Could Literacy Limit Growth?
Evidently, Earth’s ecology continues to be impacted by the unbridled effects of Human consumption and population growth. Resulting in more people seeming willing to take some rather difficult stances on key issues. Especially ones that contribute to Humanity’s disproportionate impact upon our shared Environment. Specifically, our mushrooming need for food and fuel in a world that is already precariously overpopulated has become a hot topic again, and re-raises the specter of Population Control. A subject that everyone expects to be personally managed via contraceptive methods, rather than anything more Orwellian, of course. There is a game-changing factor that’s still being overlooked in this difficult question though; which is the very real correlation between Women’s Literacy or basic education, and drastically lowered birth rates!
As evidenced below (and elsewhere), raising Literacy rates for women, would seem to directly impact impact birth-rates, and then human population levels, and thus our total consumptions – Especially as third world populations clamor to achieve a more Western lifestyle and comparable rate of Consumption.
If you’re curious about the science behind this intuitive connection between literacy and lowered birthrates, here’s some hard info for you. If you’re already comfortable with the reasons for this correlation, then you might also consider why Literacy could be placed up at the forefront of efforts to reduce Global Warming…
Over at Envirogy, I had previously looked at the tricky mix of Sex and Politics that would have to be managed to get results in this area. I also considered the presumptuous arrogance of Western thinking in even suggesting that the Third World should be held to task on the effects of overpopulation, when Westerners are still the primary contributors to Global Warming. Yet, even while Westerners struggle with the pains of trying to manage our “market growth”, the Third World is just beginning to ramp up their capacity to consume, so the issue of population control remains a pressing Environmental factor.
One of the ultimate objectives in curtailing either side of this Population/Consumption equation isn’t just to reduce emissions, by limiting the number of “Emitters” being born, but to also modify our Consumption – either by reducing it, or limiting the growth of future “Markets”.
Unfortunately, both of these approaches seem in direct opposition to the clear and apparent objectives of Free Market Capitalism. Evidently, the collective will of the Corporate and Financial Worlds wouldn’t support the shrinking (much less actual elimination) of markets, not in any non-cyclic/profitable way at least.
So as seems to be the case during any other pre-Revolutionary period, the Populace and Citizenry are again left to assemble and enable themselves through whatever means available, in order to effect required change, despite the needs of current regimes.
It’s more than just abit lucky, that in facing our greatest dangers as a Species, that we would also benefit from the most powerful and open platform for wide-scale communication AND interaction, to help us in our collective cause! All of us hoping to see the evident growth of grassroots Communication via alternative Channels that seek and share greater Mass Education…As opposed to Marketing.
As such….Enacted Education still seems to be the key to Freedom, just as it’s always been. In honour of the UN’s World Literacy Day perhaps this initiative would be a good way to consider the far reaching effects of applying World Literacy to the size of our footprints on this planet.