Friday, September 18, 2009

Ebenezer Scrooge and Global Warming

"If they would rather die,'' said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

The timing couldn’t be more perfect: hardly had the dust settled on my article exposing the legacy of eugenics and social engineering in the American left, then news breaks about the report issued by the London School of Economics that the best way to combat global warming is to reduce the surplus population through contraception and abortion. (Click here to read the Lifesitenews report.) Ebenezer Scrooge’s infamous words, cited above, could not be more appropriate.

Although slippery slope arguments are generally not in favor among contemporary ethicists, it can hardly be denied that the logic of the LSE position extends far beyond their own application. As Telegraph columnist Gerald Warner pointed out, the proposal to reduce carbon emissions by reducing people does not go far enough for anti-human environmental extremists. "Why not save 80 billion tonnes by ending pregnancy completely? There is one sure way to prevent man-made global warming and that is to abolish man."

I have pointed out elsewhere that a real or imagined sense of crisis is the raw material for lawmakers with statist ambitions. The global warming crisis is no exception, as the last decade of hysteria has revealed. What is new, however, is the explicitly Malthusian categories in which environmentalists are content to operate. While men like Sir Francis Galton and Thomas Malthus believed that overpopulation (read: the poor) were draining the world of resources, their contemporary predecessors believe overpopulation is actually destroying the planet. The solution in both cases is simple: decrease the surplus population.
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