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7.5 billion and counting.....

Proponents of industrial agriculture defend their practices by asking "How else are we going to feed 10 billion people?". To that I have two answers - make sure we don't get to 10 billion, and help people feed themselves.

Growing food locally will come later; today it is the very contentious subject of population control. The first step is to lift the gag rule, and allow family planning clinics to do their jobs.

(The gag rule was first introduced by Reagan, lifted by Clinton, re-introduced by Bush Jr, lifted by Obama and brought back with a vengeance by Trump.

"Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order banning international NGOs from providing abortion services or offering information about abortions if they receive US funding." From The Guardian dated January 23rd, 2017)

The importance of contraception cannot be stressed too much, and huge strides have been made in reducing the fertility rate in many countries. However, to have a significant difference the rate has to fall below mere replacement. A country like Somalia has three births for every death, much of Eastern Europe is losing population. Increases are exponential, losses are not. shows changes in population, ostensibly in real time . In the time it has taken you to read this far, there are 230 more people in the world.

Obviously, preventing pregnancies is the first priority, but contraception is not perfect. Abortion must be available on demand to any woman who - for whatever reason - does not want to bear a child. Pro-lifers value life for life's sake; I think that quality of life is more important.

Which leads to end of life decisions. There is a Dutch couple here (France) that we know quite well. One of them has just returned to Holland to be present at the euthanisation (sp) of her ex-wife who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. 4 % of total deaths in the Netherlands in 2106 were from euthanasia, which has to be requested while the person is still of sound mind. I am all in favor of right to die whenever - for whatever reason - one no longer wants to live.

And that leads ultimately to the human obsession with saving lives. Perhaps we would be better off if we just let nature take its course. No extreme intervention.

However it is done, we absolutely have to curb population expansion.

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