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Futile Fruitfulness


It's the crack of dawn and according to about another 105,000 people were born last night while this part of the world cooled under darkness. About 44,000 died, leaving about 61,000 kicking and breathing as world population relentlessly swells toward the eight billion living souls milestone.

Eight billion.

And I have a feeling the madness will not stop anytime soon. Many more people consuming more more more of every earthly resource imaginable and expelling more toxic waste upon its already thoroughly trashed surface.

When I joined the fray, our species had not quite hit three billion and the first container ships were plying ocean lanes, scattering their first bits of plastic garbage about. By the time I stepped into my first public school building we were there. Three billion of us. By that time it occurred to me that society was already a mighty mess becoming messier by the minute.


With both parents now nearly 90 years of age and still going strong, chances I will live so long are fairly high. If I do manage to survive that long I'll see humanity numbering around 9.5 billion, and if I somehow keep kicking and breathing a full century it could well be we've reached the ten billion mark by then. An increase of more than seven billion within a lifetime.


Just look at that curve! It's all too obvious this level of fruitfulness is unsustainable. An exercise in futility bound to result in fruitlessness. By the time this sad fact sinks in through humanity's thick skull, I'll probably be gasping my last, cackling out loud at our collective, most likely terminal insanity. And I'll also enjoy still more reflection on an interesting life lived during this era of population explosion.

Fifty years ago I was enjoying first, delightfully bewildering twinges of puberty while contemplating future death somewhere in jungles of Vietnam. A few years later the threat of dying that horrific way dwindled as the politician making it so resigned to avoid impeachment and future possibilities brightened considerably. Twenty-five years ago I was making moves to twist off from a company which I had quickly grown tired of working for, eager to get away from a supervisor ridiculously brandishing his prized MENSA coffee cup each and every day I worked there. I was also making tentative moves to escape the hard gray edge and a horrible marriage. Exciting times of stage-one transition full of expansive possibilities and emerging goals to realize some of that potentially positive future.

These days are the most enjoyable and entertaining of life so far, even as the pandemic rages on unabated. Fully vaccinated, some variant might yet hit a deadly blow, but so far so good. Generally happy with this meager life lived to date–in spite of those who fed upon and even attempted to thwart it, including these damnable novel coronaviruses–satisfaction for time and experiences ahead is an exciting prospect, even if civilization is very likely doomed to totally consume itself shortly after my demise. Who knows what fun and excitement lies ahead over the next twenty-five or thirty years.

So let the futile fruitfulness continue, by all means!

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