In order to address global climate change in terms of human population and how said population utilizes the environment and the natural resources that make up that environment, we first must ask ourselves under what principle we are choosing to act or not. I am of the belief that the most paramount of any ethical consideration relating to the human race as a species is our indefinite survival as a species that continuously evolves and flourishes in terms of our intellectual growth. Any act that opposes our survival as a species or risks our demise as a species would therefore be unethical, and would warrant swift action by those whose lives are being risked or by those who choose to protect the lives being endangered. I further believe any principle must account for the fact that we humans are the most important species on the planet by virtue of our sentience, sapience and our evolutionarily advanced stage as it regards our intellectual capabilities. The maintenance of, or the striving for, an ideal living environment for our species must be the most important aspect of any ethical considerations regarding our environment. By accounting for an ideal living environment we are compelled to assess how any of our own actions will affect the biosphere in general, as well as more localized ecosystems specifically, and how those changes will in turn affect the human species.
An ideal environment would be one in which all humans equally benefit from the natural resources of the environment, though not necessarily in the same ways, and one in which the continued survival of the species is optimized. In order to optimize our continued survival as a species we need to make sure we are able to flourish technologically with an end goal in mind of galactic colonization since science already shows us that at some point the planet will be totally uninhabitable as a result of our sun’s expansion toward the end of its natural life. I personally know a few people who already hold this ethical principle as their primary principle and I’m sure a lot more people share this belief without even knowing its evolutionary source or that the traditional phrase “women and children first” is evidence of having this belief. The aforementioned phrase is evolutionarily significant in that it is a statement of relative value where adult males are valued less than either women or children. Women, being limited in the number of children they can give birth to in a lifetime are more valuable than men when it comes to reproductive abilities. Children are granted a higher value because they have the potential to reproduce and generate more offspring by mere virtue of the longer, yet to be realized, expected lifespan. Both of these speak to continuance of the species though the phrase has been couched in chivalric terms that romanticize and mask its true meaning.
The above principle requires at least a three part approach. Part one requires governmental and social priorities on two equally important technologies. One of these priorities must be the research and development of one or more methods of hyper luminous travel and the research and development of agricultural technologies such as self-sustaining food crops and their mechanized processing. Part two requires the global distribution of these technologies as they become available. We already have agricultural technologies that if distributed properly will reduce the need many cultures have of reproducing to gain additional farming assets in the form of field hands for the family. As a result of these technologies being spread far and wide, the already declining global growth rate will almost immediately start declining precipitously until global population stabilizes substantially lower than the predicted 9.1 billion by 2050 following current trends. Part three requires action to make it all happen.
The principle has already led to people taking action. Unfortunately, the ability to affect change at a global level requires more than the relatively tiny number of people working toward the above goals. The principle is motivating because it agrees with our genetic programming to reproduce and expand within the bounds of our own self-interest and it’s rational. Problematic right now is that the global south has not reached a post-industrialized stage of development. Rapid implementation of technologies already possessed by the post-industrial parts of the world within the pre-industrialized and transitional areas of the globe will not only result in a more rapid decline in the population growth rate, it serves the additional purpose of freeing up the people in those societies to start specializing in ways that will promote further technological advances needed to increase the likelihood of expansion to the stars. The only thing that needs to be done at this point for realization of this plan is to get a few key people into a few key governmental and industrial positions where they have the power to more effectively persuade or coerce others into supporting the policy changes needed for speedy implementation. It’s already in the works and will eventually happen.