Skip to comments.The Failed Policies of the Past, or, The Thirty Year Echo
Posted on 07/23/2008 6:43:09 PM PDT by grey_whiskers
In the early- to mid- 1970s, the current crop of liberal alarmists were coming to the fore and feeling their oats. There was Rachel Carsons Silent Spring, the book which singlehandedly led to the elimination of DDT. And finally, there was the grand-daddy of them all, Paul Erlichs The Population Bomb, an updated salute to Malthus. I can still remember the words on the cover: While you were reading these words, people will die of starvation, most of them children. It seems that the world was eating itself out of house and home, beyond any possibility of rescue.
It is childs play to take a retrospective look at the dire predictions of the book, and compare them to what really happened. This has been done by a number of people. For example, the late economist Julian Simon, who once bet Paul Ehrlich as to the (inflation adjusted) prices of a group of strategic minerals ten years hence. Simon bet that the supplies would increase as a result of market forces, and the prices would drop, and Erlich bet that wed be running out. Simon won handily. In addition, P.J. ORourke pointed out that in the best case scenario in the book, there is food rationing in the United States.
Naturally, the alarmists were proven wrong. But there are a couple of ways in which we are still paying the price for their error. Remember that the pressure was on to reduce the size of families, or to forgo child-raising altogether. And the most convenient ways to do that just happened to dovetail nicely with the Sexual Revolution, and the . Scads of Americans and European women have either had abortions, or put off having families in the pursuit of a career. The only problem is, someone forgot to tell the Third Worlders, or else, the Third Worlders were more sensible than the sophisticated Westerners. Thats right, the population of the world increased drastically since the seventies: only it is the poorer countries who have been experiencing the growth.
What are the unintended consequences of the push for low population? The aging of the baby boomers, with too small of a cohort of young people to take new jobs, or to support the bloated social programs. This has helped the oh-so-sensible governments to encourage wholesale importation of cheap labor to fill the vacuum. In the US, this has led to Shamnesty; in Europe, this has led to the troubles with, umm, youths who burn cars in Paris, and various folks who like to blow up subway trains in Spain and Britain. Did I mention that the Islamic countries have kept up their birth rates?
So why am I mentioning the obviouseveryone knows this, and besides, to bring it up is to court charges of racism. Well, the point is not just to cry out to the left Now look what youve done! Many of the left who have acted as thought-leaders would welcome these results, as they tend to undermine the hated Western World. The real point is to anyone normal who is reading this piece: beware of the laws of unintended consequences, especially formulated as a cant miss policy. In particular, the leftists and the annointed are now issuing a relentless hue and cry to beware not of population growth, but of climate change. And we must act NOW to save the planet! Even if we act now it will be TOO LATE etc. etc. Is there a thirty-year echo somewhere?
So I have two questions to leave you with:
1) Where are we going with the global warming alarmists?
2) Why are we in this handbasket?
I first heard the concept of environmentalism being the new home of displaced communists on the Rush Limbaugh show years ago. And of course, the former president of Czechoslovakia, Václav Klaus, has also said global warming is just a new branch of communism.
Funny that the "old communists" in China reject
Anthropogenic Global Warming Anthropogenic Climate Change innit?