It amazes me that I continue to be inundated by personal communications from those who, for whatever reason, decided to disbelieve the overwhelming scientific consensus about the existence of human induced climate change. They search for something, anything, that agrees with their bias in order to make it appear supported by thoughtful analysis. Usually this means refering to something written by someone bearing the title of Dr. or Professor before his or her name. I surmise that, in most cases, before distributing the propaganda they do not bother to find out if the person has expertise in the field or if anyone who does, agrees with him.
One of the more recent missives I received refers to a Dr. something or other [area of expertise undetermined], who promotes the long discredited claim that vulcanism causes all or most of the elevated carbon found in the earth's atmosphere today.
The slightest bit of research reveals that Volcanoes emit about 0.3 billion tones of CO2 per year. This constitutes only about 1% of human CO2 emissions (around 29 billion tones per year). In addition, the carbon emitted by most eruptions since records have been kept, were they significant, would most likely be accounted for in most of the models developed by the scientists upon which the evidence for global warming are based. Did those people who blindly passed on the report without thinking about it actually believe that all the scientists who produced the 50,000 or so peer reviewed articles confirming climate change just happened to overlook a possible major carbon source such as volcanos in their calculations?
Now in fairness to all the parties involved in the climate change controversy, I must confess that I have my own theory on the matter to promote. It goes something like this:
Since the beginning of the 19th Century, when accurate meteorological records began to be kept, world population has grown to be more than six times larger than it was then. There are six billion more people alive today, yet the PPM concentration of carbon in the atmosphere [the claimed major factor in global warming.] has increased only by about 50%-100%. Does this mean that had we maintained the population levels of 200 years ago, despite industrialization, the amount of green house gasses in the atmosphere would have remain relatively static and perhaps even decreased? And, if so isn't birth control the solution now?
If my speculation is accurate, then the mystery remains why isn't the birth control solution at the top of everyone's agenda? I expect for the environmental community it may be because to do so would threaten to diminish their obsessive focus on industrial regulation. For conservatives it might mean accepting and promoting what to them is morally hateful; birth control, abortion and woman's liberation. For the business community it means refocussing from supplying existing products to an ever expanding customer base, to the much more difficult task of creating new wants among existing buyers.
There is, however, another way to approach this. The economist Brad DeLong touched on this when he wrote:
"Only with the coming of female literacy and artificial means of birth control can a society maintain both a slowly-growing or stable population and a substantial edge in median standard of living over subsistence."(See below for DeLong's entire argument)The liberation of woman in my opinion, constitutes not just a civil rights and justice issue but one of survival.
For at least 10,000 years or so virtually every political system, economic system and religion has been designed by men for men. There is no natural or divine law that requires any of these structures to be designed in the way that they have been. During those same 10,000 years every justification of those structures have been developed by men to benefit men.
I previously have advocated here in Daily Kos and in a few other blogs that the sooner the instruments of power in society world-wide are turned over to women, the more likely it is that we can avoid the Armageddon that may be rushing towards us.
The complete Delong quote:
A human population with adequate food, and with reasonable pre-modern public health will do what the English settler population did in North America in the two centuries after 1600: it will double from natural increase each generation. Only Malthus’s “positive check”—plague, famine, children malnourished so that their immune systems are compromised and cannot fight off bacterial or viral infections, women so malnourished that they cease ovulating—can keep population stable. Even Malthus’s “preventative check”—priests threatening those who engage in illicit sexual intercourse with damnation, fathers refusing to let their daughters marry until the suitor is established with a farm of his own, brothers refusing to let younger lineage males marry until lineage resources increase, kings to enforce Poor Laws and confine vagrants and those without visible means of support—cannot do much. Only with the coming of female literacy and artificial means of birth control can a society maintain both a slowly-growing or stable population and a substantial edge in median standard of living over subsistence.********
Brad DeLong (http://delong.typepad.com/...)
* Note: Recent archeological evidence seems to indicate that overpopulation within certain pockets of hunter gatherers led to the discovery of farming and that the resulting agricultural communities suffered a substantial decline in their caloric intake and general health as compared to the hunter gatherers that remained in the area.
According to Jared Diamond:
"There are at least three sets of reasons to explain the findings that agriculture was bad for health. First, hunter-gatherers enjoyed a varied diet, while early farmers obtained most of their food from one or a few starchy crops… Second, because of dependence on a limited number of crops, farmers ran the risk of starvation if one crop failed. Finally, the mere fact that agriculture encouraged people to clump together in crowded societies, many of which then carried on trade with other crowded societies, led to the spread of parasites and infectious disease...(My apology to the readers for the bold script in the last few paragraphs of this post. I could not figure out how to eliminate it.)
Besides malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic diseases, farming helped bring another curse upon humanity: deep class divisions. Hunter-gatherers have little or no stored food, and no concentrated food sources, like an orchard or a herd of cows: they live off the wild plants and animals they obtain each day. Therefore, there can be no kings, no class of social parasites who grow fat on food seized from others. Only in a farming population could a healthy, non-producing elite set itself above the disease-ridden masses…
Farming could support many more people than hunting, albeit with a poorer quality of life. (Population densities of hunter-gatherers are rarely over on person per ten square miles, while farmers average 100 times that.) Partly, this is because a field planted entirely in edible crops lets one feed far more mouths than a forest with scattered edible plants. Partly, too, it's because nomadic hunter-gatherers have to keep their children spaced at four-year intervals by infanticide and other means, since a mother must carry her toddler until it's old enough to keep up with the adults. Because farm women don't have that burden, they can and often do bear a child every two years…"
Jared Diamond, "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race," Discover Magazine, May 1987, pp. 64-66.
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