Tag Archives: population


The Zeitgeister going to Mars

We have been exploring beyond the Earth’s surface for more than half a century.  We have sent spacecraft to near and distant planetary objects.  And man has travelled to the moon.  It seems logical that the next place beyond Earth’s orbit to explore is our neighbouring planet, Mars.

And although the non-profit foundation based in the Netherlands, Mars One has faced some public scrutiny for its methods in establishing a permanent human settlement on Mars, they have succeeded in bringing some very important questions to the focus of public attention, and some very inspirational and thoughtful people to the general public. One of those people, Natalie Lawler, a 38-year-old healthy, intelligent and positively energetic woman who supports The Zeitgeist Movement, has volunteered for this courageous one-way mission. Natalie has been selected as a top-100 candidate in the mission.

natalie lawler

The next stage of the selection process will reduce that number to twenty-four candidates who will receive formal, full-time training for the next decade before the first planned manned mission departs. We asked Natalie to share a little about herself, her enthusiasm for space exploration, and why she supports the Zeitgeist Movement.


When did you first hear about The Zeitgeist Movement?

I was introduced to the first two Zeitgeist films in 2010 and attended the official screening of Zeitgeist Moving Forward in Lygon St, Melbourne in 2011.  Since moving to Brisbane in 2013 I have been an active member of the Brisbane chapter.


How did you hear about the Mars One program? 

I first read about Mars One in 2013 on a science website and thought that it may be a hoax.  After doing some research I found that Mars One has some prominent ambassadors and advisers. I then volunteered for the one way mission.


What made you decided to volunteer?

If we imagine the 4 ½ billion years of Earth’s history compressed into a 24 hour day, humans emerge 1 minute and 17 seconds before midnight. Archaeological evidence suggest our place of origin was Sub-Saharan Africa and that we dispersed from Africa over the past 100,000 years.  We have been exploring the planet ever since.  And now we find ourselves here, in this fraction of Earth’s history, where our curiosity and nature to explore makes leaving Earth to live on another planet a very near reality.

We can chose not to stand around and say….why didn’t someone go, because we are someone!  We have the knowledge and the resources to become a multi planetary species now.  And I put myself forward to help make it happen.


What do you think the benefits of going to Mars will be? 

Search for life; We apparently have microbes on Earth that can withstand vacuum pressure, freezing temperatures and even survive when bombarded with radiation.  Yet conditions on Earth don’t require them to sustain this.  Could life have started on Mars and spread to Earth after an asteroid impact, or is it just inevitable given the right conditions?  Are we all descendants of Martians, or could we find new life forms that don’t share our DNA? Discoveries await, including the very real possibility of finding life on Mars.


Technological advancement; Many technologies used on Earth were first pioneered in space exploration. Technological knowledge generated for a Mars mission, would yield many innovations that could benefit the public.


Inspiration; People remember seeing the first steps on the Moon but very few got excited about the landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover.  Humans on Mars will inspire generations of young learners to invest in the knowledge of science and the wonder of space.


Sustainability; Mars One aims to be self-sustainable by producing oxygen and water, recycling all waste, using solar energy and growing food.  It will however take significant time to create an entire supply chain on Mars to become sustainable – but if we can prove we can live on Mars sustainability perhaps it’s possible to live sustainably on Earth too.


Unity; A famous quote by an air Force pilot who flew aboard a space shuttle mission reads; “The first day or so we all pointed to our countries. The third or fourth day we were pointing to our continents. By the fifth day, we were aware of only one Earth.”  Perhaps it won’t be until we leave Earth to settle on another planet that humanity can come together and see ourselves as one.


Understanding; We aren’t separate from each other as we were all formed from stars.  We are part of our universe yet we know very little about it.  What sort of value can you put on gaining a better understanding of the Universe?  Robotic missions have shown that Mars has characteristics and history similar to Earth.  When humans read the history of the rocks on Mars, and build on the knowledge, we may discover far more than we even want to about future of our home planet.


Destiny; Mars has a solar day a little over 24 hours.  It has polar ice caps and an axial tilt giving it seasons.  It has mountains and canyons, volcanoes, and evidence of ancient rivers and lakes. We know it has water, critical for life.  Whilst it is cold it is far more liveable than Venus and there is enough sunlight to power solar panels.  Gravity on Mars is 38% that of Earth which is predicted to be sufficient for the human body to be able to adapt to.  Since the Apollo program we have been dreaming of the next giant leap and our neighbouring planet awaits.


What are your beliefs?

I don’t normally accept or have confidence in something without scientific evidence. I believe in current scientific findings or consensus’ until new evidence is presented and tested.  Do I believe in gravity?  Yes.  Do I believe in Unicorns?  No.   But I may change my belief that Unicorns don’t exist if you can present me some proof.

The theory of God cannot be tested.  Scientists can’t prove a god doesn’t exist and religion can’t prove that it does.  I accept the power and value of logic and rational consideration of evidence in forming the belief that supernatural beings, including God, don’t exist.


Do you follow a vegan diet and if so why?

When I eat something I ask myself three things;

1) Is it good for me?

2) Is it good for the planet?

3) Is it good for the animal?

I don’t eat meat, eggs or dairy products because I cannot answer “Yes” to all three questions.

Take a piece of bacon;

1) Is it good for me?  There is enough scientific evidence for the World Health Organization to classify processed meat (including bacon) as a human carcinogen ― in the same category as tobacco and asbestos.

2) Is it good for the planet?  A large amount of energy and water goes into raising pigs.  Then there is the production and distribution of the bacon that also adds to the carbon footprint along with environmental pollution from piggeries.

3)  Is it good for the animal?  Piggeries I have visited were inhumane.  Pregnant sows were locked up in tiny stalls to breed the bacon that people eat.  The pigs never got to see daylight.  And I believe an animal shouldn’t have to die just so I can have a snack.


What Zeitgeist principles do you want to take to Mars?

The sort of home Mars may become will depend upon the first settlers and I would like to influence that and implement decision making models based on minimal opposition voting rather than majority rules and ensure that any economy that develops is a Resource Based Economy.


What legacy do you hope to leave behind in doing this?

I don’t aspire to leave a legacy.  This mission is not about any individual.  It is about all humanity taking the next step in our evolution.



Snipping the evolutionary line

Way back when I was 20, I didn’t like the idea of having kids. I wondered if that feeling would change. In my late 20s I realised it never would, although as I get older it’s been refined down a bit to not making kids of my own or being around those children too young to talk to. It’s when they start talking and asking questions that I take an interest; most adults have given up on asking “why” years ago. Whether crushed out of them by their education or ground down by a dull relentless job, the curiosity is gone. Not so with children, they can ask why 100 times in a row if you have the patience for it. Usually after I have coffee.

With a world crammed to breaking point with the seething hordes of an endlessly expanding human population, why would anybody in their right mind want to make more? With so many children needing adoption on a global level why the surplus?
We accepted that it’s much better to adopt a dog from a shelter than breed our own dogs or find a breeder, and the uptake shows. But we seem to have an innate need to produce more of ourselves. It makes evolutionary sense , but in this modern century it doesn’t make logical sense.

adoptions decline 2014-dogs-adopted-rehomed-released_live-605x530px
Not that I wouldn’t mind a clone. Perhaps not a whole clone, maybe just the lungs and liver of one.

What is the cultural reason we all seem to want children and want to encourage others (especially our offspring) to have children? Is it really as simple as our children’s toys we had when we are young or are there forces at work on adults? The tax rebates and welfare available for Australians certainly encourages a lot of people to have more children where it would have been outside their budget to do otherwise.

My doctor has known me over 10 years. He knows I have no children and didn’t so much as raise an eyebrow when I asked for a referral. The receptionist at the clinic’s first question was if I had spoke to them previously. Her second was more poignant: do you already have children? As if that’s a requirement. It’s not: if you do 3 counselling sessions or pre-freeze some future kids. There’s no rules about dumping the semen-sicle later, so it works out a little cheaper. But Counselling is more suited to those of us who love a chat. Notice how there is no counselling sessions for anyone that WANTS kids. It’s as much a decision with permanent implications as choosing to never be able to have them. So why not?

Today I made the booking. It’s not like the process was not started already. My only regret was having to wait almost a year due to my wanting to fly on a week I had off last year. Wearing a paragliding harness was not the kind of thing one can do 3 days after a vasectomy.

So my package turned up in the mail. The usual disclaimer forms (it has some minor risks including a 1 in 80 chance it doesn’t work now, and a 1 in 500 it doesn’t work somewhere years from now). The 1 in 80 can be circumvented via a test 12 weeks after surgery. Its always a possibility that I have 3 tubes not the usual 2, and the easiest way to see is the follow up test.

Interesting things I will have to do now include not taking my vitamins, eating Panadol (acetaminophen) before surgery and buying myself some tighty-whities. My boys are used to roaming free but they will need a house to recover in…. its been over 20 years since I wore anything but boxer shorts.

See how some other people think about having children:

For Simone Alin, an oceanographer focusing on ocean acidification at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle,
Alin’s frank discussion of the looming oceanic apocalypse is perhaps a product of studying unfathomable change every day. But four years ago, the birth of her twins “heightened the whole issue,” she says. “I was worried enough about these problems before having kids that I maybe wondered whether it was a good idea. Now, it just makes me feel crushed.”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-point-of-no-return-climate-change-nightmares-are-already-here-20150805#ixzz3iLMGvQww



I try to take care of myself and the planet when I can, but like all middle class westerners I’m constantly tempted to consume.

I pay more for food because I choose healthy food. As a single man I have a lot more control over what I eat and buy than I would if I had a family to feed. The lack of sugar and carbs in my diet has the added benefit of being low in calories while making me feel very full. I had a similar diet back in 1999, but I was skinny then and lost too much weight. In my thirties now, I have switched back to it because I now have the weight to lose. I am a vegetarian again, and the amount I pay for food is about the same as when I did eat sugar and meat. It’s because I eat less calories that it costs the same. But it’s hard as an almost live-alone human to be bothered to cook for myself sometimes; after all I’m the only one who is going to appreciate it. Add in my reduced healthcare and it starts to look cheap. The last check-up at the doctor had the doctor sit back and say “whoa”. At first I was worried before he informed me that my blood pressure and resting heart rate was “about the expected numbers for a rather fit 25 year old man”. Your diet determines your health, even the Australian cancer council agrees that your diet is the greatest factor in determining your future cancer risk. Sure the fried chip smell spilling out of a MacDonald’s smells good, but thinking about how I feel after eating it is enough to put me off eating it. It helps to unplug your aerial and stop watching TV. Best of luck to you all, because sugar is harder to quit than cocaine. Growing livestock is one of our largest sources of the greenhouse gas methane 1, as well as our biggest user or arable land that was once forested wilderness with biodiversity. So after everything went “grain fed” I went back to being a “lactovegeterian”, while I enjoy the food I do hate the name “lactovegerterian”. I hope somebody comes up with a better one.

But all this still did not seem like enough of an effort or statement about what I think of the earth and our place in it. There was still one more thing to do….

Science will never be complete. It is the method of expanding knowledge that accepts that we can never know everything yet should still strive to do so.

So it’s earth overshoot day. The day of the year that estimates when we have used up as many resources and made as much pollution as the earth can withstand in a whole year. The rest of the year is borrowed time. I prefer to think in terms of “population overshoot day” if no babies were born between March and December, the earth wouldn’t be so overpopulated. So every baby born after , say, the first of March would be an overshoot baby, and more than the earth could carry.

Bought my first briefs in 20 years today. The cheap ones because they only have to last a week. Especially if I turn them inside out….;)

Then I grew up and slowly but surely came to the conclusion that EVERY human being is bad/evil in one way or another. BUT, luckily there are ways of trying to distant oneself from the rest of the wicked hoard, two of them is adapting a vegan “lifestyle” and becoming an anti-natalist. And that reminds me of something I have to say. Thinking that humanity sucks, and that life is meaningless and bad (which it is) doesn’t mean that you’re free to impose suffering and violence upon anyone (neither human or non-human people) just because you don’t give a shit any more. If you see the truth, you should try putting it to good use instead; go vegan, don’t breed, be nice.”
– Vegangster

The consent forms are signed, the preparations are made. But I am still very nervous.

image4I would rather let a stranger cut my balls with a knife than have a kid. Literally . But the night before any surgery is always a nervous wait. I suspect this is going to be a lot more painful than grommets, and have wider implications. But I woke my friend up out of bed to sign the waiver (and print it too). Hopefully he can give me a lift home tomorrow, but taxi will work fine too if I can still figure out stairs and locks at that time. It’s an exciting time but to be honest it’s also a fearful one. Kind of like jumping off a mountain in a para-glider , but not knowing where  you are going to land, and there is no hope of ever climbing that mountain again, or having to make weekly payments, feed, clothe, educate or explain why the world is in such a bad state to said mountain. Or cleaning the mountains nappy. Actually it’s not like paragliding at all.

Still having a disagreement with my 3d printer about what nylon does and doesn’t want to stick to, hopefully I’m asleep in bed soon. Hopefully it’s the last time I sleep as a fertile reproducer in a world of diminishing resources and freedoms, dooming my offspring to repeat the problems of my species past….

The only people I have told my plans to so far is my doctor, the clinic, the pharmacist selling me codeine/panadol (acetaminophen) and my 55 year old friend signing as witness. I don’t expect it to come as a shock to my friends, it’s my family who might be a bit surprised though.

Doctor: what made you make this final decision?

Me: the state of the planet, it’s not improving and the last thing it needs is more little people, especially ones like me.

Doctor: what is your current method of contraception?

Me: involuntary abstinence.

Now I’m just minutes away. Time to get into the surgical gown. I am nervous and excited, I hope the doctor isn’t having an off day…. Here we go…

Phew! All done. Now I’m home, head full of ether, tighty-whities full of frozen peas. I have now removed myself from the gene pool and am towelling dry on the proverbial sun chairs.

Apparently my “unusually large” scrotum made it easier. Gotta be good for something.

I even got to watch on the big TV. That sort of thing fondles my curiosity, where others just cringe at the thought.

It was almost painless, just 2 pin pricks and the pressure when the tubes were flushed out.

In fact the most painful part so far is the bill. $1,400 just for the surgery, along with all the other associated expenses and time off work I can see this will end up costing almost $2,000 in total. It’s a high end clinic and there are much cheaper places with simpler operations charging just a few hundred, but like I told my doctor: sometimes when it’s critical irreplaceable equipment you want repaired or modified it pays not to go with the cheapest quote.

image5Fun fact: The sister clinic near Nimbin in northern New South Wales very rarely processes credit cards because ~everyone~ pays in cash. It’s a bit suspicious if you think about it.

So now it’s the day after and I can finally remove the cold pack and have a shower like a normal person. I can’t go anywhere because I can’t stand comfortably for more than 2 minutes and I certainly can’t do any sudden movements that might make me jiggle. so I’ve been taking this downtime to sign up to tinder. Everybody else has already.

Finding partners with no children who don’t want them is a bit hard, but it’s getting easier:


The last steps left to do are to :

7) wear firm fitting cotton underwear day and night for 10 days

8) after dressing is removed, have as much protected sex as possible until you have done your 12 week sperm test and have received final clearance from us.

While it won’t solve all our problems, I’m very happy to not be adding to the problems of this planet, but there’s always more I can do.

Until then, I’m going to keep working on tinder. After all, it’s doctor’s orders, baby.

IMG_1929 - Copy

I thought a vasectomy would stop my wife from falling pregnant again, instead it just changed the colour of the baby…

Girls don’t have the Cohunas to get a vasectomy…

I could have written a few more testicle puns, but I don’t think it would have made a vas deferens…


  1. http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/science/greenhouse-gases/agricultural-greenhouse-gases/methane-emissions
  2. http://www.rspca.org.au/facts/annual-statistics/dogs
  3. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/16/world/international-adoption-main-story-decline/