I have recently heard some very well educated and well-to-do people express the view of economist Thomas Malthus who argued that the continued increases in the world's population would overtake the development of sufficient crops and drinkable water, thus diminishing our ability to sustain ourselves. Mr. Malthus lived 1766 to 1834 and as for the people of today expressing this argument, I disagree 100%. Mr. Malthus was wrong with his doomsday outlook then and those claiming the same today are also wrong.
Are these people stating this chilling statement today suggesting that the recommendation made by Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, should be implemented?
As a reminder, Scrooge is visited by two benefactors wishing to collect provision for the destitute at Christmas time. Scrooge angrily replies that prisons and workhouses are the only institutions he is willing to support. One of the benefactors states that many can’t go there; and many would rather die. Scrooge then takes the Malthusian view to another level by claiming that the poor and ill are surplus to the needs of society and if they would rather die, they’d better do it, and decrease the surplus population.
Later in the novel A Christmas Carol, Scrooge's own words are used against him by asking if he will get to decide who lives or dies? No human has that right over another human.
Additionally, the nay sayers harboring this pessimistic prediction are wrong because they omit the ingenuity of free men and women. They are wrong because they have no faith in humankind coming together as one team to find another way, like we have done time after time. Additionally, they are fearful of this doomsday outcome, because in my opinion, they are most likely Godless.
Having a collection, a Rain Collection, is the most valued collection we can have. Water Is Our Most Precious Commodity and by clicking on those words highlighting the title of our on-line Water class for all GTG members, more info on our membership page will open. So what do I see that makes me believe in a positive outcome with our drinking water supply?
For years I have been collecting rainwater off my roof to reduce my water use outside. People all over the world are using systems to collect rain water that are centuries old. The Island of Bermuda probably leads the world in collecting rain water off rooftops and not just for outside use, but also for drinking.
I have rain barrels, but more and more people are setting up cistern systems for an alternative supply of water. This reduces the use of groundwater, reduces storm water run off that will reduce litter entering our sewers that go directly to our waterways and reduces our water bills. When collected off a slate roof, the collected rain water can be used to wash off outdoor items, such as chairs or a car. When rain water is filtered and distilled properly from a well maintained slate roof and cistern system that has regular tests checking for bacteria, then washing clothes, showering, and drinking becomes possible.
With additional water supplies, gardens abound creating an increase in food access. Neighborhood carbon footprints are reduced as all people come together to share, promote, educate in the areas of health, nutrition and growing crops. Rain basins, rainwater capture and new water infrastructures utilizing new techniques or old, help our environment. Homeowners can save thousands of gallons of water each year. I have 4 barrels holding a total of 225 gallons of water and they are filled at least 7 times per year. That is approximately 1,575 gallons of water saved per year, just by me. So yes, Mr. Malthusian, Mr. Scrooge and some powerful people of today, your predictions have been and will still be proven wrong just as long as humankind has faith and is free.
Bill Lauto, at GoingTrueGreen.com
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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