If you bring reusable grocery bags to the store, take the train to work and pay a premium on your utility bill for a renewable energy source, you may think you’re doing all you can to help the environment.
Not so if you have kids, according to some — who are choosing not to reproduce due to climate change and other environmental concerns.
Easter Island is famous for its iconic stone heads. These statues, known as Moai, are a mystery of human ingenuity. Standing an average of 13 feet high and weighing 14 tons each, nearly 1,000 statues are positioned around the island, which is governed by Chile. Archeologists have long debated what the statues mean and how on earth a relatively small population could manage this engineering feat in the years following the arrival of the Polynesian people in 800 A.D.
"It is amazing that an island society made of 10 to 12 chiefdoms had sufficient unity and ability to communicate carving standards, organize carving methods and achieve political rights of way … to transport statues to every part of the island," said archaeologist Jo Anne Van Tilburg, founder of UCLA's Easter Island Statue Project.
After keeping the Senate healthcare bill secret even from Republican Senators in the so-called health care working group, Senator Mitch McConnell promised to release a discussion draft of the bill Thursday morning ahead of a potential vote next week. But by Wednesday evening details of the bill had leaked.
According to The Washington Post, much like the American Health Care Act that narrowly passed the House in May, the Senate bill would:
“Conservation will never work. Recycling will never work. None of the stuff we’re talking about will ever work, because we are too afraid to talk about the thing that matters.”
This was the candid assessment, conveyed privately to me over dinner, by a biochemistry research scientist (who prefers his name not be mentioned). He has spent the last two decades touring the country, going to conferences related to sustainability and the environment, and speaking with other scientists and professionals invested in the topic.
“I meet people in all different fields at these conferences,” he told me. “They are coming at the same problem from different angles: water management, waste management, plastics and recycling, oil and energy… but no matter what field you come from, if you think about the question of long-term sustainability for long enough, you come to the same conclusion. The problem is people: there are just too many people. We have to reduce the population. And everybody is too scared to talk about it.”