War on Women = War on the World

This was written before the 2012 election, but much of it it is still true today.

There is a lot of political talk these days about the Republican “War on Women,” but their angry rhetoric is about a lot of other wars too.  War against Iran to destroy its nukes, continuing the war in Afghanistan “until we win,” as Rick Santorum advocates, and the war against environmentalists and global warming scientists.  And, of course, the war against organized labor, minimum wage and workplace safety laws.  Republicans, it seems, are at war with just about everything except business and profits and the rich folks who run the businesses and collect the profits.

The War on Women is real, though.  Santorum says contraception is “not ok.”  Romney says he would defund Planned Parenthood immediately if he is elected.  Gingrich, not to be outdone, says he would arrest all pro-choice judges.  All of the above are anti-choice, and not a single one of them denounced Rush Limbaugh when he called a Georgetown University co-ed a “slut” because she advocated insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Of course, this is all just political posturing, feeding red meat to the wingnuts during the primary campaign.  None of them would even try to implement their absurd notions if they were elected.  Or would they?

Here’s the worrisome thing about these people:  Everything they propose seems to lead to the destruction of the world.  Santorum spelled it out.  He said liberals were more interested in the earth than they were in people.  He doesn’t seem to realize that continuing to destroy the life-supporting systems of the ecosphere threatens people too.  Or if he does realize it, he ignores it or denies it.

The fundamental problem that the human population of the earth faces right now is too many people.  We have far exceeded the “sustainable” number that the resources of the earth can support.  That number is probably around 1.5 -2.0 billion people, the population of the earth at the beginning of the 20th century.  By the end of that century it was 6 billion.  Today, a little more than ten years into the 21st, we are close to 7 billion and still climbing rapidly.  Some estimates put the population at the end of this century at 14 billion!

Human activities are depleting the nonrenewable resources of the earth…minerals and energy sources…and polluting and degrading the oceans, freshwater supplies, the land and the atmosphere.  We are even depleting renewable resources, like freshwater aquifers and farmland, by overuse to the point where they cannot recover, possibly for thousands or even millions of years.  Overfishing of ocean fish stocks is threatening major food species with extinction.  These destructive actions are driven by the ever-increasing population.  Conservation and responsible management of both renewable and nonrenewable resources can only work if we also control the population.

This is the frightening thing about the Republican agenda.  Not only does it deny or downplay the threats to the ecosphere, but, by opposing both abortion and contraception, it discourages any attempt to limit population growth, the primary driver of those threats.

The War on Women is indeed a War on the World.

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