11.01.2012 1

Crowd control: The enviros’ final solution

Thomas Malthus

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

By Bill Wilson 10 billion. That will be the world’s population in 2050 by United Nations’ projections.

Can the global economy sustain that many people? Will there be rationing of vital resources? Can free markets survive with less to go around? What of liberty?

These questions are of vital importance not just to Americans, but all of humanity. For, the answers will tell us if the coming century will be one of expanded liberty and prosperity throughout the world. Or, one of rising tyranny, rationing, and crowd control by increasingly oppressive governments.

Since the pendulum is already swinging in favor of more government, it then falls on those who favor liberty and choices — which are what markets represent vis-à-vis the economy — to make the case that freedom not only should endure, but can prevail despite limited resources.

A quiet fascism

Because, frankly, the deck is stacked against us at the moment. In everything from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) carbon endangerment finding to Obamacare to regulations that seal off hundreds of millions acres of potentially cultivable land from ever being developed, the administrative state has circumvented the representative, democratic process in favor of state-imposed rationing.

So pervasive are these elements they have infiltrated just about every powerful institution in government, academia, media, and finance. Their dogma is quite simple: We’re running out of resources, and we’re destroying the planet to boot.

In 2009, billionaires Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, David Rockefeller, Eli Broad, George Soros, Ted Turner, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Bloomberg, and others all met to ostensibly discuss their philanthropic undertakings. Gates outlined his idea of capping the world’s population at 8.3 billion instead of a projected peak of 9.3 billion.

The gathering of some of the most highly influential individuals in the world agreed population control was a priority, according to a Times of London account of the meeting.

Populationmatters.org is a well-funded British outfit that specifically advocates for “a voluntary reduction in population over time to a level that enables an acceptable quality of life for all, protects wildlife and is ecologically sustainable.”

Seemingly taking his cue from this group, in 2009, Jonathon Porritt, one of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s advisers, called for a halving of the UK’s 61 million population to 30 million by 2031.

The Worldwatch Institute alarmingly warns, “Increases in food production, per hectare of land, have not kept pace with increases in population, and the planet has virtually no more arable land or fresh water to spare.”

These are just a few examples of this Malthusian canon on display. As if governments, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, needed any additional encouragement to proceed with policies that, in effect, make it costlier for individuals to raise their families.

But there is no need for such drastic measures. We are being brainwashed with linear thinking — a corrosive propaganda — all to justify a quiet fascism and the elimination of the choices we make every day about where to live and work, what to consume, and how many children to have.

More than enough to go around

In fact, only 1.5 billion of the world’s 13 billion hectares of land are even utilized for cropland — about 11.5 percent — according to a 1999 study on soil degradation. 1.7 billion hectares of potentially arable land are not even being used to grow crops. The Food and Agricultural Organization notes that only 22 percent of potentially arable land in sub-Saharan Africa is being cultivated.

Another 10 billion hectares are deemed unusable or too remote for agriculture, seemingly discounting irrigation, desalinization, floating farms, and other innovations that could dramatically expand the world’s food supply.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce notes that the world has more than enough energy at the moment, too: at least 200 years of oil, 120 years of natural gas, and 450 years of coal. And that’s just fossil fuel. There is as much as a 190 years’ supply of uranium for nuclear electricity, according to the World Nuclear Association.

And all of the above, again, discounts future innovations that will be made to increase the yield and supply of energy.

Here’s a proposition. It is not government that will make these innovations, especially not with its current regime of oppressive policies. But markets will. Necessity will dictate new solutions to sustaining the world’s growing population, and innovators with real economic incentive (i.e. the profit motive) will be the ones who find a way.

That is, as long as government gets out of the way. If markets are allowed to work, we will be able to feed the growing population. But if the environmental radicals ever have their way, and the advancements of the Industrial Revolution are indeed rolled back, a sharp, precipitous decline in population will become inevitable.

Malthus lives

Perhaps that is the real goal. Maybe today’s current policy malaise is not brought on by overpopulation, resource depletion, or even man-made global warming at all. But an irrational fear stirred up by powerful institutions that believe somehow, man is the problem.

In the process of enforcing this dogma, governments have seemingly bought into Agent Smith’s indictment of humanity in the sci-fi classic, The Matrix: “Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet.”

That is what they really believe. It takes a fictional machine to tell us, but that’s the long and short of it. There is no need for innovation with such a harsh view of mankind, just an imperative to control us and if needs be, to eliminate the virus.

Escalation

The goal, for now, is to hold back population effectively through regulatory-imposed inflation. The idea is simple: the more it costs to have and raise children, the less people will procreate.

But so far the policies enacted affect mostly the developed world, where there is not even a hint of an overpopulation problem — if anything we actually have a fertility problem. The policies do little to touch the developing world, where we are seeing the real exponential growth in population.

Eventually, the powers that be will either give up on their Malthusian crusade after having inflicted massive damage on families and whole regions, or else convince themselves that they must escalate their efforts to enforce population control on the developing world, inevitably leading to war and subjugation.

Unless they are defeated today. There is in fact a conflict of interests between the goals of environmentalists, who actively seek to restrict access to resources, and those who truly seek to sustain the world’s population, including the people themselves who will demand those resources be used to feed and sustain their families.

The next century need not be one of rationing and crowd control. It can and should be one of liberty, choices, and in extension, markets that embody humanity’s best attributes to adapt, innovate, and expand. It is the only alternative where families can survive and children not be subjugated to being raised by “guardians” as in Plato’s Republic.

While we still have the freedom to decide, that is the only rational choice left to make — for, to paraphrase Patrick Henry, a life without liberty is not one worth living.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Bill on Twitter at @BillWilsonALG.

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