church in Eden Prairie but still active in the community, made the very
argument that Paxson has already rejected.
As potential solutions, Power pointed to conservation and sustainable
farming practices and different ways in which the food supply may be
distributed. He noted Paxsons easygoing ways in explaining his support.
Thats why I feel comfortable, Power said over the phone. OK, weve
got to talk about this. Weve got to talk about what can be sustained and
what cant. It doesnt mean that everybody on the board has to buy the
solutions. David (Paxson) was very comfortable about that. He has his
preferred solution but he isnt saying thats the only solution.
Paxson, who is adamant that human population reduction is the only
answer, reports getting not so much flak from religious
However, the role of religion is not to be downplayed, suggested Grace
Dyrud, an Augsburg College professor.
To be honest the Catholic institution is huge in relation to this, said
Dyrud, who teaches a class on environmental psychology. Fundamentally,
any religious group wants many children.
Dyrud, who periodically welcomes Paxson into her classroom to speak,
described a mindset that encourages prolific child-bearing as part of the
We are seeing a movement in this country where its kind of chic among
the better-off to have four, five, six (children), she said.
Dyrud can see the barriers to Paxsons message in her own students. Hes
up against some really difficult things, she said. You dont want to
antagonize people immediately. Its pretty hard for students who are
20, 21, to decide, Im only going to have one child.
The decision is about more than any one family, she added. Its not a
personal decision anymore, how many children people have. Most people
think it is, Dyrud observed.
Until that changes, she said, hes a voice in the wilderness, as they
But Paxson remains agreeable. There was one member of his board for whom
it is far too late to follow the one-child guideline. He has eight kids.
I was delighted to have him, Paxson said.
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