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Re: The psychology of climate change

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  • Tue, Dec 15, 2009 - 10:25pm

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    Re: The psychology of climate change

[quote=Alex Szczech]

Even though I’m an ardent believer in AGW and feel that it’s in our best interests to limit the effects of climate change by modifying our lifestyles to reduce CO2 emissions, I have little respect for George Monbiot. You’ll note in the article posted above that, although Monbiot correctly mentions limits to growth, he doesn’t acknowledge the primary reason we’re running into limits — human overpopulation. In fact, a couple of years ago he authored an article downplaying the imporatance of overpopulation to environmenal issues.

With ‘environmentalist’ like this who needs anti-environmentalists?[/quote]

I don’t think Monbiot sees pop growth as a non-problem, he sees it as a lesser problem….  mathematically, he is correct, but, like you, I disagree with him too.  The problem has certainly become the fact that he concentrates on Africa, whilst the real problems are India and China where the pop is still exploding AND is compounded by an explosion in effluence…

The Population Myth

People who claim that population growth is the big environmental issue are shifting the blame from the rich to the poor


By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian, 29th Septeember 2009

It’s no coincidence that most of those who are obsessed with population growth are post-reproductive wealthy white men: it’s about the only environmental issue for which they can’t be blamed. The brilliant earth systems scientist James Lovelock, for example, claimed last month that “those who fail to see that population growth and climate change are two sides of the same coin are either ignorant or hiding from the truth. These two huge environmental problems are inseparable and to discuss one while ignoring the other is irrational.”(1) But it’s Lovelock who is being ignorant and irrational.

A paper published yesterday in the journal Environment and Urbanization shows that the places where population has been growing fastest are those in which carbon dioxide has been growing most slowly, and vice versa. Between 1980 and 2005, for example, Sub-Saharan Africa produced 18.5% of the world’s population growth and just 2.4% of the growth in CO2. North America turned out 4% of the extra people, but 14% of the extra emissions. Sixty-three per cent of the world’s population growth happened in places with very low emissions(2).