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Signs of the Times for Mon, 03 Apr 2006

Signs Editorial:

Henry See
3 April 2006
Signs of the Times

The planet is in a bad state, but some of the cures, such as that of killing off 90% of the population by ebola, are worse than the disease... or are in fact part of the disease.

Pretty much anyone who can see clearly and think straight is aware that the earth, be it human society or the environment, isn't in great shape. The list of problems we are facing is put forward in great detail each day on the Signs page. The question is, what to do about it?

There are two main poles around which solutions are being discussed: the first takes as its assumption that there is more than enough wealth and resources on the earth to feed, clothe, lodge and support the population. Therefore, the solution is a rearrangement of the production and distribution of that wealth, which should, by right, belong to everyone. The second solution begins by saying that the earth cannot support the current population and that there must be a drastic reduction (anywhere from 60%-90%) to create a viable, sustainable economy.

Our own take is that there are no solutions short of a change in the individuals that make up the population. Until each of us gets in touch with his or her higher centres and fuses the real 'I' that exists only in potential, we will continue to be buffeted by the conflicting voices of our many small 'I's, subject to the basic drives of sex, fear, and security, and the situation on the planet will express the conflict within.

We assign a high probability to the notion that the people who rule this world want to implement the second solution. It is the underlying drive for war in the Middle East, for the propaganda around the topic of "peak oil", for the so-called war on terror, for the growing loss of civil rights and the imposition of a fascist state in the US, and the other entropic lines of force we see. Obviously, those in power, speaking in strictly material terms, do not wish to relinquish power, they do not want to abandon their luxury and great wealth, their ability to consume at will. The first solution would necessitate such a change, and it isn't going to happen.

Now, if an argument was made that the population needed to be reduced by 60%-90% in order to maintain the rich and powerful in their riches and power, it wouldn't get too far among those who are excluded, so it is clear that other arguments need to be advanced to bring a certain portion of the population onside. One argument could be that the earth is running out of the necessities; there simply isn't enough to go around, and therefore, for the good of everyone -- because we don't want billions of people living in misery and starving to death, do we? -- we must reduce the population. This is the argument given by the proponents of the "peak oil" scam. They tell us that the reduction can be done through consultation with people like the Dalai Lama to ensure it is done in the best way possible.

Others think a reduction can be accomplished through growing social awareness of the problem. People will understand that we need to bring forth fewer children, only one per couple.

But what is being encouraged in all of these arguments is a linkage of the state of the planet with the need for population reduction, and the notion that population reduction is possible, even "humanely" possible.

The article "Meeting Dr. Doom" offers another path to reduction: killing off 90% of the population by unleashing the ebola virus. The article describes the warm reception, the applause and cheers, that greeted the exposition of this idea by Dr. Eric R. Pianka, known as The Lizard Man for his study of reptiles, recently in Texas. Are we to imagine that his audience of students and academics was filled with cold-hearted killers who were rising in anticipation of the idea of mass murder? Leaving aside the easy jokes that could be made about Texas and the village idiot who is now POTUS, we don't think the audience were Jeffrey Dalmer wannabees at all. But that is what is so frightening. Through the use of fear -- an accurate portrayal of the actual state of the world and where it is heading -- normal folks can be made to accept genocide. Of course, the underlying assumption on their part is that they will not be among those who will suffer the painful and horrible death that is ebola.

Wikipedia gives the description of the symptoms of ebola as follows:

Among humans, the virus is transmitted by direct contact with infected body fluids such as blood. The incubation period is 2 to 21 days. Symptoms are varied and often appear suddenly. Initial symptoms include: high fever (at least 38.8° C, 101° F), severe headache, muscle/joint/abdominal pain, severe weakness and exhaustion, sore throat, nausea, and dizziness. Before an epidemic is suspected, these early symptoms are easily mistaken for malaria, typhoid fever, dysentery, or various bacterial infections, which are all far more common. The secondary symptoms often involve bleeding both internally and externally from any opening in the body: Dark or bloody stools and diarrhea, vomiting blood, red eyes from swollen blood vessels, red spots on the skin from subcutaneous bleeding, and bleeding from the nose, mouth, rectum, genitals and needle puncture sites. Other secondary symptoms include low blood pressure (less than 90mm Hg) and a fast but weak pulse, eventual organ damage including the kidney and liver by co-localized necrosis, and proteinuria (the presence of proteins in urine). The span of time from onset of symptoms to death (from shock due to blood loss or organ failure) is usually between 7 and 14 days.

Nice way to die, isn't it? Of course, in three to five weeks, the "problem" of overpopulation could be eliminated! After all, someone else's agonising death is hardly a high price to pay for guaranteed sustainable living! And it won't kill all the poor, little animals; it'll ony kill those nasty humans!

And if you still need some reassuring before giving your assent, Wikipedia indicates that some of the horror stories may well be exaggerated:

Myth: The virus symptoms are horrifying beyond belief. Victims of Ebola suffer from squirting blood, liquifying flesh, zombie-like faces and dramatic projectile bloody vomiting.

Reality: Only a tiny fraction of Ebola victims have severe bleeding that would be even somewhat dramatic to witness. Most of the bleeding is subtle, occurring internally. Ebola symptoms are usually limited to extreme exhaustion, a high fever, headaches and body pains.

The following is an excerpt from Ed Regis's interview21 with Philippe Calain, M.D. Chief Epidemiologist, CDC Special Pathogens Branch, Kikwit 1995:

"At the end of the disease the patient does not look, from the outside, as horrible as you can read in some books. They are not melting. They are not full of blood. They're in shock, muscular shock. They are not unconscious, but you would say 'obtunded', dull, quiet, very tired. Very few were hemorrhaging. Hemorrhage is not the main symptom. Less than half of the patients had some kind of hemorrhage. But the ones that bled, died."

Feel better?

Keep in mind, however, that this part of the Wikipedia entry is "disputed". After 5.5 billion people are eliminated, perhaps those who are left will have assembled enough data to come to a final decision. We hope they remember to update Wikipedia.

Dare we say that any person with a conscience would find the entire idea of population reduction to be psychopathic? But if you check out the student evaluations on the website of Dr. Pianka, you'll find that his students by and large adore him. And the evaluations do indicate that he discusses ebola and population reduction in his class! He is a man in a position of power who is using his course to indoctrinate his students into the ultimate goal of the powers that be, using their awareness of the ecological disaster awaiting us to bring them "onside". That is, he is twisting the genuine and sincere desire of young minds for a different world into cannon fodder for the apocalypse.

Whether or not Dr. Pianka is arguing a possible scenario that happens through human intervention or not, and we hope he is only discussing a possible scenario, is not what is at issue here. Obviously, anyone who argues for reduction through the spread of disease or war or starvation as a planned policy is espousing a psychopath's view of the world. However, as we know, psychopaths are in power. But the larger problem we are raising here is the approach that a solution can only come about through a reduction of the population, leaving in place the current power structure. It is the power structure that is the problem. Yes, mankind is responsible, as the power structure is an accurate expression of our inner life, but the solution is not death, it is work on the self so that the conflicts within are resolved and are not reflected back to us in a disjointed and conflicted world.

Unfortunately, at the rate we are going now, the odds are it will be the "cure" of disease, war, starvation, and death that that arrives first.

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