Maslow and Overpopulation: Hunger Overrides Doing What’s Right Every Time

You don’t have time to save the planet when you’re struggling to put food on the table. Abraham Maslow gave us the Hierarchy of Needs in the 1960’s, a concept that explains a lot about human nature.  It essentially says that if you are struggling to put food on the table, you don’t have time or “brain-space” to worry about more lofty things such as the progress of your career, let alone what you might do to preserve or improve the planet.  It is this simple concept that points the way to how we mitigate the impact of the population explosion and make important moves towards achieving a sustainable situation for life on Earth.  Simply, we have to find ways to improve the lives of the poorest people on earth to the point where they both understand the issues we face and have the ability to make decisions that help reduce or eliminate those issues, decisions around such matters as family size, energy use, and environmental stewardship as well as the economic and political decisions that comprise those choices.  Can we do this?  I believe we can, and while politicians and policy makers may not pay much attention to me as an individual, I see a growing understanding of our most critical issues, and when many people start to press a point elected representatives must pay attention or lose voter support.

Please join me in urging policy makers to (1) make economic, educational, and family planning aid to developing countries a priority, to (2) make long range planning a permanent part of government operations focused on the future 30, 50, and 100 years away, and to (3) work against denial of the knowledge we have accumulated to date and for the development of further knowledge we can use to mitigate the rising energy costs, increasing pollution problems, and population growth that drives them.

As always, I appreciate your comments.  — Tim


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