The following is a guest submission from J. Roberts about one of the lesser discussed beliefs held by those of “higher” learning.
The Core Concept Behind the Assault on Your Freedom
“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill….All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
- Club of Rome, 1993
In 1894, the Times of London estimated that in under 60 years, every street in the city would be buried nine feet deep in horse manure. Similarly, a New York prognosticator in the 1890s predicted by 1930 the citizens of that not-so-fair city would see that selfsame horse excrement rise three stories high if nothing were done. Neither the Times nor the New York diviners had computer models, but undoubtedly, if they had, given their underlying assumptions, the conclusion would have been the same. Garbage in, garbage out, as the programmers say.
Linear predictions such as the above were first formalized by the Rev. Thomas Malthus (1776–1834) who noted that population is not always immediately limited by food and energy, writing in his 1798 An Essay on the Principle of Population, that “The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man” and “That the superior power of population is repressed, and the actual population kept equal to the means of subsistence, by (the mechanisms of) misery and vice.” Malthus’ writings need much more nuance for the scholar reading this, of course, but in short, the crux of the issue was the well-known quote that human population increases geometrically, while food supply is only able to increase arithmetically. Thus, if population is left unchecked, misery, starvation and death will result. And in large part, much of what you see today in the socio-political realm, is built around this one basic presupposition. To illustrate the point, bear with me as I cite a large number of well-known leaders and groups who parrot the exact philosophy of Malthus, only in more modern garb. Scan or skip the quotes as you need, but my purpose in providing the quantity of citations is to illustrate just how well entrenched this philosophy is throughout our culture.
- “The present vast overpopulation, now far beyond the world carrying capacity, cannot be answered by future reductions in the birth rate due to contraception, sterilization and abortion, but must be met in the present by the reduction of numbers presently existing. This must be done by whatever means necessary.” Initiative for the United Nations ECO-92 Earth Charter (of course the authors of this are excepted, presumably)
- “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. Treating only the symptoms of cancer may make the victim more comfortable at first, but eventually he dies—often horribly. A similar fate awaits a world with a population explosion if only the symptoms are treated. We must shift our efforts from treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions. The pain may be intense. But the disease is so far advanced that only with radical surgery does the patient have a chance of survival.” Stanford Professor Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb. Ehrlich is a former 1970s global cooling fanatic, which demanded development and population restrictions, who a few decades later converted to global warming fanatic, which also requires population restrictions. Ehrlich predicted the world would come to a catastrophic denouement from global cooling in the 1970s – but of course he has now converted the mechanism for our destruction to global warming. Whatever fits the narrative.
- “We have to take away from humans in the long run their reproductive autonomy as the only way to guarantee the advancement of mankind.” Francis Crick, discoverer of the double-helix structure of DNA
- “One America burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say in order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.” Jacques Cousteau, UNESCO Courier (Jacques, of course, with all his globe-trotting, was equivalent a zillion Bangladeshes –though only half as bad as Obama’s regular vacations – but as Orwell warned us, in the socialist paradise, some of us will be “more equal” than the others.)
- “A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible.” United Nations, Global Biodiversity Assessment
- “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline would be ideal.” Ted Turner, founder of CNN and major United Nations contributor. (Ted…. are you volunteering to “check out” first?)
- Noted professor Eric Pianka declared that the Earth would be better off if nine out of 10 people were to die. “The Earth’s population is growing,” said Eric Pianka of the University of Texas, who was named the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist by the Texas Academy of Science. “We will see a point when we reach the carrying capacity – there aren’t enough resources.” Pianka believes the planet’s current population of 6.5 billion is much too high, and 700 million would be the ideal number. He says people are turning the Earth into “fat, human biomass” and leaving the planet “parched,” as the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons quoted him as saying. According to Pianka, the most likely instrument for killing 90 percent of the Earth’s human population is the Ebola virus, after it evolves the capacity for airborne transmission: “War and famine would not do. Instead, disease offered the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die if the population crisis is to be solved. AIDS is not an efficient killer because it is too slow. My favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world’s population is airborne Ebola (Ebola Reston), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years. We’ve got airborne diseases with 90 percent mortality in humans. Killing humans. Think about that. You know, the bird flu’s good, too. For everyone who survives, he will have to bury nine.” As with Mr. Turner, there are no reports that Dr. Pianka is volunteering to help out the situation by going first.
- Finnish writer Pentti Linkola is the classic uber-greenie, who wants to reduce Earth’s population to 500 million and abandon modern technology (presumably he is getting his message out via smoke signals) who wrote: “What to do, when a ship carrying a hundred passengers suddenly capsizes and there is only one lifeboat? When the lifeboat is full, those who hate life will try to load it with more people and sink the lot. Those who love and respect life will take the ship’s axe and sever the extra hands that cling to the sides.” And of course, America is the core of the problem: “The United States symbolises the worst ideologies in the world: growth and freedom” Adds Linkola, and “Any dictatorship would be better than modern democracy. There cannot be so incompetent a dictator that he would show more stupidity than a majority of the people. The best dictatorship would be one where lots of heads would roll and where government would prevent any economic growth. We will have to learn from the history of revolutionary movements — the national socialists (Nazis), the Finnish Stalinists, from the many stages of the Russian revolution, from the methods of the Red Brigades — and forget our narcissistic selves.” Linkola has also publicly called for climate change deniers be “re-educated” in eco-gulags and that the vast majority of humans be killed, with the rest enslaved and controlled by a green police state, with people forcibly sterilized, cars confiscated and travel restricted to members of the elite (what? You expected the leftist elite to eat their own cooking?) No word from Linkola as to who will control the controllers, of course. A fellow Finnish environmentalist writer, Martin Kreiggeist, hails Linkola’s call for eco-gulags and oppression as “a solution,” calling for people to “take up the axes” in pursuit of killing off the third world. Kreiggeist wants fellow eco-fascists to “act on” Linkola’s call for mass murder in order to solve overpopulation. Linkola and Kreiggeist come from a long line of those that would just that! The Black Book of Communism, by Courtois, et al, says various flavor of the left murdered 100 million last century, while Dr. RJ Rummel, Univ. of Hawaii, puts the number as high as 160 million (the vast majority murdered by the left). See his web site, or take the time to review his magnum opus, Death by Government, which provides details on how he came up with his numbers.
- “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.” Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Leader of the World Wildlife Fund
- “Malthus has been vindicated; reality is finally catching up with Malthus. The Third World is overpopulated, it’s an economic mess, and there’s no way they could get out of it with this fast-growing population. Our philosophy is: back to the village.” Dr. Arne Schiotz, World Wildlife Fund Director of Conservation.
- “There is a single theme behind all our work–we must reduce population levels. Either governments do it our way, through nice clean methods, or they will get the kinds of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control, it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it….” and “Our program in El Salvador didn’t work. The infrastructure was not there to support it. There were just too goddamned many people…. To really reduce population, quickly, you have to pull all the males into the fighting and you have to kill significant numbers of fertile age females….” The quickest way to reduce population is through famine, like in Africa, or through disease like the Black Death….” Thomas Ferguson, State Department Office of Population Affairs. “Too many goddamed people.” I think that expresses your sentiments perfectly, Mr. Ferguson. (“Godammed people” pretty much sums up the whole issue, but again, Mr. Ferguson probably doesn’t consider himself “people” – he is undoubtedly special.)
- “Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries”. Dr. Henry Kissinger. Kissinger also noted “The world’s population needs to be reduced by 50%,” and “The elderly are useless eaters” Kissinger is 91 – but no word yet if he plans to “check out” early. Y’know… just to do his part and all.
- “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Nope, no word from the leftist media on this racist comment. And never will be, either.
- “The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.” Obama’s science czar John P. Holdren, cited from Ecoscience. Holdren is a current global warmer cult leader – while in the 1970s, he joined Ehrlich as a fanatic global cooling alarmist. Any mechanism to control the population, you know!
- “It is easier to kill a million people rather than trying to control a million people… people are fighting back…our capacity to impose control over humanity is at an historical low…” Zbignew Brzezinsi
- As just one final example of hundreds of quotes I could have included, the Club of Rome in 1993 stated in their The First Global Revolution, that “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill….All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is mankind.” “Came up with the idea”… as opposed to “the facts led us to the conclusion.”
The fact of the matter is, as Robert Zubrin observed, to today’s Malthusians, “… each new life is unwelcome, each unregulated thought or act is menace, every person is fundamentally the enemy of every other person, and each race or nation is the enemy of every other race or nation.” Yes, we are back to the disproved socialist assumption that life and economics are a zero sum game, but this assumption is not up for debate – at least among the powers that be (and for those of you who think of Thomas Kuhn’s famed book The Structure of Scientific Revolution, which deals with how intellectuals become victims of group think just as easily as your local “Yes we can” chanters, you are exactly right). And it is not just your life that is unwelcome, but your financial status as well, until you not-so-mercifully decide – or it is decided for you- to put off this mortal coil. The economic side of the matter is put most clearly by the World Wildlife Fund Living Plant Report of 2012, which Lewis Page summarizes in the May 16, 2012 edition of the Register that “economic growth should be abandoned, (and) citizens of the world’s wealthy nations should prepare for poverty.” Individual rights are verboten, of course, given the Malthusian threat to the earth. As Harvey Ruvin, Vice-chair of International Committee for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI), a group that wants to impose the green agenda on everyone has noted, “Individual rights must take a back seat to the collective.” Pol Pot, move over… but please do not concern yourself that Obama and his cronies might have their tee times or uber-luxe vacations impacted.
Perhaps the best known antecedent of the ideas quoted above comes from the National Socialist (Nazi) T4 euthanasia programme, run by Hitler’s doctor, Karl Brandt. As early as 1929 Hitler proposed 700,000 of the weakest Germans be “removed” per year. By Aug. 1939, every doctor and midwife was notified they must register all children born with genetic defects, retroactive to 1936. The doomed were to “give their lives for the greater cause.” Nazis used injections; then later – being the ever-efficient National Socialists they were – used carbon monoxide. They would then send a letter to the parents, telling them that their child was dead (hey, it depends on what the definition of “was” was, right?) from pneumonia, and already cremated.
As you know, those responsible for the T4 programme were condemned and punished at the Nuremburg Trials after World War II. Importantly, ignorance or “just following orders” was not an excuse during these court proceedings. Most interestingly, individuals like Kissinger were with the Allied army as they fought Germany during this time, and should have zero excuse. Yet today, the Nazi wannabes are back at. For example, Drs. Francesca Minerva and Alberto Giubilini just published an article in a respected, academic journal about “after birth abortion” (sic) in the Journal of Medical Ethics (source), while Dr. Peter Singer of Yale believes that children should be able to be killed up to two years old (yet all the while he refuses to euthanize his elderly mother, who is horribly incapacitated with Alzheimers). It is, as the philosopher/theologian Os Guinness once noted, that “while all philosophies are arguable; not all are livable.”
You are now aware of the impact of Malthusian philosophy on population and resources, and have a general idea of who and what is behind it – which is pretty much the bulk of Hollywood, academia, the lamestream media, Al Gore and his acolytes, Agenda 21 types, and your Hilary-esque political, social and economic betters. You may have also surmised, correctly, that this Malthusian presupposition is going to directly impact you, your health, your wealth, your family, and your now nasty, short and brutish life.
Here we come to the crux of this article. Is the Malthusian assumption actually valid? Or is it just one of those faux truisms accepted by a culture for generations, such as the thinking that Chinese girls’ feet should always be bound, or the Boston Red Sox could never win the World Series after they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees. Has anyone actually conducted a real life, boots-on-the-ground examination of the Malthusian assumptions?
As a matter of fact, someone has. But before we go there, a few preliminaries. Were you aware that between 30 and 50 percent of all food produced globally, equivalent to two billion tons, is thrown away each year according to a recent report written by the UK-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME), titled ‘Global Food; Waste Not, Want Not’? The problem is not with production, it is with distribution. Might I suggest that before we ponder throwing away human lives, as per Dr. Pianka above, we start by making sure food isn’t thrown away? Similarly, were you aware that three times the current population of the world could fit in the state of Oklahoma, which has an area of 69,903 square miles? In this case, one square mile will accommodate 278,784 people if each person were allowed 100 square feet. At that rate the state of Oklahoma could accommodate a 19.49 billion people— almost three times the earth’s current population of 6.4 billion – with the entire acreage of the US left over to farm, hike, populate with office buildings, put solar panels on, etc. The highly quoted scientist, and author of The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming, Bjorn Lomborg, takes the issue of trash under the same microscope, noting that the entire waste produced by the United States in the 21st century could fit into a square 100 feet thick and 28 km along each side, or 0.009% of the total surface of the United States
Lomborg also considers pollution from different angles. He notes that air pollution in wealthy nations has steadily decreased in recent decades, and finds that air pollution levels are highly linked to economic development, with the less developed countries polluting most. Again, Lomborg argues that faster growth in emerging countries would help them reduce their air pollution levels, and suggests that devoting resources to reduce the levels of specific air pollutants would provide the greatest health benefits and save the largest number of lives (per amount of money spent), continuing an already decades-long improvement in air quality in most developed countries. Similarly concerning water pollution, Lomborg notes again that this is connected with economic progress – not bumping off people, as the ignorant Georgia Guidestones imply.
Some will erroneously conflate being profligate, ignorant, wasteful with those who disagree with the Malthusians. That is an utterly gross misunderstanding of the issue. The point is that human life brings with it not just resource consumption, but intelligence, which is the key point in the whole debate. Going back to the horse manure issue in London, human intelligence brought about the invention of the automobile, which solved the manure issue. If the mad doctor Pianka had been around then, perhaps Henry Ford would have been intentionally bumped off by the Spanish flu before he got his auto industry in gear. Ah, but the car has created problems the Malthusian will say. And of course, the simple rejoinder is that the next step to resolve the issues brought about by the car are under way. The catalytic converter has already solved a certain percentage of the smog problem, though obviously more needs to be done. In fact, that “more to be done” is already under way. The very day this article began to be composed, a new paper in Science, reported how University of Glasgow scientists have taken a major step forward in the production of hydrogen from water, using solar powered electrolysis to break the bonds between hydrogen and oxygen, the constituents of water. Dr. Dan Nocera of MIT has a similar new product, marketed by SunCatalytix, which he explains in a YouTube video. The issue is, the Univ. of Glasgow scientists and Dr. Nocera may never have come into existence were it for the Malthusians, and in fact, if the Malthusians had their way, horse poop might well actually be 9 feet high in London now – though of course, they presumably would have killed off much of the population to prevent the problem. The real problem is not the number of people, but rather the corruption of law, politics (yes, Harry Reid, we are looking at you!), distribution processes (which are most efficiently left to Adam Smith-style private initiative, not USSR-style central planning), the slowing of patent granting (of which I have personal experience), socialism-caused poverty, and more. The problem is not population, per se.
We now come to the piece de resistance about the Malthusian misunderstanding, which it is found in the famed Julian Simon/Paul Ehrlich wager – essentially a wager between whether Malthus was right, or if the ingenuity of man is more significant. Simon’s point was that “The most important benefit of population size and growth is the increase it brings to the stock of useful knowledge. Minds matter economically as much as, or more than, hands or mouths.” Simon bet the then catastrophic global coolers – who are now catastrophic global warmers – Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren in 1980 that the price of chromium, copper, nickel, tin, and tungsten would go down, not up, by Sept. 29, 1990. In fact, all five commodities – which Ehrlich selected – went down by the targeted date. In Oct. 1990, Ehrlich mailed Julian Simon a cheque for $576.07 to settle the wager. No word if current unelected Obama science czar Holdren chipped in any dough or not. But – as the last refuge of scientific (or economic) scoundrels – of course they trot out the old “this time will be different,” and the Malthusians, in the form of Agenda 21ers, etc. still remain in their cult-like trance. The Wikipedia summary of the Simon/Ehrlich wager can be seen here.
The key point of this paper, which the Malthusians who deign to run your life based on their faulty assumptions miss, is that scarcity is mitigated by human intelligence and creativity. Horse poop doesn’t grow up to the trees in downtown NY or London, without some brainiac coming up with a novel solution. I will admit, however that horse apples do, apparently, grow up to the trees and beyond in the halls of academia or some bought-and-paid-for politician in Washington or Brussels.
It is true, as Orwell once noted, that “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” Malthusianism is one that is at the top of the list.