A team of environmental “scientists” published a new study in a U.S. government-linked journal claiming that even a planetary Communist Chinese-style one-child policy would not be enough to stop alleged “overpopulation” from ravishing the Earth and making humanity “unsustainable.” In fact, according to the Australian researchers, even combined with massive reductions in population via another world war, a global one-child policy would still not be enough to save the planet and the environment from the supposed scourge of mankind. To deal with their reputed “crisis,” the authors propose encouraging — read brainwashing or perhaps even coercing — women to have fewer children while rationing resources for those humans fortunate enough to escape their population-control regime. But even that will not be enough, according to the paper.
Fortunately for the people of the world, the fringe population-control movement lurking behind the study has been making similarly outlandish claims since the Malthusian crackpots of the late 1700s — only to be proven embarrassingly wrong every time. Indeed, the editor of the latest paper on overpopulation, Paul Ehrlich, is perhaps one of the most widely ridiculed contemporary “scientists” on Earth. Thanks to funding from billionaire overpopulation zealots and the U.S. taxpayer, Ehrlich remains on the scene — despite being wrong about virtually everything throughout his career as an advocate of draconian population controls to stave off an imagined overpopulation crisis. He has previously stated that the “optimum number of people” is 1.5 billion to 2 billion. Yet, like every other population-control advocate, he has so far refused to lead by example.
“The planet’s large, growing, and overconsuming [sic] human population, especially the increasing affluent component, is rapidly eroding many of the Earth’s natural ecosystems,” claims the new paper, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) of the United States of America. “However, society’s only real policy lever to reduce the human population humanely is to encourage lower per capita fertility.” By lower per capita fertility, the authors mean that each woman should have fewer children. While that may be the only “humane” policy lever, the authors reveal clearly that their “humane” option will not be nearly enough to suit their taste for fewer humans allegedly messing up the “ecosystem” and consuming the elite’s resources.
The paper, entitled “Human population reduction is not a quick fix for environmental problems,” also examines various scenarios and potential “interventions” surrounding human population numbers — including mass deaths and drastically decreasing birth rates. Its conclusion, essentially: No matter what population controllers do to slash the population, there will still be too many people to save the planet, so global economic controls are also needed. “Even one-child policies imposed worldwide and catastrophic mortality events would still likely result in 5–10 billion people by 2100,” explains a summary of the paper, with the implicit assumption that 5-10 billion is too many. “Because of this demographic momentum, there are no easy ways to change the broad trends of human population size this century.”
In the abstract for the paper, the authors make similar claims, arguing that the growing population of people “is rapidly eroding Earth’s life-support system.” As such, they claim, there are “more frequent calls” to address the issue by advocating even steeper declines in the number of new people allowed to exist. “Assuming a continuation of current trends in mortality reduction, even a rapid transition to a worldwide one-child policy leads to a population similar to today’s by 2100,” reads the abstract, adding that even a “mass mortality event” killing 2 billion people over five years would still leave 8.5 billion mouths to feed by the end of the century. Especially troubling to the researchers are “human pressures” on the “future ecosystems” of Africa and South Asia. In other words, they believe there are too many Africans and South Asians in particular.
“Humanity’s large demographic momentum means that there are no easy policy levers to change the size of the human population substantially over coming decades, short of extreme and rapid reductions in female fertility; it will take centuries, and the long-term target remains unclear,” the authors claim, operating under the wild assumption that fewer humans is good and more humans is bad. “However, some reduction could be achieved by midcentury and lead to hundreds of millions fewer people to feed. More immediate results for sustainability would emerge from policies and technologies that reverse rising consumption of natural resources.” Hiding behind opaque language, the authors are proposing “policies” — also known as government coercion — to reduce the population, as well as the living standards and consumption levels of those who remain.
The new “study,” published online on October 27, comes as population-control zealots in the Obama administration and at the United Nations have been increasingly coming out of the woodwork. This month, for example, Obama’s new “Ebola Czar,” a lobbyist and attorney, came under fire for a 2008 interview in which he claimed “growing population,” especially in Africa, was the “top leadership challenge” facing the world — not tyranny, genocide, poverty, disease, infant mortality, but the number of people. Obama’s “Science Czar,” John Holdren, has previously proposed forced abortions, sterilization via the water supply, and what he called a “planetary regime” with a “global police force” to control resources and enforce the regime’s population edicts. Like other overpopulation crackpots, however, he has been wrong about virtually everything.
The UN, meanwhile, which recently unveiled a new plot to further slash the number of Africans, just came out with another report advocating global abortion on demand and more population-control measures to promote what it calls “sustainability.” Essentially, the notion of “sustainable development” involves centralizing power over humanity, the environment, and the economy at the global level — all under the guise of ensuring that humanity fits into vague notions of being “sustainable.” Of course, the global outfit has long been at the forefront of the establishment effort to reduce the human population. In recent years, the UN’s population-control agency, known as UNFPA, was even exposed unlawfully using U.S. taxpayer funds to help the Communist Chinese regime enforce its savage one-child policy through forced abortions and sterilization.
The latest call to reduce the population, like the previous ones, is based on multiple false assumptions and premises. One of the 800-pound gorillas behind the new paper reveals a fundamental lack of economic understanding. For instance, if a given nonrenewable resource were indeed becoming scarce, the laws of supply and demand would automatically push the price up. That would lead to increased reliance on substitutes as consumers reduced the quantity they demand. If no good substitutes exist, higher and higher prices for the dwindling resource would drive investment toward discovering one or recovering previously used resources by recycling or other means. When “peak oil” theorists argue that oil will run out, for example, they rarely, if ever, consider the well-documented market forces that would be at work, assuming governments stay out of the way. Perhaps “environmental scientists” and “ecologists” ought to be required to complete Economics 101 prior to obtaining their degrees.
The editor of the paper, Stanford Professor Paul Ehrlich of The Population Bomb infamy, has been making his kooky forecasts for decades. “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people,” he claimed in 1971, back when he and other population-control fanatics such as Obama’s forced-abortions “science” czar were hyping the “global cooling” fraud. “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000 and give ten to one that the life of the average Briton would be of distinctly lower quality than it is today.” On the first UN Earth Day in 1970, meanwhile, Ehrlich claimed that “in ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.” Now he is warning that humans may soon be forced to resort to cannibalism.
The authors of the PNAS study, professors Corey Bradshaw and Barry Brook at the University of Adelaide in Australia, are merely continuing to promote the decades-old, totally discredited and anti-biblical notion that the myth of “overpopulation” represents a threat to “Mother Earth.” Despite no global warming in 18 years, record levels of sea ice, and the failure of every single UN “climate” model, both are also deeply involved in promoting climate hysteria — another favorite tool of would-be population controllers. In reality, though, countless experts have warned that the real crisis facing humanity is that there are not enough births. With the rapidly aging population, mankind may well face a major population problem, but it will be the exact opposite of what Ehrlich and his comrades imagine.
The truth is that after a little more growth in the coming decades, human numbers are set to drastically decline based only on current trends. Right now, the entire population of the world could fit in Texas, with each family having its own home and a yard. The world also produces more than enough food to sustain mankind — the primary reason for the hunger that remains is tyranny and oppressive government, not a lack of resources. Even though population pseudo-scientists and neo-Malthusian crackpots are becoming increasingly discredited with the failure of their hysterical predictions, they still maintain a great deal of power in governments and international organizations around the globe. Considering their horrifying past proposals and embarrassing track records, however, they ought to be laughed out of their taxpayer-funded jobs.
Murray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”
This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.
The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.
As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.
However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.
The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.
The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.