Portland environmentalist: Human extinction only way to save Earth

Jan 17, 2020, 5:18 PM

human extinction...

Les Knight believes that humans are destroying the Earth for all of the other creatures who inhabit it. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Environmentalists have many ideas for saving the Earth’s animals and plants from climate change, but Portland-based environmental advocate Les Knight has a unique view on what the solution is — human extinction.

Knight leads the Voluntary Human Extinction movement, which advocates for allowing the human race to die out so as to make room for all of the Earth’s other creatures.

“Everywhere that we have left has flourished … if we would leave areas for other species, then they do very well without us,” Knight said, pointing out that since humans had to leave Chernobyl, Ukraine due to the nuclear disaster, other animals such as bears have come back to the area.

It’s an idea that he has advocated for for decades, before climate change began to be seen in headlines. Knight had a vasectomy as a young man so that he personally would not contribute to population growth.

We are on a path to extinction, says former Microsoft exec

“We are causing the sixth great extinction — hundreds of thousands of species are going extinct because of us — and if we phase ourselves out voluntarily, we won’t go involuntarily in the great collapse that is bound to come,” he said.

Knight sees his own existence as a net loss for the planet. He believes that if humans no longer have babies, but rather die out slowly, then animals will be able to regain their habitats.

“Once we’re here, I don’t think checking out early is going to do much good — we may as well just live our lives out,” he said. “The difference is between creating another of us or just living our lives out.”

The human extinction movement’s slogan is, “May we live long and die out.” Having children does not prevent a person from joining the group.

“What we are doing, collectively, to the biosphere shows that we really do not appreciate it enough,” he said of humans.

He insists that his outlook is optimistic, solving a problem before it becomes a much worse one. And besides, he added, a slow human extinction could bring a benefit for traffic-weary Seattleites.

“Imagine, you could have a parking space wherever you went,” he said.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Dori Monson stage show...

MyNorthwest Staff

Watch: Dori Monson’s ‘What are the Odds?’ stage show

In 2019, Dori Monson hosted a stage show - 'What are the Odds?' - which introduced you to the people who helped shape his improbable career.

9 months ago

Dori Monson welcomes the Moose back to KIRO. Follow @

MyNorthwest Staff

A collection of the all-time best Dori Monson stories

With the passing of Dori Monson, a collection of some of his top stories to remember all the hard work Dori brought to Seattle.

9 months ago

Alaska, fishing...

KIRO Newsradio staff

Listen: Friends, colleagues offer tribute to KIRO Newsradio’s Dori Monson

All day Monday, KIRO Newsradio's John Curley talked to friends, news makers, and more in tribute to Dori Monson.

9 months ago

Dori Monson Shorecrest...

Dori Monson Show

How to support charities reflecting Dori Monson’s values, passions

In tribute to Dori Monson, learn more about how you can support these three charities which best reflect his values, passions, and advocacy.

9 months ago

Dori Monson Nicole Thompson...

MyNorthwest Staff

Broadcasters, politicians, coworkers and friends remember Dori Monson

Dori Monson, a longtime KIRO Newsradio host, passed away Saturday. He is remembered by public figures, broadcasters, coworkers, and listeners.

9 months ago

Dori Monson...

MyNorthwest Staff

Longtime KIRO Newsradio host Dori Monson dies at age 61

We are deeply saddened to announce Dori Monson's sudden passing on Saturday, December 31, 2022, at a Seattle hospital.

9 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Portland environmentalist: Human extinction only way to save Earth