We hear a good deal of talk about climate change and most folks know it is mostly associated with increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the air.
Carbon dioxide, Co2, mostly results in burning fossil fuels principally oil and coal. Worldwide it has been estimated that 40 percent of this comes from coal fired electricity power generation and a further 30% from transport (petrol and diesel driven vehicles). Over the past decade with the industrialization of China it is claimed Co2 emissions have increased by over 30%.
There are several suggestions about how to limit these emissions including less polluting sources of electricity generation and less polluting vehicles. However none of these suggestions address the fundamental cause of Co2 emissions and climate change.
Recent samples compiled by scientists in Antarctica in the Aurora Basin Ice Core Drilling, show carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have grown exponentially since 1750, right mirroring population increase.
Of course as economists know 1750 is generally thought of as the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The main reasons why this massive shift in human activity happened at this time in history that had never happened before are:
- They chose to think for themselves.
- This resulted in the Age of Enlightenment and the phrase by Descartes’I think therefore I am’.
- For the first time in history industrialisation resulted in a mass movement of people to the cities and a gigantic growth in population and pollution, that has lasted to the present day.
Thus population growth coupled with the industrial revolution are the principle causes of climate change.
Prior to 1750 the world’s population had grown slowly in fits and starts over many thousands of years and was about 1 billion people. In the last 250 years it has grown faster than in all of history and is now over 7 billion people. Recently has been doubling every 60 years.
So to halt climate change, together with other measures, we must stop this massive population growth.
With China and India industrializing and Africa likely to follow in the future we must act immediately. The carbon footprint of a person in the us exceeds that of an average Indian by over 1,200%, and an average Ethiopian by over 10,000 percent. The same trend is occurring but with enormous populations in these industrializing countries.
Of course now it gets complicated to comprehend why population growth is so tough to stop.
Religious objections to contraception.
Companies wanting population growth to possess ever-expanding markets for their products.
Do gooders providing healthcare in developing nations without helping families to have fewer children.
There is a way to have zero population and economic growth with sustainable and reasonable standards of living. This encompasses the idea of continuous economics that entails aligning economic activity with the cycles of nature and producing durable goods rather than’consumer society’ planned obsolescence goods.
But for now what is needed is a ground up motion to lobby governments to handle overpopulation on a global scale. The future of the planet depends on it.