© Brownstone Institute
The following fictional story may or may not bear resemblance to events in real life.
Imagine, if you will, that you are a first-generation high tech gazillionaire. In fact, at one time you were said to be the richest man on earth, although that is no longer the case. Nevertheless, you remain unimaginably wealthy, with all the responsibilities and burdens that such wealth brings. (Given the extremely unusual circumstances of this tale, to make it more relatable, we will assign you a fictional name.) Your birth certificate reads Gilbert Harvey Bates III, but the world knows you as Gil Bates.
Gil Bates's erstwhile net-worth preeminence (stolen as it was by an upstart online retailer named Biff Jezos) is not the only important loss he has suffered. Also in the rearview mirror is his youth, his marriage, and his position as CEO of the behemoth tech company he created, MacroHardTM
After Gil Bates stepped down as CEO of MacroHardTM
, he focused on his philanthropic work. The centerpiece of this work is the immensely well-funded (and therefore immensely influential) Bates Foundation. The Foundation's scope may be mind-bogglingly broad, but one problem especially consumed Bates: there are far too many people on the planet.
In his youth, Gil Bates read a controversial book called The Overpopulation Bomb
, written by a visionary scientist named Saul Derelicht. That alarming book, a huge bestseller in its day, described a neo-Malthusian hell on earth resulting from human overpopulation, and proposed mass sterilization and other aggressive population reduction techniques as the solution.
Gil Bates became convinced, and remains convinced - especially as the worldwide human population has soared beyond 8 billion units - that Homo sapiens
have obscenely overpopulated the planet. Once Bates had sold software packages to the great majority of them, he vowed that this existential threat to the planet must be addressed.
But what was to be done? How could this great affront to Gaia be reconciled? When it comes to a responsibility so great, a task so immense, no single man - not even Gil Bates - could hope to accomplish it alone.