Sunday, September 11, 2011

Population Control 2: Big Government and Climate Alarmism

This is the continuation of my new discussion series, "Population Control". I am posting here two articles which I wrote last February 01 and May 19 this year. From here, Parts 3 onwards, I will be posting more new papers on the subject.

(1) Population policy: Big Govt or Big Church?

February 01, 2011

Population remains a thorny topic for many quarters and governments around the world. So many graphs have been shown where as population size increases, per capita income decreases. So people make some causality analysis, one is caused by the other, but which one really causes the other?

This is one of the issues tackled by Barun Mitra, Founder and Director of the Liberty Institute in Delhi, India. Barun gave a talk at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF) Manila office last week, January 27 evening. In this picture, Barun is between me and Jules Maaten, FNF Resident Manager in the Philippines. The audience wasn't big (short notice and preparation) but the discussion was intense and very lively. I had to cut the discussion by 8:30pm as food was ready and discussions can still continue over nice food and wine.

Before Barun talked, I gave Jules a copy of my first book, "Health Choices and Responsibilities", 230 pages, published by Central Book Supply Inc., and was delivered to me only 2 weekends ago.

Barun showed several graphs and tables. One table that struck me was the expected number of new working age population from 2010-2020. India about 123 million, China only around 25 million! The one-child policy coercion by the Chinese government since the 70s has caught up with it. Lots of Chinese are now ageing, the number of young Chinese who will work to support themselves, their elders, other seniors with no children, the government bureaucracy, will not be enough soon.

This will have huge demographic, economic and political implications for China. The hundreds of thousands of factories in China will soon be using foreign workers or robots to keep up production. Millions of productive and entrepreneurial Chinese who have 2 or more children are living in Hong Kong, US, Philippines and other countries.

About the Reproductive Health (RH) bill being debated in Philippine Congress, I actually did not study it much because my impression is that it is a battle between a big Government and a big Catholic church, each trying to influence or impose their respective wills on an otherwise autonomous unit -- the household. Barun told me that between a big G and a big C, he'd choose the latter. Me too.

What I don't like in the RH bill is one provision where sex education will become part of public education curriculum. What? Less hours for science, math and english, to accommodate more sectoral issues like population, environment, HIV, and others pushed by various influential groups and their respective political agenda?

A trying-hard nanny state like the Philippine government would have the implicit desire to limit natural population growth (ie, population control) because more population of the poor would mean bigger demand for public education, public health, public housing, public credit, etc.

Which is the fault of a BIG government that wants to assume more government responsibilities and would give little room for personal and parental responsibilities. Why is education a government responsibility and not parental responsibility (at least at the tertiary level) by the way?

After Barun's lecture, nice food, softdrinks and wine took the center stage. Here with my fellow UPSE alumni, Gary Makasiar (to my left) and Simplicio Endaya and his wife. Barun was being pulled from one corner to another as the participants wanted to hear more ideas and data from him.

Coming from the world's 2nd biggest population country, and advocating the philosophy of more individual responsibility and more personal freedom, Barun is indeed among the best persons to talk about the subject of population policy.

(2) Control population to fight global warming

May 19, 2011

One of the serious implications of climate alarmism movement is to blame high global population. More people means more cars and buses, more planes and airports, more houses and schools, more factories and buildings, which will require more energy and electricity, which are generally fossil fuel-based, which contribute to more global warming and man-made climate change.

Thus, to help fight global warming is... you guess it: control population. Less people means less SUVS and tricycles, less boats and trains, less malls and shops, less energy and less power plants. Thus, they can "stabilize" the global climate and fight warming. Bright ideas.

But some alarmists do not stop there. They even identified the magic number that is the "carrying capacity" of the earth. Beyond that population carrying capacity, the planet's socio-economic infrastructures can explode. And what is that magic population carrying capacity?

Just 1 billion. We are now around 7 billion people in planet Earth. Meaning there are currently 6 billion "excess" people, which are responsible for unequivocal global warming. Can you believe that?

If you don't, then see this. Click to get a larger image.

That's from the NYT's dotearth blog, Scientist: Warming Could Cut Population to 1 Billion, dated March 13, 2009. The scientist quoted there was Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany. He said that

if the buildup of greenhouse gases and its consequences pushed global temperatures 9 degrees Fahrenheit higher than today — well below the upper temperature range that scientists project could occur from global warming — Earth’s population would be devastated.

“In a very cynical way, it’s a triumph for science because at last we have stabilized something –- namely the estimates for the carrying capacity of the planet, namely below 1 billion people,”

H/t to NoTricksZone article.

It is noticeable why the same groups that push for more environmental regulations, more carbon and energy taxation, more climate bureaucracies and global climate meetings, more climate loans "to save the planet", are the same groups who are pushing for population control policies -- the government, backed up by the UN, WB, ADB, USAID, EU, WHO, and many other multilaterals and foreign aid bodies.

The Philippines is the world's 12th most populous country now. At 1.8 million additional Filipinos per year, net of death and migration, we should reach the 100 million mark sometime in 2013-14 or in just 3 years or less. Thus, the population control groups are rushing hard to enact the RH or "Responsible Parenthood" bill into a law.

See also related papers:
1. Responsible Parenthood cannot be legislated, Part 22. World's largest population, 2010,
3. Philippine population 2010 by province,
4. EFN Asia Members Meet and Talk in the Philippines, and 
5. Population Growth? No Problem, Says Indian Think Tank)

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