The observant reader will realize that this article is biased from the start. I am living quite happily with a wonderful wife and children, faithful dog, beautiful walks in the countryside and enough cash for our needs. I mainly bought an electric car because it was incredibly cheap and technically amusing.So what disaster? I am quite old and can remember open fields where cities now lie and bright green leaves where the green leaves are now rather dark and dusty and the trees are topped with dead twigs. On the other hand if I were in my twenties I would definitely be excited about mining nickel or neodymium from S-Type asteroids. Despite any damage we have done, humanity is at the apogee of its power and potential.However, I do care about nature, culture and the English landscape.
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The observant reader will realize that this article is biased from the start. I am living quite happily with a wonderful wife and children, faithful dog, beautiful walks in the countryside and enough cash for our needs. I mainly bought an electric car because it was incredibly cheap and technically amusing.
So what disaster?
I am quite old and can remember open fields where cities now lie and bright green leaves where the green leaves are now rather dark and dusty and the trees are topped with dead twigs. On the other hand if I were in my twenties I would definitely be excited about mining nickel or neodymium from S-Type asteroids. Despite any damage we have done, humanity is at the apogee of its power and potential.
However, I do care about nature, culture and the English landscape. They are sacred because they are reality. During my lifetime the world has scored zero points on these three sacred ideals.
The origin of all the damage done to the world is population growth and consequent urbanisation. The damage over the past 70 years is as extreme as anyone could have imagined in 1950. I sometimes re-visit places I have been and the picture is always the same, the lovely pines on the Mediterranean beach where I whiled away the days is a hotel block. The cosy Spanish village with donkeys munching hay outside the cafe is closed with all the shops moved out of town. The Indian roundabout that had elephants following camels is a busy motorway interchange. The small Turkish shop where the owners refused to take any money for cigarettes because I was a stranger is now replaced by a supermarket.
There was space everywhere. There is now little space anywhere except agri-desert and nature reserves. We need look no further than overpopulation for the source of global warming, the ecological disaster and why China is about to rule the world. So why did the world fill up with people?
In the 1960s and 1970s it was clear that population growth was going to cause immense problems that could be easily averted by a population control program. As early as 1965 the Rand Corporation and other powerful lobbying groups had persuaded the US Government that limiting global population was essential for the well-being of the world and in 1968 Paul Ehrlich’s book, "The Population Bomb" made overpopulation a major issue. Congress increased the U.S. Agency for International Development's budget twentyfold over three years to support population control. By 1970 27 countries had agreed to cut birthrates. World Bank Loans became contingent on undertakings to cut birth rates and the whole world was becoming aware that something had to be done.
It looked like the world would pull together to avert the coming overpopulation crisis.
However a whole series of utterly crazy events was occurring alongside the new awareness. A Ford Foundation report speculated in 1967 about the potential of a technological breakthrough: “an annual application of a contraceptive aerial mist (from a single airplane over India), neutralized only by an annual antidotal pill on medical prescription.”. The President of the Population Council suggested a “mass involuntary method [of birth control] with individual reversibility.” Worst of all an IUD was used for birth control that had a c.50% adverse reaction rate and no-one took any notice of the suffering of the women who received it.
Even the supporters of birth control were shocked at the mentality of those running the programs. Basically the philanthropic organisations such as Ford and Rockefeller, USAID and NGOs were both ruthless and incompetent. In the period from 1975 to 1994 the Population Control Programs were attacked and steadily dismantled. At the 1994 UN Cairo International Conference on Population and Development the "Cairo Consensus" was announced where most states rejected targets and incentives for population control and affirmed reproductive rights. The Postmarxists had arrived*.
An essential step to make the world into a utopia by not covering it in roads, houses and pollution was damned in 1994 as being a violation of Human Rights. The conclusion at Cairo was an effective moratorium on birth control programs rather than a set of rules by which these programs might operate safely and humanely.
Having got rid of birth control targets humanity was faced with an unstoppable population boom. The World Bank, Ford, Rockefeller, USAID, UN agencies and NGOs all agreed that it was essential to "develop" the world so that this boom did not result in famine and disease. The development had to keep pace with population growth until the population had become educated and rich enough to choose contraception for itself.
The guess is that population growth will stop at around 11 billion. Some people say that this is perilously close to the "carrying capacity" of the world, the idea that there is a limit to the number of people that Earth can support.
|How many people can Earth actually support?|
The optimal world population has been estimated by a team co-authored by Paul R. Ehrlich. End-targets in this estimation included:
- Decent wealth and resources to everyone
- Basic human rights to everyone
- Preservation of cultural diversity
- Allowance of intellectual, artistic, and technological creativity
- Preservation of biodiversity
Based on this, the estimation of optimum population was to be roughly around 1.5 billion to 2 billion people. Oh well, we have blown that as an idea. The current global population is about 8 billion.
Which brings us to China. China contains a fifth of the world's population. As part of the "development cures all ills" agenda after Cairo the West very stupidly educated and financed China so that, within 30 years, it has become a major world power, bristling with armaments, ready to compete for dwindling resources.
Humanity realised what was happening in the 1960s. It was destroying the world with overpopulation. Population could have been controlled without upsetting the world but the responsible organisations were so "gung ho" that they destroyed the credibility of the programme. The same organisations then did a complete reversal of policy and gambled that they could develop the world before it was overwhelmed.
We now know that overpopulation has the obvious effect of overwhelming nature. In many countries "Nature" has become something that happens in wild life parks. This is the ecological disaster, people have crushed nature with their bulk alone. People have already done this. David Attenborough is not talking about the future when he comes near to tears recounting what has happened. As for global warming etc. - what did anyone expect? Obviously bad things will happen if we dispose of the biosphere and endlessly increase consumption.
On a positive point, I am sure that some of humanity will easily survive even if Earth is largely destroyed and there is still the vague possibility that the situation might not become much worse than it already is. After all, people are planning on setting up colonies on Mars which is a far more hostile environment than any post apocalyptic Earth. In a few million years the Earth will recover if the people are removed by an apocalypse.
What bothers me is that people are so evil. Had the global population been held and returned to two billion we would, even today, be living in the Garden of Eden. Worse still, the truly evil people are those who pose as denizens of the moral highground. These are the people who elevate their beliefs above reality and forget that nature, including us, needs somewhere to live.
Postscript: One of the most remarkable aspects of the current approach to global warming is that the media never mention population growth.
|See Population Matters|
Having one less child is 25 times more effective than foregoing the use of a car because each child, on average, gives rise to an entire line of extra people.
How did the ‘population control’ movement go so terribly wrong?
By Matthew Connelly 2008. The Wilson Quarterly
Daily, Gretchen C.; Ehrlich, Anne H.; Ehrlich, Paul R. (1994). "Optimum Human Population Size". Population and Environment. 15 (6): 469–475.
* Postmarxism is the philosophy of continual revolution where creating polarisation and struggle leads to an ever "better" world. Anarchy and damage create revolutionary change and the death of nature is just another battlefield for postmodern politics. Sitting on the moral highground whilst preventing any action to solve a problem is the ideal way to polarise society.