Growth leads to catastrophe
The continuous growth of anything amounts to a terminal cancer on its host/environment.
(last worked on: January 6th, 2018 by <craiger oochi at outlook dotty com> )

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* No less a popular personality than Bill Nye ("the science guy") has turned out to be a "will provider". He thinks we can boom along to a world population of 10 billion, simply by redistributing our resources --or so he stated during his show.

* A promising TED Radio Hour installment opened up by assailing structural factors toward growth in our culture (which was soon curtailed in favor of pleas for recycling innovations) --but no cigar. I recall but scant mentions of population growth, and nothing about controlling it.

Oh big *sigh*. --Perhaps it's time to just batten down the hatches, ride out the coming catastrophes --and hope that civilization-2.0 will get it right. We'll certainly be leaving our inheritors plenty of examples of what results from over-crowding the planet.

* On October 6th, 2017, I was prompted me to revisit this page by the dismal denial that population is a problem by the political left (by which I mean "liberals" and "progressives" through Marx informed socialists).

* Late in the game, socialists are coming around on emphasizing ecology, global warming and alternative energy, but we're still getting that old harangue about how redistributing the wealth will provide. (Which would, of course, move underclass and 3rd world peoples closer to the top of the food chain, consuming and polluting more like red blooded Americans.) Even the enlightened soul Prof. David Wolff stops at redistribution.

* Meanwhile, capitalists/"free marketeers" assure us that the invisible hand of Adam Smith will provide.

* Religionists, of course, are confident that God will provide (at least to their denomination's faithful).

And the hits just keep on coming.

* In short: the situation is not looking good.

* While I've hammered on growth issues in my earlier web pages (say: Small and TCT), "growth" was long overdue for a page of its own --if only to witness and express my appreciation for some of the few voices in the wilderness who've long been struggling against the tide and the cultural mindset of growth.

* With a few exceptions (such as visionaries Malthus, J.S. Mill, William Vogt, Paul R. Ehrlich), we've heretofore mainly seen treatments of community, urban,  and state size --in book titles like: E. F. Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful, Human Scale by Kirkpatrick Sale (Sale is bringing out a sequel: "Revisited"), and The Breakdown of Nations by Leopold Kohr. Somehow, authors like Sale, Schumacher and Kohr could speak to problems of communities, technologies and states becoming too large and complex  --while having little to say about population growth.

* There've been welcome exceptions which read more like laments: "The Limits to Growth", commissioned by the "Club of Rome", Prof. Stephen Hawking's, Colorado Springs' Professor Bartlett's, Brian O’Neill's and Ted Turner's advocacies --Julia Whitty's "The Last Taboo", Fred Pearce's "The Coming Population Crash", the 1999 founders of "Alternatives to Growth Oregon" (I made and still have some of their videos), and in 2011: Dave Gardner's (and team's) film: Hooked On Growth.

* Raw Story's Ana Kasparian noted the downturn in child bearing among the millennial generation, stating: "--the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that the average family will spend close to $304,500 on a kid from the moment he or she is born to when the child turns 18. That means that a middle class family will average $17,000 a year for one child, and that doesn't even include heavy medical bills, special/private school or a college education. --The Economic Policy Institute found that a whopping 30 percent of a minimum wage earner's income would go toward childcare alone. For those living in New York, that number jumps to 80 percent.

The Atlantic's James Hamblin commented: "There is not enough space to house and feed everyone. Population growth has us on course for catastrophic famine and war that result from overpopulating a planet that is growing ever less habitable."

* Wikipedia has a good summation of steady-state economy concepts --which ends by considering the good work of ecological economist Herman Daly. There might not be anyone in that summary who comes across better than (the included) J. S. Mill, but my hat is off to this presentation.

* There find a banquet of compelling population related articles, served and maintained for 20 years now by Ms. Karen Gaia. (Thanks for staying the course, Karen!) There you'll find:

"Why Population Matters:  Having one fewer child is the most effective way an individual would have to fight climate change. The next best actions are selling^ your car, avoiding long flights, and eating a vegetarian diet, according to a study published in Environmental Research Letters. These four actions reduce emissions many times more than things like recycling, using low energy light bulbs or drying washing on a line."

"Carbon emissions must fall to two tons of CO2 per person by 2050 to avoid severe global warming, but in the US and Australia emissions are currently 16 tons per person and in the UK seven tons. 'That's obviously a really big change and we wanted to show that individuals have an opportunity to be a part of that,' said Kimberly Nicholas, at Lund University in Sweden and one of the research team."

"Having one fewer child equates to a reduction of 58 tons of CO2 for each year of a parent's life. Getting rid of a car saved 2.4 tons a year, avoiding a [round trip] transatlantic flight saved 1.6 tons and becoming vegetarian saved 0.8 tons a year." {Go to for the rationale behind those numbers.}

^ Um: to stop that car from running around and burning gas, wouldn't you have to shoot and bury it?  :-)

* Growthbusters (see their movie) is the best of recent outreach on population issues. Here and at other good venues, Dave Gardner looms large. He operates out of Colorado Springs, spreading awareness in the foot steps (and beyond) of Professor Bartlett (who also appears in the movie).

It's encouraging that I could easily find engaging and favorable reviews for Hooked On Growth.

At --

Growthbusters --The Movie (a review)
By Stuart Jeanne Bramhall (originally published by The Daily Censored):

"Growthbusters is the inspiring story of Dave Gardner’s efforts to challenge conservative Colorado Springs’ failed growth promotion policies. The film begins by focusing on the insanity of local councils cutting essential public services to “jump start” growth. However it also takes a broader theoretical look at the overall failure of economic growth to solve the global economic crisis. More importantly it tackles head-on the deeper and more serious issue of population control – and the conspiracy of silence on the part of institutional environmental groups (such as Sierra Club) on the issue." (This is a long, readable and informative review, so please take the link. --Craig)


--is another good and favorable review at Transition Voice, of which the following is a snippet.

Review of Growthbusters: Hooked on Growth

"Does growth always mean prosperity?" "---We know our farmland, fisheries, timber supply, atmosphere and economy are all in decline. And we may see that driving all of these trends is the relentless expansion of human population, now over seven billion.  /  Who you gonna call?"

"What Growthbusters brings into high relief, however, is that there are layers of contradictory and self-defeating assumptions we all carry about the notion of growth.  /  Socially, culturally, and politically, our unexamined ideas about growth get in the way of coherent public discussion or policy. City councils tend to over encourage growth in order to increase their tax bases, only to be surprised by tomorrow's traffic congestion, declining quality of life, and rising expenses for new schools or roads.  /  We think growth will create new jobs, and then we're surprised when those jobs go mainly to newcomers to the community, with no net improvement in life or economy."

"Growthbusters by Dave Gardner, 98 minutes, $19.95-$199.95 (private copy to public showing rates.)"

(Interested in holding a public showing, I examined the DVD's label, packaging, its opening legends and extras, trying to find copyright/use restrictions, but found none --until reading this review: $199.95 --!  Guess I'll just settle for making this web page instead. --Craig) (Which recalls a long ago experience when I got fired up and ordered a set of video tapes from the Christic Institute. It was so ham-strung with use/showing restrictions that it didn't even seem legal to donate my set to our public library. --Craig)

Take this link:

--to read another informative review by Fred Elbel, of which the following is an extract:

"---the viewer {might} dread a full 90 minutes of pietistic feel-goodism based upon some naive compendium of “10 things you can do to save the planet.” This is decidedly not the case; the movie is a well done, engaging, and moving documentary."

"GrowthBusters: Hooked On Growth is a tremendously important documentary. It is the story of one man's crusade against his own city's growth mandate, and of a civilization which can still achieve the potential of sustainability. GrowthBusters presents interviews and perspectives from dozens of experts world-wide and is both visually stimulating and editorially coherent. Frequent changes of perspective — from personal to local to international --seize and maintain the viewer's attention."

My "review": I found Hooked on Growth to be a less well transitioned (than did the above reviewers), somewhat strained in its humor --which is needlessly broad and prankish at times (like staging a phone call to the Pope for a condom order --which might be why our local library turned down a donated DVD). Perhaps Hooked On Growth meets young moderns "where they're at" (or is meant to).  --Craig

* A ray of hope: "sex dolls" --which use to be pathetic looking inflatables, but they've since evolved into a diversity of often appealing silicone creations, as well as (yet) rudimentary "sexbots": robotic devices which even pretend to "artificial intelligence" --per:

Search "sex dolls", "sexbot" or "sex robot" at and up comes a selection of products --!

While you're at Amazon, peruse the free pages of David Levy's: Love and Sex with Robots.

* It's easy to imagine both genders "grooving" on comely and compliant artifices --for those out of reach of, or who've abandoned human-to-human sexual relationships, --and to the point of reducing or even reversing population growth.

* What I can't imagine: trundling these realistic silicon dolls around. Check out the shipping weights: it's going to be worse than doing adult foster care dead lifts. I expect we'll be reading buyer comments at Amazon --about being loath to ask for help in getting their new purchases in and out of bed.

* Self-powered, actual, "BiCentenial Man" type autonomous robots are a long ways off yet.

This (September 27th, 2017) addendum was originally intended as a contribution to Thom Hartmann's forum/s, but the process of joining, downloading and posting got too complicated for old man me. I  thought  I'd read that joining, logging in and downloading PODcasts was free, but after several initial downloads, I ended up with a hijack tool bar (which I later learned how to get rid of), then no recognition of my password and no download access when I got back on. (One needs to pay $7.95/month, and then be a bootlegger if you care to share an MP3 with anyone).

Best I stick with freebie PODcasts from the likes of Peter B. Collins.

* So I can't recover the segment I was concerned with, but when Thom was ramming into a commercial break, he disparagingly muttered something which conflated population control/policy with eugenics. (To be fair: during an on-air broadcast late in December (2017), Hartmann suggested that endless population growth, while delighting economists, might not be the best thing for us or our planet --and even intoned the feasibility of negative population growth, so he must be of two minds.)

How can humanity ever dig its way out of the mire we're in if the term "eugenics" is commonly used to discredit and dismiss (somehow) limiting population growth? (Let me be clear --that both concepts are essential to realizing a civilization that's worthy of the name.)

This, like climate change denial, is the sort of hopeless, brain plumbing stoppage which encourages aware individuals to "grab all you can and live for today".

* And let us not saddle the concept of eugenics with the brutalities of past "racial supremacy" zealots. (Modern biology has found that popular concepts of "race" have no genetic meaning.)

* Think on it: what's so wrong with intervention in order to discontinue the inheritance of (say) cystic fibrosis or color blindness? Can we at least endorse current practices of private counseling, and voluntary eugenic measures?

We seem to be light years away from making such preventive "negative eugenics" public policy, but can I at least raise a few sparse cheers for "the rights of the unborn"(?) --to be born healthy, whole, wanted, sheltered, provided for --into a safe, uncrowded community setting with ample natural resources? Who speaks and lobbies for the voiceless unborn?  Why do "progressives" default on that to the Christian right?

* As to the overpopulation issue, we've already outstripped Earth's sustainability by a factor of three!

Of course the details on that vary, depending on how far we expect to extend our western standard of living/consumption to the "undeveloped" world.  Judging by the Asian economic dynamo, and given the chance/option, I'm guessing that "3rd world" nations will tend to fill up with hoards of obese consumers --just like here in the good old U.S. of A.

* Again: we've recently been introduced to "ecosocialism" and its new-found environmental concerns. I have to intuitively agree --that the savings from getting rid of capitalism's obscene waste and futile gambles would feed a goodly portion of all the world's hungry people. However, ecosocialist statements about "sustainability" via rational economic planning and a more equitable distribution of wealth ring hollow --without also addressing population growth.

For a good example of today's state-of-the-art socialist thinking, see Eve Ottenberg's book review (as a Truthout Op-Ed) of Ian Angus' new book: "A Redder Shade of Green". Does the progressive left follow this thinking to its logical conclusion --of growing vegetables in our hair and taking turns breathing?

The Female Condom:

* The concept is obvious: supply a contraceptive (and prophylactic) barrier to the person whose genitalia doesn't grossly change size (the barrier can then be made of less pervious stuff), and to the person who is most at risk, should pregnancy occur. As far as I know, there's currently only one female condom available in the United States: the "F2C", manufactured by Veru Health. Unfortunately, it's somehow getting redefined as a prescription based pharmaceutical item, with the retail cost bumped up from $3.50 to $20 each --! This device can be made of stuff that's superior to thin latex male condoms --toward the prevention of the spread of AIDS, so Veru Health's greed would at first appear to be a serious health threat. It isn't, however, since hardly anyone purchased F2Cs.

* In my 37 years of experience in presenting and promoting the female condom concept, and with only a few commendable exceptions, even intelligent, progressive, well informed women (and especially "feminists") have been reflexively opposed.

* While the history/herstory of contraception is ancient (IUDs, for example), the history of the female condom goes back (to the best of my knowledge) to the 1930s "Gee-Bee", which seems to have been similar in design to today's FC2. (I vaguely recall that the FC1 was made of less pliant material.)

* In about 1980 an alternative emerged: the "panty" or "garment" condom, later promoted as the "Bikini Condom" and then the "Janesway", per:

(click to enlarge)
Back in 1980, I thought my design for a similar contraceptive garment was original and I tried to give it away. Maybe I did, since current (perhaps expired) patents (and seemingly unsupported claims of patents) reach back to about that date. I believe they all claim originality --as one would expect. I've twice withdrawn my posts and desisted from further correspondence so as not to contradict such claims (which could very well have been made in good faith) and once in response to such a request --due to delicate negotiations being underway. (Early on I was encouraged to lend a correspondence hand by a panty condom developer who also seemed to be proceeding in good faith, and with whom I thought it best to not bring up the matter of my 1980 design.)

As of October 4th, 2017, Googling on these names and terms turns up lots of porn but very little relevant information that's current. Here's a good overview of what was shaking in Columbia and Uganda as of 2015:


--and from 2008, what appears to be the last testament from Janesway:


* Now that 30 and 20 years have passed since the two most prominent (IMHO) patents were granted, I'm posting this history to my "Growth" page and am reposting some of my old stuff, laments and correspondence summaries.

The getting of FDA approval and patents are such sorry-ass undertakings.

My web page philosophy: "Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly" --especially if it's my personal best.
(And thanks to "Tree" for that quote.)