It is the crusade of the 20th century. A holy war to reverse the ‘destruction of the ecological balance caused by self-serving, ego-centric human activities’.
Is this crusade prompted by a concern for humanity, or the opposite? Let’s ask Biology professor Eric Pianka of the University of Texas…
Professor Pianka just received the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist award at the Texas Academy of Science's annual meeting. He also gave a very enlightening talk at the meeting. Most enlightening:
"Every one of you who gets to survive has to bury nine," Eric Pianka cautioned students and guests at St. Edward’s University on Friday. Pianka's words are part of what he calls his "doomsday talk" — a 45-minute presentation outlining humanity's ecological misdeeds and Pianka's predictions about how nature, or perhaps humans themselves, will exterminate all but a fraction of civilization.
Though his statements are admittedly bold, he's not without abundant advocates. But what may set this revered biologist apart from other doomsday soothsayers is this: Humanity's collapse is a notion he embraces.
Indeed, his words deal, very literally, on a life-and-death scale, yet he smiles and jokes candidly throughout the lecture. Disseminating a message many would call morbid, Pianka's warnings are centered upon awareness rather than fear.
"This is really an exciting time," he said Friday amid warnings of apocalypse, destruction and disease. Only minutes earlier he declared, "Death. This is what awaits us all. Death." Reflecting on the so-called Ancient Chinese Curse, "May you live in interesting times," he wore, surprisingly, a smile.
So what's at the heart of Pianka's claim?
6.5 billion humans is too many.
In his estimation, "We've grown fat, apathetic and miserable," all the while leaving the planet parched.
A 90 percent reduction.