Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Friday, August 14, 2015

In Depth Questions #4: The Population! What's Going to Happen??

The population of earth is out of control in a manner that can only be described as gonzo bonkers. What's going to happen??

The population is going to be like, fifty billion at some point if nobody does something. What's going to happen then?? What's going to happen at fifty-two billion? How are all those people going to eat and if they starve to death, what will we do with all the bodies? It's going to be a huge environmental and logistics issue. Death isn't just a health threat in itself, it's also a brand-new threat the moment you've got bodies to deal with. From a legal standpoint, bodies qualify as biomedical waste. You can look it up on Wikipedia if you doubt it. Check under "bodies."

In fact, I'm not sure how they fudge around that even now, at this late date. The funeral industry has been playing a shady game for a long, long time and my guess is the check's in the mail, if it isn't already. The special exemption can't go on forever with so much health at stake - once we hit fifty billion, we're talking up to fifty billion lives. That's what's going to be at stake. Think of the precautions we already know how to do! Why is this proven knowledge not being used? Does a biomedical waste dump that's professionally run, according to all the standards and up to code as far as the FDA, or FTC or USAMRID or whoever's responsible - would they permit an outfit like that to just dump the stuff in a six-foot hole and claim the smell from a one-time or at best, yearly flower-bouquet makes it alright?

This is a clear case of deregulation-by-de-facto. And worse, the regulations in this area were never in compliance in the first place, if you think about it in terms of requirements we see today for responsible getting-rid-of of these kinds of materials. You need to have six people initial the form and go through a locked gate to safely dump a bucket of tonsils. Yet for the funeral industry? Loophole city! Any claim to be "grandfathered in" - that grandpa has to have long since expired by this point. No way.

The only excuse for this ongoing sweetheart deal is favoritism, pure and simple. Favoritism, and a superstitious and offensive regard for tradition over cold, hard science.

Think about the kind of bits and pieces they tag and secure for quarantine in a proper and adequate biomedical disposal facility - whatever THAT is. A dead body has way more organs in it than that, and many of those organs are potentially fatal if the right disease hits them! How long can we remain struthious on this? Struthious means be like an ostrich. How long can we be like an ostrich? It sounds like it would be a pretty fun contest, for company retreats and picnics and such! How long can we stick our head and part of our neck underground, and keep it there? But there's nothing fun about it once people start to asphyxiate! We need to face up to the facts here: we can no longer keep our head underground, and expect an unimpeded supply of oxygen. However, some encouraging news: "struthious" is almost always used in a metaphorical sense, so most people weren't doing that anyway.

How could a company picnic or retreat like that justify such potentially-deadly contests? A potato-sack contest is one thing - or a dunk tank! And then somebody drowns, and a fun day ruined. Who bears the responsibility? Who will bear it in the future? What sort of world are we leaving our children? Or if we are childless - can that in itself be a sign of responsible parenting?

In a world where the population is going to be like fifty billion or something at some point, sometimes the best thing you can do is take it straight to the worst case scenario - only then, maybe, will it be clear to see where to go from here to not get there. So suppose the population hits fifty billion. Where do all those people fit? Let's suppose they do fit. What do they eat? Let's assume they starve. What do we do with all the dead bodies? How can we consider the current regulatory climate adequate on a question like this? Let's suppose it is adequate. How does that help the situation?

Sometimes, an adequate regulatory climate is not enough. You also need the public will to demand enforcement. And a little thing I like to call good old fashioned team spirit and rah rah morale. Can that alone save us from the worst that could happen, when the population skyrocket hits the inevitable fucked-up point? And if not, what can? What's going to happen??