First, curtsies to RC2:
The movement needs to break with the deep-seated misanthropy that dominates green politics and has brought it to this woeful state. Its leaders have defined our species as everything from a “cancer” to the “AIDs of the earth.” They wail in horror at the thought that by the year 2050 there will likely be another 2 or 3 billion of these inconvenient bipeds. Leading green figures such as Britain’s Jonathan Porritt, Richard Attenborough and Lester Brown even consider baby-making a grievous carbon crime–especially, notes Australian activist Robert Short, in those “highly consumptive, greenhouse-producing nations.”
Yet a slower population growth–while beneficial for poor, developing countries–can lead to a dismal, geriatric future in already low-birthrate nations like Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, South Korea and Russia. And although birth rates are dropping in most developing countries, particularly those experiencing rapid economic growth, it will likely be decades before population stops increasing in most of the developing world.
And generally makes the point that economic growth would lead (naturally) to low birthrates and advanced, greener technologies…
Instead of looking to make developing countries even more dependent on Western largesse, greens should focus on ways to help improve the day-to-day lives of their people. Rather than prattle on about the coming apocalypse, they could work to replace treeless, dense slums with shaded low-lying clean houses that are easier to heat or cool. Those interested in nature might purchase land and rebuild natural areas. The children of cities like Mumbai should have the opportunity to experience wildlife other than crows, pigeons and rats.
Because yes, from the dawn of cities to the present, those with the means sometimes choose to escape the ills of the crowded city to find more favorable living conditions on the fringe.
But that is not the operative dynamic in a growing city like Seattle. Here, people opt for the fringe because they don’t have the means to afford Seattle. And that’s because demand for housing is high in Seattle, which is because there’s limited supply, which is because Seattle isn’t dense enough.
That link goes to another post of his where he has a map where people in the exurbs are spending more living in the outskirts once transportation costs are factored in than they probably anticipated. But that doesn’t factor in the fact that they’re not paying city property taxes, car tabs, sales tax, etc etc. Plus they have the peace of mind of knowing their taxes aren’t supporting a bunch of politicians they probably, to put it delicately, don’t agree with. Not to mention the fact that they can let their kids out of the house (or they tell themselves that they do even though out there I don’t know where they’d go) without a schizophrenic crack addict screaming at them or a bum trying to sell them something or a drunk reeking of cigarettes and really cheap vodka coughing all over them on the bus. And then there’s crime and gang problems and so on and so forth.
Plus people always convince themselves their kids are at risk of being kidnapped by strangers when in reality keeping them isolated in the home where no one knows what’s going on puts kids at more risk (statistically).
Plants and animals will need to move at an average rate of a quarter of a mile a year to escape climate change over the course of this century, according to scientists.
So, because they’re journalists, and journalists have an imagination problem, I’m sure they all imagine a herd of elephants running from a desert (at 30 mph).
But, and this is important, and it has nothing to do with whether or not humans are causing anything (because I’m sure nobody, not even in Algore’s most feverish dreams, believes that climate only changes because of human activity, and I’ve not heard anyone guarantee us that shuffling trillions of dollars around the planet and crippling the world economy will work), as my ecology professor told me when I asked him back in 1999 (see how avant garde I am?), when climate changes, species need to migrate up or down depending. If the area gets hotter, bits of moss or lichen or a tree species that a certain kind of beetle depends on needs to move up in elevation. If it cools, it all needs to turn around and go back down again. And if those little, not-quite-so-cinematic species run into a row of McMansions teeming with rat traps and weed killer and regularly scrubbed asphalt roads, they die, and the beetle dies, and the bird dies, and so on and so forth into something straight out of The Lion King, which I imagine most journalists have seen.
Ergo: the survival of the planet depends critically on lowering property taxes and ending inheritance tax (and fixing crime)!
ninme waits for shockwaves to settle and everyone to see that she’s right