Thursday, February 5, 2009

ITS ALL ABOUT NUMBERS STUPID Kevin Rudd and the Green Dodgers

Kevin Rudd “a gormless fool”? http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/rudd_feels_the_heat_on_60_minute
Apparently Aussie Prime Minister Krudd doesn’t have his facts right on AGW. Should this surprise anyone? How can a politician effect such concern about man-caused global warming but apparently no concern whatsoever about population growth in Australia? If he is certain of the connection between humankind and global warming how is that he would make no connection between the increasing number of people and global warming After all, who makes up humankind but people? Surely “anthropogenic” implies the involvement of people in global warming (AGW)? Either people are involved in global warming or they are not. If they are not, then population growth in Australia or elsewhere has no bearing on global warming. In that case we can train our guns where they should have been trained all along: on the impact of population growth on the loss of farmland, the shortage of water, the loss of biodiversity, pollution, traffic congestion, social anomie and fragmentation and so on. In other words, all those things that politicians like Kevin Rudd are, through their mass immigration policies and birth incentives, responsible for.

On the other hand, if people are involved in global warming then he face up to his culpability in this matter, for stuffing Australia, the world’s greatest emitter of green house gases per capita, with more and more climate changers, aka, immigrants.

Of course, there is another sophist green dodge, isn’t there? Yes, the argument goes, there is manifestly global warming, but it is not “people” who are causing it, but “factories, cars, industry, energy companies….” Funny, I thought people had something to do with the demand for the products of industry, for cars and energy. Must be ghosts who buy products and services. Well, yes, they do, counter the green dodgers, but (and here is the old chestnut) “It is not the number of people that is relevant, but how much they consume. Americans make up but 5% of the global population but use 22% of the world’s energy resources. And did you know that one American consumes 3.7 million times as much as a slum dweller in Delhi?”

So I get it, lets import Delhi slum-dwellers so they can live like us. Lets multiply everyone’s footprint by bringing them here. After all, our biodiversity, as William Rees said, counts for squat in comparison to the rich biodiversity found elsewhere, like Central America. Who cares about our wildlife? Our forests, our farmland. We can give that up, can’t we?

“No,” replies green-dodger. “You’re missing the point. Obviously the world can’t live as we do, we would need another 3 or 4 planets for that. The solution is reduce OUR consumption, not throw up walls. We must adopt ‘inclusive’ strategies that invite global cooperation, not nationalize our environmentalism behind a gated community, not focus on the incremental consumption increases by immigrants.” Well, that sounds quite compassionate, doesn’t it? Except for the fact that our consumption habits are here and now, and more intractable and much less easy to adjust than our immigration levels. It would be tough for a Canadian to live on a Cambodian consumption level because a typical Canadian heating bill would devour the annual per capita Cambodian salary of $1800. If green-dodger was the Minister of Highways, would he open up a new highway or road improvement project before the traffic controls were in place? Would he allow new motorists from here and elsewhere to pour onto it? And if, as green-dodger always maintains, we could avoid the continued loss of farmland and the loss of biodiversity by strict and sensible land-use policies, would he, as Immigration Minister, allow mass immigration to continue at is alarming pace before these ‘smart growth’ land use policies were established? Would he hold open the immigration door so widely if he confessed that since land-use policy is not the province of national or federal governments but in the hands of local governments bought and paid for developers? Would he continue to be indifferent to rapid population growth here if he faced up to the fact that historically, biodiversity losses have increased with the increase of park dedications, that nature reserves are at the mercy of commercial and population pressures? Can he spell “Yosemite” or “the Steve Irwin reserve”?

Ah, but green-dodger, retorts, the answer is densification. The concentration of people into urban feedlots, where he alleges, so many more ecological efficiencies can occur. Rural populations consume so much more per capita. Since cities make 70% of resource demands, our challenge is to restructure cities to reduce those demands while at the same time wiping out their efficiency gains by inviting more foreign consumers here and jamming them into cities. Cities which obviously empower women as reflected in their lower birth rates as city-dwellers. Even the Delhi slum dwellers prefer cities, or they would have remained in rural India. Cities are the answer. We should all live cheek to jowl in urban sardine cans. Trouble here, though, is that people in densely packed cities still generate wastes and consume products, products that must be transported from distant localities with all the attendant energy and environmental costs that involves. That head of lettuce from California or across the state just multiplied its footprint (and its price) immensely just getting to that urban consumer, who could have had it more cheaply if he had not left the farm. A farm lost to population growth, not poor planning. Sprawl accounts for no more than half, at that, of farmland conversion to housing and commercial construction in North America. The other half is clearly the result of population growth, more 70% of which is driven by immigration, not counting the descendants of immigrants.

But, green-dodger replies, ‘Immigration does nothing to affect the number of people that live on planet Earth, only their disposition. If global population is to be reduced, it won’t be reduced by keeping them out of this affluent land. Moreover, there is no ethical way to reduce global population. Draconian Chinese methods are not acceptable. We can’t (playing to the feminist audience) morally control what women do with their bodies. Only offer them education and move them to cities. Cities like Chicago which a study showed emits just 20% of the green house gases per capita as those living in rural areas outside of it.” Odd, that, when Dr. David Suzuki observed that an occupant of a Shanghai high rise uses 2.5 times more energy than he did in the country. And when the people of Shanghai or rural China or any nation of low consumption arrives in America, he automatically quadruples his GHG footprint. Moving North American folks from rural to dense city environments is far less impactful than moving those in third world environments here.

The fact is, immigration policy does affect global population growth. Open doors offer developing nations an escape hatch to exit their surplus population and avoid confronting their own rampant population growth. And the enormous expenditures involved in settling immigrants, if deployed as foreign aid made conditional on family planning, would reduce population pressures in the source countries, and increase prosperity to make emigration less attractive. With effective, voluntary and accessible family planning options a country like Thailand can reduce its population growth rate from 3% to 0.5%, stabilize its population and be an exporter of rice. Without such planning, and by Canada dispensing unconditional aid, a country like the Philippines will add 30 million people as it has in the last two decades, and become a net importer of rice.

So whether you are talking about man-made climate change or the loss of biodiversity and farmland, it all comes down to numbers. It is all about population growth, stupid. Get it down now, and so many problems suddenly become solvable.

5 comments:

Estimate Carbon Footprint, Carbon Offset Estimation. said...

Global warming is the biggest threat for wealthy planet. But many institutes are working on
Carbon Reduction Projects to
Reduce Global Carbon Emissionswhich will provide better ways to tackle.

Rick Shea said...

Global warming the biggest threat for a wealthy planet? You've got to be kidding. Global warming and cooling have happened naturally for millions of years. If you're talking about anthropogenic global warming, how do we know that what is currently happening is the result of our activities and not just a natural cycle? You've bought the propaganda hook, line, and sinker. Do you realize that reducing our carbon emissions as much as the claims promote will destroy our economy? So much for a wealthy planet. Have you even thought about the source of emissions, if claims about global warming are correct? Reducing per capita emissions by 30 percent (which would still have a huge hit on our economy) would be quickly negated by about 35 years of population growth at our current rate, leaving us in an even worse situation environmentally. No, if anthropogenic global warming is indeed happening, if the sixth great extinction of species that IS happening now continues, if we continue to deplete fish stocks in the oceans, if we continue to deplete our soils, if we continue to pollute the land and the water and the air as we are now, there is no hope for wealth for anyone. Recuding our population is the only real solution, and we must begin that NOW if we wish to salvage anything of our so-called "civilization." Read "A Short History of Progress" and then get back to us.

Brishen Hoff said...

Tim, the comment posted by "Estimate Carbon Footprint..." was clearly just a spam advertisement.

That is what comment moderation is for. That comment does not demonstrate that the poster read your article. The poster is merely trying to earn ad revenue by tricking you to click on his/her link.

But since he/she brought up "global warming" and called it "the biggest threat"... My response is:

"Man-made climate change from greenhouse gas emissions is not the worst environmental problem; habitat/biodiversity loss is."

Sincerely,
Brishen Hoff
President of Biodiversity First

Realist said...

"And the enormous expenditures involved in settling immigrants, if deployed as foreign aid made conditional on family planning, would reduce population pressures in the source countries, and increase prosperity to make emigration less attractive."

Do these types of non-profit organization exist? Are there any in Canada that I can support?

Tim Murray said...

Realist,
I am informed that no such organizations exist in Canada. But I am a supporter of an excellent organization based in Vermont which is international in scope. It is dedicated to reducing population pressures in source countries, countries that exploit our porous borders to off-load excess people.
Contact:
William N. Ryerson

President

Population Media Center

145 Pine Haven Shores Road, Suite 2011

P.O. Box 547

Shelburne, Vermont 05482-0547

U.S.A.

Tel. 1-802-985-8156

U.S. Mobile: 1-802-578-4286

International Mobile: +44-(0)79-3608-8038

Fax 1-802-985-8119

Email: ryerson@populationmedia.org

Web site: www.populationmedia.org

Skype name: billryerson