Keeping the Climate Safe from Too Many Brown Babies

It was one thing for gullible college students in the late 1960s to present themselves for voluntary sterilization as a result of their buying into Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb myth. In keeping with the premise of the annual Darwin Awards, it might be just as well that those so prone to falling for groundless doomsday myths remove themselves from the gene pool.

But in a match made in hell, neo-Malthusians have teamed up with global warming proponents to extend China’s practices of forced abortions and sterilizations to India, funded by the incubator for global warming hysteria, Great Britain.

Since 2005, Britain has provided India nearly $260 million to fund forced sterilizations of poor Indian women:

With officials and doctors paid a bonus for every operation, poor and little-educated men and women in rural areas are routinely rounded up and sterilised without having a chance to object. Activists say some are told they are going to health camps for operations that will improve their general wellbeing and only discover the truth after going under the knife.

Special “sterilization camps” are set up to conduct assembly-line operations—as many as 80 in 3 hours—with little to no post-operative care or follow-up, with the result that many have died.

Rationale for the program was provided in a working paper published by the Britain’s Department for International Development, citing the need to fight climate change:

The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases, although it warned that there were “complex human rights and ethical issues” involved in forced population control.

Clearly, unresolved human rights and ethical issues pose no problem to global warming crusaders bent on imposing their warped vision on the world. Nor do facts: Paul Ehrlich’s hypothesis was famously disproven (see this account of the famous Ehrlich-Simon wager), and developed countries have birth rates lower than replacement, yet “overpopulation” remains a widely held mainstream view, leading to cheery proposals ranging from forced sterilizations, to wars and pandemics as good for culling out large numbers of people. With 30 years of actual global temperatures having now widely diverged lower from those projected by global warming theorists, and the past ten years showing no rise in global temperatures, “global warming” has subsequently been rebranded, first as “climate change,” and more recently as “climate volatility.”

Yet public policy, urban planning, vast government subsidies for “green energy,” and on and on, continue to be made as if these theories were established fact.

Until and unless we are willing to let facts rather than emotion rule, such unacceptably high costs will continue to be imposed on those unable to defend themselves: peasants in China and India, and the poor everywhere today; the rest of us soon behind?

For newscast coverage, see also here.

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, she is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, former Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Salvation Army of both San Francisco and Alameda County, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.
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