On Thursday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about one of the environmental policies recently espoused by one of the leading Democrat candidates for President.
The article quotes Bernie Sanders:
Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, took anti-human environmentalism a step further on Wednesday night. A schoolteacher rose at CNN’s climate town hall and brought up population control. Would Sanders have the “courage,” the teacher asked, to “make it a key feature of a plan to address climate catastrophe.”
Sanders said yes, and then he went straight to abortion — “especially in poor countries around the world.” He cursed America’s Mexico City policy, which prohibits international family planning funds from funding abortions. Again, all in the name of saving the planet.
Here, Sanders is dancing dangerously close to federally funded eugenics. To say that overpopulation is a problem, and then to immediately call for more funding of abortion in, say, Africa, is a rather startling position to take — maybe even “courageous,” in the sense that it is risky to appear so callous an cruel.
Sanders may have meant something else. He seemed to believe the Mexico City policy curtailed access to contraceptives. (It does not.) He spoke the language of autonomy. So maybe Sanders sees himself as just wanting to empower poor women to control their fertility. Even so, Western enthusiasm for reducing the number of African babies has always had racist and colonialist undertones.
The article notes:
“The battle to feed all of humanity is over,” Paul Ehrlich wrote just one generation ago. “In the 1970’s and 1980’s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”
Ehrlich was dead wrong. Just as Martha and Bernie, Ehrlich saw humans as only hungry mouths and stomachs, not as useful, innovative hands and brains.
Human life is better today than it was 100 years ago, by far, and it had improved from 1000 years before that, and so on. What has improved mankind’s state? It wasn’t climate change. It wasn’t aliens. It was human ingenuity.
In other words, humans are a net positive. At least, that is so, if what you care about is human health and happiness. Too many environmentalists think people are a net drain. Or at least they think some people are.
Let’s back up a minute and note that Bernie Sanders is a socialist running to be the Democrat party candidate. I must admit that I never thought I would see a socialist as a serious candidate for President in America. That is a scary thought. America as a republic has been one of the most successful countries in the world–generally speaking we have fed our people and treated the environment kindly. There are some exceptions, but on the whole Americans are more prosperous than people in any other country in the world. Why would we consider moving from a successful business model (freedom and capitalism) to a failed business model (socialism)?