Putting People First on Earth Day

Anthony J. Sadar
Radical environmentalists deem people as the top environmental problem.  There are just too many people for our natural world to endure.  We must drastically reduce the world's population at all costs.  When the number of carbon polluting life forms is brought back to a more sustainable level, then the planet will once again become a garden of delights in which all flora and fauna may frolic. 

Utter nonsense.

On this 44th Earth Day, there are just over 7 billion people on planet Earth.  What if we were to invite all these folks to one location on the globe, giving each individual their own 18 foot by 18 foot area (a nice-sized room) in which to celebrate Earth Day?  How much total area would be needed to comfortably accommodate the world’s population?  A bit of simple math demonstrates that an area only the size of Utah would be quite sufficient!*

And don’t worry about feeding all these people.  There has been enough food to satisfy the entire population for at least the past 100 years.  But, what about raw material and energy resources?  Plenty of those too.

So, why the angst over too many people?  The sheer number of global inhabitants is not the issue.  More likely, environmental challenges stem from interrelated factors such as population density in topographically and climatologically unfavorable areas, ruling-class politics at odds with the needs of the populace it supposedly serves, and personal decisions to be wasteful and harmful to the planet and fellow inhabitants.

Therefore, what if we took a compassionately different approach to the purportedly adversarial relationship between people and the planet?  What if we put the needs of people first, rather than the needs of the environment?  If we put people first and diligently use the resources that are abundantly available to sustain every individual, we just may find that caring for the world’s precious people will naturally necessitate caring for the global environment.  In other words, responsibly caring for the world’s people will require good stewardship of the Earth’s bounty.

Now this is an environmental approach worthy of celebration, and not just on Earth Day.

Meteorologist Anthony J. Sadar is author of In Global Warming We Trust: A Heretic’s Guide to Climate Science (Telescope Books).

* Here’s the calculation:

            (7.16 x 109 people on Earth) (18 ft x 18ft space per person) = 2.32 x 1012 ft2 required.

            Area of Utah = 84,900 square miles = 2.37 x 1012 ft2 available.

Radical environmentalists deem people as the top environmental problem.  There are just too many people for our natural world to endure.  We must drastically reduce the world's population at all costs.  When the number of carbon polluting life forms is brought back to a more sustainable level, then the planet will once again become a garden of delights in which all flora and fauna may frolic. 

Utter nonsense.

On this 44th Earth Day, there are just over 7 billion people on planet Earth.  What if we were to invite all these folks to one location on the globe, giving each individual their own 18 foot by 18 foot area (a nice-sized room) in which to celebrate Earth Day?  How much total area would be needed to comfortably accommodate the world’s population?  A bit of simple math demonstrates that an area only the size of Utah would be quite sufficient!*

And don’t worry about feeding all these people.  There has been enough food to satisfy the entire population for at least the past 100 years.  But, what about raw material and energy resources?  Plenty of those too.

So, why the angst over too many people?  The sheer number of global inhabitants is not the issue.  More likely, environmental challenges stem from interrelated factors such as population density in topographically and climatologically unfavorable areas, ruling-class politics at odds with the needs of the populace it supposedly serves, and personal decisions to be wasteful and harmful to the planet and fellow inhabitants.

Therefore, what if we took a compassionately different approach to the purportedly adversarial relationship between people and the planet?  What if we put the needs of people first, rather than the needs of the environment?  If we put people first and diligently use the resources that are abundantly available to sustain every individual, we just may find that caring for the world’s precious people will naturally necessitate caring for the global environment.  In other words, responsibly caring for the world’s people will require good stewardship of the Earth’s bounty.

Now this is an environmental approach worthy of celebration, and not just on Earth Day.

Meteorologist Anthony J. Sadar is author of In Global Warming We Trust: A Heretic’s Guide to Climate Science (Telescope Books).

* Here’s the calculation:

            (7.16 x 109 people on Earth) (18 ft x 18ft space per person) = 2.32 x 1012 ft2 required.

            Area of Utah = 84,900 square miles = 2.37 x 1012 ft2 available.