Book Review: Facing the Population Challenge: Wisdom of the Elders by Marilyn Hempel
In 21st century America, citizens and leaders of our country rush headlong and with great alacrity toward adding 138 million more people within 36 years, 2050, and a doubling of our current 319,000,000 (million) population to reach 625,000,000 (million) before the end of the century.
(Water shortages face 2 billion people on this planet; more people will be affected as humans add another 3 billion within 35 years.) Figure by www.123rf.com
As an “elder” in this book, Ms. Linn Duvall Harwell describes herself, “As a professional volunteer in the family planning movement, not an academician. At a very young age, I learned first-hand how a lack of family planning can destroy a family.”
Her parents met on a riverboat in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; married at age 18 and 20 during WWI. Poverty strangled them daily. Yet, her mother endured eight pregnancies with five surviving children. Her mother died by her own hand in an attempted abortion. Ms. Harwell reached six years of age when her mother passed.
Her father divided the children among relatives. By the time she reached 16, her grandmother told her how her mother died. At that point, she decided her destiny lay with protecting the lives of girls and women everywhere.
Ms. Harwell wed Howard Harwell in 1942 during WWII. She attempted to seek contraception at Planned Parenthood. She faced the Connecticut Comstock Law prohibiting contraception. That law, passed by men, became the nemesis of her hero Margaret Sanger.
Ms. Harwell fought the Comstock Law via free speech until it suffered defeat in June 1965 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Buxton & Griswold vs. Connecticut for “birth control for married couples and protection for privacy in the bedroom.”
(Americans continue staring down the future. We can’t stare down Mother Nature; she always bats last and she’s worse than Ty Cobb on the base paths.) Figure by www.123rf.com
Not quiet in retirement at 90, Ms. Harwell remains active in the New England Coalition for a Sustainable Population.
While women worldwide faced a “back seat” to men throughout history, Ms. Harwell encourages female participation at the highest levels. She honored Margaret Mead, Betty Friedman, Eleanor Smeal and Sarah Weddington in their call for equal rights for women.
“As de Chardin and Mead looked backward to the social conduct of male and female,” said Harwell. “We are required to look forward to a trying, challenging future for the Seventh Generation, even to its very survival, solutions which avoid war and award diplomacy, respecting our capacity to reason. As the world careens toward 10 billion people and beyond, the survival of humanity may be difficult in the face of increasing crowding, climate disruption and nuclear proliferation.”
This woman reads the future with clear eyes and a highly articulate mind. Why do we follow the stupidities and arrogance of the past when we witness Africa, China, India, Philippines, Indochina, Egypt, Mexico and Bangladesh’s nightmares of the present? Why do countries like America, third largest population in the world, race hell-bent to add another 100 million people via immigration when they see the outcome so clearly in daily news reports from the third world? Why do Western countries continue their own importation of humanity at the expense of their own people?
(Over 70,000 toxic chemicals spew into the air, land and water 24/7, all created by humans in the last 100 years. All of them killing this planet and its creatures with amazing alacrity of over 100 species extinctions every day of the year.) Photography figure by www.123rf.com
Harwell said, “Leaders of the world, invest in our future, not just with money. Look back in listening and learning; look forward in compassion and unity. Death by 1,000 cuts or life by 1,000 condoms? Choice, that beautiful word, must be granted to both woman and man for a happier, healthier and more successful outcome.
Former PM of Norway, Gro Brundtland said, “We must be responsible towards future generations. The Cairo Programme of Action must be successful for Earth’s sake and for humanity’s sake.”
This woman’s voice offers experience, wisdom and a call to action. Unfortunately, most citizens of the world refuse to take action. Most leaders ignore the obvious. Most environmentalist fear to speak about population stabilization. It’s the final taboo that can and will destroy this planet’s ability to function as the human mob explodes beyond its limits.
Instead of talking, complaining and constant argumentation—we need action of thinking people to move this issue to the mainstream. If not now, then when? If not you, then who? The choice: yours; take it.
In a five minute astoundingly simple yet brilliant video, “Immigration, Poverty, and Gum Balls”, Roy Beck, director of www.numbersusa.ORG, graphically illustrates the impact of overpopulation. Take five minutes to see for yourself:
“Immigration by the numbers—off the chart” by Roy Beck
This 10 minute demonstration shows Americans the results of unending mass immigration on the quality of life and sustainability for future generations: in a few words, “Mind boggling!” www.NumbersUSA.org
Dr. Jack Alpert: Change the Course
Internet Group Text Discussions
Book: Facing the Population Challenge: Wisdom from the Elders by Marilyn Hempel
Publisher: Blue Planet United, Redlands, CA
ISBN # 9780692212271
Cost: $14.95 paperback
If you would like to make a difference, please join these organizations for the most effective collective action you can take: www.populationpress.org www.CapsWeb.org ; www.NumbersUSA.org ; www.TheSocialContract.com ; www.Fairus.org
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