Problems and Solutions: Over-Population, Pollution, and More

Learn about the threats of over-population, pollution, and consumerism.

| January/February 1970

Gas Mask

Author Gary Snyder warns people to change their lifestyles now, lest they face a decayed world.

Photo by Fotolia/Zatsepin

With the Earth in a seemingly steady state of decline, Gary Snyder offers up a few tips for problem-solving. An extended version of this piece was later published in the underground press.

I. The Problem of Over-Population

The Condition

Position: Man is but a part of the fabric of life — dependent on the whole fabric for his very existence, and also responsible to it. As the most highly developed tool-using animal, he must recognize that the evolutionary destinies (unknown) of other life forms are to be respected, and act as gentle steward of the earth's community of being.

Situation: There are now too many human beings, and the problem is growing rapidly worse. It is potentially disastrous not only for the human race but for most other life forms.

Goal: The goal would be half of the present world population or less.


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