Monday, October 07, 2013

The Detriment of Heterosexuality

What is this webpage about?

This post is intended to erode the unjustified positive connotation of heterosexuality, rather than imbue it with a negative one.

Far from equating to responsible procreation, heterosexuality is a factor that decouples and disassociates procreation from the desire to procreate. Heterosexuality exacerbates unwanted, unplanned and unbridled procreation, unlike homosexuality which enables total preparation for and willingness to engage in parenthood. Heterosexuals have to use contraception specifically to compensate for this.

1) There is a problem
2) Disease Transmission Rates
3) Zoonotic Infections
4) Decreased Water Quality
5) Planetary Viability
6) Animal Extinction

1) There is a problem

38% of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended (Speidel et al. 2008, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals) and this rises to 49% in the U.S. (Finer & Henshaw, 2007, DOI: 10.1363/3809006).

The human population has sky-rocketed, increasing approximately ten fold within the past 300 years, from ~700 million in 1700 to over 7 billion today. It has never been higher than even the 1700s level and so while human underpopulation is not even remotely a risk to Earth and its inhabitants, human overpopulation represents an enormous one. The graph below is not a projection of future population levels but rather, where we are now, at over 7 billion people.

Heterosexuality is the primary driving force behind overpopulation, while all the technological advances accompanying the industrial revolution, notably in agriculture and medicine, are simply incidental enablers of it. Every new human on our planet further divides its finite resources.

Gerland et al. 2014, Science, 346(6206), 234-237, DOI: 10.1126/science.1257469
"The world population is unlikely to stop growing this century. There is an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion people, will increase to between 9.6 billion and 12.3 billion in 2100... Much of the increase is expected to happen in Africa, in part due to higher fertility rates and a recent slowdown in the pace of fertility decline."

Professor Frank Fenner, who was instrumental in the eradication of smallpox and a member of the Australian Academy of Science and the Royal Society, gave an interview voicing his concern for our species' future to The Australian, 16/06/2010:
"Homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years... Mitigation would slow things down a bit, but there are too many people here already... As the population keeps growing to seven, eight or nine billion, there will be a lot more wars over food...We'll undergo the same fate as the people on Easter Island".

2) Population Density Directly Increases Rate of Disease Transmission

The unchecked breeding of our species has lead to a population explosion, which can drastically increase the rate of disease transmission for all communicable diseases.

Professor Emeritus J. Holland, University of California, 10/1996:
"As the human population has grown, the human population density has grown... and it's density which determines the rate of disease spread to a very large extent".

Arneberg et al. 1998, Proceeds of the Royal Society B, 265(1403), 1283-1289:
"Host population density and average parasite abundance were strongly positively correlated within mammalian taxa, and across all species".

Another study found that even non-communicable diseases, such as ischaemic heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease increased with population density. This is likely due to increased exposure to carcinogenic pollutants, resulting from excessive urbanisation and fossil fuel consumption.

Chaix et al., 2006, International Journal of Epidemiology, 35(3), 633-643:
"In our region-wide study conducted at the parish level, contextual disparities in mortality were dominated by the population density effect."

Antibiotics represent one of our many finite resources and their over-use is progressively reducing their effectiveness, potentially eliminating the only significant defence we have against pathogenic bacteria. This would occur at approximately one thousandth of the current rate, were our population a thousand times smaller.

Spellberg et al., (2008) Clinical Infectious Diseases, 46(2), 155-164, DOI: 10.1086/524891:
"Antibiotics, alone among all classes of drugs, become less effective the more they are used... Antimicrobial effectiveness is a precious, limited resource. Therefore, preserving antibiotic effectiveness can be viewed similar to society's responses to overconsumption and depletion of other precious, limited resources, such as oil and other energy sources, clean water and air, and forests... The ongoing explosion of antibiotic-resistant infections continues to plague global and US health care."

3) Zoonotic Infections

As the global population grows, the rise of mega-agriculture to supply increased demand for food could aid the spread and virulence of infectious microorganisms worldwide.

L. King, Director of the CDC’s National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne and Enteric Diseases, 2008, Public Health Reports, 123(3), 264–265:
"We need to understand the new factors of emergence that are creating the conditions for a perfect microbial storm. We know that approximately 75% of new emerging human diseases are zoonotic".  "Another major consideration is human population growth. We're pushing people together in urbanization areas... what is going to happen to the environment when we add food animals to these mega-cities?".

4) Decreased Water Quality/Availability

The CDC concerning Water Quality, 2012:
"Unfortunately, worldwide water quality is declining, threatening the health of ecosystems and humans worldwide 2. Various factors influence this deterioration, including population growth... and factors resulting from climate change."
Note: Population size/expansion is also the primary cause of anthropogenic climate change.

Famiglietti et al. 2015, Water Resources Research, DOI: 10.1002/2015WR017351
"Current unsustainable groundwater use threatens the resilience of aquifer systems and their ability to provide a long-term water source."

5) Planetary Viability

Overpopulation is the world's top environmental issue. No other issue threatens the viability of our planet to sustain life to the same extent, particularly because most other issues are contingent upon human population size.

Systems Ecologist, Dr. Charles Hall:
“Overpopulation is the only problem... If we had 100 million people on Earth — or better, 10 million — no others would be a problem.”

Bradshaw & Brook, 2014, PNAS, 111(46), 16610–16615, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1410465111
"The inexorable demographic momentum of the global human population is rapidly eroding Earth’s life-support system."

Natasha Gilbert, 2009, Nature, 461, 716-718, DOI: 10.1038/461716a
"All life forms require phosphorus in the form of phosphate. The remaining accessible reserves of clean phosphate rock would run out in 50 years, if growth stays at 3% per year... The increased use will be driven in part by the rising global population, which will require food production to at least double by 2050... Every year countries mine millions of tonnes of phosphate from the ground, the bulk of which is turned into fertilizer for food crops. But such deposits are a finite resource and could disappear within the century."

Steffen et al. 2015, Science, 347(6223), DOI: 10.1126/science.1259855
"There is an urgent need for a new paradigm that integrates the continued development of human societies and the maintenance of the Earth system (ES) in a resilient and accommodating state... There is increasing evidence that human activities are affecting ES functioning to a degree that threatens the resilience of the ES".

6) Habitat Loss and Pollution Lead to Animal Extinction

Excessive population growth selfishly causes the death and extinction of the other species who share the planet. Humans are the last to feel the effects and animals the first because in almost any given situation where the needs of animals are in competition with those of humans, humans' will take precedence. Animal homes, rather than human homes are bulldozed to make way for more humans and pollutants are pumped and dumped in to animal habitats, not human houses.

Walsh et al. 2003, Nature, 422(6932), 611-614:
"Rapidly expanding human populations have devastated gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) and common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) habitats... The next decade will see our closest relatives pushed to the brink of extinction".

Rogers et al. 2013, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 74(2), 491–494:
"The continued expansion in global population exerts ever increasing pressures on scarcer ocean resources through overexploitation and on marine ecosystems through indirect impacts such as pollution. It is therefore important to recognise that growing impacts on the ocean are inseparable from the population growth and per-capita resource use, and tackling these issues... has to be part of a wider re-evaluation of the core values of human society and its relationship to the natural world and the resources on which we all rely."
"It is clear that human activities have led to intense multiple stressors acting together in many marine ecosystems. Most notably these are arising from overexploitation of biotic resources, climate change effects forming the so-called “deadly trio” (ocean warming, acidification and hypoxia/anoxia) and pollution. The “deadly trio” are... partially or entirely associated with the majority of the major extinction events in Earth’s past".

Jose Derraik, 2002, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 44(9), 842–852:
"A large number of marine species is known to be harmed and/or killed by plastic debris, which could jeopardize their survival, especially since many are already endangered by other forms of anthropogenic activities."

The correlation between the human population explosion, starting c.1700 (see previous graph) and the increasing rate of animal extinction is striking. Click the image (Ceballos et al., 2015) to enlarge.

Ceballos et al. 2015, Science Advances, 1(5), e1400253, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400253
"The number of species that have gone extinct in the last century would [normally] have taken, depending on the vertebrate taxon, between 800 and 10,000 years to disappear. These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way... This affects human well-being by interfering with crucial ecosystem services such as crop pollination and water purification and by destroying humanity’s beautiful, fascinating, and culturally important living companions".

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