On at least a couple of occasions he, or one of his newly unveiled team members, as they spoke, made mention of climate change. And there was also mention of “shortages and scarcity of energy and food.” I thought this seemed a little odd to make mention of these issues during the unveiling of a national security team. But, judging by what I’ve seen of Obama so far, he chooses his words very carefully and, I suspect, so too did his new team members. I doubt that these words and phrases were just tossed together into a word salad. They were uttered for a reason.
Does this mean that climate change, energy and food have been elevated to national security issues in this upcoming administration? And doesn’t talk of energy and food in terms of “shortage” and “scarcity” imply an understanding of the supply / demand relationship for these resources – an understanding that demand is at least part of the problem? If so, it would seem unlikely that a president who is concerned about these issues would implement policies that would flood the nation with more carbon emitters and more oil consumers at the same time that we are struggling against almost insurmountable odds to make progress on these issues. In addition, Obama made prominent mention of border security as one of Homeland Security Secretary-nominee Janet Napolitano’s key responsibilities.
Sure, Obama is likely to be pressured by the left and by Hispanic groups to liberalize immigration, and by business interests to increase the admission of foreign workers, but he has good reasons to resist such pressure and perhaps even cut immigration quotas, and a powerful new argument to blunt any criticism of such action. He can simply respond that we first have to get our house in order in terms of transitioning to sustainable energy, cutting our dependence on foreign oil and meeting carbon emission reduction goals (not to mention stabilizing our rapidly growing unemployment problem) before we can even consider further increasing our population with high rates of immigration. What reasonable person could argue with that?
Am I reading too much into this? Probably. I realize I’m desperate for any hopeful signs that progress may finally be made on the overpopulation issue. But, whether or not you like Obama or voted for him, I think most people who listen to him objectively can’t help but believe that he is sincere when he says that he will meet these issues head on, and you can’t help but believe that he’s smart enough to understand these issues in depth. If that’s the case, then as he listens to advice from experts on these critical environmental issues, doesn’t it seem likely that he will come to appreciate the role of overpopulation?
I’ll keep plugging away and preaching to anyone who’ll listen the role of overpopulation in driving up unemployment and poverty. But if it’s the environmental issues that carry the day, I’ll be just as happy.