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April 20, 2008


Steve Salmony


A particularly pernicious disturbance exists in the human community. ELECTIVE MUTISM is one of the great, clear and present dangers to human and environmental health. It is a worldwide “plague” in our time from which many too many in the vast community of science suffer egregiously. That elective mutism has afflicted so many in the social sciences is one thing. The family of humanity can understand, I suppose, how social scientists do not possess the most adequate expertise to speak out loudly and clearly regarding the emerging and converging global challenges derived from the human overpopulation of Earth.

On the other hand, what I find reprehensible and unbelievable is the way scientists with appropriate expertise in the physical and biological sciences, whatever their excuses, are choosing not to fullfil their professional responsibilities and not to discharge duties only they can perform. Their willful refusal to comment on good scientific evidence of the human species’ overpopulation of the planetary home God blesses us to inhabit is as unacceptable as it is perverse.

See the following link for a presentation of the apparently unforeseen evidence,


Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001

Arlene Fairfield

Polls, opinion surveys, and the like are interesting but how meaningful are they really? We’ve seen over and over again that people’s words don’t exactly match their actions. I don’t necessarily think people are deliberately lying when they answer these surveys, they just believe they really are recycling “all the time” or purchasing products based on a company's green credentials. The reality is, of course, that lots of rational and irrational motivators come into play when making buying decisions. What I’d really like to see are more actual results – how do sales of green products compare to their non-green counterparts (or at least their counterparts who don’t tout green attributes), how have companies based on sustainability missions fared, and have we seen reductions in home energy use, miles driven, or consumer waste? Joel, what have you found in terms of measurable consumer behavior?

Steve Salmony

Dear Joel Makower,

Unexpectedly, I have received a question to my comments above regarding ELECTIVE MUTISM. If you, Arlene Fairfield and others will bear with me, I would like to share the question and my response to it, with the hope of promoting more discussion.

begin -----

Thanks so much for responding to my post.

Absolute global human population numbers are not coming down nearly fast enough. Even with a substantial decrease of the population growth rate in some countries, the total population of the human species has been skyrocketing and is continuing to increase much too rapidly.

Perhaps the widely shared and consensually-validated "demographic transition" that is anticipated in the middle of Century XXI is an example of specious preternatural thinking and theorizing, borne of political convenience and economic expediency.

You have asked a wonderful question,

"Assuming you are right for the moment, do you have any concrete policy proposals which we might consider to enable us to think about what we might do?"

Perhaps we could follow what we already know from good science, reasoning and common sense. We can choose to respond ably and much differently, in a more reality-oriented way, to the global challenges before humanity, challenges we can certainly manage because we have induced them by our spectacular unrestrained overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities, the ones now threatening to engulf the surface of Earth.

Of course, it is fair to ask what the family of humanity could choose to do "ably and differently." Several ideas come to mind.

1) Implement universal, voluntary and humane programs that encourage people to limit the number of offspring to one child per family.

2) Establish an upper limit on the growth of the individual human footprint.

3) Restrict immediately the reckless dissipation of limited natural resources so that the Earth is given time to replenish them for human benefit.

4) Substitute clean, renewable sources of energy, through the use of substantial economic incentives, for the fossil fuels we rely upon now.

5) Recognize that everything human beings do on the surface of our tiny planet utterly depend on the finite resources of Earth. One consequence of this realization is understanding that there can be no such thing as an endlessly expanding global economy, given its current leviathan-like scale and anticipated growth rate, on a relatively small and noticeably frangible planet with the size and make-up of Earth.

The family of humanity has huge global challenges to address and overcome. Our leaders appear much too contented with arguing about which country will take the first step forward. Meanwhile, as reasonable and sensible actions are not taken, the threats to human and environmental health grow more daunting day by day.

As I see it, many leaders understand quite well the precarious status of the natural world we inhabit; nonetheless, they adamantly refuse to acknowledge or speak openly about the distinctly human-induced predicament that looms ominously before the family of humanity in our time.

Billions of human beings–- some overconsuming, others overproducing and still others overpopulating the Earth –-are ruining our planetary home as a fit place for human habitation and life as we know it. At least to me, what is incomprehensible and tragic is this: our leaders know what all of us are doing that is destructive of human and environmental health and still they remain resolute in their reckless pursuit of a “primrose path” to the future.

For a moment please consider that our top rank scientists have not found adequate ways of communicating to the family of humanity what people somehow need to hear, see and understand: the unregulated increase of human population numbers, the unbridled growth of per-capita consumption, the reckless dissipation of Earth’s limited resources and the relentless degradation of the planet’s frangible environment could result in the destruction of our celestial orb as a fit place for habitation by humankind and life as we know it. When taken together, these distinctly human activities appear to be growing at a breakneck pace toward the precipitation of a catastrophic ecological wreckage of some sort unless, of course, the world’s colossal, ever expanding, artificially designed, manmade global economy continues to speed headlong toward the monolithic 'wall' called "unsustainability" at which point the runaway economy crashes before Earth’s ecology is collapsed.

end -----

With thanks,


Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001

Jason McCormick

You're right Joel... there's a glut of studies out there talking green, green, green.

Trouble is, green makes up one of the components of sustainability.

We polled 5,000 people across North America to understand what they made of this thing called sustainability… social and personal sustainability issues such as Being Connected to my community and Leading a Balanced Life leapfrogged environmental issues. That’s not to say people don’t care about green issues – 58% of people rated Global Warming as an important issue (The SHIFT Report, April 2008). But framed in the broader, more tangible terms it makes sense that people are moved more by "personal life/work balance" or personal wellness than “saving the planet”. As one respondent mentioned in our qualitative research – "How can we take care of the environment, if we can't even take care of ourselves?".

Goog mag recently had an excellent article with Van Jones http://www.goodmagazine.com/section/Portraits/black_and_green). In it he talks to the fact that some Americans are unable to tackle our environmental crisis because they are dealing with a personal crisis - “African-Americans will ask you, ‘What do polar bears and hybrid cars have to do with my situation?’”

Overall, we would argue that most people have yet to make the connection the environment and their health or life balance simply because it has yet to be presented this way – in part because most companies have been reacting to the 'green rush' and not looking at green in the context of the overall sustainability equation.

Read more at http://www.ci-shift.com/kierstin-de-west/blog/happy-earth-day-hope-you-didnt-break-bank-green-branding


Hi Joel,

I just came across your website today and I find it to be very interesting. The more I hear about saving the earth, the more I get more eager to help.

As owner of a corporate gifts and promotional product company, I now pitch green products to my clients.

I was once one of those people who never read labels or anything...a total consumer of energy in all types. I have now changed my ways and I will continue to visit you blog. You have great information.

Ken Ott

I wonder how Americans feel about BP, Shell and Chevron with all their green advertisements.

Of course, Shell and Chevron have been forthcoming to protect themselves from future backlash, such as with Shell's future scenarios: "blueprint vs scramble"


You could also say that they are genuinely looking out for everyone's interests now that the peak oil kitty's out of the bag.



John Blackham is a New Zealand businessman and entrepreneur who has been heavily involved in the development of the

software industry in New Zealand. He participated in the Porter Project on New Zealand’s competitive capability

(1990) and helped establish the venture capital market for high-tech start-ups with the NZ Innovation Market



You could also say that they are genuinely looking out for everyone's interests now that the peak oil kitty's out of the bag.
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Shilpa Amladi

How green is green? That's a question my friends often ask for they see this green movement as another marketing gimmick. No matter how much i try to explain the changes I have made in my lifestyle to increase my contribution toward saving the planet, it just does not get through to people, forget about me influencing their un-green decisions.

I think green products are better than non-green products. But honestly, i don't know if that will help save the planet even if half of the world's population adapt them. I think if we are serious about Green, we must reduce consumption in all walks of life, including consumption of green products.

Shilpa Amladi

Earth for Energy

Has anyone had a look at the product Earth for Energy? Its a DIY green project which teaches you ways in which you can make your entire home run on solar and wind energy. Pretty cool really. Practical? dunno


earth 4 energy is a good way to save earth solar system. and global warming. aside from the fact that if we use solar power system on our homes we can save a lot of our expense

Earth4Energy Review

Earth4Energy is really a good way to save earth solar system. The manual helps you create your own solar panel and if you do visit our site and read our Earth4Energy Review, you will have a better understanding of the guide.

Thank You,


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