ScienceEarth Now Has 8 Billion Humans. This Man Wishes...

Earth Now Has 8 Billion Humans. This Man Wishes There Were None.

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“It was very good information for me that this sort of group existed, as a result of one normally, with this sort of philosophy, feels alone,” mentioned Mario Buenfil, 73, a water engineer in Mexico Metropolis who has been concerned with the motion for 20 years.

Nonetheless, the phrases “voluntary human extinction” usually elicit reactions of spluttering horror, and phrases like “eco-fascist” and “Malthusian” are sometimes lobbed on the group. John Seager, the president of Inhabitants Connection, a nonprofit that advocates inhabitants stabilization by means of voluntary means, likened it to a sideshow. But if the group’s provocative title and seemingly pugilistic stance recommend an embittered and even menacing founder, Mr. Knight appears something however.

Tall and delicate, Mr. Knight comes throughout as clear-eyed and considerate, like a mash-up of Invoice Nye and Fred Rogers. Whereas Mr. Knight could also be towards the creation of extra people, he exhibits nice compassion for those that exist already.

A highschool substitute trainer for many of his working life, Mr. Knight is fondly regarded by college students. He spends hours every Sunday morning choosing up litter from the close by essential highway. Throughout an interview, he paused to understand two juicy backyard spiders taking within the solar on gossamer webs spun between the hedges and garden chairs. The sight was a trigger for celebration, Mr. Knight mentioned, after so many critters had been killed throughout final yr’s warmth dome within the Pacific Northwest. A self-professed serial monogamist, he lives alone, however his girlfriend lives subsequent door, and is totally on board together with his trigger.

“He doesn’t have a large ego that he struts round with, he doesn’t attempt to argue with individuals,” mentioned Marv Ross, Mr. Knight’s former faculty roommate and a longtime good friend. “He was at all times about humor, to make it as enjoyable as attainable to get his message throughout, and I noticed him do it many instances. He’d deflect individuals getting upset with a joke or a smile.”

As a toddler rising up in a tolerant household in Oregon, Mr. Knight watched timber corporations chop down the state’s forests. After being drafted within the Military throughout the Vietnam Conflict (he served however by no means received deployed), he attended Oregon School of Schooling and joined the native chapter of Zero Inhabitants Progress, which cemented his resolve to not have kids. “It was at all times due to the ecology, due to the injury that people do to the surroundings,” he mentioned.

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