Population and Pollution Bilge From Britain
September 17, 2009
Some day England will be thought of as the land of Geoffrey Chaucer, of William Shakespeare, of Thomas Tallis, of William Byrd, of Charles Dickens, of Evelyn Waugh, of P.G. Wodehouse, of Ralph Vaughn-Williams, of G.K. Chesterton, of P.D. James. For now, it is still the land of Thomas Malthus and of Charles Darwin and of such enterprises of The Enlightened as The Optimum Population Trust. Among the latter's supporters is the high priestess of the ape god, Jane Goodall.
The reverie of The Optimum Population Trust is to place checks on the human population in England and the rest of the world. OPT is making news these days because it recently funded a London School of Economics study that concludes that the way to lower carbon emissions is to reduce the number of human births through contraception and abortion. While OPT rejects the laying of heavy governmental hands on the birth-rate, it does add that state-funded contraception and aborting of unwanted pregnancies (unwanted by whom?) would be awfully nice.
Spending $220 billion over the next 40 years to prevent the births of half a billion people, OPT's study claims, would preserve We-the-Living from 34 billion tons of carbon dioxide and would cost less than fending off all that tonnage by building windmills and solar panels.(1)
Now all this sounds very smart and people who like to convince themselves that they're intelligent (and not like those moronic Christians) absorb it through their parrot ears, process it in their little parrot brains and squawk it through their parrot beaks.
For those who believe in human dignity and moreover dignity with divine purpose, this study brings to mind the words of Chesterton, a credit to the English race, who talked about "higher thought that is high, but not very thoughtful" and the Twentieth Century as being "The Age of Uncommon Nonsense."
Said age continues in the ninth year of Century Twenty-One. People who have advanced degrees and who are out of touch with reality are nothing new. Indeed they may be the common result of long-term schooling. Certainly they are the result of not questioning what they are taught. Most people who are educated just aren't smart enough to handle it.
In the various disciplines that have the natural world as their subject, it has been an axiom for the past 40 years or so that human beings are a disease of the planet Earth. How many times in watching "nature shows" have you heard the narrator use the phrase "the XXX's greatest enemy: Man"?
Such demonic hallucination is the sort of stuff that students of the environment or biology or other earth sciences are taught and learn without question. Such Satanic ideology takes flesh in such places as The Optimum Population Trust, in political parties and in foreign offices and in health departments.
Stop and consider a minute the proposition that a human being is a pollutant and only a pollutant, something to be prevented and, logically, to be eliminated if he hasn't been prevented. If you don't think that that's an absolutely sick concept, you must admit that it's a bit narrow. Balance it by reading that passage written by another credit to the English race, William Shakespeare wherein Hamlet, even though he's bummed, declares "What a piece of work is man etc."
Hand in hand with the idea that Man is a blight is the notion that Man is too many. Perhaps my father was quoting someone else, but I remember him saying back in the '70s that "People who think the world is overpopulated ride the train between Boston and Washington." Same goes for people who ride from Ealing to Epping.
To those of you who want to convince yourselves that you're smarter than the average Christian: do the smart thing. Question Malthus and Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb.
Let me help you question Thomas Malthus. He seems to have been the first ever to stir up widespread concern about overpopulation. Why? He was the 1800 version of those think-tank guys in Washington who justify corporate totalitarianism or Middle-East policy that mostly benefits oil companies or one state. His argument that populations outgrow the food supply came in handy for The Establishment. Malthus's ideas appealed to stingy, industrial-age Scrooges who were exactly like the character of Dickens (yet another credit to the English race), declaring that the poor were not their concern and had better "die and decrease the surplus population."
Two other interesting things about Malthus: 1) he quickly backed away from his teaching on the inevitability of starvation. I guess, a lot of people didn't catch that. 2) He was a Christian, a clergyman in fact, who was opposed to contraception as a means of preventing too many people.
If you want to be intelligent about the subject of overpopulation, go beyond Malthus and the axioms of secular education. Look at what's happening in some of the world's "overpopulated" places such as India. As India's population approached a billion in the 90s, there were calls to send in the birth control marines. Yet with its 10-figure headcount, India has joined the world's humming, high-wattage economic powerhouses.
Singapore is the second most densely populated country on earth; it is also the fifth wealthiest. Teeming Taiwan and Hong Kong are doing pretty well, too. Remember how we used to envy Japan's prosperity? Well, many Japanese were living in one-room apartments and sleeping in tubes at its zenith.
Human beings don't just sit there and starve. They use their ingenuity and adapt. And they help each other get along.
The coming problem of this century may not be overpopulation but underpopulation. Read Philip Longman's article "The Global Baby Bust" that was published in the May/June 2004 Foreign Affairs magazine. Even disciples of Bill Maher, Michael Moore and Robin Willams should be able to understand it.
Longman cites UN findings that the rate of world population growth has fallen by more than 40% since The Population Bomb was published and that the planet may be on the verge of a population decline. For one reason or another, women are bearing fewer children.
The beliefs that there is overpopulation, that it's undesirable and that it can be remedied by contraception and infanticide are among the causes of falling birth rates.
However limiting population results in population imbalances: a disproportionately high number of one sex. In PR China, thanks to abortion inflicted mostly on girls, there will be, in a couple decades, "too many" men and "not enough" women. The West faces a disproportionately high number of old people.
These imbalances can occur in a very short time, in one or two generations, as has been the case with the densely packed Republic of Singapore. In the 1960s, Singapore's government tried limiting births, however such a shortage of young Malysians threatened that the same government is now paying "baby bonuses" and encouraging immigration.
In the real world--as opposed to the dreamland of ideologues--old people need young people. The next brilliant idea from Optimum Population types will be to solve that problem by killing off a lot of the old people -- except Jane Goodall. However that won't change the fact that old folks need young ones to work and pay taxes, to keep structures and institutions of society maintained, to innovate and solve problems, to do the clearest thinking, to do work, to fight wars, to take care of the old when they can no longer take care of themselves.
And just for fun, after you've examined the facts, read a ripping and gripping yarn about this very subject. It's the novel The Children of Men (Forget the movie) by Baroness P.D. James, our last example of a credit to the English race.
(1) "When It Comes to Pollution, Less (Kids) May Be More," David A. Fahrenthold, The Washington Post, September 15, 2009