Is it nuclear war, viral epidemic or azoospermia?

It’s been said that “Those who do not remember history are destined to relive it.” Today, the problem is that none of us seem to remember history, so we’re destined to relive it one way or another. So will our civilization end with a nuclear holocaust? A world-wide viral pandemic? Or, will it be due to azoospermia? Then, whatever happens, we can give our planet back to animals who deserve it more than humans. After all, they only kill to eat!

While I was in premedical training, rats taught me an important biological lesson. Place two rats in a cage and they enjoy the company. A few more keep them happy. But keep adding them, and they, like humans, start to kill one another. Later, during fish research in northern Canada, I learned another biological fact. A lake can only support so many fish. The rest begin to die.

The Doctor Game

So what’s happening to our human world? Every day 200,000 people are added to our planet. This is 140 people per minute, resulting in 70 million each year. This equals the combined population of California, Texas and Washington States! Anyone who believes this can go on much longer without a ghastly end is smoking too much marijuana.

A mathematical fact, exponential growth, should make your hair stand on end. It proves that the larger the population becomes, the faster it grows. Finally the growth rate becomes so rapid that the population growth line is vertical and disappears from the chart. Then it’s too late to debate population growth. It will be the end of civilization, one way or another.

So, before we cut down all the trees and start gasping for air due to a lack of oxygen, will a viral epidemic kill us? In April 2009, two children with flu were referred to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for further investigation. Researchers discovered a virus with a unique genetic makeup, different from any known human flu virus.

It was the beginning of the swine flu epidemic which spread around the world infecting millions and killing thousands. This new virus was a strain of the H1N1 virus, involved in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. It killed 30 to 50 million people. More than died in World War 1.

So, despite advances in the science of combating viral diseases, are we heading towards another pandemic due to a rogue virus? No one knows the answer. But scientific studies show a strong correlation between the risk of a pandemic and population growth.

It’s predicted that by mid-century there will be 9 billion people on our planet. By the year 2100 it will increase to 11 billion, a formula for disaster.

Then, consider what is happening to our finite natural resources. I recall sage advice from an elderly Indian who remarked, “If you pollute the land, the air and water, finally people will realize that you can’t eat dollar bills!” For the future scientists predict a huge battle for resources, particularly water.

So can humans stop this trend to eventual destruction? I’m normally optimistic, but not with this question. After all, do you believe that intelligent people, those who fight contraception, will ever change their minds?  Or, is it possible that world leaders will scrap nuclear weapons, rather than continuing to stock pile them? The history we’ve forgotten shows that human stupidity has not changed for 2,000 years. But there’s a slim chance that another biological fact could prevent our demise. It’s called, azoospermia, absence of sperm. Normally, male humans produce 100 million sperm daily. They have done so through the ages. But, in 1991 Danish researchers reported a shocking fact that sent many male Danes reaching for Prozac. Several studies around the world showed sperm counts had decreased by an astonishing 50 percent! One report even labelled Danish men as, “Little Princes of Denmark”!

So, isn’t it ironic that macho males may not be so macho in the future? And that azoospermia may delay, but not end, the destruction of our planet from human idiocy.

Any comments?

– W. Gifford-Jones MD

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