Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

A 2007 study by Greenpeace found that 56 percent of teens believe global warming is a greater risk than terrorism. Another study published earlier this week by Habitat Heroes and Opinion Research found that one in three kids believe the Earth will not even exist when they grow up because of global warming.

Yet, a rash of new evidence, such as cooling temperatures and Antarctic ice actually growing and not melting, are swaying the opinions of adults. A Gallup poll survey found that only 34 percent of voters believe global warming is a man made. That number is down more than 25 percent from a year earlier. Nearly 50 percent of voters now believe the average temperature change is nothing more than normal planetary trends.

In fact, climatologists say the average temperature decreased in 2008, compared to 2007. However, they warned that 2008 still had a warmer than the average temperature compared to those collected between 1961 and 1990. How much warmer? A whopping .4 degrees Celsius or in other words, less then three quarters of a degree Fahrenheit (for those products of the KCMO school district).

Despite the persistent questions surrounding global warming and calls to ban CO2 from the President, there are very real dangers to our environment. What are those dangers? Let's ask the founder of Earth Day himself.

"The bigger the population gets, the more serious the problems become ... We have to address the population issue. The United Kingdom, with the U.S. supporting it, took the position in Cairo in 1994 that every country was responsible for stabilizing its own population. It can be done. But in this country, it's phony to say 'I'm for the environment but not for limiting immigration.'"

According to Time Magazine, illegal immigrants to the U.S. discard thousands of backpacks, plastic bags, trash and soiled clothes, and leave behind "revolting mounds of personal refuse near the border" each year.

Even the Sierra Club, America's most powerful environmental lobby, argued that "overpopulation was a significant factor in the degradation of the environment." In 1988, the organization's Population Committee and Conservation Coordinating Committee went so far as to state that immigration to the U.S. should be limited, so as to achieve population stabilization.

So if one is serious about helping the environment, let's stop scarring kids, get honest about the debate, and actually do something about the very real threat over population poses to our environment.


Anonymous said...

I followed your link to the Australian article on Antarctic ice. In one of the comments, a person suggested that increasing ice in Antarctica is really a sign of global warming.

"...Antarctica is really, really cold. Here's another little fact you may have picked up in school: Antarctica is technically a desert, because it gets very little rain fall. The Antarctic air is very, very cold, and very, very dry. What is needed to make snow and ice? Water. No water means no snow, and no snow falling means no build-up of ice. So, if the ice is thickening, where is the water coming from? It comes from the melting ice nearer the ocean; all this warmer wetter air flows further inland, hits these areas that are cooler, and presto - more ice! ..."

Basically, nothing can happen that will persuade these guys that maybe their religion is not real.

Pete Murphy said...

The biggest obstacle we face in changing attitudes toward overpopulation is economists. Since the field of economics was branded "the dismal science" after Malthus' theory, economists have been adamant that they would never again consider the subject of overpopulation and continue to insist that man is ingenious enough to overcome any obstacle to further growth. This is why world leaders continue to ignore population growth in the face of mounting challenges like peak oil, global warming and a whole host of other environmental and resource issues. They believe we'll always find technological solutions that allow more growth.

But because they are blind to population growth, there's one obstacle they haven't considered: the finiteness of space available on earth. The very act of using space more efficiently creates a problem for which there is no solution: it inevitably begins to drive down per capita consumption and, consequently, per capita employment, leading to rising unemployment and poverty.

If you‘re interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, then I invite you to visit either of my web sites at or where you can read the preface, join in the blog discussion and, of course, buy the book if you like.

Please forgive the somewhat spammish nature of the previous paragraph, but I don't know how else to inject this new theory into the debate about overpopulation without drawing attention to the book that explains the theory.

Pete Murphy
Author, "Five Short Blasts"