The current ways of civilization cannot be continued much longer, because the basic concepts of human existence are wrong and humanity has been destroying her community and her only habitat. This essay is an attempt to point out the fundamental errors that will lead to the destruction of the ecosystem and civilization and to show a way to a peaceful world, by clearly conceptualizing what many people seem to be feeling but unable to formulate.
Options for humanity
Humanity has a narrow window of time to choose a path for the future from two options. One is the continuation of the current ways. This will lead to further social conflicts, likely another global war, and probably to an end of civilization as we know it, if not to the end of Homo sapiens.
The other option is to adopt the ways of nature in concert with reason, logical thinking, and science to assure a peaceful future. The way will be long, tedious, arduous, and will require a profound change in the way man views his life.
Here I try to show this alternative way, assuming that humanity wishes to continue indefinite
evolution in a peaceful world. A basic requirement is that the human population be reduced but this is just one of the necessary measures. Humanity needs to understand, and correct, the cause of the current situation, namely, the lack of rational guiding principles, or constitution of humanity. Instead we have the following combination of irrationality, idealism, shortsightedness, egoism, brutality and ignorance:
– freedom of procreation,
– right to own whatever wealth one can acquire based on competition,
– promotion of consumption for economic growth,
– right to life for every human while animals and plants are viewed as consumable resources,
– idealized view of human nature that does not admit evil in the human mind,
– justification of killings and seizure of territory and properties by wining wars,
– perception of environment as a trash dump,
– disregard of the finiteness of space, resources, and capacities of the planetary systems,
– disregard of the principles of the biosphere,
– disregard of the conditions necessary for functional planetary systems.
Some people dispute climate change, either from ignorance or immediate self-interest. Though science can be difficult to understand, which is quite natural for most people, it should still be accepted as the pursuit of evidence and truth. Man can now manipulate photons, electrons, and atoms and simultaneously understand the size, structure, and functioning of the universe. Most people enjoy the results of science, but somehow, some people refuse to acknowledge the clarity science provides about the basic functioning of planetary systems and their services, on which man depends entirely for his life. It is time to correct the errors of humanity.
The most fundamental measure is the reduction of human population . The huge population is at the base of all problems such as poverty, exhaustion of resources, CO2 emission, accumulation of trash, conflicts, migrants and the need to create jobs. Reducing human population requires reducing fertility. The principle of the biosphere is a two-child limit, and the realities of our oversized population calls for even fewer, but this is against the current ideal of free procreation and will be difficult to realize. Another measure is to limit consumption and maintain healthy human habitats. This is against the current drive for economic growth and will be equally difficult, as discussed in the main article. Other measures include equity, individual rights and obligations, and the concept of a nation as a group of people, with common language, history, customs, values and beliefs, that lives basically on its own resources. Humanity needs to establish principles for peace and her evolution, not in the model of the survival of the fittest of wild animals and plants, but as a rational species.
Two obstacles to establishing such principles take form of groups of people I refer to as the Dons and Nobles. The Dons seem to be living only for today and for their ego, not even for the tomorrow of their children. And then there are the Nobles or idealists. So many people have been brainwashed and some of what the idealists say are hard to refute, however shortsighted and irrational they may be if the whole is considered. I hold onto hope for the awakening of the minions and common people. Most people, I think, would be happy to live through life repeating organized tranquil routine days, caring for their children, accepting the finiteness, marveling at the wonders that nature and science continue to reveal, and performing due shares in the community. But they are powerless as the Dons and the Nobles have erased this possibility by making rules for their advantage and by promoting consumption and procreation. On one hand they talk of human rights and equality and on the other they show off their wealth and ostensive consumption for the world to see, including those dying of hunger. The natural result is the anger and hatred we see in the world.
Ways to a peaceful civilization
Humanity needs to sort out the current confusion and establish basic principles of human existence. This cannot be accomplished by nuclear weapons or border control. Reason, logical thinking, and science –attributes that distinguish man from other animals– can guide this process.
Constitution of humanity
The following framework for peace can be the foundation of the constitution.
Framework for peace
- The Earth is finite in space, resources and capacity of its systems;
- Man is adapted to the current equilibrium in the systems of the Earth;
- A healthy biosphere is essential for equilibrium in the habitats for man;
- The biosphere is maintained by photosynthesis in plants;
- There is a limit to the size of the biosphere;
- An increase of human population means a reduction in the populations other species;
- Perturbations in the biosphere as well as in other systems could break the equilibrium;
- In a closed system the effective fertility rate of each species must be that of replacement;
- There cannot be human rights that lead to the destruction of the community;
- The concept of community needs to include all humanity and the biosphere;
- Ultimately man will have to live with renewable resources;
- The principles of economy need to be modified;
- Equity requires a limit to personal wealth;
- The meaning of life must be found in something other than procreation or consumption;
- All ideals cannot be realized;
- Some new rationality needs to be added to the rules of community;
- Evolutionary success of Homo sapiens will be greater in a small permanent community;
- The Earth can support indefinitely an abundant lifestyle in a limited global civilization;
- Many wars were due to mismatches between available resources and human demands on them;
- Human population must be reduced. 
The necessary measures will be hard to accept for most people, as they have been conditioned for so long to accept that the current ways are all that are available. I maintain some hope that concerned people in the wide fields of science will come together in time and assure a peaceful future for humanity.
To learn more, read Yuji Ishiguro’s full article:
Fatal Errors of Humanity.
1. Jack Alpert, Overpopulation Means Civilization Collapse.
2. Yuji Ishiguro, One-Billion World, Booklink Publicações Ltd, Rio de Janeiro, 2010.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Yuji Ishiguro received a BS in Physics from Tokyo-Kyoiku University and worked at the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute. He won a Fulbright Travel Grant and went on to conduct PhD studies in Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University. He was a graduate professor at IPEN in Sao Paulo and then a research scientist at IEAv until retirement in 2009. His concern about human population began in his early teenage years.