We hear a lot of talk about climate change and many folks know it’s mostly associated with increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the air.
Carbon dioxide, Co2, mostly results in 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 transportation (gas and diesel driven vehicles). Over the past decade alone with the industrialization of China it is claimed Co2 emissions have increased by over 30%.
There are many 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 from 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 primary reasons why this massive change in human activity occurred at this time in history that had never occurred before are:
- After the highly destructive 30 year war in Europe scholars decided they had enough of centuries of rule by the churches and monarchies telling people what to believe.
- They decided 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 continued 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 approximately 1 billion people. In the last 250 years it has grown faster than in all of history and is currently over 7 billion people. Recently has been doubling every 60 years.
So to halt climate change, along 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 America exceeds that of a typical Indian by over 1,200%, and a typical Ethiopian by over 10,000%. The same trend is occurring but with massive populations in these industrializing countries.
Of course now it gets complicated to comprehend why population growth is so tough to stop. Briefly main reasons are:
Religious objections to contraception.
Companies wanting population growth to possess ever-expanding markets for their goods.
Do gooders providing healthcare in developing nations without helping families to have fewer children.
There’s a way to have zero population and economic growth with sustainable and reasonable standards of living. This encompasses the concept of continuous economics that involves 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 handle overpopulation on a worldwide scale. The future of the planet depends upon it.