Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nobel Prize for Medicine

The Nobel prizes are being announced this week and the prize for medicine was announced on Monday. The prize was awarded to Robert Edwards, a British scientist, who introduced in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to the world. The first IVF baby was born on 25 July, 1978, and since then more than 4 million babies owe their existence, in part, to IVF.

That's a lot of babies.

Now, if the human race was on the brink of extinction, due to infertility, I would agree that Mr. Edwards would have deserved significant recognition. However, that is not the case. The current estimate for the global human population is just below 7 billion people.

That's a lot of people.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love kids. When I see a newborn baby I can't help feeling hope and happiness for the future. Maybe, just maybe, this newborn will change the world for the better. But when I think of 4 million babies I can't help picturing 4 million new future consumers with hungry mouths to feed.

Our economy and industrial food model welcomes, and expects, continual growth in the human population. It needs more people to sell products to ... from that perspective IVF is a wonderful breakthrough. But if you are of the belief that this model is unsustainable, which is what I believe, the results of the IVF breakthrough are simply adding to the problem of over population.

More and more people are talking about developing green technologies and reducing global warming and I think that's excellent. But I believe that the root of these issues comes from over population. We will never be able to effectively deal with these global issues until we deal with the concept of a sustainable world population. There are simply way too many people on the planet.

As a society, I don't believe we're ready to talk about over population yet. But one day, whether we like it or not, the issue will need to be addressed. Until then, I hope that more and more parents focus on raising children with values that are based on sustainable living and not consumerism. By doing so we will be giving our children a better foundation from which to make some really difficult decisions.

It's a tough topic, I know. But it's a topic we need to be thinking and talking about.

No comments:

Post a Comment