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Daniel John Sobieski
To be fair, Bill Nye didn’t actually say people should be eliminated by their governments to save the environment and the planet. He did say that there are too many people and parents, at least in the developed world, should be punished for having “too many” children:
The season finale of pop scientist Bill Nye's new Netflix show "Bill Nye Saves the World" suggested that the government should punish people who have too many children, for the sake of the environment.
"The average Nigerian emits 0.1 metric tons of carbon annually," noted Nye's guest, Dr. Travis Rieder. "How many does the average American emit? Sixteen metric tons."
Rieder said Americans having an average of two children are "waaaay more problematic" than Nigerians having seven when it comes to preventing global warming.
"Should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?" Nye asked.
“ /I do think we should at least consider it," Rieder said.
Nye pushed him even further.
"Well, ‘at least consider it' is like, ‘do it,'" he opined.
The other two guests pushed back, however, pointing out that what Nye and Rieder were proposing came dangerously close to the eugenics policies of America's past, which ending up disproportionately targeting poor women and minorities.
Yes, his remarks are perilously close to advocating eugenics. It is a short trip from deciding how many children people should be allowed to have to deciding who gets to have children at all. It bears a striking resemblance to China’a one-child policy, which included sterilization and forced abortion. China’s one-child policy, instituted by the Communist government in the late 1970s to stem rising population, compels couples in urban areas to have just one child and limits couples in rural areas to two children if the first child is a girl, as girls are seen as having lesser value than boys in some parts of the Asian nation. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized, John Holdren, President Obama’s science adviser, agreed with Bill Nye that too many people were a problem that needed to be dealt with:
This administration supports draconian actions to fight climate change. In 2007, at climate change talks in Vienna, Su Wei, a senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official, boasted that China's one-child policy had reduced China's population at that point by some 300 million human beings, roughly equal to the U.S. population.
Avoiding those 300 million births "means we averted 1.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2005," based on average world per capital emissions of 4.2 tons, he said.
John Holdren, the president's top science adviser, has no quarrel with this barbarism, seeing it as necessary to fight global warming and resource depletion. Even the U.S. Constitution can't stand in his way.
In a previous book, "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment," co-authored with Thomas Malthus fans Paul and Anne Ehrlich, Holdren writes that large families "contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children" and "can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility."
On page 837, he writes, it has "been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.
Hillary Clinton’s idol, and founder of Planned Parenthood, had her particular idea on which children should be allowed to be born. As J. Kenneth Blackwell, writing in the Washington Times, noted, those who chant “black lives matter” obviously exclude the abortion rate of black babies that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and the KKK could only dream of:
138,539 black babies, nearly one baby in three, were killed in the womb in 2010. According to the CDC, between 2007 and 2010, innocent black babies were victimized in nearly 36 percent of the abortion deaths in the United States, though blacks represent only 12.8 percent of the population. Some say the abortion capital of America is New York City. According to LifeSiteNews, the city’s Department of Health reported that in 2012, more black babies were aborted (31,328) than born (24,758). That’s 55.9 percent of black babies killed before birth. Blacks represented 42.4 percent of all abortions.
This is a disturbing and tragic situation that continues unabated and is the fulfillment of the dream of Hillary Clinton’s heroine Margaret Sanger. As Blackwell also noted:
According to Sanger, “Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.” She opened her first abortion clinics in inner cities, and it’s no accident that even today, “79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities are located in black or minority neighborhoods.”
Population control is the tool of tyrants. Whether it is to build a master race or lower carbon dioxide emissions, it is inherently evil in its methods and goals. Ironically, and contrary to Nye’s hypothesis, wealthier societies are healthier societies. Which is better for the environment – to reduce emissions thanx to natural gas obtained by fracking, or to let families in underdeveloped countries burn animal dung to cook their food and heat their homes? Wealthier societies can afford the technology to clean the air and water without sacrificing human lives.
It is fracking that has produced a boom in the production of natural gas, a fossil fuel, that has produced a significant reduction in the U.S. of so-called “greenhouse gases”. As the Washington Times reported:
White House senior advisor Brian Deese cheered the falling carbon dioxide levels at a Monday press conference without mentioning the outsize role played by natural gas, as the cleaner-burning fuel increasingly overtakes coal in electricity generation.
“For those of you who are not breathlessly following the most recent data that has come out, I would note recent data that we’ve seen suggests or finds that for the first half of 2016, energy sector emissions in the United States are actually down 6 percent from last year, and 15 percent from 2005,” said Mr. Deese. “And they’re at their lowest level in nearly 20 years.”
He said nothing about the U.S. natural gas boom, an omission that critics say has become par for the course as the Obama administration highlights renewable energy and emissions restrictions without acknowledging the role of fracking in natural gas extraction.
“To add dishonesty to injury, his administration is bragging about the reduced CO2 emissions of [the] U.S. industry without crediting the fracking for natural gas, a fossil fuel, that largely caused it,” said Alex Epstein, author of the book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.”
Carbon dioxide is the basis for all plant and animal life on earth, whether it eminates from the nostrils of Bill Nye or from the children he wishes would not be born. He is lucky his parents didn’t come up with the idea first and eliminate a dangerous source of hot air.
Nightmare scenarios regarding overpopulation have made the rounds since ThomasMalthus predicted in 1798 that overpopulation would outstrip England’s food supply and theBritish Empire would literally starve to death. Similar nonsense was express in Paul Ehrlich’s“The Population Bomb” (1968) which warned: “In the 1970s, the world will undergo famine – hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked on now.” Today, a major problem America faces is not famine, but obesity.
Malthusian thinking fails to grasp that human beings are the ultimate resource, that with more bodies come more minds that create more ideas. Neither Malthus or Ehrlich could envision the advances in medicine, science, technology, and biotechnology that would tame disease, increase the food supply at exponential rates, find new resources, or create new substitutes.
The view that human beings are inexorably outstripping the globe´s capacity to sustain them is one of the most vivid, powerful and enduring economic myths of the modern era because the chicken littles who argue it forget one simple fact – with bodies come minds.
Bill Nye is wrong. We are not cattle that graze until there is no grass. Our species, unlike all others, can consciously apply problem-solving techniques to the project of expanding its resource base. Minds matter economically as much as hands and mouths. And minds arrive only in companywith bodies. Be fruitful and multiply.
Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.