Monday, April 28, 2008


My somewhat caustic approach can be attributed in part to a sense of urgency that most environmentalists apparently don’t share. I believe we are almost out of time, and I have lost patience with dissemblers.

When I am in a house that has caught fire I am not apt to say “Gee, I think perhaps we should maybe call the Fire Department, don’t ya think?”. I am more inclined to shout “Call 911 you Sierra Club idiots!” Anything to stop them from continuing to robotically polish the wood furniture and calling that valuable work while the smoke envelopes us.

It was the late great David Brower, three time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Sierra Club pioneer who said that overpopulation was the major cause of America’s environmental ruin, and that since immigration was the main factor in overpopulation, “it had to be addressed”. Even in North America. Even in the politically correct community where I live. Somebody has to mention the nasty “I” word. Somebody has to call the Fire Department. And somebody has to tell them to stop pissing around with the furniture polish, get the hell out and start fighting the fire of runaway population growth! This role is not the role of a politician or a salesman. It is the role of someone who must wear the mantle of unpopularity.


Investing great time and hope in Sustainable Energy options. The Jevons Paradox dashes all of these hopes. Technological efficiencies liberate cash, and this cash is spent on yet more consumption. When the efficiency of air conditioners improved by 17% consumers bought 36% more air conditioners. When the fuel economy of the average car improved 30% American drivers responded by driving bigger vehicles greater distances. And thanks to population growth there are 130 million more cars on the road. Fuel efficiency in aircraft improved by more than 40% since 1978 but over all fuel consumption rose by 150% since then because of the explosive growth in air traffic encouraged by cheaper transportation costs. Energy use per unit of US GNP has fallen 50% since 1975 after enormous efficiencies were effected after the Arab Oil Embargo. Yet total US energy consumption rose by 40% The name of the game is to reduce total consumption, not improve technological efficiencies. And without stabilizing population, all benefits from efficiencies are erased. The 900 acre solar farm in Sarnia will produce only enough energy to satisfy 23 days of BAU immigration. Energy gains from renewable technologies are erased by economic growth (population times per capita consumption)

Nature reserves and much vaunted park dedications. None are secure from population and economic growth. Even Yosemite was invaded by logging and mining interests by the stroke of a Congressional pen. A protected park in Costa Rica was similarly violated. Nature Conservancy admits having to take people to court for trepass etc etc. There are no sanctuaries from population and development pressure. And it must be remembered that in the US 40% of all listed mammals are not even found in refuges, and it is in these unprotected lands that 40% of all housing units will be found in the United States by 2030,

Good works. The typical Sierran is like a singing janitor who keeps mopping the floor---doing good works---but blissfully and willfully ignoring the fact that the tap (population growth) is on and water is pouring across it. Then there is the happy fool of a cabin maid on the Titanic as the ship is badly listing, whistlling as she tidies things up. She feels good about her environmentalism, because she is removing anything that isn’t recyclable from the cabin..Criminal negligence, the deliberate neglect and avoidance of population growth by environmental organizations despite its obvious correlation to GHG emissions and biodiversity loss, cannot be forgiven by their inconsequential involvement with “good works”. The Moonies do “good works”. The BDM (Hitler Youth) did good works building trails and doing conservation work. Capone did charity work too. Sorry. You can’t buy salvation with good works.

Sustainable Living Practices Of course it was Al Gore in his Inconvenient Truth who made the absurd statement that we could through the individual choices we make as consumers, in the things we buy, the electricity we use or the cars we drive for example, reduce our carbon emissions to zero. But Gore did not appreciate that green consumers can never reduce their consumption to zero, and that an increase in the number of the greenest consumers is going to increase total consumption. GHG emissions will have to be cut 60% just to keep pace with population increases in the next half century. And in the UK it was discovered that one new citizen, born or admitted as an immigrant erased 80 lifetimes of responsible recycling.
Polishing the furniture while the house is burning down. Welcome to the Green Fantasy World, where feeling good about yourself is more important than actually addressing the root cause of the problem---over-population, just as Jacques Cousteau said.


1 comment:

Pete Murphy said...

Terrific post, Tim! One of the best, most intelligent I've seen yet on the root cause of our environmental problems.

Keep up the good work!

Pete Murphy
Author, Five Short Blasts