Snuff It #3
Globally Responsible Birthing
by Richard M. Bowers
[Note: The following article presumes some awareness of the considerable
debate over how best to measure population growth. The correct method is
based on two relatively simple measurements known as the birth rate
and the death rate. When the birth rate equals the death rate
for a given period of time, the result is described as zero
population growth. Unfortunately, the most widely publicized method is
a dubious statistic known as "replacement level fertility," A.K.A.
the "two-birth average." The main problem with this method is
that babies born this year are not "replacing" their parents!
Unless the parents kill themselves immediately after birthing, their babies
are "replacing" random dead people who were born seventy
years ago (on average), when the population was much lower. According
to this method, the US birth rate has been below replacement level since
1972, theoretically resulting in negative population growth, when in fact,
births have exceeded deaths every year since then. There were
1,693,000 more births than deaths in the United States in 1994.
Richard M. Bowers was well aware of all this when he founded ZPG, Inc.
in 1968; in 1970 he voted for ZPG to publicly advocate one birth
per couple, instead of the more politically acceptable two. This
ultimately led to his removal from the board by the "go-slowers."]
Dear Fellow Birth Elimination Advocates,
As with you folks I advocate no one birth, at least for NOW! i.e. while on
earth there continue to be more births than the number of deaths. Since
I fear it will be more than a decade before earth births are even close to
(say only a couple million more than) deaths per year, I am not primarily
interested in thinking or writing about what to do after earth births finally
become fewer than deaths. I fear earth births even well after 2020 will
still be millions more than the number of global deaths. Our GRB time-goal
is to reduce earth births below deaths by 2003. Of course that is NOT a
prediction of when such will take place; but only our "goal."
You folks use our no longer applicable name of zero birthing NOW! A year
or so ago zbN! changed its name to GRB standing for Globally Responsible
Birthing. Please make that correction. But if you do not I suspect for
a while, at least, the PO locally will deliver our mail, even if not
addressed to GRB, as is best.
Your issue # 2 came recently. I must say that it does seem to me that
your energies and talents could be better used to help reduce births all
over earth by changes in your tactics. But who am I to tell you folks what
will be best? I certainly agree with your goal. With you, I and GRB as an
organization share the belief that nothing is as important as having less
birthing all over earth. Down to below a million Homo sapiens births per
year? Why that many?
As much as I would like to join you folks in urging only voluntary methods
to have less birthing, I, personally, back govt coercion, as in China, to
force less birthing faster than what has happened here in the US and all
over earth when only voluntary methods have been promoted and used. When
I was in charge of ZPG Inc. back in 1968 and much of 1969, as its Founder,
I went along with the majority of the board who were voluntarists. I now
believe that was THE VERY WORST mistake of all my long life. I regret I
did not go along with Garrett Hardin and another ZPG Inc. director who urged
ZPG Inc. not to publicly disavow coercion.
GRB, the organization has not yet approved coercion. At our 2nd annual
meeting at our place here in the western foothills of the Catskill Mountains
(which will be a Saturday in July 1995) I will introduce a proposal to have
GRB endorse govt coercion. If my views are adopted by GRB, there may be
both compulsory abortions and compulsory sterilizations; but mostly forced
sterilizations for both the mother and the father who birth. Enclosed is a
memo of my thoughts. Come join us then.
Enclosed also is a memo about compulsory abortions in China. If you folks
have not read and studied some the book A Mother's Ordeal I urge you
to buy a copy (it is in paper for just over a dozen bucks) and read it. The
author is biased against birth control; but skip that and think about how
these measures and more are needed NOW! all over earth...
We can and MUST get US births down below deaths quickly. Why not before
this century ends? The early 1970's reductions of US births were not expected
by anyone (certainly not by me) when I started ZPG Inc. in 1968. The
commercial powers that be in our nation then managed to shut off what was
happening. This time, when (not 'if', but when) we get momentum I will do my
best to see that go-slow types do not infiltrate, as they did into ZPG Inc. in
the 1970's, in part at my invitation. We will have less & less
The best "gift" anyone can give to humankind is to remain
birth-free. It is a SIN for any person to birth while earth births exceed
deaths. For what purpose would the world need more than 50,000 new Homo
sapiens every year?
-Richard M. Bowers
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