Environmental talk


Very good talk, it’s nice to know that some people are actually confronting the issue and trying to do something about it. Interesting idea near the end for propagating awareness of the impact of climate change through personalized media, I wonder how effective this could be?


The REAL impact of global warming

Global warming hasn’t made THAT much of a difference yet, right? I mean, sure the weather seems slightly warmer than in years past, but we still have time to change before it gets catastrophic, no? NO. I would like to make people aware that global warming is in fact a delayed effect. We are now experiencing the effects of the greenhouse gas emissions which we pumped into the atmosphere about 20 years ago. We’ll be feeling the effects of the atrocities we’re committing now around the year 2032. Lets chew on that, shall we?

Reference: Ray, HAMMOND, “Le monde en 2030”, (consulted October 29, 2011), [online], http://www.rayhammond.com/Le%20Monde%202030.pdf (p. 26)

The role of the government in research

Note: This is a paper which I wrote a few months ago for my “Ethical issues in politics” class. I have since been revising my views and will (hopefully soon) post a new essay on the topic which will consider more the realistic consequences and feasibility of regulation. I thought that this would be interesting nonetheless – I’m especially interested in whether my views will change, and by how much.

Science has forever been plagued by naysayers who are afraid of us unlocking the secrets of the universe. In the past it has been branded as dangerous, blasphemous, and the devil’s work. The most obvious example for a North American would be the Catholic church, which has until recently labeled any scientific advancements which contradict God as “heresy”, and threatened and even killed many such lunatics. Galileo, for example, was condemned to lifelong house arrest on the charge of heresy for his belief that the Earth rotates around the sun. Our scientific prowess has grown exponentially since this archaic time. We now live in a so-called “enlightened” society. Science is generally considered as an essential and worthy endeavor, and it would be unimaginable for the church to stifle progress in such a way. Unfortunately, however, not all scientific discoveries merely increase our understanding of the universe, like Galileo’s mind-blowing (at the time) theories. The more our technological expertise increases, the more science has the power to be dangerous. The invention of the sword was a monumental achievement which had many detrimental moral implications at the time. Yet the invention of the gun brought with it a catastrophically larger amount of killing potential; the invention of the atom bomb literally blows both of these inventions away. Violent technologies aside, our leaps forward now put us on the brink of many advances which threaten many people’s strongest moral values. Information technology threatens our right to privacy. Genetic engineering raises issues about the morality of self-improvement. Genetic screening brings about the controversial topic of designer babies, and even of aborting babies who will be diseased. The list goes on and on. The implications are staggering. Perhaps, then, the church was right? It would be near impossible to argue in our day that progress should be stifled, but what about progress that all, or the general population at least considers to be morally abhorrent? Should scientific research be guided by moral considerations? Or is the ultimate goal the pursuit of knowledge, whatever its outcome? Most importantly, should the government be allowed to interfere with science?As I am writing this, I do not have any opinions on the matter; the ethical implications seem too important to draw any conclusions without careful research and thought. Let us first pick the brains of some of the leading theorists in the field.

We will start with Edward Teller, a Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is a physicist born in Hungary, and is chiefly known for his contributions to the first demonstration of thermonuclear energy. He says:

Today there is perceived to be a strong contradiction between the results of science and the requirements of morality; for instance, the application of science has led to the development of nuclear weapons, while international morality seems to demand that such results never be applied—and that research leading to them should be stopped.

He believes, however, that contradiction and uncertainty are good, since they lead to a deeper understanding. In 1949, he (indirectly) advised President Truman to continue work on the hydrogen bomb. He defends his decision in several ways. First of all, he has a “firm belief that the pursuit of knowledge and the expansion of human capabilities are intrinsically worthwhile”. He also was afraid of the Soviets achieving military superiority. He finally finds solace in a letter from four of his Russian colleagues. It says that since, for the first time in history, the most powerful weapons ever created were not used, they would become “instrument(s) of human experience, the means of great discoveries, the tool(s) of deep penetration into the secrets of Nature”.

Teller has some valid points. His claim that contradiction and uncertainty are good, is quite compelling – how are we supposed to fully understand the universe if we limit ourselves to “moralistic” research? His claim that the pursuit of knowledge is intrinsically worthwhile, however, begs the question: at what cost? It is true that now that the hydrogen bomb hasn’t been used, it has many potentially “good” applications, such as power generation, and ultimately, a greater understanding of the universe. But it would be foolish to think that the threat has passed. A hydrogen bomb still has the potential to destroy. His argument for military supremacy is to me the least compelling, since to me the creation of weapons is never justified. That, however, is a whole different debate.

Our next expert is Joseph Rotblat, who worked on the development of the atomic bomb before devoting the rest of his life to the abolition of nuclear weapons and peace, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Rotblat was much against Teller’s view that scientists aren’t responsible for the consequences of their research. He ended up working on the bomb because if “Hitler can have the bomb, then the only way in which we can prevent him from using it against us would be if we also had it”. He soon realized, however, that the Germans did not have the resources to make such a bomb, and that the Americans had less nobel goals. He argued that even if a scientist could not predict the applications of his work, he was still responsible of any consequences. However he believed that it was up to the conscience of the individual scientist, and not to the state to determine the direction of research, since regulation would be too difficult. He thus suggested a ‘Hippocratic Oath’ for scientists, and believed that ethics should be taught to all scientists. He also wished that, like in medical science, ethical committees would be set up to approve research proposals.

I agree that a scientist should bear the responsibility of direct consequences of his work. However, the inventor of the laser should not be held responsible for the creation of laser weaponry – this takes it too far. Roblat makes a very interesting point about government regulation; such policies might well be difficult to implement. Perhaps  an oath and ethical committees would ensure the morality of science, however this does not effectively counter Teller’s argument that science and morality must be separated in order to gain a complete understanding of the universe.

During my research, I have come across an article by David Koepsell which closely parallels the one which I am currently writing. He examines the claim that scientific research should proceed without limit since scientists merely unlock the secrets of the universe; it’s the politicians, technologists, and engineers who should be blamed for the unethical applications of scientific discoveries through technologies. He counters, however, that there have been many atrocities in the name of science before the application phase. This has led to the recent development of the “Belmont principles”, which are basically that people (including test subjects) must be treated with respect, the research must have some beneficial intentions behind it, and minorities must be justly treated. However these principles only really apply to bioethics, since other fields don’t require human test subjects. Koepsell argues that “Science proceeds not in a vacuum, but as a socially devised institution”. He therefore wishes for these principles to be expanded to include everyone who could be potentially affected by the research. He also recognizes the claim that many scientific pursuits are “dual-use”, which means that they have the potential to be harmful or helpful. His belief is that scientists should take moral responsibility for their own work, employing the formula L+P>R (L=likelihood of independent discovery and use, P= potential benefit from scientific investigation now, R=risk). He also supports institutional regulation, and is a proponent of the ethical training of scientists.

I believe that Koepsell’s claim that scientists need to be aware of their surroundings effectively counters Teller’s view that every avenue of science must be explored – Putting other’s in danger is a direct violation of our fundamental human rights, especially if it the potential benefits are minimal. I think that a combination of government regulation and ethical training is a good start, but is perhaps not enough.

It is perhaps fitting that the last expert who I will cite is Albert Einstein: the man who began the chain reaction of the atom bomb. In a letter dated October 1952, he discussed the moral obligation of scientists. He debates whether scientists should simply search for the truth, or if this truth should have a practical application. To him, the very essence of scientific research is an almost “religious attitude” towards the acquisition of knowledge – with or without practical purpose. He strongly believes that a “man of science” is a proud person who is distressed that his field of work has endangered humanity through weaponry. To him, the man of science is enslaved by the politicians who are in power due to scientific discoveries. He believes that the only way to ensure the survival of mankind is to abolish all weaponry. He concludes that if every man of science thinks critically, and applies his thinking, the dangers of science would be greatly reduced.

It follows from Einstein’s train of thought that he would not support any government regulation on science. He would, however, support ethical training, and perhaps Rotblat’s ‘Hippocratic Oath’ as well.

Now that the experts have laid their best arguments on the table, it becomes easier for me to come to a conclusion on this confounding problem. Einstein’s and Teller’s argument that the pursuit of knowledge should not be hindered is very convincing. However to me, Koepsell’s claim that scientists have a duty to respect the lives and the futures of all those affected by their research trumps all. I believe that every human has a right to live out their lives without mad-scientists enabling more ways for them to die. Therefore I support the government regulation of scientific research. I believe that institutions should be created to ensure that the interests of all humans are protected from future implications as well as present ones. I think that individual scientists should take responsibility for their work as well; Rotblat’s ‘Hippocratic Oath’ for scientists would be a big step towards this end. Ethical training would also be necessary to reinforce the necessity of taking into consideration fellow humans. These steps will lead us on the path to a morally acceptable future.

Edward Teller. Science and Morality.http://www.sciencemag.org/content/280/5367/1200.full
David Koepsell. On Genies and Bottles: Scientists’ Moral Responsibility
and Dangerous Technology R&D. Received: 12 February 2009 / Accepted: 21 July 2009 / Published online: 31 July 2009
Ó The Author(s) 2009. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com. Sci Eng Ethics (2010) 16:119–133
DOI 10.1007/s11948-009-9158-x
Martin Clifford Underwood. Joseph Rotblat and the Moral Responsibilities
of the Scientist. Received: 27 October 2008 / Accepted: 27 January 2009 / Published online: 27 February 2009
Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009. Sci Eng Ethics (2009) 15:129–134
DOI 10.1007/s11948-009-9117-6

PIllar Two

I had my share of fears as a child. This was due to the relationship between two occurrences: one, my mother imbued me with an incredible amount of empathy, and two, I was introduced to scary movies and literature. My poor young mind. If I saw a movie where someone got poisoned, I’d think “this could happen to me!”. This would happen with all types of murder, robbery, poisonous insects, and the like. At first my only defense against these imaginary foes was to be the imaginary hero, just like in the movies and books. I was constantly on my guard, checking behind me for people sneaking up on me, always looking and the ceiling and floor for insects or other hidden enemies which could be lying in wait. I’d lie in bed, trying be on guard as I fell asleep in case anyone would break in through my window. I even passed through many phases when I couldn’t drink anything before my mom had taste-tested it for me from the same glass which I was to drink out of (sorry mom I totally valued your life too).

If that sounds bad, it was far from the worst. I actually spent many years fighting mental spies. This generally occurred in the bath or the shower, when my mind had the most time to wander. It actually happened every single day when I’d wash my hair in the bath for a span of about 2-3 years. I’d play the same game. There were evil people who could hear my thoughts, and if they correctly guessed when I’d do things, I’d die. Every day I had to trick them as to the exact moment when I’d put shampoo in my hair, the moment when I’d stop rubbing. I’d make them think I stopped, and then rub once more. Sometimes I’d have to hide my thoughts from them; essentially I’d try and not think about what I was doing. Every once and a while I’d trick them by telling them exactly what I was going to do. It was madness. I knew it was. I knew it was the dumbest thing ever as I was doing it. This isn’t to say that I was terrified of washing my hair. I knew that if I was diligent I would win every time, because I was of course the best and smartest at everything. As I got older, I started to tell the evil people in my head exactly what I’d do every day to prove to myself that nothing would happen and they didn’t exist. More on that later.

As I was exposed to more and more media, I read and saw many sci-fi works, including The Matrix, and stories where aliens were the ancient gods, and where wormholes and alternate dimensions existed, like Star Trek. One particular movie which struck me was one which we watched during one of the joke days at the end of a year (probably grade 9) in High School, “The Truman Show”, which was about a man who gradually finds out that his life is a reality show. Unfortunately, the other kids hated it so much that we switched to another movie, and I never saw the end, but the movie marked me. Every time I came across one of these stories, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “why couldn’t this be true? Why couldn’t it be real?” And indeed to this day I can find no reason why we could not be living in the matrix, or my life couldn’t be a TV show. My paranoid mind of course got me thinking of other crazy ideas. Why couldn’t I be the only real person? Why couldn’t I be some lab rat and there were aliens testing my every reaction? I could write a blog just on my the ideas which I seriously considered, in-depth. I again grew paranoid – I didn’t want to be tricked about my existence! I imagined everyone in on the truth of life except for me, all laughing at me. I realized almost immediately that I knew NOTHING for a fact. It took me slightly longer to realize that there’s no point worrying about that. I’m limited by the senses and the knowledge given to me. It’s impossible for me to see or know anything beyond that. And even if it is possible, like in The Truman Show, looking for it and thinking about it would just ruin the enjoyment of the life that I have. And since these other possibilities of life are SO much less likely than the once which I can actually touch and feel and experience, I might as well accept it, and not worry myself with anything else. Of course this is impossible for me to do completely, and I often still think along this train of thought. But never seriously or for too long.

Then one day someone introduced to me the famous saying “I think therefore I am”. While I paid little attention to who said it or why, I decided immediately that It made perfect sense. I could not imagine a way in which I could think without existing, but I could imagine a way for everything else to be false, if I stretched my mind enough. But at the same time, I was sick of worrying about such things, and so my next theory of life was finalized: “Anything is possible. All I know for a fact is that I exist, but there’s no point worrying about that, because honestly, thats quite useless and dumb.” I have since used this theory/reprimand to yank my paranoia out of my skull. It is possible that there’s poison in my glass. For someone to kill me would be both so easy for them and so unlikely to occur that the only thing worrying about it could accomplish is to ruin my enjoyment of life. Yes I could be on some alien TV show, yes there could be people spying on my thoughts, but why bother? There’s no embarrassment living and enjoying life through the limited senses with which I was given.

It was two years ago when I finally came across Rene Descartes famous text in a class. I remember being completely shocked that someone else thought in the same way as me! I saw myself clearly in his reasoning for “I think, therefore I am”. However not all is similar. I reject his proof that God exists, since unfortunately Descartes had no concept of evolution. Nor do I agree that certain shapes, even triangles must exist, even in concept. I could imagine that my mind is so sick and uncoordinated that I could even misjudge the fact that all angles of a triangle must equal 180 degrees. I still greatly respect him and his ideas, however.

I feel as if what I have written makes me seem crazy, akin perhaps to some conspiracist or something. And yet it is these very thoughts which keep me sane, and give me the veil of normalcy. Anyways, what does normal even mean? Is it a state of being? Or more a collection of behaviors and ideas which people aren’t afraid to exhibit? Maybe everyone thinks like me, and just doesn’t share it. I cannot know, I do not know your minds like you now know mine. For you to decide.



Pillar One

Since as long as I can remember, from early childhood, I was always full of thoughts and questions to which my parents had no answer. The earliest example I can remember is one day (by my best guess I must have been 6 or 7) I asked my dad if he realized that every single tiny thing that we did, every single second changed the future forever. I remember following him around the house explaining my theory, most notably at the front entrance of our home when he let out some signal of incomprehension. My arguments went something like this (warning: this is VERY train of thought and is merely to provide insight, if you wish you may skip the following paragraph as I will restate it in more concise terms after):

“Every second, every little thing that changes, changes everything for ever! Like, for example, if you kill someone, no even an ant! If you step on an ant, that ant will no longer do what it was going to do next. Then all the other ants and all the other things won’t react to that ant. Maybe it won’t eat a blade of blade of grass, and another ant will 30 minutes later, and because of that a predator will see that ant and eat it, and it wont go looking for another ant, which means it’ll be home instead of being exposed to one of it’s predators, and so that predator will have to eat something else, which means that the person who would’ve seen it eat it’s meal didn’t… and then… crap what does that matter. WAIT, it works with thoughts too! Then the person who didn’t see the second predator devour its meal would have something different passing through his/her mind than if it did, and instead he might see another animal do something and say something to a friend, and those words might give the friend a revelation, and this friend might decide to be nicer to someone, or perhaps come up with some invention… don’t you see dad? Ever gust of wind, every single thought we have… like that thought! And that one! and everything that’s going through your mind right now will change the world forever!!”

Now I’m very sorry if you actually read all that, but I felt it important to present to you the way in which I first thought up this theory, even though I’m sure I slightly changed it to make a little more sense than my young mind could at the time. Now days I’d just say:

“Every single change in the world, down to every thought and every gust of wind, imparts miniscule changes that will in turn snowball and change the world forever.”

Of course you might well be thinking to yourself… “but thats just the butterfly effect!”. Well yes, yes it is. I was quite dismayed when I found out many years later (not that long ago actually) that my unique theory was in fact a well enough known postulation – there was even a Family Guy TV episode concerning it! (Back to the Pilot) This theory, of course, makes backwards time travel so ridiculous that it should never be attempted – I cringe and disapprove every time I see a tv show or movie with time travel in it. The only way in which I can see my theory being wrong is if, as some people think, our fates are predetermined. I would like to think however that there is absolutely no proof for this to be the case.

So how does this theory factor into my life? At first it consumed me – I’d think about it constantly and go through tons of sequences like the one I wrote above. I’d try to disprove it using what Albert Einstein would call “thought experiments”. It of course didn’t take me long to get weary of thinking like this. I soon came to the realization that this type of thinking, while technically correct, was both stupid and useless – a HUGE waste of time. Unfortunately, however, I cannot stop thinking in this manner to this day, although it is a lot less frequent. Every time I begin thinking in this manner, I must always remind myself “Ok Sam, you know where this goes already, you’ve already thought of this. It’s useless and stupid to think about it any more”.

Yet while the means may be ridiculous and stupid, it is the end which I’ve gleaned from it which helps me through everyday life. Because all that this means is that it’s impossible for anyone to tell what the future will bring, and what impact one’s decision will have. If I didn’t come to this conclusion, can you imagine the constant terror I would be in? Every single moment I would worry about what’s going through my mind, if I made the right decision – in fact I would probably be too terrified to decide anything! So in this sense no decisions actually really matter. 9/11 might have prevented the end of the world. Forgetting your son’s birthday might somehow save his life. So I can take some comfort whenever anything bad occurs. What DOES matter is the way in which we and other people perceive our decisions. And how this affects our happiness. Therefore I believe that I must make decisions as I see fit at the time – a decision is not right or wrong because of it’s impact, but because of the way I will feel about it, and by extension the way others perceive me because of it. In this manner I can simply try and make the right decision, and yet not worry too much about it’s impact.

To my friends: YES this is why I’m so indecisive about planning things sometimes! I feel like there’s too many variables and so if they all seem to have similar fun levels, I figure why decide when someone else who holds more importance on decisions can decide?

The Pillars of my Existence

It is of course during our childhood that we lay the foundation for who we shall become. The challenges we face and how we overcome them become the pillars of who we are as individuals. Throughout my life, there a few such pillars which are so intertwined into my being that I think about them every day, no matter how useless such an endeavor is. Throughout these texts I shall expose myself completely, in the hopes that some of you reading might see yourselves in my work.

The Unequivocal Answer to the Abortion Dilemma

When the heated topic of abortion was first brought to my attention in school, I didn’t know what to make of it. As someone who has complete empathy towards everyone and everything, including insects and my worst enemies throughout my life (I would never wish to do any lasting damage to anybody, no matter how they have treated me*), I naturally had complete empathy towards the baby. What an atrocious fate, to die before even being born! To not be able to experience life! As a person who thoroughly enjoys life, this is one of the worst possible crimes. My first reaction was pro life. Yet as the discussion continued, I began to realize the other side of the problem. To me, ruining a person’s life, especially one who enjoys said life, is just as atrocious as ending one before it experiences it. Which is worse? Never experiencing life, or experiencing a small portion only to have it brutally smashed against a a concrete wall by an unwanted child? I could not think of any way to choose, and so i came to an impasse. Not in the mood for heavy thinking, I decided to be undecided; I resolved to push the issue aside until a later date when I felt like using my brain. I forgot about abortion and lived my happy (not quite as much at the time: high school) life for a time.

The next time the topic of abortion was brought up to me, I realized that I must make up my mind somehow; the issue was too important, and my ego told me that I was smart enough to require having an answer to all the important issues of life. Unfortunately, however, there was no resolving my earlier conundrum. However I could see how varying other people’s opinions were, and how adamant they were about them. I realized that while I was unable to figure out my personal view on abortion, I should in no way have the right to impose any decision upon others. People should be free to choose for themselves. If anyone asked, I was pro choice. Uneasily content with myself, I went to bed that night with no answer to the horrifying question: what if I were to ever find myself in this situation? Again, I turned my attention onto other things (potentially on how to get girls, I was quite atrocious at that back then).

It is not until recently that I finally found the unequivocal answer which I had been searching for, but had long since given up hope of finding. It happened in bed, while contemplating how weird my train of thought must be, given how I have observed other people thinking. One of my key theories is that I can no one can ever predict the outcome of anything, since I believe** that every electron that moves changes the future forever (I was actually convinced that I was the inventor of this theory when I came up with it around the age of 7-8 (with worms not electrons of course) and was quite crushed when I realized many years later that it was a widely known postulation). I often think about this, as useless and tiresome an endeavor as it is – the only way i can sleep at night is by reasoning that since I can’t control anything I shouldn’t worry about it. That night, however, I linked it to abortion.

If someone has a child, it changes the future forever. Key to abortion, it alters the chances of another child being born. While one may choose to abort a baby for a plethora of reasons, the effect is the same. Having that child, no matter how altruistically-intended, will “kill” another child by not allowing it to be born. Since every time a man ejaculates millions of sperm die, who is to say which baby (or which sperm) has more of a right to live?

The only case in which this is not true is if the woman never intends to have any (or any more) children. This means that a life is aborted without a life to replace it. This baby is a pure, innocent well of untapped potential. It has the potential to enjoy life, to make a difference, to change other people, just as much as it has the potential to (insert pessimistic comments here, I don’t wanna I’m an optimist). Yet even in this instance, we must not forget the parents (for simplicity I will assume parents from now on). If a person rationalizes the terrible decision of abortion, it follows that there’s a reason. This reason is logically that the baby will somehow ruin her/their lives. This essentially means that that any potential that they once had is lost, or at least put on hold; why should the parents throw away their potential/enjoyment of life for the potential enjoyment of another. While this argument may seem callous to those who consider ultimate devotion the their offspring to be the pinnacle of parenthood, I am by no means saying this to belittle people of such view. To me, making this parental sacrifice is one of the most incredible and beautiful gifts one can bestow upon another, and I would be extraordinarily selfish to think otherwise, as my own parents have time and again offered similar sacrifice, (as must all loving parents, of course). I’m simply saying that it would be wrong to force such sacrifice on someone: it would no longer be sacrifice. Having followed this train of thought, I fail to see how anyone could rationalize being pro life, as unfair as this is for all potential lives.

Quite content with myself for having finally resolved this quandary to standards which I deem acceptable, I proceeded to discuss my idea with a few people. I talked to people who were pro choice, but for very different reasons. Hoping to prove that my reasons were even more valid, I embarked upon long and fruitless discussions. I couldn’t seem to make the people in question understand my train of thought – the main reason for me taking the time to write this. Yet the arguments they presented brought more aspects to my attention (or perhaps I only began paying attention to them then). What about single mothers? Poor parents? Children who have very little chance of surviving? Worst of all, what if having a child would ruin the both the parents life and leave the child with little chance of survival? These are all worthwhile arguments for pro-choicers, which I believe complement what I have said above very nicely. Yet on their own, I don’t believe them to adequately refute pro-life arguments such as “everyone deserves a chance at life” and “who gives humans the right to control life and death?”. I’ve read too many fairy tales to reduce abortion to a numbers game. To me, the response to these arguments is unequivocally that no one can predict the consequences of our actions, and therefore such decisions are no longer “right and wrong”, but completely at the discretion of those who will be the most immediately affected by the decision: the parents.

*Recently I adjusted my views, and decided that people who would willingly cause permanent damage towards me do not deserve my empathy.

** Again, I don’t actually believe in anything, which is key to the way I think but I will discuss in a future paper – or perhaps it is better to leave it to René Descartes. The only difference between his and my views on this is that I don’t believe it’s worth it to worry about – it’s something to be aware of, yet since I can’t do anything about it, why bother worrying, since it will just ruin my enjoyment of life?

NOTE: Recently, one of my good friends brought a new idea to my attention. What if all mothers were forced to have their baby, and they’d just put them up for adoption after? This way the baby would retain it’s right to live, and the mother would only have to sacrifice 9 months of her life. However, this brings up a whole new set of problems. There are already way too many orphans in the world. There are way too many people in the world. According to the World Wildlife Fund, “humanity will be using two planets’ worth of natural resources by 2050¹. The baby’s right to live would interfere with everyone else’s right to live, by taking up natural resources. It may seem calloused to call a baby “a waste of resources”, and so I will not. To me, this idea falls just as much under the “population crises” category as the “abortion” category, and since it cannot be resolved without both, I will wait until I have thought more about, and most probably blogged about the population crises before coming to a conclusion about this alternative. Also, of note, as one of my female friends put it, everything does not go back to normal for the woman after.

1: http://www.forestfinance.de/WWF-Humanity-would-need-two-planets-to-survive.495.0.html?&L=1&ftu=fe5ad689d8