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September 01, 2004

Sky not falling

The "population bomb" was a damp squib. The NGO money train was wrong on the facts then and they are just as obviously wrong about global warming now. I will not hold my breath waiting for anyone on the wrong side of the argument to admit it.

Remember the population bomb, the fertility explosion set to devour the world's food and suck up or pollute all its air and water? Its fuse has by no means been plucked. But over the last three decades, much of its Malthusian detonation power has leaked out.

The solution to poverty and pollution lies in the education and material enrichment of the very people the NGOs need to keep poor in order to hold on to their comfy chairs. To cite only two indices of development, there is a direct correlation between electrification and rates of women's literacy. This is hardly surprising. Find countries where people have little access to telephones and computers and where women have little or no control over their lives and you will find a country whose economy and ideology is medieval. And yet I cannot count the times some "progressive" has patiently explained to me that hundreds of millions of people choose to live in poverty because they are not brainwashed by materialism. It seems to me that most Malthussian predictions share the explict racist paternalism of that sort of talk.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 1, 2004 08:17 AM

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It's interesting, but I haven't heard people use terms like "racist paternalism" in years - not since my time in the left. Don't get me wrong - I don't mind. I'm glad to hear these words used accurately for the first time in a long time. Seeking to keep people poor and ignorant because it suits your luddite worldview is precisely what you said it is, and a lot more.

Posted by: rick mcginnis at September 1, 2004 06:47 PM

Thanks, Rick. I was watching Governor Schwarzenegger and Mrs. Bush's speeches last night and in particular their themes celebrating newfound rights of women in the United States and around the world, the aspirations of immigrants, freedom of religion and personal conscience and the call to liberty and democracy around the world. These used to be themes of the left. Well, "neocons" are people of the left in a world no longer distorted by the need to confront Soviet tyranny. Tony Blair, Rudy Giuliani, Ed Koch and, yes, the Protest Warriors... these men share the same volumes regardless of their particular party affiliation. These common values are what drive the street fascists insane.

Posted by: Flea at September 1, 2004 07:14 PM