Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Elephant in the Climate Change Living Room Revisited

Think Out Loud from OPB really outdid themselves on Monday & Tuesday of this week, tackling two very contentious issues: Wyden's introduction of the Oregon Eastside Forests Restoration, Old Growth Protection, and Jobs Act of 2009, and the perhaps even more controversial population elephant in the climate change living room (Population control called key to deal http://bakercountyblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/hell-on-earth.html.

The first is found at http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/forest-agreement/, and the second, "The "P" Word and Climate Change" from this morning, at http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/p-word-and-climate-change/. Both episodes include many useful and informative links, along with the usual voicing of opinions from those confident enough to speak up.

I recommend checking out both programs and getting the podcasts if you can. If you have an application like iTunes, you can subscribe using the link http://www.opb.org/programs/podcast.php?tol by clicking on the "Advanced" tab in your toll bar, clicking on "Subscribe to podcast," and pasting in http://www.opb.org/programs/podcast.php?tol .Or, more simply, just go to the link and download what you want.

In the first, environmental consultant, spokesperson, and thinker, Andy Kerr (who left Joseph, Oregon several years ago in a moment of preservational sanity), does a good job of explaining both the bill and his move towards collaboration with any semi-rational folks from the timber industry that he could find.

There are also interesting comments to be mined in an Oregonian article, "Wyden bill aims to end eastern Oregon timber
disputes" at: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2009/12/wyden_bill_aims_to_end_eastern.html.

The second is found at http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/p-word-and-climate-change/. It is an expansion, or at least a different version of the ideas found in the Population control called key to deal article from my Dec. 15 blog.

Some years ago, I was active in the "Zero Population Growth" organization, but I left when they changed their name to "Population Connection" (http://www.populationconnection.org/site/PageServer), at which time they began to soft-pedal the importance of mass immigration to US population growth. Immigration (immigrants and children of immigrants) now accounts for over 75% of our under-developed nation style population growth. We had achieved essentially zero population growth in the mid-1970's, but once the effects of the 1965 immigration bill and all future amnesties got rolling, we were on the hopeless track of unsustainable poplulation growth once again. The result of ignoring mass immigration is essentially that instead of plateauing out at about 260 million people, the US started on an unmanageable, unsustainable and crash producing population trajectory that has left us with over 300 million people and no end in sight. Call me crazy, but if I wanted to live in the conditions found in Mexico City (scrounging for existence on dumps), Mumbai (Bombay, Population density (/km²) of 23,088 people), or Delhi, India (Population density (/km²) of 28,438 people: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_proper_by_population), I could move there. Interestingly, immigration's contribution to US population growth was (mysteriously) absent for today's "Think Out Loud" commentary. But hey, you can't be too politically correct these days.

Anyway, a coherent explanation of one of the important ideas discussed today, i.e., individual reproduction's contribution to carbon emissions, water use, etc., can be found in the Oregon State press release for Murtaugh and Schlax's paper on the issue, "Reproduction and the carbon legacies of individuals" at http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2009/jul/family-planning-major-environmental-emphasis.

The research paper they produced is at: http://blog.oregonlive.com/environment_impact/2009/07/carbon%20legacy.pdf

It is important stuff for understanding the effects of population growth and a reproducing individual's contribution to consumption and pollution, especially at the rates Americans consume and pollute. It is a powerful argument for having fewer children and for greatly reducing the rate of immigration into America of those who value large families.

Other links from the show and elsewhere:
Albertideation: http://albertideation.com/2009/10/20/worldpopulationvideo/

Numbers USA


See also:

Over the years, some special interest "liberals" and ethnically and racially oriented groups have tried to paint Roy Beck as a right wing xenophobe, but this is not true. I met him in the late nineties, and he is simply a decent and concerned person, like Garrett Hardin was (Humanist of the Year), who is concerned about population growth and its consequences. Please don't buy into the smears, and just consider the evidence and the numbers.


Albert Kaufman said...

the comments on the OPB page are also worth reading. And yes, we didn't talk about immigration, but the show's focus was to be on the connection between population growth and climate change, it was hard to talk about all aspects. would love to have you back working with Population Connection. Albert

Christopher Christie said...

I hear you about cluttering up the population growth and climate change plate with the immigration issue, but it would be nice if we could find a way to talk about that contribution. Speaking of plates, I like the "Licker Scale" on your Platelickers Unite! blog (http://platelickers.blogspot.com/). Also am an advocate for replacing lawns with food gardens, but getting people to give up their riding lawnmowers seems at least as hard as getting people to return to the idea of zero population growth and accepting sustainability. ;-) (http://albertideation.com/2009/07/08/265/)

You are a clear and powerful voice on the issue of population growth. I will think about getting back with Population Connection, but I have more time than money, and much of that time is already being "consumed."

Anyway, thanks for all your efforts.