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Rotten666 1
Good. We could use less people.
Posted by Rotten666 on December 5, 2012 at 1:44 PM · Report this
Yeah, why is this bad news? Would you rather have the inevitable population collapse come through famine, disease and genocide?
Posted by MR M on December 5, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
Best news I've heard all day!
Posted by gnarly on December 5, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
I blame the bicyclists.
Posted by DOUG. on December 5, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
Bauhaus I 5
And with billions and billions that the Earth's eco-system can barely handle, this is bad news because....?
Posted by Bauhaus I on December 5, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
Maybe cell phones?
Posted by Jables on December 5, 2012 at 2:00 PM · Report this
No doubt the microcosm has decided there are too many damn human beings on this planet.
Posted by Rhizome on December 5, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
LogopolisMike 8
Yeah, yeah, everybody, sperm counts falling down is great news until two decades of human infertility have left society on the brink of collapse and Clive Owen is forced to help the last pregnant woman on Earth escape the chaos through a long tracking shot.
Posted by LogopolisMike on December 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM · Report this
Mattini 9
Interesting. The article lists eating foods low in saturated fat as one way to improve sperm count, so I wonder if the rise in obesity is related.
Posted by Mattini on December 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 10
I bet this is what happened to the bees.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on December 5, 2012 at 2:04 PM · Report this
Where are Clive Owen and Julianne Moore?
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on December 5, 2012 at 2:09 PM · Report this
Knat 13
I can only hope to be so afflicted.
Posted by Knat on December 5, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Fistique 14
Thank GOD.
Posted by Fistique on December 5, 2012 at 2:19 PM · Report this
Less sperm = more sex before pregnancy.

We're just getting sexier.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on December 5, 2012 at 2:21 PM · Report this
Pick1 16
Yeah...I'm pretty sure I've also hit peak sperm. It was last weekend

And it was just...just...everywhere.
Posted by Pick1 on December 5, 2012 at 2:21 PM · Report this
I blame free pornography.
Posted by tkc on December 5, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
rob! 18
If only I could cut down to one hand-job a day, or hold the line at two, or even three! But with the prospect of oblivion before me, I actually began to set new records for myself. Before meals. After meals. During meals. Jumping up from the dinner table, I tragically clutch at my belly—diarrhea! I cry, I have been stricken with diarrhea!—and once behind the locked bathroom door, slip over my head a pair of underpants that I have stolen from my sister's dresser and carry rolled in a handkerchief in my pocket. So galvanic is the effect of cotton panties against my mouth—so galvanic is the word "panties"—that the trajectory of my ejaculation reaches startling new heights: leaving my joint like a rocket it makes right for the light bulb overhead, where to my wonderment and horror, it hits and it hangs. Wildly in the first moment I cover my head, expecting an explosion of glass, a burst of flames—disaster, you see, is never far from my mind. Then quietly as I can I climb the radiator and remove the sizzling gob with a wad of toilet paper. I begin a scrupulous search of the shower curtain, the tub, the tile floor, the four tooth-brushes—God forbid!—and just as I am about to unlock the door, imagining I have covered my tracks, my heart lurches at the sight of what is hanging like snot to the toe of my shoe. I am the Raskolnikov of jerking off—the sticky evidence is everywhere!
(Portnoy's Complaint, in case anyone was wondering.)
Posted by rob! on December 5, 2012 at 2:46 PM · Report this
zivilisierter Wurm 19
@5: Unfortunately, this probably won't happen fast enough to stop the ecological collapse of our food systems - there's too much momentum. But it's nice to see that there is a certain symmetry to our depredations. Probably has something to do with all those estrogen-imitating hydrocarbons.
Posted by zivilisierter Wurm on December 5, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
dangerousgift 20
Children of Men was a really good movie
Posted by dangerousgift on December 5, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 22

he cant satisfy you with his little worm
but i can bust you out with my super sperm…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on December 5, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
I'll start worrying about it when homo sapiens makes the first category of the endangered species list. In the meantime, what @1 (rotten666), @2 (Mr. M), @3 (gnarly), @5 (Bauhaus I), @7 (Rhizome), and @14 (Fistique) said. Global warming, natural resource depletion, mass extinctions, slave wages, high housing costs, and general misery will all get better with significantly fewer people.
Posted by PCM on December 5, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
rob! 24
Also, it is far too simplistic to assume reduced fertility based on sperm quality.

For example, the abysmal reproduction of cheetahs seen for years in captivity was assumed to be due to their low sperm counts and high number of misshapen/low-motility sperm. But there was inadequate notice taken of other aspects of cheetah biology, to wit:

1. Cheetahs are solitary and come together only briefly for breeding in the wild. The constant presence of other animals nearby in captivity suppresses reproduction (visual, olfactory, and aural cues are all likely important, so isolation needs to be done carefully).

2. Females exert active mate choice and won't necessarily conceive if put with any old male, and it's probably sexist assumptions on the part of male researchers that obscured this fact for so long. A best-candidate pool should be chosen based on known genetic background to minimize the inbreeding coefficient, and then trial introductions carried out. If a female doesn't care for her chosen mate, you're pretty much S.O.L. without more-intensive assisted-reproduction technologies.

3. Estrus in females is largely cryptic, with few behavioral cues, so ongoing monitoring of hormonal cycles (non-invasively checked by analyzing metabolite levels in excreta) is needed to time introductions of prospective mates.

If these factors are given their due, captive reproduction dramatically improves, with no detectable improvement in sperm quality of the males involved.
Posted by rob! on December 5, 2012 at 3:43 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 25
I was going to say we're stressing our sperms away. But I think life has been much more stressful in the ancient past. Still, nature works in unexpected ways, sometimes. Maybe our balls are experiencing "global warming"!
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 5, 2012 at 3:50 PM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 26
Apparently the U.S. birth rate is at its lowest since the 1920's. I for one, love hearing the sound of children playing.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on December 5, 2012 at 4:04 PM · Report this
Paxlotl 27
Maybe it's because our balls can't keep up with our internet porn habits ;) I wonder if they had done this study in technologically undeveloped countries whether the results would have been the same.
Posted by Paxlotl on December 5, 2012 at 4:08 PM · Report this
sirkowski 28
You know, with a smaller population pool, we could pollute as much we want.
Posted by sirkowski on December 5, 2012 at 4:57 PM · Report this
I'm put in mind of deer hunting policies. Five does and five bucks gives you five fawns. Five does and one buck gives you five fawns. One doe and five bucks gives you one fawn.
Posted by Ben on December 5, 2012 at 5:37 PM · Report this
balderdash 30
It's bad news because:

1) Germ line cells are fairly sensitive, so it's a bit of a canary in the public health coal mine, and what other consequences the cause of the decline might be having are still unknown;

2) Whatever it is, it's unlikely to be affecting humans alone, which is bad news for conservation and agriculture alike; and

3) Do you really want to see more demand for fertility drugs, and therefore more fucking Octomoms? I don't.

@25, the periodic stress of ancestral human lifestyles was significantly different from the continuous, ubiquitous stress of modern life in a lot of ways. There could be a multitude of factors here. Take, for example, sleep: until the modern era, there wasn't much in the way of light pollution, sleep patterns tended to be a lot more natural, and people generally didn't chronically sleep-deprive themselves. Now we do, and we're starting to document a lot of negative health effects from it. The progression of civilization is an amazing thing, don't get me wrong, but the further we come socially and technologically, the more distance we put between our current lifestyles and the sort of life we actually evolved for, and the tension that creates has consequences that we have to learn to manage.
Posted by balderdash on December 5, 2012 at 6:51 PM · Report this

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