Coastal Post Online


April 2002

Extinction Without Guilt:

Saving The Earth Through Over-Consumption

By Paul Reffell and Donna Sheehan

For decades, environmentalists everywhere have been trying to make everyone else feel guilty. Humans, they say, are damaging the Earth faster than it can repair itself. The environmentalist solution is to tighten our belts, use fewer natural resources, recycle, protect other species and generally clean up our collective act.

Let's face it, that approach doesn't work. All it does is make people feel bad about doing what they are best at-using stuff up and making a mess. Conservation only means saving what's left so we can use it up later. Is that a solution?

The amount of time and money that has been spent by environmentalists, corporations and governments on fighting each other on environmental issues is incalculable. That's why a movement called Pro-Degradation is gaining popularity in Northern California as it spreads the message that it's OK to act like human beings. Once we accept that we are the most productive and destructive species ever created, that we have no choice but to mess up our playpen, we will be able to complete the logical progress of human beings towards extinction, without guilt.

The message of the Pro-Degradation movement is that we should all speed up this progress, make life untenable for the human race before we have time to figure out a way to survive. The target is to remove human presence on the Earth within three generations. Since we have no choice but to ruin the world for ourselves, we should get it over and done with as soon as possible, in order to spare the rest of the world's species. We'll take plenty with us, no doubt, but the longer we delay the inevitable, the more species will disappear.

Pro-Deg should be a notion that almost everyone can support; Republicans, Democrats, Greens, corporations, shareholders, Christian fundamentalists, Buddhists, Earth Firsters, pro-lifers, and just regular folks who want to be able to live life, raise families and spend their hard-earned money.

Pro-Deg will give everyone the guilt-free impetus to obey the urgings of governments and corporations to spend more and consume more. We are told that a healthy economy is one that keeps growing ad infinitum, that it is the patriotic duty of Americans to buy more goods. This quarter's bottom line is the only consideration, so don't listen to all those whiners who say our way of life is changing the planet. Don't look ahead, buy more! Be proud of human ingenuity. Take the message to every country in the world.

Pro-Deg supports the manufacture of all products designed to speed the decline of the human species. It therefore stands behind the increased production and use of:


genetically-modified crops

nuclear and biological weapons

synthetic food additives, hormones and preservatives, all tested on


nuclear and coal-fired power stations

tobacco and carcinogenic substances of all kinds


high-consumption gas and diesel engines.

Pro-Deg believes that lead-based paint and fuels should be reintroduced, along with asbestos and mercury products. It supports the abolition of:

the already neutered EPA

the few existing gun control laws

the FDA, OSHA and ATF

minimum wage legislation

anti-slavery and child-labor laws

all environmental organizations

Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and food stamp programs

seat-belt and helmet laws

alternative energy programs, if any exist

MALT and other Land Trusts, State and National Parks, which should all be privatized

We have all have been wrangling over these issues, using up precious consumption and degradation time. While these delaying tactics continue, the world climate is still being changed (or, if you prefer, natural processes are being helped along), but not quickly enough.

The Pro-Deggers call on corporations and governments to live up to their promises. A corporation's sole responsibilities, we have heard time and time again, are to their stockholders' dividends and corporate profits. These were never long-term responsibilities. Quarterly profits and the Board's bonuses are always preferable to long-term planning for future resource management and a healthy customer base. Governments tell us that the only healthy economy is one that grows and grows and grows, regardless of the effects on the environment. Pro-Deg's position is that these organizations were right all along. They want everyone to get behind their governments and the multi-nationals that rule the human species, and spur on their continuing efforts to bring us to our natural fulfillment.

There are sections of the American public and the current Administration who believe that the End Time is coming fast, so we might as well live as fast and luxuriously as we can, because pretty soon the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will be coming down Main Street, doling out Paradise Passes to the righteous and death to all the rest. Rumor has it that most of the current administration's agenda is built around this premise, which explains a lot about economic, foreign, environmental and judicial policies. None of it matters-the End Time is coming!

So, the Pro-Deggers expect to see wide support from Republicans, from the President on down, their corporate sponsors, patriots and fundamentalists of all creeds. They also expect support from these and other anti-abortion activists. Since the concept of Pro-Deg is to consume as much of the planet's resources as quickly as possible, population must increase faster than it already is.

The Pro-Deggers call for the outlawing of birth control in any form, including abstinence and abortion. The goal is to increase population, with each person consuming as much as possible, hence the need for maximum birth-rate, something that Catholics and Fundamentalists and pro-lifers have long been working towards. Maximum birthrate will have many social implications. Since our primary value as humans is to keep our global economy growing through higher consumption, maximum birthrate will mean increased demand for goods, with corresponding profits for corporations. That will create a need for greater output and workforce.

With the maximum birthrate in effect, there will be plentiful supplies of labor willing to work for next to nothing. With the repeal of anti-slavery and anti-child-labor laws, and the enactment of laws requiring maximum procreation by everyone, the manufacturing sector will be able to consume vast resources in a very short time. Maximum birthrate may require mandatory consumption of fertility drugs. Imagine a bright American future in which the birth of sextuplets, which today is so loudly applauded by the press as the epitome of family values, will become the norm. With the proper education, a child will no longer simply mean one more future car on the road, it will mean maximum procreation, maximum consumption and maximum degradation-all three natural, God-given functions of the human being.

Environmentalists will get behind Pro-Deg, too. If they truly want to save the planet, not just force it to put up with us for a couple more centuries, this is the only way to go. They can also take a much-needed rest, quit worrying so much and find out what it's like to be a true citizen of the Western world. Trade in the Volvo-buy a Ford Expedition! Buy two!

After all, even the most avid of ecologists cannot help but be destructive. Ever since we figured out how to light a fire, human presence has been making changes to the environment. Every bike, cup of green tea, every sheet of recycled paper, every fluorescent light bulb, every solar panel, every pair of organic cotton socks is the product of manufacturing that takes something from the earth, changes existing conditions somehow. It's time to admit we can't do anything about our human ways, so the best thing we can do for the planet is to get off it as soon as we can.

So, the tired environmentalists of the world are beginning to say, "O.K. we give up. You were right all along. Buy it, spray it, nuke it, say it- Pro-Deg is the planet's only hope!"


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