Les: How does the GLF differ from the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement?
G: While we support all voluntary efforts to make the Humans extinct, we do not exclude the involuntary route. At the rate that the Humans are killing the earth--and for all we know she may have already passed the point of no return--a decision to not reproduce, by itself, even if adopted immediately by every Human--as a result, say, of a new Gaia-worshipping religious movement--would be just too damn slow.
Les: What involuntary methods do you have in mind?
G: We support, for example, involuntary sterilization, but we would also welcome the escape of any new anti-Human viruses--such as the airborne version of AIDS that might result from AIDS research on mice. [Science 16 February 1992 p. 809]
Les: What about wars?
G: In the war of the Humans against the Earth--the only war we're concerned about--we take the side of the Earth, so we have no problem in principle with the Humans reducing their numbers by killing one another. It's an inefficient way of making the Humans extinct--every quarter of a million Humans killed represents only one day's growth of the Human population--but every little bit helps. Our only concern is that, in the process, the Humans do a lot of collateral damage to non-Human life, so we want them to confine themselves to hand-to-hand combat or, better yet, to the use of biological agents that kill only Humans.
Les: In practice, wouldn't involuntary human extinction take the form of genocide?
G: Well, sure, it might. You know what those Humans are like. But remember that the outcome might be the same if someone released a new virus without targeting a particular race--or even if a new virus popped up on its own--just because one race might be genetically more susceptible. Humans can be egalitarian, but nature isn't. And while it matters from the point of view of Human ethics whether a particular result was intended, it doesn't matter to the Earth. The taboo against genocide helps to protect the Humans from one another, so it's a good thing for them, but as soon as you stop seeing things from a Human point of view and adopt the viewpoint of the Earth--and it helps here to see Humans as having become a hostile alien species--things look rather different. If you want Humans to die out, is it so awful if some of them die out before the rest? Of course, if I knew that someone had targeted a particular race, I'd be happier knowing that that race was my own, because that's the one that's doing the most damage. But if it weren't, I wouldn't be unhappy, just less happy. As far is Earth is concerned, it would still be a good start.
Les: I can understand your position when viewing the planet from the Moon, but I have to disagree when I think about the death and suffering down here on the ground. Shouldn't all of us be allowed to live out our lives?
G: Why? It's self-indulgent for the breeders to insist on their "right" to have kids, but it's also self-indulgent for the rest of us to insist on our "right" to live out our allotted threescore and ten.
Les: So, why don't you just commit suicide?
G: If I merely believed in Human extinction, then of course, you'd be right. But, in my judgement, the good I'm doing by promoting the idea of Human extinction outweighs the harm I'm doing by staying alive.
Les: So you hope to live long before you die out.