- Jul 5, 2006
The inconvenient truth that virtually no one wants to discuss because it is so unpleasant and draconian is population control.Even if we don't agree on why the climate is changing, is there really any argument that the world is becoming too polluted? Do we want to have a planet for generations that our families can enjoy? Can anyone really doubt that air pollution is a problem just as much as garbage pollution and landfill excess? We are destroying our planet, climate change or no.
What do we do about it?
Fortunately, once a certain standard of living is reached, the birthrate tends to drop so there is a form of "natural" population control. The problem is that we are still in the explosive population growth phase. Hence increasing environmental problems. Therefore, there may still be a need to mandate population control depending on demographic projections.
Another thing that is seldom discussed. Our standard of living is based on "waste". It is our ability to "waste" resources that allows us to buy single family homes, large cars, and to buy fast foods where the life expediency of the wrappers used is about five minutes.
What I am getting at, with the above statement is that as population increases your ability to "waste" becomes constrained. For example, whether a piece of land should be preserved for habitat, turned into farmland for food, or transformed into urban development. Whether a marine fishery should be fished or not. Each of these decisions, no matter how small of an impact, will (over time) decrease our standard of living, reduce the quality of life, and result in less freedom due to the necessity of government having to manage society.
Just take (water and air) pollution as a quick example. Pollution tends to be a result of human activity. Pollution to a degree is now being minimized through laws that mandate that cars have anti-pollution devices. These devices while a benefit to the environment and quality of life, do reflect a decrease in the standard of living and greater government control over our lives. Reduce the population and you will have less activity that will contribute to polluting the environment. Nature, with low population, can ameliorate many of man's adverse environmental impacts. Better that Nature be in a position to clean-up the environment, than government mandated programs and technologies.
Reduce population to some sustainable level and many of these draconian environmental decisions will not have to be made. Of course, the environment will still need to be preserved.