We Can Change Our Future!
Interestingly, accompanying other changes of this period of great changes are big changes in population growth of human and other beings. Human population growth is slowing. It peaked at 9 billion people in 2035, and it’s since begun to recede. Humanity is estimated to be about 8.75 billion people now, and it’s estimated there will be about 8.5 billion people on Earth in 2100. Populations of fish, plankton, corals, marine and land mammals, birds, trees, other plants, bees, other insects, and many other species have been rising for about 2 ½ decades. Populations of farm animals are down by half since 2020.
People attribute human population growth changes to various causes. We’ve increasingly been waiting longer to enter long-term relationships and have children, using our 20s and 30s for personal growth and development, travel, accumulating experiences, spiritual practices and working on creating and contributing to community growth and development. That trend existed prior to 2020, and now it has expanded to much of what had been known as the developing world. That decelerates our growth.
Fewer people in our 40s are now resorting to artificial fertilization technologies, which often resulted in twins and other multiple births.
Many say we’re satisfied and happy having children and people of all ages we love, care for and support in close communities where we live. We don’t have such a compelling need to have our own children and pets, as the only ways we have love, care and connection. We feel those things with others already, and we already participate in many ways in raising new generations to be better than ours.
More and more of us are consciously aware of the enormous and often negative impacts the volume and actions of humanity have on the natural life support systems of Earth and on other forms of life. We value the health, harmony and balance of natural systems, and we serve and try to live with integrity toward that value by not introducing more humans to tip systems further out of health and balance.
Vastly expanded communication and education technologies, systems and resources available to most people have helped us improve our understanding of the world, impacts on it, and opportunities in it. That’s allowed many to change former conditioning, which in many places included finding a mate and producing big families quickly. New ways don’t require lots of cheap family labor on farms, for example.
Education and rising status and conditions of women globally has huge childbirth impacts. Women are no longer treated as property in most places, shunted off to marriages, child production and nurturing, and home operation. Women have social status and opportunities we didn’t before. Female values, energies, perspectives, contributions, decision-making and guidance are better balanced with male. Women increasingly choose to wait to get married or have children, in favor of other experiences, and endeavors providing other kinds of satisfactions, fulfillments and contributions, slowing growth.
We’re increasingly choosing to accept the ends of our lives and the approach of natural deaths, rather than exhausting ourselves, families and resources to try to artificially and temporarily extend life and cheat death, in spite of its inevitability and our pending failures. Instead, we focus on being present and participating fully in life, every day. If we live present in the moment, the experience of time changes.
One day can seem wonderfully long and fulfilling, versus being entangled in our heads, reliving the past, wishing we’d said or done things differently, projecting into the future, solving problems, and being engaged in mental chatter and distraction most of the time, which makes it seem like time is flying past, with days slipping away from us. When life is full and good, we’re present and comfortable that things are getting better and future generations will thrive, we’re less worried about and resistant to death.
Attitudes and values related to death have changed in medical communities and healthcare systems. Death is no longer considered an enemy and failure. We accept death as natural, necessary and inevitable as health care professionals now. Now, the focus is much more on proactively cultivating good health and lives, and on reducing suffering and harm. We recognize relationships between mental, emotional and spiritual conditions, energies and states and physical well-being and health, and health care is more focused on creating and cultivating virtuous, healthy energies and states, doing no harm.
The demotion, if not dissolution of human egos is having a big impact on population, because it is no longer as keenly important for human beings to create and cultivate personal progeny to perpetuate the idea of survival of our unique and exceptional personhoods. It’s less about me and reproducing me to continue in the world, and more about we and feeling secure that we as a species, planet and life on Earth will continue to thrive and evolve. Many believe all of that is better served with fewer humans.
The biggest human impact on increasing populations of other living beings on Earth is radical reduction in the poisons, chemicals, plastics, waste and other harmful materials we release into our ecosystems. We no longer produce and release scary radioactive wastes, so we create no new harms with those. We’ve stopped burning fossil fuels, so we’re producing no harms from that. We’ve radically reduced uses of chemical refrigerants for cooling systems, and those harms are reduced. We’ve stopped using most plastics, so their wastes are no longer infecting food webs. We’ve reduced roads, light and noise.
Sustainability and permaculture practices in our food and goods production have greatly reduced environmental harms. We stopped denuding old-growth forests and harming their important functions as lungs and filters for the atmosphere. We have reduced ignorant and selfish manipulations of life with genetic and chemical experiments, in favor of trusting, trying to understand and support natural growth and development. We’ve stopped overfishing our waters and dumping on our environments.
We’ve greened our cities and planted billions of trees, and that’s bringing healthier ecological systems closer to balance. We grow much of the food for people in cities in and near cities, so we use less land elsewhere for that, allowing much of that to be restored as natural systems. We’ve expanded park and wilderness land protections. We’ve actively assisted in restoring natural life, stimulating coral growth, planting trees and plants, and releasing into nature wild life cultivated with assistance. We’ve improved respect for and interest in natural systems, so we no longer take them for granted or exploit them with indifference and ignorance. We consciously replace what we take from nature and avoid doing harm. We have enormously reduced our individual material consumption rates, and are happier with less.
In the process, and as a result of these changes in values, behaviors and activities, nature is healing and life is bouncing back. Energies are more in balance. Natural systems are healthier. It feels good.
We have fewer farm animals raised for food, because our understanding and attitudes toward that have changed and improved. Many of us no longer overeat meats with most meals, just because we’re conditioned to do so. We realize we and our natural systems are healthier with more plant-based diets, so we eat fewer animals and more plants. Our plant-based diets are more diverse and rewarding, with thousands of wonderful recipes, using many more heirloom and diverse plants, vegetables and fruits. Our partnership relationships with animals for food include us keeping our ends of the bargains, providing highest-quality animal lives and deaths in return for their services of providing us food.
We seem to have pulled out of the vicious down-the-toilet-bowl vortex of decay and destruction of natural systems and life, through ignorance, indifference, exploitation, conditioning, greed and habit, heading down the hole of destruction, and begun to cultivate and build virtuous, balanced, whole and improving cycles of health, growth and restoration of natural systems and life. All that, because we each woke up and took charge of changing our thoughts, behaviors and actions. That is wonderful change!
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