X-Message-Number: 22778
From: "John de Rivaz" <>
Subject: Pro-death letter in New Scientist -- uregent replies needed
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2003 17:46:45 -0000

The following appeared in New Scientist dated 8 November 2003, on page 32.

The magazine is unlikely to print a single reply, but if many people write
in, they are sure to print some of them. So please make what points you
consider apposite and email a letter to them as soon as possible. Do not
leave it a few days or it may lose impact.  Letters can be emailed to
 They prefer you to include you postal address, but
this is usually truncated to something like "London UK" in the publication.

It is important that each letter is different and written in people's own
words. But I have put some points at the end you may like to consider, but
ideally find angles of your own.

Cost of longevity
From Jo Spencely

The prospect of living alongside her children, grandchildren,
great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren might be "fantastic" for
Cynthia Kenyon, but would the rest of society and indeed the rest of the
world share her delight her long life (18 October, p 46)?

If food and wealth were redistributed, perhaps the planet could support
these extra two generations who insist on hanging around. But ignoring the
potential healthcare costs (Kenvon assures us150-year-olds will be healthy),
has she computed the impact of super-super-super-grans in terms of the
energy they and their cars will consume, the waste they will produce, and
the sheer living space they will take up?

Shouldn't we figure out an environmentally friendly way of feeding and
housing the current world population before self obsessed westerners start
doubling their lifespans?

Still, people might not be so quick to pop her pills after all. As she says,
society won't want to give pensions to go-year-olds who are "biologically
just like 40-year olds". Paced with having to work for a century or more,
those of us in the rat race might opt for three score years and ten with
something like relief.

London, UK


1. Do the rest of society and indeed the whole world benefit from many of
the other individuals that inhabit it whatever their age? If not why not
follow Jo Spencely's argument and exterminate them. Remember that only about
5%  of the world's workforce designs and manufactures useful articles, food,
medicines etc.

2. Does the consumption of resources, cars etc of any given individual not
in the 5%
benefit the rest of the world?

3. Should we abandon spending resources on medicine as a profession in order
to feed the starving?

4. The pension industry will adjust and is already starting to adjust. What
may happen is that people will acquire wealth in their younger years that
will able them to change to less well paid employment that is also more to
their liking,
and will be unwilling to be bossed about as to where to live, the hours they
work and so on. I can, of course, understand why a collectivist like
Spencely wouldn't like this. People in jobs they enjoy and actually being
with their lives and their health are not what such collectivists want at
all. What
Spencely wants is for people to be so miserable that they **want** to die at
years of age.

Sincerely, John de Rivaz:  http://John.deRivaz.com for websites including
Cryonics Europe, Longevity Report, The Venturists, Porthtowan, Alec Harley
Reeves - inventor, Arthur Bowker - potter, de Rivaz genealogy,  Nomad .. and

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