As the glaciers of the new Ice Age advance, we’re starting to hear less about global warming and more about…anyone? Anyone?
Well, what did I say?
That’s right, “overpopulation”. Can you say “Soylent Green”?
A certain group of people have learned they can get people’s attention with impending doom. A few hundred years ago, we were worried (after a fashion) about the rapture. Some percentage of the population relate really strongly–and not in a campy, funny or otherwise entertaining way–to the end of the world (as we know it).
Overpopulation hits a bunch of great button because a lot of environmentalists just hate people. And a lot of misanthropists will happily join the enviro-crowd for a justification for their pre-existing people-hate. And, hey, who doesn’t think there are too many of “the wrong kinds” of people? (Present company always excluded, of course.)
Another great thing about overpopulation is that you can always assert that it’s either here or imminent. The proof is in the poverty, or the over-crowdedness, or in disease or war–really, it’s way better than global warming, because GW can be refuted with a few temperature readings. (In fact, that’s a big part of GW’s current “problems”.)
Could anyone visit Hong Kong or New York and doubt that overpopulation was real? The vast quantities of empty space on this planet notwithstanding, it’s something meant for cherry-picking. And the rebuttal when pointing out a Montana or a (say) rapidly emptying Russia, can always be “Well, sure, there’s no one there…”
And just like the AGW types, the neo-Malthusians always take their own correctness for granted. This is what people miss about “the science is settled”. As far as the AGW believer is concerned, the science is settled in his own mind. Which is what matters.
The advertisers over at Althouse have tied it, rather cleverly, to immigration. (Of course, we could probably absorb our current population in immigrants if our school system worked and we didn’t hand out money with our social services.)
Anyway, there’s another problem with overpopulation as a threat: All the socialist wealth redistribution plans require an ever-expanding base of young people to fund themselves, but all the people living in socialist countries stop having children.
I’ve decided that the fallout from the current economic crisis is going to work out well, at least in the long run. We simply don’t have the money to continue believing that the government can provide a catch-all safety net (and do so with no negative consequences). This is going to cause a realignment that includes disposing of many stupid, observably false ideas.
OK, probably not, but I’ve decided there’s no reason not to be optimistic.