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Humanity has marked another milestone. We’ve not gone on to Mars or figured out how to create endless, cheap energy. Rather, our biologically programmed horniness has gotten us to 7 billion humans. If two’s company, 7 billion is most certainly a crowd.
And don’t act like you haven’t noticed. This time last century, we were only creeping up to the 2 billion mark. It was still the sort of world where, while crossing the Atlantic by steamer, you could strike up a conversation with a stranger and mention your buddy Mr. Vandergelder. ”Of the Yonkers, N.Y., Vandergelders?” the stranger would ask. ”Indeed,” you’d answer. With 1.whatever billion people, who needs Facebook?
Then again, if you were crossing the Atlantic in 1911 and rubbing elbows with the Vandergelders of Yonkers, you were probably doing better than most. It wasn’t a particularly good year for the working class.
Of the many tiny ironies of my life, at roughly the same time that we humans passed that 7 billion mark, I celebrated at a baby shower. A lesbian couple I adore are ”with child.” Certainly, this was no accidental birth. Among the guests, there were other lesbian couples with one child. Again, I doubt any were accidents. The last baby shower I attended was for a gay male couple who adopted. Now, it seems a second child may be on the way for the daddy duo, also adopted.
When I look at this crowded planet, I am relieved by these adoptions and single-child households. I know we can’t go cold turkey on reproduction, so I admire my gay peers who choose to be role models by being one-child families or by adopting a bunch.
I suspect, in M. Night Shyamalan style, these lesbians and gay men may be part of the natural cycle of things. In Shyamalan’s imagination, the planet protected itself from human infestation by having the foliage squirt us with suicide spray. Having construction crews blithely stepping off their skyscrapers, or groundskeepers lying in front of their moving lawn mowers, is rather inefficient. All those corpses, all that gore, would likely stir up a whole new slew of health problems for those who survived the onslaught of the trees, aka World War T, to borrow from Max Brooks.
Perhaps nature, with all of its intricate patterns, is somehow creating more gay people to stem growth. While the number of people Earth can sustain is debated, some say we’ve already passed that number. Certainly, there is a difference between maximum population and optimum population. So if nature is balancing things by producing more gay people who, as a population, would likely have fewer children than straight people, is that such a stretch?
Well, yes, it is. Nature is like the famed honey badger, ”It don’t give a shit.” Our fate is largely up to us. Think about that as we rocket toward 9 billion people sometime around 2040. And that’s a 2040 that will likely fall far short of moon bases and rocket cars. When Stanley Kubrick imagined Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey for the big screen in 1968, he gave us a Pan Am shuttle flying to a rotating hotel in space. That grand vision likely won’t even be happening by 2101.
Still, you lesbian moms and gay dads, you are obligated to be role models. As we see ever more friction over resources, as we face famines and dangerously evolving bacteria, you, gay parents, are the inspiration to your straight friends and neighbors considering parenthood. Teach them restraint. Teach them the nobility of adoption. Teach them how to throw a kick-ass baby shower. And, please, teach them to keep their kids off my lawn.