The One-Dimensional James Delingpole

A nod in the direction of Michael Tobis, who alerted me to the fact that James “Jems” Delingpole has been attempting to think his way out of the development box again :-

http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/09/demographic-transition-cause-and-effect.html

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100052106/and-your-solution-to-the-us-problem-would-be-what-exactly-boris/

James Delingpole recognises that Boris Johnson has decided to latch onto an easy picking :-

“…Lots of nice, sensible people will have agreed with him, I’m sure. It’s an easy political point to make: like being against chewing gum stuck on pavements or uncleaned up dog poo or boisterous, drunken youths in town centres or battery chickens or bear baiting. Of course we’d all like the world to be less populous…”

After all, those in the world who are busy reproducing are the poor, and it’s easy to promote the idea that they should show more responsibility in fecundity. Because they are over there, and we are over here. And telling other people what to do is always easier than changing ourselves.

Some people even go so far as to base their “overpopulation in developing countries” argument on the notion that all the poor people with their multitudes of poor children are deforesting the tropics for fuel wood – how terrible !

But really, the populous poor have a much smaller impact on the environment than the minority rich. And I’m talking general environmental terms, not just Climate Change.

But if you want to talk Global Warming, it’s the non-multiplying rich people who are causing the significant problem with their unrelenting Greenhouse Gas emissions. For example, the United States with only 400 million people, produces over 25% of global Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Continue reading The One-Dimensional James Delingpole

The Population Question (2)

Image Credit : Lauren Manning under Creative Commons Licence : “World Population Growth From 2008 to 2050”

Who could have guessed that my previous post would not be the final word on “The Population Question” ?

As anybody who has ever looked at this question and its surrounding myths will know, there is layer upon layer of mis-fact, swirl around swirl of supposition and conjecture on the topic of human-to-land density in the imaginings of the newspaper-reading populace.

Continue reading The Population Question (2)

The Population Question

Over the last ten years, I have attended many public meetings centred on the topic of Climate Change. In my experience, at any one event there will usually be (a) the town madhatter (well-loved, but completely batty), (b) a court jester (the only person in the room who finds the court jester witty) and (c) somebody who deliberately asks or poses what I call “the population question”.

The basic premise of this question is – since the world’s population is rising exponentially, we’re not going to be able to prevent Climate Change unless we force the people in Asia or Africa to stop procreating. Why, already, China’s Greenhouse Gas emissions are already larger than America’s ! And on the back of the diagnosis that the population explosion will ruin our chances of Climate stability, the logical conclusion is that it is pointless for people in the Western industrialised countries to reduce their energy and fuel use, as our emissions aren’t very significant compared to those of Asia.

Continue reading The Population Question