UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. See main page for full contents

September 16, 2009

CONDOMS BETTER THAN CAP AND TRADE

Tree Hugger - A new report coming from Optimum Population Trust and carried out by the prestigious London School of Economics says that expanding access to family planning and contraception is about five times less expensive than low-carbon technology in combating climate change.

Between 2010 and 2050 each $7 spent on basic family planning can reduce emissions more than a ton; to achieve that same level of reduction using low-carbon tech would on average cost $32 per ton.

For more specific comparison, wind power would cost $24/ton, solar $51/ton, carbon capture and storage $57-83/ton.

In total, expanding access to basic family planning throughout the globe would save 34 gigatons of carbon emissions over the next 40 years, the report concluded.

On the significance of these findings, OPT's chairman Roger Martin said:

"It's always been obvious that total emissions depend on the number of emitters as well as their individual emissions . . . The taboo on mentioning this fact has made the whole climate change debate so far somewhat unreal. Stabilizing population levels has always been essential ecologically, and this study shows it's economically sensible too.

Planet Green - Between the nearly 80 million people added to the planet every year, and recent calculations projecting a population of 7 billion by 2011, prospects for a healthy future are not great. We are running out of resources, and polluting the only environment we have to live in. . . The UN has been issuing warnings for years now, and upon the release of a 2007 report, the director of the Environment Program said, "The human population is now so large that the amount of resources needed to sustain it exceeds what is available at current consumption patterns."

Diminishing Returns In 1900, 7.91 hectares of land was available for every person, and by 2005 that share had dropped to 2.02 hectares, and is expected to fall further to 1.63 by 2050. Demand for resources, however, has only been growing, and stands at about 22 hectares per person. Not exactly sustainable.

Feeding the population has become an increasingly difficult task, especially as regions that already struggle agriculturally, Africa in particular, become drier because of global warming. With animals going extinct faster than ever, biodiversity is plummeting. Some have predicted that the oceans will be depleted of all the species now being fished if current consumption and fishing practices continue, since, according to the same UN report, we are catching 250 percent more fish than the oceans can produce. Also associated with population-induced environmental degradation are the "dead zones"--areas that cannot support marine life because of depleted oxygen supplies--that have expanded and multiplied around the world.

The damage will be irreversible if sufficient action is not taken immediately, and the magic number, according to leading scientists, is 350. That's the safe upper limit for carbon, measured in parts per million, that our atmosphere can handle before the harm caused by climate change is completely irreversible.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

But, we can't have unending economic growth without ever increasing population to fuel that growth...

Yet, I think the tax structure should be retooled to encourage small families. Education needs to be directed toward family planning, and contraception. I have been saying these things for decades.

I talk to people sometimes who don't believe in overpopulation. They tell me that their many offspring are each a chance at world peace. They seriously believe the planet could sustain at least twice the population it currently does. I can't even communicate with someone so foolish. Just because they live in the US and serious food and water shortages are not yet a reality for most in the US, they believe that such shortages don't exist and will never happen in the US of A.

I want to take such people to places where people walk for miles a day to bring home water, scratch out a living gleaning from garbage dumps, and where people are packed into dense polluted slums, so they can see what overpopulation really looks like.

It's unconscionable for one couple to bring more than 2 kids into so crowded a world. The only exception would be if the second pregnancy was twins or triplets. Make fertility drugs harder to get and not allowed after the second child.
If you want more than 2 kids, it's time to adopt. There are many children out there who need a good home.

Personally I think people like Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar should be heavily fined for having so many children. Please will that woman go through menopause and give the world a break.

September 16, 2009 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

We have only one hope: allot each person 1/2 a live birth, with early testing to determine both pregnancy and parenthood, and mandatory sterilisation after delivery.

Any man who concurrently has more than one woman preggers gets his choice of life imprisonment at the bottom of a pit without parole, or loss of his dangly bits. We have to eliminate the "horndog ethos" from the gene pool (it wouldn't surprise me if it turned out to be joined at the hip with militarism and other psychopathic evils --they all boil down to "I take what I want").

Limiting reproduction everywhere is literally a matter of world and species security, never mind "national".

September 16, 2009 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

90% of humanity must be sterilized.

September 16, 2009 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What makes you think the great winnowing has not already begun?

September 17, 2009 12:15 AM  
Anonymous stop buying and spreading the lies said...

overcrowding does not equal overpopulation.

beware of people who tell you the world has too many people and the earth cannot sustain our numbers.

they refuse to share fairly is all they are saying. they deny and deny that there is indeed plenty for all if fairly shared.

they help create the un-sustainability they predict.

shame on them.

September 17, 2009 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

Sorry, but there really isn't plenty for all, unless you have an unusual definition of "plenty".

To prove that to yourself, just run the numbers.

Several groups have made careful estimates of how many people earth can support with dignified, modern, sustainable lives where all needs are met and nobody has too much. It's been some years since I investigated them, but iirc the number was on the order of 500M, max. This is *everyone* on the planet having clean water ad libitum, a nutritious diet, greenspace to call their own, clothing, education, healthcare, community, meaningful work, security, and the prospect of travel.

Many more, of course, could be supported at the subsistence level of a third-world peasant...but that's not "plenty" and nobody -including the said peasants- would live that way if free to choose.

No, we're walking a tightrope over the pit of Hell, and it's unraveling under our feet as we go.

September 17, 2009 3:50 PM  
Anonymous 1:54 said...

i ran the real numbers. that's how i know you are wrong as wrong, Mairead.

September 18, 2009 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

Well, I just looked at the metalit again, and agree both with the reviewer (that most such big estimates are driven by religious or pseudo-religious ideology rather than science), and Paul Ehrlich, who came up with the 500M number.

Even most of the 2-3G numbers are predicated on a third-world standard of living for everyone. And the numbers bigger than that are pure God-will-provide fantasy that might as well have come straight from Opus Dei without passing through any brain on the way.

September 18, 2009 11:53 AM  
Anonymous m said...

Condoms are more fun that cap and trade.

September 18, 2009 6:31 PM  
Anonymous symptomes said...

population control program which is being promoted here in the United States today. Many physicians have expressed their concern about the dramatic increase in breast carcinoma seen in women in recent years.

October 8, 2009 6:03 AM  

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