Sunday, March 20, 2011

re: "Meanwhile, Population Explosion Ignored" (Courier Times, 3/18/11)

The notion that we are imperiled by the size of the human population has been around since Anglican priest Thomas Malthus first postulated it in the late 18th century. In regard to famine, immorality, war and human misery of all sorts, Malthus maintained that there is "one great cause," preventing "improvement of society," and that is "the constant tendency in all animated life to increase beyond the nourishment prepared for it." If the size of the human population were to go unchecked, Malthus' demographics suggested that people would soon outrun global food supplies. Yup, that tired notion has been around since the 18th century.

Some would suggest that mid-nineteenth century Ireland presented a "laboratory" for the British Empire to experiment with Malthusian concepts. If there are supposedly too many people, some figure that it's OK to weed out the supposedly less desirable and promote the propagation of supposedly more desirable people. It has been said that food remained in British warehouses while the Irish suffered the Great Hunger!
In Ireland and in the other famines since Malthus' time, food experts remind us that the problem has NOT been insufficient food. As per economist Jacqueline R. Kasun, the problem is also NOT overpopulation. While we have enough food, the true problem of famine is inadequate food distribution, which is often linked to good old human selfishness.

For people who buy into the notion of overpopulation (and have you noticed that they often seem to be affluent people like Sir David Attenborough and Bill Gates?), the notion of eugenics can closely follow. Novelist and physician Michael Crichton explained how this notion became popular, more than one hundred years ago:

  • "Imagine that there is a new scientific theory that warns of an impending crisis, and points to a way out....The theory of eugenics postulated a crisis of the gene pool leading to the deterioration of the human race....even after the center of the eugenics effort moved to Germany, and involved the gassing of individuals from mental institutions, the Rockefeller Foundation continued to finance German research at a very high level....After World War II, nobody was a eugenicist, and nobody had ever been a eugenicist....Eugenics ceased to be a subject for college classrooms, although some argue that its ideas continue to have currency in disguised form" (State of Fear, 2004, pp. 575 - 577).

I maintain that Bonnie Erbe's dopey tribute to Attenborough, "Meanwhile, Population Explosion Ignored" (Courier Times, 3/18/11) reveals "disguised form" eugenics. As Erbe herself notes, "Attenborough points out what I agree with him has become an 'absurd taboo' on speaking out publicly on human population growth and trying to do something about it."

Evidencing utter ignorance about population demographics (perhaps especially in the historically Catholic countries of Western Europe), Erbe joins Sir David in throwing in some anti-Catholicism for good measure: "Attenborough gets quickly to the point. He compares population growth rates in several developing nations and compares rates in Catholic versus non- Catholic nations and in Catholic countries fertility rates are almost twice as high as in non-Catholic countries."

Erbe parrots Attenborough's hateful bile, which is not even disguised! Why does the Courier Times publish such discriminatory garbage? It would behoove Bonnie Erbe and Sir David to step out of their limos and visit a library.

They would benefit by opening a book once in a while, as there have been many notable ones - AFTER Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.

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