[Voice of greed]Environment: Not content with its dubious fight over global warming, the United Nations now says humanity itself is causing irreversible environmental damage. Haven't we heard this kind of thing before?
Indeed, we have. In 1798, a country parson named Thomas Malthus published a book in which he calculated that human populations were growing faster than the world's ability to feed them. It wouldn't be long, he reasoned, before the world would be afflicted with " sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence, and plague." In short: mass death.
He was, of course, spectacularly wrong.
True, population did increase, geometrically even. But it didn't lead to misery. Far from it. Today, we are wealthier, healthier, better-housed, better educated than ever [who is?]— thanks not to U.N. bureaucrats, but to our ability as free men and women to think clearly about problems, and solve them.
Yet, according to the U.N.'s new "Geo-4 Report," our environmental problems, a result of unchecked population growth and wealth, are so extensive that, as the London Times put it, "they must be treated as a top priority if they are to be solved."
Check your wallets and your freedom at the door. For this is the old line used by environmental extremists of all types: Things are so bad we can no longer put off what must be done. Of course, you'll have to give up some income and freedom — and maybe even your right to bear children — but, hey, the environment's at stake.
Excuse us, but this seems like another attempt to foist centralized, global control over the prosperous, dynamic and fast-growing economies of the world — an attempt to shake us down and radically alter Western lifestyles, to get us out of our deluxe cars and designer clothes and onto bicycles and into bearskins.
It's a bad idea that just won't go away. In the 1960s, biology professor Paul Ehrlich revived Malthus with his best-selling "The Population Bomb." "In the 1970s," he warned, "the world will undergo famines — hundreds of million of people are going to starve." His solution: Immediate population control, mandated by law.
Ehrlich was followed by the Club of Rome's "Limits To Growth," and by President Carter's equally alarmist "Global 2000" report. They, too, were utterly wrong. Yet, they influenced a whole generation of green activists who came to think of humanity as a disease — a "cancer," in Ehrlich's word — that had to be cut out.
Unfortunately for them, far from despoiling the world and leading lives that are "nasty, brutish and short," we're thriving. As the late economist Julian Simon noted, people are the ultimate resource. More people means more brains — more problem-solvers for humanity's ills. Population isn't a curse; it's an opportunity.
This is why the Malthusian view of the world is so wrong. And why Simon and his followers are right to say not only is the world not getting worse, but by virtually any measure it's getting better.
In "The Improving State of the World," for instance, scientist Indur Goklany notes that worldwide life expectancies have more than doubled — from 31 years to 67 — in just the past century. In poor countries, the share suffering from chronic hunger plunged from 37% in 1970 to 17% in 2001, even as population soared 83%.
Even the definition of "poor" has changed, because average annual incomes in poor countries have more than tripled in real terms since 1950. Just since 1981, the share of the world's population living in poverty has been halved, from 40% to 20%.
Yes, we have social and environmental problems. But the alarmists would have us don straitjackets and then force-feed us solutions under the rubric of "sustainable growth" — a kind of friendly fascism that leads to greater poverty and loss of liberty.
We prefer what's worked before: free markets, free minds and free people, working democratically under the rule of law.
The only reason things aren't worse than they are is because some people responded to the call. If the people had listened to the libertarian capitalists back in the 1960's, when you couldn't see the buildings for the smog, who would be healthy in the U.S. today breathing the air that would be that much worse (if the nation hadn't collapsed under the health problems)?
Back then, those same so-called free-market (what free market) enthusiasts were saying there were no environmental problems. One of the Great Lakes was pronounced dead, but what environmental problems. 55 gallon drums with toxic waste were being discovered all over the place leaking into the ground water, but what environmental problems. The U.S. established a Superfund to clean up the super polluted zones that according to the author of the evil article above must have never existed and still don't. It was all our imagination. The environmentalist just dreamed it all up just as they dreamed up all the environmental and ecological nightmares to come if humanity doesn't repent of its utterly evil planet raping. What oil spills? What acid rain? What desertification? What clear cutting? What mountain topping? What algae blooms? What droughts? What fires? What change in rainfall? What icecap melting? What glaciers disappearing? What species disappearing? What sweatshops? What slavery? What under pay? What increase in wealth disparity? What growing income gap? What horrible working conditions? What dictators? What wars?
The author is conning anyone gullible enough to fall to following the path of selfish devils.
The author is denying everything Jesus Christ taught. He or she is claiming to be smarter than God. Anyone knowingly following such a hardhearted person after being warned away deserves exactly what he or she gets.
To listen to that one, you'd think selfishness brings forth. Tell it to the ten-year-olds beaten into working for nothing as slaves for 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, so this person can spew evil via the mainstream-news media for his or her plutocratic corporate masters.
This person will take all the credit for what environmentalists devised such as recycling.
What will really happen is that this person will die and if unrepentant before that in time will suffer under his or her own standard. What evil the system he or she advocates heaps upon others, especially the innocent, will be heaped upon him or her.