I was dipping for my biweekly paddle into the cesspool that was green left weekly when Icame across a piece so wombat fellatingly stupid I though I should share it with the world.
The lady who wrote it is/was a Socialist alliance candidate, one of Australias most marginal parties, often having a hard time breaking 3 figures in results at elections. (which is why they consider elections bad). For an example of her commitment to democracy here is her blurb as a candidate for the last one
“Only working people, organised into mass movements in the workplace and on the streets, are powerful enough to win real social justice and ecological sustainability. Voting is not enough.”If elected to parliament, we’d use our positions to build and fund these grassroots social movements.”
Anyway enough of that, what is under the fold is her article from GLW, suitably filleted for your enjoyment. Be warned a swearbolgging alert is issued for this post…
A nice heading which outlines her anti-human solutions right from the start.
Climate change: is population the problem?
We face a climate crisis and something needs to change. The world’s resources are finite, as is the amount of destruction humans can do to this planet if we are to survive. As such, there is a debate in the environment movement about whether or not curbing population is an essential part of the solution.
/ Not really much of a debate you pin eyed zealot, scratch most greenies and you will quickly find a mindset of “Just enough of me, but rather too many of you” waiting to implement some pogrom to thin the herd.
We have a decade, maybe a decade and a half, to transform our current relationship with the planet. Of course, the starting point for environmentalists cannot be solutions. We first need to identify the cause of the crisis before we can know how to fight it.
No fuck that, if we came out and campaigned for reduction of the worlds population by 9/10ths people might judge our policies a little extreme.. Much safer to implement the policies that will make that happen without having to explain it…
People who see limiting population as essential to solving the climate crisis argue the cause of environmental degradation, at least in part, is overpopulation.
Most “populationists” argue there are already too many human beings on the planet to provide for everyone’s basic needs. All contend that curbing population growth or decreasing population is some or all of the solution to climate change and to the fact that the basic needs of many people are not satisfied.
Ah, you mean the greens Australia, and nearly every other deep green organisations positions? Somehow by everyone having much, much less and there being many, many less of us we will achieve nirvana?
In Green Left Weekly #805, Jane Addison wrote: “To address [the sustainability] imbalance, we have two options … On the one hand, we reduce the amount that each of us consumes. On the other, we reduce the number of us consuming.”
Addison argued that the best way to balance the sustainability equation is to stop population growth because “it is morally wrong to deny developing countries — the world’s majority population — a standard of living equal to that of richer countries”.
Funny, but my English comprehension skills must be lacking, “reduce the number of us consuming” is nothing like “stopping population growth”, you would be mass murdering hag. One means keeping numbers the same, the other means reducing numbers, I wonder how? Given that your earlier claim “We have a decade, maybe a decade and a half”, I dont think you are referring to natural decline, would some sort of “final solution” help maybe?
Similarly, in the April 15 Canberra Times, Dr Mark Diesendorf wrote: “Greenhouse gas emissions, peak oil, urban traffic congestion, air and water pollution, loss of soils and destruction of biodiversity are driven by three factors: population, consumption per person and technological impact. A doubling of any one of these factors doubles the environmental impact.”
Populationists thus draw a direct correlation between population size and environmental destruction: the more people, the more pollution.
Generally, the argument is nuanced with an acknowledgement that per person greenhouse gas emissions vary a lot. For example, Australia’s per person greenhouse gas emissions are nearly double the OECD average and more than four times higher than the world average.
No mention of Australia having a living standard massively higher than those at the low end of the OECD scale either?
Population and environmental destruction
Concrete examples disprove the assumed connection between population and environment destruction. For example, Japan’s population peaked at the end of 2004 at about 127.8 million and is now in decline.
According to the January 2 British Guardian: “Health ministry records estimated the population fell by 51,000 in 2008. The number of deaths hit a record of 1.14 million … and the number of births totalled 1.09 million.”
However, ABC Online said on November 12 last year the Japanese government had announced that Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions hit a record high in the year ending March 2008.
Japan has been in steep economic decline for a number of years now, Id be hazarding a guess, (yup I was right)that the “growth in greenhouse” she finds so terrible are actually a sign things may be improving for them.
Cuba’s example makes this same point, but for the inverse reason. From 1990 to 2004, the Cuban population grew by about 1 million or 8.5%. For the same period, total carbon dioxide emissions fell from 32 million tones to 25.8 million tones; a 19.4%.
So, a decline in population has no direct link to a decline in emissions. Population growth does not always increase carbon emissions therefore a decline in population does not automatically lead to a cut in emissions
Pure distilled essence of shit. What happened around the 1980s that may have affected Cubas exports/imports, gee I cant seem to remember…. Funny how a socialist alliance candidate misses a little point like the USSR collapsing when it suits her?
‘Consumers’ aren’t to blame
Addison calls for pollution control through consumption reduction, but misses the point that under the current economic system production isn’t for consumption, it’s for profit
Anyone who still wishes to believe that greenies are anything more than communists painted green should stop reading now..
Populationists tend to reduce the complexity of modern human society down to individual “consumers”, as though we all have equal choice and buying power, and therefore equal responsibility to reduce our consumption.
This entirely ignores the fact that we are not all equal consumers. Capitalism ensures that a tiny minority of the world’s population makes the big decisions about how things are produced — against the interests of the majority of humanity and the planet.
This ruling minority has an interest in keeping environmentally damaging industries in business. Their huge control over the market limits consumer choices dramatically. Changing consumer habits has little impact on this reality. You can’t replace a coal-fired power station with a wind farm by green choices in the supermarket aisle.
Consumption rates are not the cause of the problem — methods of production are.
Ah! so all we need are some people with no ties to actually producing items people choose to buy to dictate what should be made instead, so simple I wonder it hasnt been tried before!
Development and consumption
Linking development levels directly to consumption rates also leads to false solutions. The argument assumes that countries cannot sustainably develop; that affluence necessarily leads to increased environmental destruction; that production is based on human need and consumption, and that the nature of production cannot change. None of this is true.
According to a 2006 report published by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Cuba has sustainable development. Cuba satisfies the minimum criteria in terms of both the United Nations Human Development Index and ecological footprint, measured as average energy and resources consumed per person.
Yet, Cuba is a poor, Third World country. According to the UN, GDP per person in 2007 was $4641. Yet 2007 World Bank statistics show that life expectancy is higher and infant mortality lower in Cuba than the US, with a GDP per person of $45,047.
There is no direct link between affluence and consumption. So why are developed countries generally much higher consumers?
Gee fancy that Cuba is a place to be emulated, pity that there is a huge difference between Potemkin facilities and the real ones shown to delegations then eh? Cuba is wallowing in poverty, it is run by a small cabal that inflicts whatever miseries it wants on its peoples, and you, you disgusting low gutter dog, want to praise it. FYYSLF.
Production and distribution
Populationists reduce us to individual consumers, but we can only consume what is available. Within the current undemocratic system, the vast majority of us have no say in what or how things are produced.
Or if you really had the courage of your convictions, and believed a market wasn’t being served, you could start your own company and become wealthy supplying exactly what people want… After all that’s what McDonalds does.
Everything produced, and the means of production, is owned and controlled by capitalists. The rest of us have to work to make a living.
Your a student at the age of 24, you don’t fucking work do you? Why not get together a group of like minded friends, badge them with a catchy name, and launch a product YOU fucking believe people want? After all that what most capitalists did when they started out? Or do monarchs still own everything? The sheer retardation hurts to read, but there’s more…
Meanwhile, producers use advertising and the media to tell us we need two cars and a large house, that we need to consume beyond satisfying basic needs.
Well that certainly explains why I have 15 jars of baby food, a breast enlargement and 4 bags of sanitary napkins, and Im a bloke! Advertising works, but all you have to do is say no. Its a bit like blaming being pregnant an being asked for a dance.
Likewise, the profit motive plays a role in determining population growth. It is profitable to exploit people in the Third World; to take their collective natural resources so that they must work to sustain themselves. All the while, profiteers pay them only a fraction of their worth.
Curse those damn Chinese capitalists exploiting poor third world Australia by buying our natural resources….or something….
Due to this process, people in underdeveloped countries are forced to have the maximum number of children — future workers — to provide them with the greatest possible security later in life.
And that is overcome when those people are lifted from poverty, given access to reliable birth control, and have something to do other than watch bare walls in a mud hut.
We live in a time of abundance, with enough produced. However, distribution of food is run on a profit basis, and people starve needlessly. For example, by 2006 the number of obese people surpassed the number of starving people. This was not because world hunger decreased. In fact, the number of those hungry is at an all time high. It is because the big multinational food companies are out to make a profit, not to feed the hungry. So production for profit, not a lack of resources, is the main cause of starvation.
I believe the profit motive is what makes that abundance of food available in the first place, remove the profit factor and your surplus will quickly sort itself out, just not in the way you imagine. Imagine you are an African farmer and you wish to sell your surplus wheat. There is a temporary shortage of wheat next door and you are assured of receiving a good price for your product. Then someone declares it to be an “emergency” and your market is flooded with “free” aid fodder, what have you worked for? How will you expand your operations (to produce a bigger surplus), and why would you persist in farming? Even the fucking UN is slowly realising they may have been causing more harm than good by giving away free food.
Under capitalism, waste is immense. In February, the United Nations Environment Program released a report that put food waste and losses in the US at around 40-50%. It said close to one third of all food bought in Britain is thrown away and that, in Australia, food waste makes up close to half of all landfill.
Curse capitalism and its evil ways for forcing us to leave a banana in the fridge till it goes off! Smash the system!.
The problem is not that there isn’t enough food to feed the world’s population, but that it’s more profitable to waste food than get it to the people who need it most.
Bullshit on a stick, most of the food being wasted is perishable in nature, Im not quite sure how you’d get around transporting a load of perishable produce to sub-saharan Africa in such a way it would please you apparently easily shed green religion. Towed on the back of sustainable unicorns maybe?
Those who see limiting population as a solution to the ecological crisis fail to tackle the cause of climate change at its roots: the environmentally destructive way things are produced and distributed under capitalism.
Gee what a coincidence the cure for environmental ills is socialism…. Funny how that dovetails so well into your preconceptions ..
The problem is not that goods are produced, but how they’re produced. The most profitable means of production — at least for short-term profit — tend to be the most environmentally destructive. But under capitalism, we have little choice about how environmentally unfriendly most of what we consume is. Recycled products, for example, tend to be more expensive than products made from non-renewable sources.
They tend to be more expensive because they are inefficient you stupid profoundly ignorant tart! Or do you believe those eeevil capitalists wouldn’t use more recyclables if there wasnt more profit in it? Fuck you are dumb.
For example, an aluminium can made from recycled aluminium has, in the course of its production, contributed substantially less greenhouse gas emissions than a can made from newly mined ore.
Test your theory, collect a pile of aluminium cans and see how much you get paid for them, did it seem like time well spent? Or were there more profitable ways you could have spent your time? Not a difficult concept is it? Or does some man in a seersucker suit with a monocle and cane walk up to you and dash them from you hands?
We could say that there are too many people are buying canned drinks, or limiting how many cans each person can “consume”, or we can target the corporations producing the soft drinks, bring their factories under democratic control and convert their production to sustainable, renewable practices.
The system itself does not allow for sustainable development. Unless we challenge production and distribution, we cannot solve the environmental crisis.
I can almost guarantee if you got your way wed be rationing our cans, and I love the way stealing property is “democratic”. Would you like to spread your legs to every man who wants a bit of that “democratic” pussy of yours? After all its sustainable and renewable. Nah thought not?
Addison and Sustainable Population Australia argue that we must prevent migration from Third World to First World countries, because the carbon footprint of these people would increase. This is discriminatory and incorrect. It assumes current production methods cannot, or will not, change. It also implies people born in poorer countries have less right to a decent standard of living.
Rather than deny people access to the same standard of living, shouldn’t we force a change in production methods so that a comfortable lifestyle for everyone is sustainable?
So its a basic incontestable fact that a person living in Oz will consume more (and live much, much better) than a person in Zimbabwe. However Zimbabwe already has an agricultural industry which had been “democratised”, and has gone from being a food exporter (under the evil capitalists), to having a starving population.
So explain how your “Forcing a change” will sidestep this little pitfall.
No time for false solutions
Of course there are limits to population and consumption. The Earth’s resources are finite. But its carrying capacity is dynamic. Earth could not sustain 6 billion people with Australia’s current production practices and greenhouse gas emissions per capita.
The earths resources are big, really really big. Bigger than your overweening little ego could possibly comprehend. The only thing bigger is the ability of mankind to innovate, however people innovate best when there is a reward for doing so. You wish to both deny the use of resources, and remove the rewards of innovation. Your a neanderthal arent you?
However, in the same scenario, if Australia moved to a zero-emissions economy, the world could support a much bigger population than 6 billion, with a massive increase in global development.
Zero emissions = sub human existence, you first milady….
Population arguments fail to recognise that the cause of the climate crisis is profit-driven production and that population growth, consumption and barriers to technological development and implementation are all products of a system driven by profit.
Because everyone knows the biggest barrier to tech innovation is the knowledge you could make a fortune out of it right? A profit based system works far far better than any other system tried so far, kill it, and you will quickly see how small the numbers the earth could support are. Id find it rather unlikely youd be a 24 year old student in a zero carbon world.
We do not have time to spend demanding false solutions to symptoms rather than causes. We have a 10-year window in which to radically reduce emissions. The environment movement cannot afford to spend time and energy on false solutions.
The environment movement is nothing more than a stalking horse for frustrated socialist scum. They have seen their systems crash and burn every time it has been tried, yet still think they will get it right “next time”.