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October 25, 2009

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jones

It's for the chiiiiiillldren.....all of it......


Odd how it always seems to be caucasians who have to suffer though. Paying pennance for starting slavery (didn't we?)........well, tried our best to abolish it anyhow.

I'm confused now.

Ross

"It was certainly the most successful governmental attempt to preserve the world’s resources so far."

I wouldn't associate modern China with successful environmentalism myself but what do I know?

jones

Wonderful dams don't you think?....'clean' energy for all...

mlrosty

"Fewer British babies would mean a fairer planet."

And yet no mention of immigration...

JuliaM

"Readers may feel inclined to assist Mr Renton in his totalitarian urges by gnawing off his testicles and tossing them on a fire."

Pretty sure he had to turn those in in order to get a CiF gig anyway...

Anna

"Could children perhaps become part of an adult's personal carbon allowance? Could you offer rewards: have one child only and you may fly to Florida once a year?"

Guardian writer likes totalitarianism shock.

David

“Guardian writer likes totalitarianism shock.”

What strikes me is the contradiction between “women’s equality,” which he claims to be in favour of, and the idea that the state should tell women how many children they can have. Presumably husbands shouldn’t govern a woman’s uterus but the state should. I don’t think Mr Renton has thought through his own ideas. Perhaps he was too busy touching himself at the prospect of all that lovely social control.

Stuck-Record

Er... has Dear Alex procreated?

TDK

"What strikes me is the contradiction between “women’s equality,” which he claims to be in favour of, and the idea that the state should tell women how many children they can have."

It is painfully obvious that wealthy countries have more equality than poorer ones and moreover it is self evidently no coincidence. There seems to be an unspoken assumption that should we move towards a poorer future we will retain all the positive things, like attitudes to women.

Of course it may be that the Guardian assumes we can retain our wealth but have less children. In which case the per capita pollution figure will remain much as before and as will be the imperative to avoid western children. At least until western population reaches single figures.

mlrosty

"the richer a country gets, the more pressing the need for it to curb its population."

We'd better hope places like Africa stay poor then, eh? And the worst thing we could do is let African babies move to Britain and become planet-wrecking British babies.

"For Gaia!"

KRW

You know, 10-15 years ago I was saying that this sort of thinking, which at the time was on the fringe (at least here in the US) would soon become mainstream. The response from even conservative-type people was akin to crickets chirping. It is now mainstream-left. Why is anyone surprised by this? The left-loonies have been mainstream in our popular culture and our school systems from at least the 70's. People with any common sense who understand that the most important factor in one's own success is one's self have been dying off and what comes up behind are those of us who thought David Bowie was cool (or were silent) when he sang in praise of Che Guevera (lame example but best I could think of right now, I know I'm rambling). Of course the righties were their own enemies with their dipshit unquestioning religious faith, anti-abortion fanaticism, gay-bashing, etc. Here's a "proactive" idea for Mr. Renton, Guaridans, and Observer readers...Granted, not original as I used to see it on a bumper sticker driving to work most days: Save the planet. Kill yourself.

R. Sherman

I suppose the evidence that the wealth of a nation/society is directly proportional to the level of its environmental consciousness and inversely proportional to its birthrate has somehow eluded the author? Or the fact that only moral entities give a crap (pun intended) about their environment in the first instance? After all, bears defecate in the woods. Rich Westerners build sewage treatment plants.

Regards.

David

I scarcely need to point out how Renton’s piece has an almost psychotic combination of themes. On the one hand there’s the usual pretentious guilt - “Fewer British babies would mean a fairer planet,” etc. While on the other there’s a sadistic megalomania - “A cull of Australians or Americans would be at least 60 times as productive as one of Bangladeshis.” Renton would have us believe he’s a caring and sensitive creature – sensitive to Mother Earth, that is. Yet he’s remarkably keen to talk about policing reproduction and “culling” human beings.

R. Sherman

Regarding China and the environment, see

http://www.chinahush.com/2009/10/21/amazing-pictures-pollution-in-china/

Regards.

Jonathan

To be honest, I just wish that every enviro-mentalist who proposes a reduction in the human population, would just practice what they preach and go and kill themselves, thus setting a great example for the rest of us. Oh, and giving us all a bit of peace.

A woman with a dauther

Would not it be a better to halt all dead-tree propaganda news outlets in the world first?
I'm sure the immediate results would be remarkable.

Lets try that first Mr. Renton, and then be sure to include yourself and all the females in your family line, for the "no choice-no family for you". Will they happily follow your profoundly ignorant idea of *selecting only white people for a genocide program*? Let us know how that works out for you ( hoping there's at least one strong rational woman in your family line able to deck you right into present day reality ).
I know I would.

Besides a guradian story I scanned recently, stated within the article that women had multiply birth canals...this news source is always this inept, inaccurate and carries water for the poor hard done by palis; maybe they should hire people who have normal relationships with woman/men/children...

Rob

"What strikes me is the contradiction between “women’s equality,” which he claims to be in favour of, and the idea that the state should tell women how many children they can have."

I don't think there is an inconsistency. He wants women to be equally as dominated by the State as men.

Interesting link in the comments to an article he wrote for the Daily Mail, calling for forced circumcision of male children. He's a jewel, alright. Some deep issues I think.

carbon based lifeform

"One less British child would permit some 30 women in sub-Saharan Africa to have a baby and still leave the planet a cleaner place."

There's so much behind that word "permit". And I can just see the British public going for that trade-off. A definite vote winner there. Do it for Gaia, people!

David

“A definite vote winner there.”

Somehow, I don’t think votes and democracy are foremost in his mind. Or realism, for that matter. The standard pattern seems to be development and material prosperity *resulting* in lower birth rates. Societies develop, get richer, become more educated, have lower child mortality rates, etc, and then the *choice* is usually to have fewer children. That’s how it tends to work. But Mr Renton seems keen to skip the development and prosperity bit – these being ecological evils - in a belief that a scattering of condoms will do the same job, especially if backed up with totalitarian measures.

BulgarWheat

I think it's time for me and the wife to have another child. Gonna get started tonight, just to spite this asshat.

sk60

"I suspect Alex Renton measures his moral and intellectual sophistication by the extent to which he loathes his own culture, and by extension himself. Happily, he's found a cause well suited to the cultivation of such feelings."

Heh. Harsh.

David

“Heh. Harsh.”

Not nearly as harsh as the measures being entertained by Mr Renton and his colleagues in the Axis of Hand-Wringing. And how else would you explain the prevalence of conspicuous, irrational self-disgust among Guardianistas and the environmentalist movement? The Guardian’s Guy Dammann, for instance, asks “am I fit to breed?” and writes: “There is something magnificent about the thought of an entire species [i.e. humans] simply switching itself off, without violence or force of anything other than will, to make way for something more lasting.” Something “more lasting”? What does he have in mind? A downsized humanity, suitably chastened and cleansed of consumerism? Or just virtuous algae?

How many times will the Guardian make titillated noises about the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, which describes humanity as “squatting” on “this ravaged planet” and whose website bears the slogan “may we live long and die out”? And then there’s the “biocentric” conservationist Paul Watson who describes humanity as a “cancer” and tells us that, while vegan diets are a good thing, “curing the biosphere of the human virus will require a radical and invasive approach.” Or environmental crusader Dr John Reid, whose plan to save the world from human beings entails putting “something in the water” – specifically, “a virus that would… make a substantial proportion of the population infertile.” All on the understanding that “affluent populations should be targeted first.”

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2008/12/infestation.html

Aussie

60 times more productive eh ? You might also find it 60,000 times harder. Come and get us, arsehole.

Limpet6

Er, who said caucasians started slavery? Sadly it was fairly universal across ALL continents at one time.

I do recall caucasians fighting to end slavery and patrolling the Atlantic to keep slaves from being transported from Africa.

The longest running slave traders have been Moslems. They encouraged warring African tribes to take captives and turn those captives to them to sell. Frequently they'd sell them west.

Slavery hasn't been totally wiped out. It persists in the Middle East.

john miller

I always have a chuckle at dead tree journalists lambasting me for not being green.

I work from home. Don't often use a car. One lightbulb and a PC.

This bloke has a huge office block in an inner city. Commutes, Tears down trees. Ships them to a mill. Turns it into paper. Uses ink. Prints the whole lot on a huge neolithic printing machine. Has vans and lorries distribute it across the country. Sells it via shops with their own (if you believe the religion) carbon footprint. But he has to make these sacrifices on my behalf to get the message to me.

Yet this cunt tells me not to have children to save the planet. Better if I just shoot you Mr Renton. And, if you believe the shit you write, perhaps you would want me to?

dicentra

This is just another variant on the early 20th-century Progressive program of Eugenics, wherein the "inferiors" such as non-whites, the mentally feeble, and other undesirables would be forbidden to reproduce. Enter Planned Parenthood and its continued clustering around minority neighborhoods.

A gleeful dictator in Western Europe took the idea to its logical conclusion, thus to create Utopia.

Because what could be more delicious to these power-craving tyrants (great and small) than to control who is born and who is not? And to be able to use that control to get rid of people one finds disagreeable?

It never stops with these people. Back in the 60s they were screeching about how overpopulation would result in widespread famines in the 80s. Now they've embraced carbon emissions as the new excuse to "cull" the population.

If only there were some way we could PROVE that CO2 doesn't harm the planet. Hey, maybe if we used science!

Bob Reed

Perhaps this columnist should just put a gun in his mouth, and remove another polluter from the planet...

Oh, wait, what s the carbon footprint of a single pstol cartridge? Better he just drink some bleach, you know, for gaia...

seejanemom

Your brand of snark is a TURN. ON.

LOVE IT!

Odysseus

At least he isn't suggesting we eat them....

http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/2987848/Save-the-planet-time-to-eat-dog

Ken

"A cull of Australians or Americans would be at least 60 times as productive as one of Bangladeshis."

Is anyone else finding that the statement "ye maun _try_" has ever-broader applicability as we move deeper into Heinlein's Crazy Years?

One suspects that Mr Renton got the jeezly crap kicked out of him by some Australians or Americans.

AntiCitizenOne

So the more massacres the European Empires did the better?

It really is hard to work out which contradictory thought is uppermost in the lefts "mind".

Elrond Hubbard

Hitler and Stalin knew how to "cull" unwanted peoples; Mr. Renton might look to them for guidance in putting his ideas into action.

Aus_Autarch

The crux of the argument appears to be that thirty black children would be "better" for gaia than one white child. I wonder if he really believes that, and if so what this reveals about his own submerged racism. Is this just a shy showing, just below the surface of his progressive credentials, that he is of the opinion that it takes many non-caucasians to create that which one caucasian does?

Or differentially, is he standing on the lip of that infamous gradient, where he is prepared to assert that killing one unwilling victim is justified if it saves thirty others?

He can try to stand on the razor's edge between these two positions, but eventually he will have to adopt one side or the other, or be "cleft in twain".

dicentra

"The crux of the argument appears to be that thirty black children would be "better" for gaia than one white child."

No no no no no. Thirty poor, starving, malaria-infested, dying-of-AIDS, living-in-squalor children would be better than one well-fed, inoculated, housed child.

Hence the efforts to tear down the engines of prosperity. Gaia is better off if we're all living in the stone age.

dicentra

"Gaia is better off if we're all living in the stone age."

Them of us what survives it, that is.

Mark Steyn weighs in on this "self-loathing claptrap," notes that "Alex's dad was a Tory minister under Mrs Thatcher - whereas Alex would appear to be more comfortable with Soviet-style restrictions on freedom of movement," and then reminds us that the productive nations already started the self-extinction death spiral long ago.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OWZiMzVlODlkY2M4Y2RkNDAzNjViYTM0MTllZDgwOWY=

Mark of Bondi

"Hitler and Stalin knew how to 'cull' unwanted peoples" - don't forget Leopold II of Belgium, he was equally good at culling Africans.


"The first thing you learn about nature is, it makes you itch" - PJ O'Rourke

taboo

I am a little surprised that the attitude has reached the mainstream this quickly. I suppose I shouldn't be, though.

After all, Paul "mankind is a virus" Watson has a TV show now, although I note they don't say too much about his belief that a cull is needed.

You might enjoy his article on this and a few other choice desires for humanity from a few years back.
http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/editorial-070504-1.html
It shows the common feeling of the deep greens quite well, I always thought.

Wonderful post, BTW.

David

If you can stomach it, some of the Guardian readers’ comments are amusing. Amid the demands for compulsory vasectomy, the eradication of national sovereignty and the imposition of a world government, this caught my eye:

“Congratulations Alex Renton. This is an excellant [sic] article. Here’s to a world with less people and more room for life.”

sackcloth and ashes

'Er... has Dear Alex procreated?'

I doubt it. I expect his personality is a useful contraceptive.

AntiCitizenOne

Also noticed here.
http://althouse.blogspot.com/2009/10/worst-thing-that-you-or-i-can-do-for.html

David Gillies

OK, assuming this isn't just dashed-off CiF oh-Christ-I'm-on-a-deadline thumbsuckery and this guy actually believes what he writes, then I think it is (almost) sufficient punishment for him to be he. Can you imagine what the world must look like through his eyes? Instead of seeing a cornucopia of material and cultural riches enjoyed by healthy, wealthy people, he sees a plague. Instead of looking at the billions mired in multi-generational poverty and thinking, "how can we make their lives more like ours?" he asks, "how can we make our lives more like theirs?" This is psychopathology masquerading as Deep Thinking. If you believed a quarter of this nonsense I don't see how you'd crawl out of bed in the morning, and you'd be terrified to do anything when you crawled in it at night, lest you unleash a Gaia-raping fiend, 60 times as powerful as a Bangladeshi.

Just as the anti-smoking zealots make me slightly sad I never started smoking, and Greenpeace make me want to hunt whales with nuclear depth charges, people like this Renton fellow make me want to sire a dynasty.

Max Entropy

Using Mr. renton's obviously impeccable logic, it seems to me that voluntary Euthanasia would go a long way towards achieving these goals and also preventing the high end-of life healthcare costs. I'm looking forward to Mr. Renton's setting the example.

If the Renton plan succeeds, who does Mr. Renton expect to grow up and provide Africans with money, food and medicine and an unlimited supply of doo-gooders ready to instruct them in condom usage?

Beef

Mr. Renton's sentiments, and their apparent resonance among a signifcant portion of the British populace, are merely an unconscious expression of the ingrained cultural death wish rapidly spreading throughout the Western world. More and more people voice openly their loathing of their own people and a desire to do something about it. It's like reverse Nazism; Let's exterminate ourselves to make way for the superior races. It is astonishing how blatantly this insane ideology espouses pure evil as something good, and moves the world incrementally toward a cultural holocaust. Yesterday's fringe ravings become today's mainstream sensibilities become tomorrow's revolutionary mandates. If these ideas are not pushed back to the fringe, the unimaginable will become the inevitable.

Trimegistus

Behind every concerned latte liberal there's the soul of Pol Pot, waiting to start piling up skulls.

The only thing that restrains them is cowardice. Get them in a crowd or give them some authority and all bets are off.

And most horrifying of all, they will believe they are doing good. I doubt even the Totenkopfverbande could be smug about their crimes.

Malcolm Kirkpatrick

This got me banned from Samizdata and Bizzy...

1) The Earth's human population cannot grow without limit.
2) The Earth's human population will stop growing when (a) the death rate rises to meet the birth rate or (b) the birth rate falls to meet the death rate.
3) The Earth's human population will stop growing as a result of either (a) deliberate human agency or (b) other.
4) Deliberate human agency is either (a) democratically determined or (b) other.
5) All human behavioral traits are heritable.
6) Humans who will reproduce at high density have a selective advantage over humans who require lots of open space.
7) Voluntary programs for population control selectively breed non-compliant individuals.
8) The Earth's maximum possible instantaneous human population is greater than its maximum possible sustainable human population. Absent a reduction the human birth rate or a gradual increase in the death rate, expect a sharp increase in death the rate and a sharp drop in the human population from its maximum value.
9) The Earth's maximum possible sustainable human population leaves little room for wilderness or biodiversity. Absent a reduction the human birth rate or an increase in the death rate, expect a sharp reduction in biodivesity.

Your choices are limited. Where do you disagree?

KRW

Well, Malcolm, I would disagree with your being banned for such statements. Our disagreement stops there. The rest of your post consists of morsels of fallacious assumptions in a broth of muddled thinking, surely intended as a form of parody. Could use a little less salt, though.

Perry de Havilland

Sorry to burst your bubble but acting like a tit and claiming people said things they did not got you banned from Samizdata. We ban blogroaches, not opinions, and you are a bloagroach.

Malcolm Kirkpatrick

KRW. Could you be more specific? Whith which assertion do you disagree? The mass and surface area or Earth are finite. Population growth rate = births - deaths, right? #3,4, are basic logic: A or not-A. You can google the entire phrase "all human behavioral traits are heritable" and get authoritative support (e.g., Pinker). The point of #6 (with 5) is that, while cities have historically been population sinks (see Wrigley, Population and History), this cannot last. #7; try talka salmon out of reproducing.

People may assess Mr. DeHaviland's assertion. His site is searchable.

KRW


Malcolm Kirkpatrick

My argument should start with...
1) Value is determined by supply and demand, therefore a world in which human life is precious is a world in which human life is scarce.

Re-number the rest.

Please read Hardin's "The Tragedy of the Commons".

This is not an argument for the application of State violence across the board. While (as noted by many comments above) advocates for State control of society generally will fnd the argument attractive, most free marketeers also see a positive role for some amount of State violence (courts, enforcement of contracts, protection of persons and property). I suggest that the allergic reaction of free marketeers to Hardin's argument proceeds from an improper extension of the generally correct policy recommendation of freedom.

The tragedy of the commons is an interated n-party prisoner's dilemma with memory. Contrary to Bizzy (who did not see the point) and contrary to the critics of Hardin's argument who assert that the failure, which Hardin describes, does not, in fact, occur, examples of abused commons abound (depletion of unregulated fisheries and wildlife).

Eduardo Zambrano
Formal Models of Authority: Introduction and Political Economy Applications
Rationality and Society, May 1999; 11: 115 - 138.

"Aside from the important issue of how it is that a ruler may economize on communication, contracting and coercion costs, this leads to an interpretation of the state that cannot be contractarian in nature: citizens would not empower a ruler to solve collective action problems in any of the models discussed, for the ruler would always be redundant and costly. The results support a view of the state that is eminently predatory, (the ? MK.) case in which whether the collective actions problems are solved by the state or not depends on upon whether this is consistent with the objectives and opportunities of those with the (natural) monopoly of violence in society. This conclusion is also reached in a model of a predatory state by Moselle and Polak (1997). How the theory of economic policy changes in light of this interpretation is an important question left for further work."

Beef

Birth rates are falling all over the world, including even developing nations. The more economically developed a society becomes, the lower its birthrate. Europe and Japan are already at the point of severe demographic downturn. World population is projected to peak at around 9 billion and then stabilize about a century from now. This is certainly sustainable. The fact is, the world will fill up with people to it's carrying capacity whether you have children or not. Do you want your cultural heirs to be part of that mix, or should it be all left to head-chopping zealots, authoratative commutarians, and subsistence level tribalists?

There can be a bright future ahead for all of humanity, but only if the values of the West survive the great demographic changes of the coming century. The extinction of Europeans is nothing to cheer about.

George

What happened to 2010? Has it been forgotten already? And where is the off switch for the Guardian, the liberal-left and all who sail in it?

Malcolm Kirkpatrick

"The more economically developed a society becomes, the lower its birthrate."

True, but this aggregate statistic says nothing about the evolutionary consequences of unrestricted reproduction. Further, economic development is more a result than a cause of low reproduction. Within the US, the plot of reproduction rate versus family income is U-shaped (consider the Kennedys). Some people attribute the Renaissance to the Black Death. During the Medieval Warm Period, Europe's arable land and population grew. For about 50 years before the Black Death arrived, temperatures fell and Europe's population fell, as growing seasons grew shorter and arable land turned to swamp.

"World population is projected to peak at around 9 billion and then stabilize about a century from now."

Love that passive voice: "is projected". Why expect this result?

"The fact is, the world will fill up with people to it's carrying capacity whether you have children or not. Do you want your cultural heirs to be part of that mix, or should it be all left to head-chopping zealots, authoratative commutarians, and subsistence level tribalists?"

Let's add another axiom to the argument (somewhere around #6): "Misery is like heat. In the absence of barriers it flows so as to equalize over a closed system." Here I make another departure from many Libertarians (and libertarians). I support restrictions on immigration. Think of natural increase as immigration from the future.

Malcolm Kirkpatrick

Aside: assessing Perry de Haviland's veracity.

(Perry): "Sorry to burst your bubble but acting like a tit and claiming people said things they did not got you banned from Samizdata. We ban blogroaches, not opinions, and you are a bloagroach."

Oh? From "Hard Cash" (Samizdada, 2007-July-20).

(Malcolm): "Voluntary programs for population control selectively breed non-compliant individuals. In the absence of compulsory measures, given a minimally supportive environment, the negative correlation between wealth of society and rate of natural increase cannot last. Think otherwise? Salmon are your cousins. Try talk them out of reproducing. Humans who can reproduce at high densitiy have a selective advantage over humans who require lots of open space. "

(Perry): "Fascist crap as usual Malcolm. I am happy to pass my ideas on to those who want to breed. I do not give a damn about my genes, I care only about my memes. That is how I will 'reproduce', thanks."

(Malcolm): "Perry finds 'have fun' and 'be civil' [Samizdada posting guidelines. MK] incompatible, at least when his tidy ideology yields uncomfortable conclusions. Note that there's no attempt to dispute any assertion as to fact in my post. As usual."

(Perry): "Because it is like arguing with a flat-earther, that is why: pointless. That is why I usually just ban people like you because I have very low tolerance for fascists and debating them just dignified their position when rolled eyes is actually a more appropriate response... so banned."

"People Should be Banned", a population discussion. (Samizdada, 2007-07-13)
"Hard Cash", a related discussion, on heritable reproductive behavior. (Samizdada, 2007-07-20)

Samizdada was at one time my Grand Central Station for links. I left comments on four or five posts in several years of visits, without trouble.

Your future

Malcom Kirkpatrick, up against the wall. Do you have any children? No? Good, that makes this much easier. Ready... aim... F

Malcolm Kirkpatrick

"Malcom Kirkpatrick, up against the wall. Do you have any children? No? Good, that makes this much easier. Ready... aim... F"

That was de Haviland's attitude, anyway. Also Mussolini's, Franco's, Hitler's, Stalin's, and Mao's.

tehag

"Fewer British babies would mean a fairer planet"

I'm not sure why he singles out babies. Wouldn't, to his mind, the world be better off with fewer British adults?

I expect the next logical step, to someone of his mid, to be the requirement that all persons without three generations of British ancestors (basically, all post-1900 immigrants) leave or be sterilized.

John D

"For the planet's sake, I hope we have bird flu or some other thing that will reduce the population, because otherwise we're doomed."

Dr Susan Blackmore, 'Nightwaves', BBC Radio 3, 5 Nov 2008.

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