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Re: Enclosed article: "The People Problem" (i)

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  • suza2875
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2013
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      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
      worst places
      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"
      <office@...> writes:

      Dear Sustainable Population Friends,

      Enclosed is the actual article recently published about the
      overpopulation crisis and David Paxson's work.

      Yours for sustainable population,

      Carolyn VandenDolder
      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 doesn’t matter, says one
      Richfield-based activist who has made it his life’s work to let the world
      know: “Whatever your cause, it’s 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 world’s 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:
      “We’re 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
      isn’t 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
      the cause.
      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 wouldn’t have had all three of his children. Paxson
      “And I’m 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 Earth’s population had
      reached 7 billion.
      But instead of reacting with concern, the media “whitewashed” the issue,
      Paxson said.
      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 Earth’s population growth must be curbed at some point
      is “just a very hard thing to talk about, so people don’t 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 I’m opening doors. I’m planting seeds,” he explained. “That’s
      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 doesn’t actively advertise
      Although he is armed with his iPhone metronome and business cards that
      outline his point, “Typically I don’t 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 don’t get it on
      a conceptual level.
      “I wouldn’t be surprised if Barack Obama understands a lot of what we’re
      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 don’t 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 Paxson’s own
      Members of Paxson’s 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 Paxson’s 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
      agricultural space.
      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 Paxson’s 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 Paxson’s easygoing ways in explaining his support.
      “That’s why I feel comfortable,” Power said over the phone. “OK, we’ve
      got to talk about this. We’ve got to talk about what can be sustained and
      what can’t. It doesn’t 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 isn’t saying that’s 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 it’s kind of chic among
      the better-off to have four, five, six (children),” she said.
      Dyrud can see the barriers to Paxson’s message in her own students. “He’s
      up against some really difficult things,” she said. “You don’t want to
      antagonize people immediately. … It’s pretty hard for students who are
      20, 21, to decide, ‘I’m only going to have one child.’”
      The decision is about more than any one family, she added. “It’s not a
      personal decision anymore, how many children people have. Most people
      think it is,” Dyrud observed.
      Until that changes, she said, “he’s 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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      Carolyn VandenDolder, Office Manager, World Population Balance
      P.O. Box 23472, Minneapolis, MN 55423 U.S.A.
      Voice: 612-869-1640
      E-mail: office@...
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