Evidence mounts that carbon dioxide emissions are not our biggest problem. An article titled “Climate Change – The Real Causes” on the New Zealand Climate Science website by professor Geoffrey G. Duffy (link) strongly makes the point that carbon dioxide is not going to produce the kind of global climate change scenarios being trumpeted by many, including many celebrities and government climatologists. I was scared to death by the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”, but I have seen and read many articles and studies throwing it into question or directly debunking it since then. As a result I have come to wonder why so many continue to raise alarms about global warming when the more obvious problems before us are our dependence on massive amounts of fossil fuels and their inevitable exhaustion, and the huge population growth we have achieved as a result of cheap energy. Why global warming persists as a news item I will leave to others, as it is a political issue that must be addressed in the short term, though it is nonetheless worrisome. Has the global warming flap helped us? What should we really be working on?
Concerns about global warming have had positive results, even if we have much bigger problems. I accept and am glad that the concern for global warming, whether it is a realistic concern or not, has had some very positive outcomes. One is that the consciousness of people worldwide has been elevated, and many are now aware or becoming aware of the most critical problems facing the human species in the next few decades: overpopulation and the increasingly-expensive energy supplies on which we are dependent.
Counter actions to global warming are helpful. Another positive outcome of the global warming flap (I almost committed the Freudian slip of dyslexically typing it as blogal warming) is that the curbing of CO2 emissions must be achieved through conservation, which buys us time to deal with our energy issues, and through the development and implementation of alternative energy sources. We should all be working at every level, privately and publicly, to move the needle in this direction – conserving at home and making permanent changes in our behaviors and properties/possessions, and lobbying our government and commercial contacts for better products and funding for much needed basic research.
The “elephant in the room” is still overpopulation. The most important problem, however, seems to get the least media attention, possibly because it is less sensational and because the solutions are both not as exciting and politically problematic. That problem is overpopulation. The energy source problem only makes it worse.
There are humane solutions to the overpopulation problem. Since birthrates are far higher among the least educated and poorest populations, and strong correlations have repeatedly been shown between education levels and economic security on one hand and significantly reduced birthrates on the other, it seems clear that the best thing the developed countries can do is to provide educational, economic, and family planning assistance to those countries with the highest birthrates. That has not been happening because, in the final analysis, people aren’t demanding it.
Your individual action is needed at every level to address overpopulation. We should all, in light of the crisis of overpopulation descending on us and our world, be lobbying actively, writing letters, sending emails, and talking to our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and, most importantly, government representatives, about the urgency of providing much needed assistance in those three key areas to the countries who need it the most. The alternative is more rising energy prices, increasingly frequent food shortages, worsening pollution, and continued and worsening immigration problems, among others. We should all be thinking about the kind of world we are making for our children, grandchildren, and descendants going into the future, and doing what we can to provide them a world and life as wonderful as the one so many of us are enjoying. Please contact your government representatives today, and every day if possible, on this most important matter.
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As always, I welcome your comments. – Tim