Utopia: Is Mass Sterilization the Answer to OverPopulation?
I’m watching Utopia, Season One Episode 5. A small band of unlikely heroes are chasing down a conspiracy. They have one of the badguys tied up to a chair and are asking him questions about a dubious new super-vaccine called Janus, created along with a flu-epidemic panic. The gang thinks the bad guys are trying to eliminate a certain race.
“We are now past 7 billion on this planet. When I was born it was a little over two. Food prices are rising, oil is ending, when our resources end in 20 years, given everything we know of our species, do you really think we’re going to just, share? Janus affects 90 to 90% of the human population, leaving only one in 20 fertile. We predict the population will plateau at 500 million in just over 100 years. By then, normal breeding rates should resume, but on a planet that will feel… empty.”
“You’re fucking insane.”
“You accuse us of being genocidal. Not acting is genocidal. 1/3 of the world’s farmland is now useless due to soil deprivation, and we keep producing more mouths to feed. What’s your solution to that, energy efficient light bulbs? Not to do something is to condemn billions of people to starvation and misery.”
The scary thing about Utopia, is that it all feels to probable. The world is in a dangerous place. There are too many people, and we’re still adding to population at an enormous rate. There will be a massive depletion of resources, including food, oil and water, in the next 20 years – our current lifestyles are unsustainable. What’s anybody doing about it? As far as we know, nothing. What’s probably going to happen? Violence, war, starvation, and lots of other terrible things.
The Religious response to all of this is that it’s God’s Will – symptoms of the coming apocalypse, and it doesn’t matter, because the world is ending anyway. What’s the Rational response? If you could join a government thinktank and decide for the entire human race, what would you do?
Personally I think a completely random, universal vaccine that sterilizes us for 100 years is a pretty good solution.
So does one of the main characters (Wilson, the “weird” one) who after listening to the speech, says… “Well, what he’s saying, isn’t it… right?”
The other two, “normal” characters are adamantly opposed. “Sterilize the human race? No, that’s not fucking right. We need to stop him, now!”
Here’s my hypothesis. The government is ALREADY doing this…. and this TV show is showing it to us, to make us more tolerant and understanding, so that we can see all sides of the issue, so that when it happens, we will say, “Oh Yeah, I saw a TV show about that once.”
What do you think? What’s the answer?
Derek Murphy is a writer and artist from Oregon, currently working on his PhD thesis on revolutionary literature while traveling the globe. He writes about comparative religion, popular culture and literary theory. If you’d like to hear about his upcoming projects or books, you can follow him on Twitter, join the Facebook page, or subscribe by RSS.