People Haters: Access To Birth Control Is A Fundamental Component Of Climate Survival

Because preventing people is the best way to save them?

Brad Johnson writes at Think Progress:

Manmade global warming is one of the most troubling symptoms of economic and social injustice around the planet, and the ”countries in the developing world least responsible for the growing emissions are likely to experience the heaviest impact of climate change, with women bearing the greatest toll.” Researchers have found that empowering women to reduce unplanned pregnancies is one of the most cost-effective ways to combat greenhouse pollution, as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson discussed at the Durban climate conference last December: “In addressing climate resilience, Robinson stressed the importance of focusing on health and burden impacts of climate change. One of the keys is access to reproductive health for women.”

Read Johnson’s entire inanity.

4 thoughts on “People Haters: Access To Birth Control Is A Fundamental Component Of Climate Survival”

    The current economic crisis signals the weakness of ageing populations
    – not exhaustion of resources and physical limits of the planet.

    A death wish has crept into the politics and behavior of the Western societies. Long in coming, it is not as brazen as “Viva la muerte!” the paradox shouted by fascist hooligans who disrupted an appeal for peace at the University of Salamanca, on the eve of the Spanish Civil War. Fascists also chanted “Muera la inteligencia!”, in admission of the state of their minds at the most august cultural center of Spain.
    A death wish is unnatural because it runs against the instinct of preservation of species, a primordial urge that drives all living creatures. Existence is a central theme of religious beliefs that exalt the work of men and women in bringing to life and raising the next generation. In the 1970s, the liberalization of the Western economies unleashed market forces that encouraged women to look for jobs, at a time when contraception and legalized abortion gave them control over birth. With the erosion of traditional values among secularized urban dwellers, the average Western couple started to have fewer than 2 children; in 1999 the number had fallen to 1.3. A second paycheck is a convenience for a couple, but should be balanced against the claims of raising kids, the long term demand that drives an economy.
    This is a far cry from the structure of European populations in 1900. Nurtured by the Industrial Revolution, European Union countries then represented 14% of world population, even while they sent a great flow of settlers to occupy the New World. The population of the UE is now 6% and tends to 4% of world total; Europeans are under threat of extinction by their life styles. They may have fewer mouths to feed, but also fewer and weaker arms to produce and create.
    Neglect of the young carries a grim foreboding. The median age of Greeks, Italians and Spaniards will rise above 50 years in 2050 – this means that one in three persons in these countries will be 65 years old or older. A 75% tax burden will have to be placed on the incomes of economically active adults, mainly to defray entitlements of the aged. Existing free health care, pensions and subsidies will ultimately end, be it for lack of people. Greece, Italy and Spain are now at the center of a Euro zone crisis because the Viva la Muerte culture is closing a full circle. Worse is coming to the Chinese, with their one child per couple policy. After the years of heady economic expansion are gone, the Chinese will face the same exhaustion dictated by the human life span, now faced by Europeans. The Japanese government estimates a one third reduction of population by 2060, when 40% of citizens will be of retirement age. If the trend continues until the end of this century, Japan will become a land inhabited by robots.
    The current misanthropic mood has intellectual roots in a London lecture more than two centuries ago, when Benjamin Franklin spoke about the American population, then growing at a rate of 3% a year. The number captured the mind of a Cambridge youth, Thomas Malthus, a divinity student and also a mathematician. With compound interest arithmetic he reckoned that population would double every 23.5 years; the number of people in successive periods would be proportional to the series: 1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128…. After two generations, four persons would contend for the food available to one person. Exponential growth would stop long before this because Malthus assumed that the land available for food production is fixed and that crop yields would not improve. He concluded that universal famine would be the lot of future generations. Nature would restore the balance in a catastrophic way, with war, hunger and disease, unless public policy contained the trend to overcrowding. Malthus’ book, Essay on the Principle of Population attracted attention in the first decades of the 19th century, but interest fell when its forecasts failed. In the Europe and North America, the Industrial Revolution brought increasing prosperity to support unprecedented growth of the population. The Essay ignores the vastness of the planet and the role of technology in the improvement of agricultural productivity and in shipping and preserving foodstuffs.
    Discredited by facts, Malthusian thought remained dormant until the 1960s. At that time, the enormous advances in medical science, the advent of antibiotics and control of disease with better sanitation, had combined to bring a world-wide drop of death rates, while birth rates were remained at the traditional levels, practiced to compensate for the early deaths of previous times. The uncommon growth of world population in middle of 20th century prompted the publication alarmist books of Malthusian persuasion. Population Bomb, of Paul Erlich, predicted hundreds of millions of deaths by hunger in Asia, and even the increase of mortality rates due to poor nutrition, in the 1980s, in the United States. The pessimistic perspective was amplified by another influential book, Limits to Growth, of which 12 million copies were distributed. Its message is that a limited planet cannot support unlimited growth. The book introduced the concept of a fixed stock of non renewable resources depleted at an alarming rate, in an analogy with the Malthus concept of limited food availability.
    The pessimists have three tenets they accept with an act of faith:
    • We are running out of space. World population already is excessive for a limited planet, and grows at exponential rates, tending to disastrous overpopulation.
    • We are running out of resources. Non-renewable resources of the planet are being depleted to support unneeded consumption, at rates that render further economic growth unsustainable.
    • We are running against time, as tipping points of irreversible climate change are reached. Carbon dioxide emissions by human activity cause global warming that will render the planet uninhabitable.
    Many adopt the three tenets uncritically, but belief has no role in dealing with measurable physical things. When matters are quantified, the difference between true and false stands out.
    Is excessive population a serious world problem? It may seem so to the dweller of a congested metropolis, living in discomfort, but is not something that can be generalized for the planet. The sum of the urban areas of the U.S. is equivalent to 2% of the area of the country, and 6% in densely populated countries such as England or Holland. And there is an abundance of green in urban areas. It is arguable that 7 billion people would live a comfortable urban life on 250 thousand square kilometers, the area of the State of Wyoming; that is less than 0.2% of a total terrestrial area of 148 million squared kilometers. Given 99.8% of free space, the idea of an overcrowded planet is exaggerated.
    Exponential growth ceased long ago. Demographic forecasts are uncertain, but most accepted ones of the UN foresee stability of world population, to be reached in the 21st century. According some, world population will start to decline at the end of the 21st century. An aging population is the current worry. With so much space available, it cannot be held that the world population is excessive or may become so.
    Mining companies are aware of how little is known about the content of the terrestrial crust and discard the notion of that it has a limited, measured and known stock, of minerals. The pessimists say that, ultimately, a limited planet cannot support limitless growth, and hold this as axiomatic. It can also be counter argued that, ultimately, there are no non-renewable resources, in a universe ruled by the Law of Conservation of Mass. Stated by Lavoisier in the 18th century it holds that “nothing it is created, nothing is lost, everything is transformed.” Human consumption never deducted one gram from the mass of the planet and, theoretically, all used materials can be recycled. Its feasibility depends on the availability of low cost energy. When fusion energy becomes operational, it will be available in unlimited quantities.
    The potential source of energy is deuterium, a hydrogen isotope found in water in a ratio of 0.03%. One cubic kilometer of sea water contains more energy than would be gotten with the combustion of all known reserves of oil in the world. Since the oceans contain 1400 million cubic kilometers of water it is safe to say that energy will last longer than the human species. Potable water need not be a limitation, as is sometimes said; new nanotube membranes promise to reduce the cost of energy for desalination to one tenth of its current cost. It would become viable to use desalinated water on coastal areas of the continents, an area on which much of the world population is settled.
    It may be argued that such technologies are not yet available, but no historical precedent supports the notion of that human ingenuity is gone and that technology will remain frozen forever at current levels.
    There is no scarcity of resources signaled by price increases. Since middle of the 19th century, a periodical, The Economist, has kept consistent and comparable records of the prices of commodities in real values; these have fallen for 150 years, thanks to technological progress. The decline has been benign. The cost of feeding of a human being was eight times higher in 1850 than it is today. In 1950, less than half of a world population of 2 billion had an adequate diet of more than 2000 calories per day, today, 80% has it, for a world population that tripled.

    There is no consensus regarding future climate change. It can be said that there is acceptance of Malthusian ideas by European governments worried over a global warming they attribute to carbon dioxide generated by industrial activity. They make forecasts for world climate decades ahead, with a certainty that reminds one of the precision of astronomical calculations. However, climate has a chaotic behavior, in the mathematical sense, and is therefore subject to high degree of uncertainty, that will not be diminished by advances in scientific knowledge. There is no climate science with forecasting power comparable to the one of astronomy and such power will never come into being. Until recent times, no university offered a B.Sc. in climate science. Climate studies resort to numerous different fields such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology, botany, zoology, paleontology, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics etc… fields with variable degrees of uncertainty, and compounded in climate studies.
    In studies where the science is uncertain, different hypotheses contend to establish relationships of cause and effect. If a hypothesis is hijacked by a commercial interest in support of its claims, the debate slides from the academic plane to the political plane, on which the gimmicks of propaganda and public relations are to be expected.
    The debate becomes polarized between political factions, each side with its own agenda. In climate matters, one side appeals to the authority of researchers in support of an anti-industrial agenda, admitted as painful, but necessary. The other side points to the lack of scientific basis for such a policy, qualified as suicidal. The clash of interests has transformed global warming into a journalistic and political phenomenon, not a physical one. Unfortunately, there are base motives in a campaign to vilify an Industrial Revolution that has, over two centuries, redeemed a large part of mankind from extreme misery. However, much of humanity still does not have access to electricity and suffers from all the ills of it. They only can be overcome by economic growth stimulated by increasing supply of cheap energy. An additional reason is that carbon dioxide is not toxic or a pollutant. Photosynthesis makes the gas a nutrient of plants that support the food chain of all living beings on the planet.
    In this issue it is fit to ask the question: Qui bono? Who gains? In its modern version, it recommends following the money trail to an interest behind a cause. Suspect is the haste with which restrictive measures are proposed to reduce fuel use, with the pretext that tipping points for disastrous climatic change are being reached. Politicians are in a hurry to use this unverifiable hypothesis to support special interests. These include: governments that need huge revenues and an excuse to tax fuels; manufacturers benefited by regulation in favor of one form of energy generation and against competitors; empire building bureaucrats who want ample controls over everything and every soul; research entities that seek funding. To the list of beneficiaries of the global warming cause one must add the big international banks that unleashed boom followed by bust.
    In 1985, banking was a staid activity that accounted for 16% of the profits of all companies in the U.S. In 2008, 40% of total profits were earned by banks, a clear measurement of the size of the speculative bubble. The subsequent banking crisis was precipitated by toxic mortgages packaged and sold by banks as “derivatives”, which did much damage to the legitimate economy of the world. Greater mischief was on the way. The banks had hoped to put into circulation huge and unlimited issues of a fictitious asset, the Carbon Credit securities. The Chicago Climate Exchange, an entity parallel to the Chicago Commodities Exchange, went broke and closed; the European Union Emission Trading Scheme is heading the same way amid a wave of fraud. The worse of gambling with carbon credits was stopped by the banking crisis.
    A cluster of interests supports the manmade global warming cause but empirical evidence and alternative explanations of climate change challenge them. Against the expectation raised by computer climate models, measurement has evidenced the stability or decline of global temperature since 1995. It had risen in the two previous decades, provoking a scare about unchecked global warming. Evidence shows that there are natural forces shaping the climate, that may have greater magnitude than the effect of the carbon dioxide, whatever its origin. These include the cyclical oscillations in oceanic currents and their temperatures, variations of solar activity and its effect on cloud cover. These natural cycles still are little understood but have demonstrable weight compared to the effect of manmade carbon dioxide. Moreover, mankind can do nothing for or against natural forces of this magnitude. Sensible public measures are welcome to mitigate the effect of the climatic changes, when they occur and whatever the cause.
    Alternative explanations of climate change are met with undue hostility. Politically motivated climate researchers who support manmade causes had minimized uncertainties, in a field rife with them, to give their forecasts an appearance of solidity, backed by unanimous opinion, with the refrain: The debate is over; the science is settled. The unethical conduct of researchers was disclosed in the scandal labeled Climategate. It cast doubt on the impartiality and trustworthiness of UN-IPCC studies by people clearly engaged in promoting their political agendas.
    An allegation of consensus of scientists does not make sense. In science, matters are never settled; there is always room for additional layers of knowledge provided by successful challenges to conventional wisdom. In the scientific mind there is no place for Magister Dixit, the master spoke, a reference to philosophers as final authorities to overcome scientific doubt. An argument from authority deserves rejoinder with the motto of the Royal Society, Nullius in Verba, according to which science rejects the word of authority above verifiable experimental evidence and logical reasoning,
    It is just to apply to the issue a principle of Roman law, In dubio pro reu, Justice must benefit the defendant where doubt exists, in this in case, the defendant is the maligned industrial economy.
    The forecasts of UN-IPCC are speculations that reflect the assumptions fed to the computer models in support of the cause of the sponsors. These computer simulations are too uncertain to furnish rational grounds for public policies to inhibit economic activity “to save the planet”.
    In support of such policies, stories of imminent disaster are told in the strident tones typical of the propaganda of totalitarian regimes to deceive masses. Their tactics were described by H. L. Mencken:
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    The propaganda machine quickly attributes to global warming anything that happens on the planet, such as: influenza pandemics; an earthquake in the Himalayas, a volcanic eruption in Iceland, the 2004 tsunami on the Indian Ocean; tribal wars in Africa; heat wave in Paris; plague of snails on the tiny Isle of Wight. In Australia: forest fires, sand storms in the dry season and floods in the rainy season. In North America: the last severe winters, the collapse of a bridge in Minnesota, the hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico. Evo Morales blames Americans for summer floods in Bolivia. Hugo Chaves thinks that capitalism killed an advanced civilization on Mars, with global warming. Fidel Castro says that earthquakes are induced by the current boom in gas and oil production of U.S. With friends like these, do environmental causes need enemies?
    In the opinion of the Professor Aaron Wildavsky, global warming is the mother of all environmental activism:
    “Warming (and warming alone), through its primary antidote of withdrawing carbon from production and consumption, is capable of realizing the environmentalist’s dream of an egalitarian society based on rejection of economic growth in favor of a smaller population’s eating lower on the food chain, consuming a lot less, and sharing a much lower level of resources much more equally.”
    This was the youthful fantasy of now elderly hippies, bound to extinction by their barren life style.
    When they are gone, Viva la vida! could become the motto of a hopeful world to be reached with a return to ancient truths that uphold the sanctity of life.

  2. Developing countries are the largest emitters of air pollution, and CO2 as well, because of their use of dung and wood for heating and cooking.

    People in those countries also preferentially produce more children, to make up for child mortality, and to provide compulsory labor on subsistence farms — which means birth control won’t work. These people actually *want* and *need* more babies. In their perennially desperate situation, birth control is counterproductive.

    But since when did the UN actually bother with the facts?

  3. Even the Govt. is admitting there’s no provable global warming, so there’s NO NEED to “limit” populations of the third world. If more Grameen-banks were set-up (–loans smaller{$100.00}, than even a “micro-loan”), birth control measures will be taken-up by the Grameen members, so a govt.-entity will NOT be needed. Poverty is a worse-threat than birth control. Grameen banks will solve BOTH poverty AND birth control issues,–all without govt. intrusion, and increased taxes for US, here, to “help” the third world, there.

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