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.

Not so.

“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?

  • http://v1car.wordpress.com/ The Vicar

    Nah. I don’t think the government is sterilizing us. They aren’t smart enough to do that; the only way they would ever go for that would be to link the sterilization to race. I can completely see the U.S. government sterilizing everyone who wasn’t white, or the Chinese government sterilizing everyone who wasn’t asian, or any government in the middle east sterilizing anyone who wasn’t semitic. (Semitic, remember, includes both ethnic arabs and jews.)

    (In fact, the Israelis apparently already studied the question of whether it was possible to craft a biological weapon against the Palestinians. Fortunately for all concerned, it turned out that the Palestinians are genetically effectively identical to middle eastern Jews, so the project had to be abandoned.)

    No, what’s going to happen is that sooner or later, one of the biological weapons facilities which nobody is supposed to have by international treaty but which the U.S. in particular has in large numbers will have an employee who gets desperate and pops out some smallpox, or something worse, leading to mass deaths and chaos. This will not only be bad in itself, but it will come too late to prevent the environmental and humanitarian damage which the perpetrator was intending to avoid.

  • MadMarchHare3

    Well, when we have couples spending thousands of dollars on fertility treatments when we already have thousands of existing babies needing parents, you might say our priorities could be a little misplaced. Also, I think if the government were sterilizing people, that would just create a market for the fertile few to become baby machines and sell their offspring. One woman can have a dozen children, if not more, in their life if they make a marketable career out of it.

  • John


    You are not being very logical or realistic. Why haven’t you considered that the Judgement foretold in the religions might be over the resources, God coming to preserve His planet for an advanced civilization intended to last the five billion years remaining to us here? If you had any insight into spirit you would see the soul is not an overnight creation, therefore rebirth is reality. Then you’d know damnation would be a return to animal bodies of those souls who have displeased God by despoiling the resources. It puts a funny twist on Jesus’ promise of eternal life, since nobody asked about the quality of the life being offered. It puts a funny twist on many Christian hymns, like “shall we gather at the river,” which sounds like animals peaceful on a field. You call yourself a revolutionary, but without this level of logic in your mind, are you even real?

    • http://www.holyblasphemy.net Derek Murphy

      I’m pretty sure I’m real, but I can’t be positive. I’m also pretty sure I don’t know what you’re talking about or responding to… but thanks for engaging in dialogue anyway, even if it’s to share the certainty and rigidity of your beliefs.

      • John


        Thanks for the reply. You set a new mark for bestiality. You could only reply like this if you had absolutely no feeling of spirit. This is indeed the mind of a human being. I often muse about other humans that I know, that they are living proof that there can be no longing for cosmic or ecstatic consciousness, from the plane of the creatures.

        • http://www.holyblasphemy.net Derek Murphy

          I’m sad I made you feel that way, it was probably written in one of my lower moments. It’s easier to be cruel in writing… face to face I rarely speak my mind, and I’m much more sensitive to other people’s feelings. Online people just share their opinions and emotions unchecked. Cosmic ecstasy? I think that’s a mutually ambitious goal, I’ll try to be more polite from now on.

  • Nathan James Paulette

    Mass sterilization is a reality and I cannot say that I agree with it, although I do agree with the premise that at our current pace and given our lifestyle we will not be able to sustain the planet nor society itself. Throughout the 20th century, the powers that be be, if you will, and many of the most influential people at the time discussed the notion of overpopulation and what may be the results of such a scenario. People like Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburg, who was quoted (on more than one occasion) as saying, “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation.” Now a days, those people are actually producing solutions to this problem they are so worried about through eugenics and vaccinations. The Gates Foundation, headed by Bill Gates, has been active in this area, vaccinating young women around the globe in places like Africa and Asia with disastrous results for their chance of motherhood. I’ve read some of your blog posts and I agree with almost all of what you have to say (the review of the sorry excuse for a book The Harbinger being my favorite) but I have to disagree with you here and anyone else thinking that people secretively and behind closed doors making decisions for the rest of the population about such a problem is a fine and dandy proposition. We must be careful assuming that anyone else has our best interests at heart. We like to believe all people are inherently good but it doesn’t take a smart person very long to figure out this isn’t true. It may be idealistic, but the largest issue I have with such a scenario is that I don’t think it’s necessary. I do not believe the human race is operating at full potential. We could argue the reasons for this all day long, some may think it’s just the way it is and humans are stupid and lazy, but we see proof of the opposite all around us every day. Things could be different. I happened to believe that society is subtly guided and manipulated with things like the distribution of drugs throughout the country and the programming (operative word here) were subjected to through our television, as well as making sure our children are fat and dumb with awful education. If, and of course it’s a big IF here, we as a race were operating at full potential, creating smart cities operating off of clean energy sources that use light rails and other public transportation, efficient housing units available, cheap healthcare and education that is reliable and keeps people producing at maximum capability, and so much more, I believe personally that not only would we be able to sustain our current population but even more, and at some point in the future hopefully begin the journey that is our destiny – to travel the stars and colonize space. I could be wrong, but I just can’t believe this is the best we can do. It’s my personal belief that human will is the most powerful force in this reality and we can accomplish things we only dream of. We just need to get enough people to care and put forth the effort. If there’s a will, there is a way, my friend.

    • http://www.holyblasphemy.net Derek Murphy

      Wow, thanks for the info! I hope you’re right and we survive as a race.

      • Jon_Irenicus

        I found this after searching for conversations after finishing season 2 of utopia. Great show, ridiculous premise.

        Overpopulation is not a civilization damaging issue. The malthusians were WRONG about mass starvation. To the extent that we have any, it usually involves distribution issues, not a lack of capacity to produce enough food.

        If Norman Borlaug took the same attitude of some of the characters in the show, he’d have delighted at the prospect of millions in India dying of famine. Instead he started the green revolution and increased crop yields dramatically. Currently, we have GMO crops (that the conspiracy minded left hates) that are more drought resistant and durable in a wider range of climates.

        The greatest flaw of imagination of the malthusians is the presumption that adversity will be met by human civilization with a static response. The water rises to our necks and we will all just stand still until the water drowns us. No, that is a garbage assumption. Human civilizations will adapt, as they have always done. Population is ALREADY leveling off in developed and developing nations (in some birthrates are well below replacement levels). Know what accelerates that process? Getting more people wealthier faster, and they stop having 10 kids on their own.

        • oli

          You are right. Humans adapt. But why on earth should they knowingly create a depleted, polluted world that their offspring must adapt to? Maybe ask the guys in the Maldives how they plan to adapt once their island habitats are nothing but underwater reef systems. Is continuing to go forth and multiply fair to the offspring of 100 years time, having to adapt to that?!
          And what of the natural world. Are we here to coexist with it or simply to rape it for all it’s worth?I see that our role on the planet ought to be in line with protecting and nurturing it for it’s own sake besides that of our survival. You seem to be ok with us carrying on as we are, just as long as WE can adapt to the consequences?
          Finally on rich people having less kids….this is true…..but a big BUT….: Westerners each on average put out 50 times the carbon footprint of those from developing countries. Now I know that there are Africans breeding like it’s going out of fashion from their mud-huts, and one could point a finger of blame at them for this, like they’re wrecking the planet somehow….but they aren’t having 50 kids. And to equal our impact on the environment, that’s what they have to breed. 50 KIDS!
          And what happens with the super rich? It’s even sicker. I work on super yachts. The resources that get poured into these yachts is insane. I question myself for being a part of this everyday, even tho for me it’s a job, a lifeline.For them, 250 tonnes of non recyclable plastic made into a 20 million pound toy is the minimum you can get away with as a status symbol. Meanwhile plastic pollution is killing the oceans that these fat cat fuckers float around on. Getting richer and adapting is not the answer.
          We need a cap on the insane wealth that some people can have. Not cos I’m a lefty But because one person must not be allowed to burn 7 tonnes of diesel on a 2-day pleasure trip on his status symbol, before flying back to where he started – in his personal jet. Not in today’s situation.
          And yes we need a cap on population. The most eloquent person on this matter is Sir David Attenborugh. No-one has a more lucid and informed opinion that this guy. Anyone reading this who is sitting on the fence about overpopulation; please youtube David Attenborough who can paint this picture clearer to you all.

      • Jon_Irenicus
  • crayven

    The “answer” mr murphy is that our current society, way of living and economic system needs to be RADICALLY change.
    There are resources, there is water and there is energy and food for everyone, it is jut unequally distributed and worse of all, destroyed to create profits.
    I suggest you all who don’t want this bleak future to visit the Venus Project website and see if you like what they advocate instead.

    It’s not an utopia, but it’s the next best thing.

    • http://www.holyblasphemy.net Derek Murphy

      Thanks for your comments, I agree, and the Venus Project looks amazing. In fact I’ve just become a donor… in the future maybe I’ll sponsor a fundraiser.

  • Sean Tracy

    Start with Trumps children. Corporations will fight this cause they only care about year over year MONEY now. But we def. should do mass sterilization and not Shame people for not having children. They will most likely be happier.