We hear a lot of talk about climate change and most people know it is mostly associated with increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide, Co2, mostly results from burning fossil fuels principally coal and oil. Worldwide it has been estimated that 40 percent of this comes from coal fired electricity production and a further 30% from transport (gas and diesel driven vehicles). Over the past decade with the industrialization of China it’s claimed Co2 emissions have increased by over 30%.
There are many suggestions as to 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, directly mirroring population increase.
Of course as economists know 1750 is generally considered to be the start of the Industrial Revolution. The main reasons why this massive shift in human activity occurred at this time in history that had never happened before are:
- They decided to think for themselves.
- This led to 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 massive increase in population and pollution, that has continued to the present day.
Prior to 1750 the planet’s population had grown slowly in fits and starts over many thousands of years and was approximately 1 billion people. In the last 250 years it has grown faster than in most of history and is currently more than 7 billion people. In recent times has been doubling every 60 years.
So to halt climate change, along with other steps, we have to stop this massive population growth.
With China and India industrializing and Africa likely to follow in the future we have to act immediately. The carbon footprint of a individual in America exceeds that of an average Indian by over 1,200%, and a typical Ethiopian by over 10,000 percent. The same trend is occurring but with enormous populations in these industrializing countries.
Obviously now it gets complicated to comprehend why population growth is so hard to stop.
Religious objections to contraception.
Companies wanting population growth to possess ever-expanding markets for their goods.
Do gooders providing healthcare in developing countries 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 which 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 floor up motion to lobby authorities to tackle overpopulation on a global scale. The future of the world depends on it.