Once in a while I divert my focus from the economic impact of population growth to highlight other impacts, like environmental. This is one of those times, as the report in the above-linked article is so significant that I can’t let it pass without comment. The state of California is admitting that its decades-long drive to reduce auto exhaust emissions is a complete failure.
For three decades, California has led the fight to control tailpipe pollution, with countless policies promoting cleaner gasoline, carpooling, public transportation and its signature strategy – the electric vehicle. Californians now buy more than half of all EVs sold in the United States, and the state’s auto-pollution policies have provided a model being adopted around the world.
Indeed, California’s focus on reducing carbon emissions has been a model for the rest of the world. In fact, such carbon reduction is the model upon which the Paris Climate Accord, whose stated goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level at which sustainable development can continue, is based. The result?
Tailpipe pollution here is going up, not down, despite billions of dollars spent by one of the most environmentally progressive governments on earth.
“The strategies that we’ve used up until now just haven’t been effective,” Mary Nichols, the head of the California Air Resources Board, told Reuters.
How is this possible – that such measures are having no effect? The answer is quite simple, and it’s a point I’ve tried to drive home repeatedly. The planet doesn’t give a damn how much you reduce your carbon emissions. All it cares about is the total amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Population growth is negating any gains in per capita carbon emissions. What difference does it make if everyone reduces their personal emissions by 50%, let’s say, if the population doubles? Not one damn bit.
That failure has less to do with energy or environmental policies and more with decades-old urban planning decisions that made California – and especially Los Angeles – a haven for sprawling development of single-family homes and long commutes, according to state officials.
Note the word “development.” It’s the same word you find in the stated mission of the Paris Climate Accord – sustainable “development.” It’s a code word for population growth. “Sprawling development” doesn’t happen without it. “Sustainable development” doesn’t happen without it. In fact, “sustainable development” has been the biggest cause of climate change and those who continue to promote it are scamming you into supporting their real agenda – profit growth for global corporations.
The fact is that there is no solution to climate change or any of the other myriad negative consequences of population growth that doesn’t BEGIN with a focus on stablizing the human population. That’s not to say that we shoudn’t also focus on minimizing our emissions of all kinds – not just greenhouse gases but gaseous, liquid and solid emissions of all kinds. Nor is “sustainable development” a solution to poverty. It’s actually making it worse, with over-crowding driving down per capita consumption and, with it, employment.
Of course, there’s no overt mention of “population growth” in this article – just “sprawling development.” So don’t be surprised if the scam continues, but with a new, additional focus on trying to drive people together into tiny apartments in high-rise housing. Yeah, that’ll work. That’s a future we can all really look forward to.