A couple of years ago, I let my National Geographic subscription lapse because of the magazine’s relentless earth worship. But I missed the superb photos, crisp writing and mind boggling stats, so I started getting it again.
Boy, am I getting it. After perusing the May issue, I’m once again ashamed to be human. People, people, people! We’re carbonizing the clouds! We’re wrecking the coral reefs! We’re reducing the polar bear’s habitat to the size of a McDonald’s parking lot! We’re scooping sand off beaches to build more McDonald’s parking lots!
Worst of all, we keep having … children!
In virtually every feature except the cover piece on rope-free climbers at Yosemite’s El Capitan, the May issue of National Histrionic is packed with evidence of human perfidy.
The letters page is a cornucopia of alarm. A guy from Cupertino, Calif. chides the magazine for its January cover story about the earth’s population nearing 7 billion. Not enough hysteria: “I was thrilled when I saw that your lead article was focused on human population. … I was disturbed when I realized that the message of the article was: ‘Find out why you shouldn’t panic –at least, not yet.’”
A San Antonio woman asks, “Shouldn’t worldwide birth control programs be implemented before we destroy the planet?” A Richmond, Virginia woman gets to the nub: “The outcome is here; the future atrocity is predictable. This topic represents another aspect of the culture war between those who would live with self-serving spiritual myths that reinforce fertility and those who look at the systems of the world clearly and scientifically.”
Apparently, being in the latter camp means never having to radiate humility. And it means tossing aside Scriptural celebrations of human life (“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord.” – Psalm 127; and “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” – Gen. 1:26).
Of course, this includes proper stewardship of our environment (Adam’s first job). Instead of sound conservation, however, National Geographic’s relentless litany of human-generated threats smacks of Planned Parenthood in a pith helmet.
If you’re not paranoid at the thought of another baby being born with a mouth to feed, the magazine has a silhouette of a giant chicken to illustrate “the number of animals killed for food worldwide in 2009.”