Climate Change? Over-population likely human contribution

Another miss

Another miss

15 billion years ago our universe flared forth. There have been both gradual changes and sudden cataclysmic events since that time. Some changes to the planet earth have been totally random, like asteroid hits and volcanic eruptions, drastically changing weather patterns and therefore life’s very existence for thousands of plant and animal species. Some changes have been gradual, like the ice ages coming and going. 570 million years ago was the Cambrian extinctions with 80-90% of species eliminated. Then there was the Permian extinctions about 245 million years ago wherein 75-95% of all species were eliminated, and the best scientific minds are divided as to whether this was the result of gradual changes or cataclysmic events.  And as recent as 15 million years ago the Miocene Epoch saw Antarctica’s deep freeze, and many species become extinct.

Sling shot forward to today. Climate change. Global warming. Name it as you will. Planet Earth continues its evolution. And the human species showing up, has been part of that evolution.

Let’s assume that in the past 2.5 million years, since humans first walked on Planet Earth, they have succeeded in screwing things up so severely, as to cause major climate change on earth.  That’s a pretty broad assumption given the planet’s history of warming and cooling without any human existence. But let’s go with this assumption for the moment.

Carbon seems to be what it’s all about. Carbon footprint. Carbon dioxide. Carbon is the second most abundant element in the human body after oxygen.  It is the 4th most abundant element in our universe by mass. It is present in all known life forms. And it seems to be the very same carbon, in its compounded states in the atmosphere, that is the bane of our existence.

Those blaming human’s carbon emissions for our current climate change seem to like diamonds, a stabilized carbon, but don’t like emissions from coal or petroleum fossil fuel, both hydrocarbons; they also like graphite in pencils, but not carbon dioxide in the air. Excess carbon dioxide is said to be a contributing cause to the greenhouse gas effect, another term for global warming.

I would like to propose another alternative to the climate change issue. It’s akin to the gun control issue here in the United States. Is the root of the problem the gun itself, or is it the person shooting the gun that is the problem? I think it is the same with climate change. The reason for the increase in carbon emissions, is because of increased production and usage of our earth’s resources. We are increasing production for the increased usage of the earth’s resources because of unmitigated population growth. I purport that population growth is the primary cause of the human contribution to climate change.

As noted by the Center for Biological Diversity in their article on Human Population Growth and Climate Change : “A 2009 study of the relationship between population growth and global warming determined that the “carbon legacy” of just one child can produce 20 times more greenhouse gas than a person will save by driving a high-mileage car, recycling, using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, etc.

The U.S. greenhouse gas contribution is driven by a disastrous combination of high population, significant growth of the population, and massive (and rising) carbon consumption levels, and thus far, lack of political will to end our fossil-fuel addiction.”

Dottie Lamm, former wife of Governor Lamm of Colorado, wrote an article in the Denver Post about A Hard Look at Population Control. Although a softball, clearly intent on offending no one, she did hit upon the over-population problem. “Scientific American in December (2014) estimated that the world population is now 7.2 billion. Just a few years back, it had been projected to be 8.4 billion in 2100; now it is revised to be almost 11 billion by that time.

Combined with climate change, this fact could propel hordes of desperate people to flee destroyed coastlines in the less developed world. Many will die in the process of trying to reach other countries. And most of those countries will not want to accept the ones who get there. ”

Are we humans willing to tackle the tough issue? Is anyone willing to speak the hard truth that continued thoughtless reproduction of additional humans could be a major cause to the demise of our planet? I have little faith that this is possible. We probably will continue our long slog toward the inevitable while being led down untried and false paths by well-fed politicians, and miss-guided pseudo-scientists. If the well-meaning religious few wish to invoke their god-given reproductive right, if not obligation to their religion brand, then memories should be stirred as to their god-given brain functioning as well.

So if we effectively want to minimize the effect humans are having on climate change, the place to start is to look at our population growth. Without controlling the source of the demand on our earth’s limited resources, all the lip-service in the world will not put a dent in the rising demands on production, and the resulting rise in potential damages to our planet’s biosphere.

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