Another “Overpopulation Myth” Diatribe from CatholicExchange.com

http://www.catholicexchange.com/2008/06/05/112794/

Steven Mosher of the “Population Research Institute” (not a research institute at all but, instead, an anti-abortion, anti-contraception, pro-population growth propaganda machine) is at it again, this time writing his same illogical, pro-population growth arguments for the Catholic Exchange web site. 

This guy is unbelievable.  He denies that overpopulation could ever be a problem.  He denies that the human population continues to expand rapidly, in spite of U.N. projections that it will grow by another 50% by 2050.  He denies global warming.  And he claims that efforts to lower the birth rate are unnecessary, offering up as evidence the low birth rates experienced in Western Europe that are actually the result of the contraception techniques he rails against! 

He rightfully  denounces the clumsy, heavy-handed approaches of nations like China and India to manage their populations.  Abortion and coerced methods of contraception should not be used.  People should be free to choose the size of their families.  Population stability can be attained and managed by much more elegant methods, like economic incentives.   But to paint all advocates of population stability and management with the same brush and to suggest that we all want to abort babies and forcibly sterilize people is an outrageous insult. 

Mosher uses half-truths and denial to justify his zeal for expanding our population and testing Earth’s ability to sustain life:

Now, however, the population-control minded environmentalists are back, and in full cry.  Walsh, for example, blames the sudden spike in food and fuel prices on too many people, arguing that “if we can’t curb carbon emissions in a world of 6.8 billion [these guys always exaggerate the numbers], it may be impossible to do when there are 9 billion of us.”  Leaving aside the question of whether we should control carbon dioxide — a trace gas on which all life on earth depends — blaming global warming on too many babies is the twisted logic of a profoundly misanthropic mind.  How much carbon dioxide we produce is a result of how much fossil fuel we burn, not how many children are born.  Nuclear power, for example, produces zero carbon dioxide.

Yeah, if CO2 is a trace gas, then it must be of no consequence.  Surely the environment is too unsophisticated to notice increases in the levels of trace gases.  And to suggest that there is no relationship between population and the amount of fuel that is burned is an outright lie.  It is actually Mosher who is misanthropic, preferring to see the world’s population eventually stabilize through a higher death rate than a lower birth rate.  He’d rather see billions of people live short lives in abject poverty than see a smaller population live long, fulfilling, productive lives. 

… Birthrates are falling everywhere, not just in “Western Europe and Japan.”  Europe as a whole — not just “Western Europe” — is losing population from year to year.  Latin America is not far behind, and even Asia is averaging only 2.4 children per woman — and falling.  The only region that still enjoys robust fertility is sub-Saharan Africa, most of whose countries, however, are plagued with HIV/AIDS, which is reducing population growth.  Population growth everywhere is slowing, not rising, and the population of the world will probably peak before mid-century.  In other words, what we are seeing is not a population bomb, but a population bust, with serious consequences for the whole realm of human endeavors.     

Every statement in this paragraph is a half-truth or outright lie.  Birth rates are not falling everywhere.  They are stable in many countries and falling in others, thanks to the birth control methods he denounces.  But Mosher omits the fact that death rates are declining even faster, producing a population explosion that threatens will reverse gains made in life expectancy if it continues.  Populations in Western Europe are not dropping.  They are being held steady by the importation of people from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, functioning as a population relief valve and enabling further destructive population growth in those areas.  In a Freudian slip that exposes his predisposition for favoring a high death rate, Mosher notes that HIV/AIDS is reducing population growth in Africa.  He is correct that population growth is slowing, but it continues to grow at a frightening pace.  And to suggest that we’re actually in the throes of some sort of “population bust” is nothing short of idiotic. 

I’m certain that once population stability has been achieved, people like Mosher will point to it and say “see, I told you there was never a problem!” while denying the work of countless people and the use of contraceptive techniques that was required to achieve it. 

A word of advice to anti-abortion organizations:  stick to abortion and to denouncing forced methods of birth control, but stop your illogical linkage with the voluntary use of contraception and stop using denial of overpopulation as a tactic.  It doesn’t work and only makes you look like fools.

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One Response to Another “Overpopulation Myth” Diatribe from CatholicExchange.com

  1. Nathaniel says:

    Actually I agree with him on the point about fossil fuels. Though my points are often the world’s ecology is doomed if people rely on population control to save the environment he is quite correct regarding the point about CO2. Just because someone exists doesn’t mean he/she has to drive a car. And if alternative energy sources are ever put in place then the potential exists for a car that is driven not to use long buried carbon for fuel.

    Yes, I suspect that the institute is a propaganda mill. But, frankly, that person did have a point and is on to something with that remark.

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