This Poem is a Shocker!

November 25th, 2015

This is the second column of “population poetry”. Thanks to poet Thomas Rain Crow, here is “Overpopulation

From OVER  Human-Tide-


People and Trees
© Yann Arthus-Bertrand /, used with permission

“One of the great challenges today is the population explosion. unless we are able to tackle this issue effectively we will be confronted with the problem of the natural resources being inadequate for all the human beings on this earth. . . . the only choice—limited number . . . happy life . . . meaningful life. too many . . . miserable life and always bullying one another, exploiting one another.”
—His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The image and quote are from the book
“Overdevelopment Overpopulation Overshoot”.
“OVER” is available for purchase, or you can view it and request free copies to use in your population activism at:

for Lawrence Ferlinghetti

copyright Thomas Rain Crow, used with permission

I hear it coming. I hear the sound of the trains. Trains rolling into town. Into the station. Into the aurora borealis of the dark. I can hear it coming. Coming like thunder through a pouring rain. All Aboard!… Coming from the dining rooms of the rich, coming from the ghetto of the poorer than poor, coming from the Horn of Africa and the burning rain forests of Brazil, from the streets of Harlem and Calcutta, from the hills of Honduras and the city of Ho Chi Minh, from the ash of Eastern Europe and the fishboats of Vietnam, from the freeways of Los Angeles and sandstorms of Cairo, coming…. Coming at 300,000 a day, coming 100,000,000 a year, coming to 5,000,000,000 by 1986, coming to 7,600,000,000 by 2015, coming to 11,000,000,000 by 2100. All Aboard!… At 250,000,000 at the time of  Christ. At 500,000,000 when Columbus reached the New World. At 1,000,000,000 by the Declaration of Independence. At 2,000,000,000 by the time of the bomb. At 5,000,000,000 with men on the moon. Coming to America. Coming to Russia. Coming to Japan. Coming to China. Coming to Brazil. Coming to Africa. Coming. Coming. Coming. Coming…. Overpopulation. Overpopulation. Overpopulation. Too many people. Not enough  space. Too many people. Not enough space. Not enough space. Not enough space. Too much sex. Not enough sense. Too many people. Not enough space. Too many babies. Not enough food. Too many babies. Not enough space. 300,000 a day. 100,000,000 a year. Too many people. Not enough space. Population explosion. Population bomb. Overpopulation. (Women with only seven years of school have 3.9 children. Women with no schooling have 6.9 children. Less than 10% of married couples using condoms and pills.) Women have control of the world. Women have the world by the balls: No sex! No sex! No sex! Overpopulation. Too many people. Not enough space. Too many people. Not enough money. Too many people. Not enough jobs. Too many people. Not enough space. Too much sex. Not enough sense. Too many people. Not enough space– Overpopulation. Overpopulation. Overpopulation. Population explosion. Population bomb. Too many people. Not enough space. Too many people. Not enough food. Too many people. Not enough time. I can hear them coming. Coming like trains. Coming like thunder through the rains… Overpopulation. Overpopulation. Overpopulation. Population bomb. Bomb. Bomb. Bomb. Bomb. Babies begging to be born. Cities and sex. Cities and sex. Cities and sex. Sex in the cities causing too many people. Too many people causing too many problems. Too many people: not enough space. Too many people: not enough food. Too many people: not enough money. People. Pollution. People-pollution. Air pollution. Water pollution. Mind pollution. Money pollution. Moral pollution. Heart attack. Heart attack. Heart attack. Nicotine. Nicotine. Nicotine. Caffeine. Caffeine. Caffeine. Cocaine. Cocaine. Cocaine. Crack. Crack. Crack. Alcohol. Alcohol. Alcohol. Divorce. Divorce. Divorce. Violence. Violence. Violence. Murder. Murder. Murder. Starvation. Starvation. Starvation. AIDS. AIDS. AIDS. Denial. Denial. Denial. Denial bomb. Population bomb. Big bomb. Bigger bomb. Bigger bomb. Bigger bomb. Biggest bomb. Boom bomb. Boom bomb. Boom bomb… Bomb of nation. Bomb of war. Bomb of rich. And bomb of poor.  Bomb of smart. And bomb of dumb. Bomb of all. And bomb of some. Bomb of Sodom. Bomb of Baal. Bomb of Krishna. Bomb of Paul. Bomb of Christ. And bomb of hope. Bomb of Ishtar. Bomb of Pope. Bomb of Buddha. Bomb of Nod. Bomb of Satan. Bomb of God. Big population bomb. Big overpopulation bomb. Big bomb. Baby bomb. Boom bomb. Boom bomb. Boom bomb…. Abort! Abort! Abort!… Abort all the isms. Abort all the lies. Abort the mind-pirates who never ask “why?” Abort those who hoard money. And those that grow greed. Abort those among us that plant death and not seed. Abort all the racists. Abort all the wars. Abort the non-feelers. Abort the mind-whores. Abort what they tell us, is good for the group. Abort all the dogma that is nothing but poop. Overpopulation. Overpopulation. Overpopulation. Too many people. Not enough space. Too many people hung up on their race. Too many people. Not enough space. Too many people carrying mace. People living by sex as matter of course. Contemplating scrotum instead of the Source. Too many people with genital brains. By 2010 become history’s stains. Too many people just saving face. Moving about at too fast a pace. Too many people with not enough rest. Too many people not at their best. Too many people climbing up walls. Too many people with too many balls. Too many people alone in the dark. Too many people who can’t hear the lark. Too many people too far from the dove. Too many people hard up for love. Too many people who are ready to fight. Too many people who can’t see the light. Too many people on a little round Earth. Too many people and too much damn birth. Too many people who see forest for trees. Too many people too busy like bees. Too many people who should look to the past. Too many people whose look may be last. Too many people, too fast and too soon. In the next millennium will live on the moon. Too many people that don’t care about place. Too many people: the next human race. Too many people will wake up with the Dawn. Too many people with the human race, gone… And all that is left will be only remains. Of 10,000,000,000 nightmares and 10,000,000,000 pains. With nothing but wind as it blows through the trees. And nothing but God there down on his knees. Down on his knees there alone in the rain. Asking forgiveness and waiting for trains.

Population Poetry 1

November 13th, 2015




Image courtesy of Karina McLeod and the Caselberg Trust

Population Poetry

            For years I have known that what I write is too intellectual, too wordy, too preachy. I have sought poetry on aspects of human population, and finally found a few poems worth sharing. Please read slowly and meditate. With thanks to Karen Shragg and Roger Martin, who both gave permission for me to use their work. More poetry next month!


Eve and the Fall
by Roger Martin
In ancient Africa, the Lord of Earth,
The Gaia, keeper of the sacred flame
Of life upon this favoured speck of dust,
Spoke to the ape-girl, Lucy, in a dream.
“You have done well. That brain is growing fast.
Time to become a human. Listen hard,
And tell the others, and the ones to come.
Throughout this Eden I have given you
You shall be matriarch of beasts undreamt.
They’ll live a life of eagles, always fed,
And see all things, and roam the earth and sky,
And read the seas and stars, and want for nought,
Provided that they follow this command.
Already you can feed of plants and flesh,
And only two fruits grow beyond your reach.
Both now I give you. But remember this:
You must eat both together, or else none.
The tree of Knowledge has the sweetest fruit;
The fruit of Wisdom’s bitter, green and hard.
But if you gorge upon the first alone,
Without the second fruit to balance it,
Your offspring shall be locusts in the spring.
They’ll breed, and swarm, and feed, till, numberless,
They’ve stripped the land of everything that grows,
And, Earth once made a desert, die in heaps.
That brain will free you from my disciplines
Of claw and dearth and sickness for a time.
Control your numbers only, now you can,
And Earth shall always be your Paradise.”
And Lucy, awe-struck, grunted in her sleep;
And half-awoke, and jabbered to her mate,
And told him all that lingered from the dream.
“We’ll eat the fruit of Knowledge, and we’ll live
Like eagles, and like locusts numberless.

The Earth is ours.”

Working Upstream
by Karen I. Shragg
Tick Tick Tick
Every second, the sound
Of new passengers
Added to the spaceship
Long past being able to sustain them
Work at the problem’s source
Where the stream begins at just a trickle
Tick Tick Tick
It takes courage to work upstream
And stay there
When the world is pushing us
Further down
To focus on cures
Instead of causes
At results
Instead of actions
Tick Tick Tick
It takes wisdom to know
That all will be futile
If we don’t work at the source
That’s where the possibility of success lives
And where social justice resides
Tick Tick Tick
Don’t let them tell you
You don’t have a heart because
You work upstream
Like the Wizard had to show the Tinman
Those who work upstream
have always had the biggest heart of all.

©Richard Grossman, MD 2015

PS: Karen Shragg is also the author of a new book: “Move Upstream–A Call to Solve Overpopulation”




Contraception Saves Lives and Money

October 4th, 2015

I suggest going to an article in the Washington Post that not only compliments this column, but also has an excellent graphic showing the effectiveness of the Colorado experiment. Here’s the link:

Can you think of any state-funded program that can save seven dollars for every dollar spent? Voluntary family planning programs for teens and young women offer that wide a margin of benefit!

Indeed, family planning can do much more than just save money. It has the ability to change the prospects for people, especially young women. By allowing people to postpone parenthood, they have the opportunity to mature emotionally, complete their education and improve job skills. An experiment, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative (subsidized by a generous grant) has shown the benefit of making effective contraception available to all women.

OK, I have to admit, women bear an unjust proportion of responsibility for family planning. That is the way it is now; I hope that the future will hold more in the way of birth control for men other than just condoms and vasectomy.

An anonymous donor (reported to be the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation) gave money to fund contraception for women who otherwise couldn’t afford it. This program started in 2009 and finished this summer. It paid about $5 million each year for more than 36,000 women to receive contraceptive information, services and supplies.

Fortunately, during this interval the need for funding decreased because the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) picked up perhaps 25,000 Colorado women who didn’t have prior coverage. Unfortunately there are still many people who don’t have any insurance coverage and cannot afford contraception. They are especially unable to pay for Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) methods that are so effective, but have an initial cost of about $1000. LARCs include four IntraUterine Devices (IUDs) and one hormonal implant.

In the long run, LARCs are actually less expensive than less reliable methods if you look at the monthly cost over their lifespan of 3 to 10 years. DepoProvera® is almost as effective, but this shot has to be administered every three months, so requires more action on the user’s part.

How did this program save money? If they had gotten pregnant, many of these women would have been on Medicaid or other state-supported programs. Their children would also likely be on taxpayer-funded programs, including children of undocumented women who are citizens as soon as they are born in the USA. The estimate of the amount of money the grant saved just for obstetrical services is $79 million.

The most important savings is in the decrease in the teen pregnancy rate. It is true that all over the country fewer teens became pregnant during the past few years, so not all of the decrease in our state is due to the Initiative. However, Colorado’s teen pregnancy rate dropped an outstanding 40% from 2009 to 2013, largely because of this Initiative.

No one is in favor of unintended pregnancies. This Initiative illustrates what we have known all along: the best way to prevent abortion is with good contraception—and this has been proven over the past 5 years. From 2009 to 2013 the abortion rate for Colorado teens fell 42%, and for women aged 20 to 24 it also dropped significantly.

Good things come to an end, and the Initiative’s grant ended in July. Don Coram, a Republican state representative from Montrose, tried to garner support to continue the program—but unfortunately failed. In stepped private foundations to assure that funding is available.

So far 12 foundations have collaborated to pay $2 million during the next year to continue the Initiative. It remains to be seen whether this will be enough to provide services to all who need them, but it is hoped that more funding will follow. Optimistically the State Legislature will see that this program is saving money and empowering young women to become healthier, more productive citizens and will finally fund this program. And maybe then other states will then get on the bandwagon to follow Colorado’s lead by funding similar programs.

Dr. Eve Espey is chair of the department of OB-GYN in Albuquerque where I trained many years ago. Her paper “Feminism and the Moral Imperative for Contraception” documents the importance of contraception in the modern world. Not only does family planning provide social benefits to individuals and to their societies, but also it saves lives. Spacing the births of babies promotes healthier children and decreases infant deaths. “It is estimated that, in 2008,” she writes “44% (272,040) of maternal deaths were prevented in 172 developing countries owing to use of contraceptives….” Not only does contraception save money; globally it saves a quarter million women’s lives yearly!

© Richard Grossman MD, 2015

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States.