Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Too Many People, Too Little Planet

The NYTimes had a panel discussion on how the Green Revolution has allowed the world to triple its population in the past fifty years. Here’s the link: The Unrealized Horrors of Population Explosion

Here’s NJ's take after watching the panel.

My first response was outrage, not only for the hit job on Dr Ehrlich but the conclusion, that the planet needs MORE people not fewer. Then the thought occurred, Why publish this story (and the related question, why now)? The piece focuses almost exclusively on starvation as it relates to too many people and how the green revolution destroyed Ehrlich's original thesis. This ignores the reality that the green revolution relies entirely on hydrocarbons--fuel for the machinery, pesticides, herbicides) not to mention gene fiddling. It's unsustainable, in other words. Moreover, there are still nearly a billion starving today not to mention two billion malnourished or undernourished.

But this begs the larger point, the connection between population (and
increasing demand) and climate change. That's the real game changer for the planet.


There are big proposals for carbon reduction on the table ahead of the IPCC meetings this coming year. Is that the reason for this story running now?

James Kunstler does a great takedown on the hit piece here.