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Nate Jackson / November 16, 2017

Overpopulation Is Not Killing the Planet

And yet ecofascists keep arguing that the “moral” thing to do is have fewer children.

Population control to save the planet is hardly a new idea. It goes back at least 50 years. Indeed, we’ve written about it many times before.

The latest entry in this man-hating earth-worship genre is from NBC News in a “think” piece entitled “Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them.” The author, Travis Rieder of the Berman Institute of Bioethics, begins, “A startling and honestly distressing view is beginning to receive serious consideration in both academic and popular discussions of climate change ethics.”

Um, “beginning to”? Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb was published in 1968 and received a lot of attention from lefty environmentalists. Ehrlich predicted a “substantial increase in the world death rate” within a decade because of the difficulty in feeding so many people. Of course, Ehrlich’s dire prediction didn’t happen — on the contrary, there’s more food now than ever. But when have, er, inconvenient truths ever stopped leftists from hollering the same apocalyptic climate warnings even louder? In fact, despite being a false prophet, Ehrlich wrote two more books on population control in the 1990s.

Note the irony here: Totalitarian regimes are responsible for the only real famines since Ehrlich first warned of food shortages, yet his and other ecofascists’ solution is … totalitarian population control. What could go wrong?

Thus it’s no surprise that an academic like Rieder would smugly assert, “Moral responsibility simply isn’t mathematical. If you buy this view of responsibility, you might eventually admit that having many children is wrong, or at least morally suspect, for standard environmental reasons: Having a child imposes high emissions on the world, while the parents get the benefit. So like with any high-cost luxury, we should limit our indulgence.”

He tries to back off some, adding, “I am certainly not arguing that we should shame parents, or even that we’re obligated to have a certain number of children. As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t think there is a tidy answer to the challenging questions of procreative ethics. But that does not mean we’re off the moral hook.”

Yet the implication of such morality remains that if you can’t limit your own “indulgence,” government might just have to step in. The only recipe leftists ever offer is to eliminate choice by way of ever more powerful government — even if it means violating another of their long-held tenets: “Get your laws out of my bedroom/off my body.”

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