Stepping out of the car I flinched involuntarily at the open sky above me. For a second I felt the air escape my lungs and a sickening suffocating feeling. I pushed it down. I was on Earth, with its breathable atmosphere. I had spent two years here as a young diplomat and toured many of the planet’s wild spots, yet the phobia of being out in the open never left. I took a deep breath and moved towards the building, ignoring the towering seawall holding the ocean out of the city.
Huge throngs lined my path into the UN building. My “hosts” were not being very hospitable. I knew there were other ways in that would let me avoid the gauntlet, but they wanted me to see the anger. I cursed them under my breath. I saw but ignored the signs with X-ed out swastikas. I ignored the screams of “Hitler” and “Nazi”. I understood they were upset with my message, but it was their own fault. I am a humanitarian, it was them that had caused suffering. I was the good guy here.
In the Martian ambassador’s office waiting for the General Assembly, I thought back at my time I had spent on Earth as part of the Embassy.
The waste, the waste, the waste was all I could think about. There was so much waste. Back home I had, as a citizen of Mars, the allotted 3.25 square meters of personal space plus a further 20 square meters of communal space I shared with seven others. I had my 1500 calories of foodstuff daily. The High Density High Calorie Food-pacs took a minimal amount of space and resources to grow and manufacture. The amount of energy need to sustain my life was minimal. I used less than 5 liters of water daily. Everything was recycled. Not a pictogram was unaccounted for. On Earth, though, I can’t even begin to estimate how much they used. I would guess the average was more than one hundred fold the space and energy.
And the natural places? Sure, there were some places that were still covered in vegetation, where animals still roamed, but humanity could always be seen. Tour buses and private vehicals were seen at the most remote locations. And most of the ground between was either heavy population centers or dead. I recalled the stinking dead oceans. The barren grounds that were once forests and then farmed lands and then finally wastelands. The pollution everywhere. Debris littering every landscape. Unbreathable air. The filth.
It had to stop.
It was time so I got up and strode to the Assembly Hall, more resolute than ever. I was right, I was the humanitarian here.
The audience was hostile, but I knew I could handle them.
“As the elected leader of Hesperia, the most populous region of the most populous planet in the Solar System, baring this planet, I have been chosen to represent the 31 billion people that make up what you insultingly call ‘The Colonies’, that is the people of three planets, 180 moons, 1,356 asteroids and dwarf planets and over 943,000 independent, self-enclosed states.
“Per the decree of 2182, the Earth was to be depopulated and kept as a Humanity Heritage spot. The main article stated that the population was to be reduced to a sustainable six billion by 2400. That year has come and gone and yet the population has never dipped below 15 billion. In fact, in the last 75 years since the mass-migrations ended it has grown again to almost 20 billion. The people who are supposed to be stewards of our home world have instead been destroying it.
“You must reduce your population to six billion in the next decade or, in the name of humanity we will reduce it for you. There is no longer room for anybody else on the off worlds. Do you have the resources to create new colonies? I doubt it. Almost every chunk of rock in the solar system larger than a cubic kilometer has been used already. What are your plans for reducing the surplus population?”
The amount of hostility I faced was remarkable, but they knew they were impotent. A large armory was in orbit around their planet while they had no weapons that could reach us. And they knew about the so called “Doomsday Bug”, an artificial virus that had less than a 20% survival rate.
The mob that met me on my way to the car was even bigger than when I came in. I don’t know why they took it so personal, just because I thought all of them should die. It is for the sake of humanity. Aren’t we all ready and willing to give up our lives for the sake of humanity? The people of Mars knew their place and would never disobey the slightest pronouncement, why did these fools resist and not do their duty to humanity?
Something hit me. Momentarily frightened for my life I recognized the gelatinous matter that was spattered on me. Although we didn’t have them off planet, I that that it was an egg of an animal called a chicken.
What a waste of resources. All of it.