Saving EcosystemsHave you ever started to fill in a survey (or some government form) only to realize that your answers aren't included in any of the checkboxes? It happens to me, all the time. Here's a question from a recent GrowthBusters survey:Which is causing the worst or most injury to ecosystems?Well, there are a great many opinions on this matter:
Trudeau Government Policy
According to the
LiberalJustin Trudeau Government of Canada it's all about overconsumption of carbon. As a matter of fact, they hate carbon consumption so much that they're going to carbon tax to the max.
Now all other forms of consumption are to be encouraged because baby Trudeau really, really, truly absolutelydillydee must grow the GDP. So the Government is going on a spending spree, spending money that they haven't got because that is the way they say "to grow the GDP". Between you and me, I'd hang on to my cash and go to a sane country (if such a thing exists). Soon enough the government will have spent itself into a pile of poop and will start looking for some sucker to tax.
But wait, that's not all! Baby Trudeau has an opinion on overpopulation, too. See, the Trudeau Government is hell bent on saving the environment by growing the GDP! The first policy is to bring in immigrants like never before under the pretext of growing GDP. The second policy is to throw (your) cash at anyone who'll breed like a weed.
And with regards to his second policy, Trudeau leads by example...
Well-Informed PeopleMost people who think even a little bit will understand that population is the multiplier of the impact that a typical person has on the Earth's ecosystem's. Thus the impact of making more babies eclipses changing to a different type of electric light --- or shifting from oil to hydroelectric power, for that matter. So the politically correct thing to do is to say that both overpopulation and overconsumption cause injury to ecocystems.
Thinking PeopleMost people fudge the facts to fit their own comfort zone. If being politically correct means being sensitive to the feelings of "most people" then it is impossible for a thinking person to also be politically correct.
You have been warned. Now let's actually answer the question.
First, consider that there is a minimum amount of consumption that is required for a human animal to survive. Thus, overpopulation will damage ecosystem's even if each person has the bare minimum consumption. On the other hand, a limited number of people can enjoy very satisfying levels of consumption without any harm to ecosystem's. It follows that overpopulation is the correct answer.
On the other hand, we might imagine a small population in which every person had huge consumption. For example economists proclaim:Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources to produce goods and services that are used to maximize human satisfaction in the face of unlimited human wants.I don't think that most people do have unlimited wants, at least not in any intrinsic sense. OK, we all know of a few pathological-billionaire counter-examples but infinite consumption is not what most people aspire to. Indeed, most people have to be educated into becoming consumers. How many growth-slobbering economists and advertisements vie for your attention on an average day?
Consumption is not the natural state of the human animal. We are a thinking, social animal. Some stability, some excitment, some social status, some good friends, some interesting ideas, some good food but not too much, that's what satisfies.
All these things are naturally obtained by people living as a small group animal on our abundant planet. Evolution made us that way! Add human ingenuity and scientific methods and you're talking UTOPIA --- just so long as you don't blow it all by growing human population to hell in a handbasket...
Overpopulation (humans living like termites) liquidates the natural capital that is necessary for true human well-being. Unmet needs are supplanted by propaganda-enforced pathologies. Yesterdays pathologies were booze, shopping at the mall and glorification of movie stars. Todays pathologies are drugs, internet shopping and "reality" celebrity shows. Tomorrow it will be virtual reality... People plugged into "thinking machines" that will give our children the delusion of living a life.
Building upon our present pathologies, I expect that we will have: virtual relationships, virtual tourism, virtual marijuana, virtual cocain, virtual opiods, virtual drug wars, and virtual real wars, all faught with virtual drones. Perhaps they will sometimes kill real people? How would we know which were real and which were virtual?
Plug everyone into "the matrix". Consumption reduced to whatever energy is required for mechanized mind manipulation and baseline respiration. Who knows how many more billions will be squeezed onto the planet?
It's long past time to call out overpopulation for what it is. Overpopulation is the ultimate pathology. Overpopulation is the cesspit where freedom, dignity, decency and inspiration are drowned.
I'll give baby Trudea a few policies to chew on:
With treasuries overflowing from the generousity of overbreeders, we might even be able to treat all children of future generations very much better than all but the most privileged children are treated today!
- Ditch income taxation. We don't need a narrow-minded carbon tax. Ditch all present taxes. Instead, have a broad-based tax on every material thing consumed.
- Ditch subsidies to breeders. Instead, we need an overpopulation tax. The first child is free. The next child is taxed at 10% of your wealth. After that, the tax rate rises to 50% of your wealth.