Letters to the Boston editor, November 26, 2010
In her article “Eat Me! Delicious Insects Will Save Us All,” Deirdre Fulton writes that “bugs could be a solution to a host of emerging problems, including world hunger and environmental woes.” She quotes an entomologist who suggests “we don’t have land enough, so we need alternatives.”
It seems to me that adding a billion people every 13 years (the current growth rate) to the home planet’s human burden will outstrip any such “solution” or “alternatives” sooner than most of us like to think. A “moderate” growth rate of one percent and an “unsustainable” one of two or three percent both get us to absurd levels of crowding in a mere twinkling on a geological time scale.
More disturbing to me than the population explosion itself are largely unexamined popular attitudes that stoke it. Our self-inflicted woes are only compounded by oversimplification by both left- and right-leaning journalists and politicians. For instance, producing more goods (however innovative) is routinely confused with truly shaping our future for good.
A disturbed individual’s road to sanity often begins with frustration, a mature response to which is to pause and look inward as an alternative to just barging ahead. Humanity’s road to survival likewise needs to start with awakening ourselves to the possibility that our “scientific” civilization is anything but rational. As William Blake observed, “If the fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise.”
Peter Keough’s review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 in last week’s Phoenix (“Bleak Arts,” November 19), refers to “Dumbledore’s death at the hands of Voldemort.” In fact, Snape kills Dumbledore at the behest of Voldemort.