Purifying the World of Ourselves
Britain's Optimum Population Trust warned that Britain’s birthrate is growing at its fastest for nearly 30 years – at 1.87 children per couple and is, according to Professor John Guillebaud, an environmental liability. “Each new UK birth, through the inevitable resource consumption and pollution that UK affluence generates, is responsible for about 160 times as much climate-related environmental damage as a new birth in Ethiopia.” The Optimum Population Trust suggests that if voluntary restraints do not work then governments should impose mandatory restraints. (Times Online)
There was a nuanced BBC radio discussion on this subject to coincide with the Live Earth concert between the writer George Monbiot and Chris Rapley, the head of the British Antarctic Survey, in which Professor Rapley declared that population growth was the “Cinderella subject” in the environmental debate. More people equals more carbon emissions: simple as that. Monbiot agreed that the subject was not talked about as much as it should be and emphasised that if we’re talking about population control, we have to worry not just about the developing world but about the breeding habits of the affluent West. About us."
Most of the information conveyed in environmental conferences is not, as some might imagine, about the Earth. The scientific content in many environmental discussions is paltry. But what these discussions tell us most about is the content of the ideological environmentalist's mind. It conveys what they value most. And for many it is more important for the Earth to reach some imagined pristine state than it is to alleviate hunger.
I often tell the story of the swidden farmer I met on the slopes of Mount Apo, which was about to be reserved as a nature preserve for the Philippine Eagle. The environmentalists wanted all human beings evicted from the Park, notwithstanding the fact that it was only a Park in name and was crisscrossed by habitation. That meant of course, that the subsistence farmers in it would be driven off, losing what little they had. The farmer reacted to the proposal, telling me that if the preservation of the Philippine Eagle necessarily meant the death of his children by starvation it would be preferable for the Eagles to go extinct. I doubt many environmentalists would agree, but I can understand the father's point of view.
Reflecting on the position of the Optimum Population Trust, I realized that from an Environmental point of view, neither I nor my wife and child -- nor you my dear reader for that matter -- weight so much as an iota more than that Filipino subsistence farmer in the scales of their value system.
Read here about the ultimate, Eco-Home.
Living in a New York City apartment on a journalist's budget is one way to rein in your greenhouse gas emissions. But a woman in Olympia, Washington, has it all over our two editors who are vying for green bragging rights. Dee Williams lives in a standalone house, not an apartment. But her house measures only 84 square feet.
The tiny house incorporates recycled materials and cost about $10,000 to build. It has heat, electricity and a composting toilet, but no running water.
Williams says she wanted to reduce her impact on the planet, and didn't feel right about spending a lot of time and money on a house when people in other parts of the world have so little.