Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The elephant in the environmentalist living room

A tip o' the hat to Daniel Engbar who found the courage to stand up and state the obvious, that if we really want to save the environment we have to stop having so many babies.


Ross said...

This whole argument includes a nasty little assumption: that genes don't matter for intelligence, for personality, for anything of import. Which is the big argument that gets me steamed at liberals (GWB and religion get me steamed at conservatives).

If all of the smart, intelligent, caring people voluntarily limit themselves to one child apiece, then we're leaving the world to the mouth-breathing illiterates pumping out babies to maximize their welfare check.

Make no mistake, I agree that overpopulation is the big problem facing humanity, but voluntarily taking the best genes out of the gene pool (selfishly: mine) doesn't make any sense. Multiply those thoughts by 6 billion, and this plan is stillborn.

Ron said...

So what do you suggest?

Ross said...

The higher the quality of life, the lower the birth rate. There are other ways to reduce the birth rate (Russia) but if people are waiting to have children until later in life because of career and other goals, they have fewer children. The population of the US and Western Europe would be shrinking if not for immigration.

If we can get everyone thinking and individually behaving like those in developed countries while reducing the average resource usage to a little better than Europe (perhaps through natural price increases on energy, etc.), the population problem may solve itself.

Not to say that getting Indian and Chinese peasants thinking like you and I isn't a challenge, but it seems more tractable than legislating global birth quotas.