Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Douthat: Destroy the Planet, Please

No time to say much about this right now, but Pete Mack directs us to, and I can't resist at least gesturing at it.

Douthat seems like a nice guy, and basically the last thing the internet needs is more mean-spirited snark, but my God, this piece makes my heart sink.

To my mind, this is almost exactly equivalent to saying something like "hey, one way we can insure we stay ahead of everybody else is to just burn the sh!t out of our coal." Or..."Hey, let's save the economy by chopping down all the trees in Yellowstone and selling them for firewood!" Except Douthat's suggestion is worse.

The population needs to go down. People really do need to get that through their heads. Perhaps not drastically...but sooner, other things being equal, is better than later. There are prices to be paid, of course, but there's almost no more efficient way to put short-term gains over long-term sustainability than to argue for pumping up the population. If we had a reasonable human population, almost all our other environmental problems would disappear or be radically mitigated.  A slower growth rate is one of the few good things to come out of the Great Recession; let's not f*ck it up, shall we?

Currently, just being consistently a little more responsible about reproduction over a longish period of time should be enough to get things on the right track. One of the last things we want to do is to allow ourselves to get into a situation in which we have to take drastic measures on this front. So let's not do that.


Blogger Pete Mack said...

To be fair, Douthat also posted a clarification.
Hope that clears up all your criticisms.

11:53 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Hoo boy.

That did not bring happiness into my life...

7:55 AM  

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