According to Dr Reid, we must take radical steps to avoid an environmental apocalypse. Standards of living in the Western world will have to be cut drastically. The number of cars will have to be reduced to 10% of the current fleet. Water and meat will need to be rationed and private property rights curtailed.
But even this won't be enough to avoid turning our beautiful planet into a "Venusian hell".
According to Dr Reid we have to devise a way to achieve a large-scale and rapid decline in the earth's population. Dr Reid notes that war, pestilence and famine might kill large numbers, but he thinks only on a scale of tens of millions "which is not enough to solve the problem of over-populaton".
He suggests that a more effective and humane way to rid the world of large numbers of people might be:
to put something in the water, a virus that would be specific to the human reproductive system and would make a substantial proportion of the population infertile.
Perhaps a virus that would knock out the genes that produce certain hormones necessary for conception.
Which countries should be targeted first? Oddly enough, Dr Reid doesn't propose attacking those countries with the highest birth rates, but countries which already have a below replacement fertility rate. He suggests "fixing" the water supplies of the United Arab Emirates, the USA, Finland, Canada, Kuwait and Australia on the basis that these countries do the most environmental damage.
But if there were to be a drastic decline in the number of young people in these nations, how would the elderly be supported? Dr Reid has an answer. They wouldn't be. He states:
Societies will not be able to provide health care services needed to keep large numbers of unhealthy old people alive.
A triage approach will be necessary so that scarce medical resources go to those who can contribute most to the long-term viability of the planet. Consequently many middle-aged-to-elderly people will die uncomfortable deaths. Not every problem is soluble.
Finally, Dr Reid advocates the abandonment of traditional theistic religions:
The precepts of the Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam represent the quintessential perversion of the human mind. They must be abandoned and the notion of the sanctity of human life must be subjugated to the greater sanctity of all life on Earth.
What's to be made of all this? Dr Reid clearly has issues with traditional religion. Just as clearly, he wishes to substitute a commitment to "the planet" for these religions.
But a secular religion can be a dangerous thing. What is there in Dr Reid's secular earth religion to uphold a sense of the value of individual human life? What is there to place moral limits on how we serve the new earth god?
If you read the transcript of Dr Reid's speech you are struck by how readily his mind turns to darkly pessimistic scenarios of destruction, and by how coldly instrumental his solutions are.
Also striking is how Dr Reid's scientific humanism can be so un-progressive in recalling the crueller aspects of paganism, and so anti-human in degrading both the status and sanctity of human life.