In the 1970’s and 80’s there was a phenomenon that swept America called ZPG or Zero Population Growth. It was an economic theory which actually originates back to 1693 (thanks, wikipedia), which gained some traction during the economically uncertain times of the 70’s and 80’s. Its premise is that the world should work to have zero population growth; only those that die should be replaced. It was a popular and sensible solution for a society who was highly concerned with an oil crisis, an unsteady economy, recessions, and uncertainty of the future.
For you LDS readers out there, think of “Saturday’s Warrior”…
The bottom line; it was just a fad. It came and went just like moon boots, snap bracelets, and those little plastic poof balls. It was popularized because people were looking for a solution to the increase in consumption and the perceived lack of supply. Well, here we are 20-30 years later, our world consumption has skyrocketed, new industries we never dreamed about exist, and world population continues to rise! (think China) What happened to Zero Population? What happened to the crisis of supply and natural resources that would demand such limits on world population?
The truth is: it was all bunk. There is plenty of room in the world for everyone.
My take on this current “climate crisis” is: let’s not forget zero population and snap bracelets. Don’t embrace hypotheses based on a fad. There is only one thing we absolutely know about climate change on our planet: that it’s happening and has happened throughout geologic history. We don’t know what causes it. We don’t know what the human element is. We don’t know how all our complex environmental interactions are all working together to keep our ecosystem in line. We have a lot of theories. We have a lot of hypotheses. I think we should be exploring all of them, but I don’t believe we should be making wholesale restrictions, decisions, and mandates based on hypothesis and cherry picked science.
Leading the charge in this is the political left, led by Al Gore. It’s sadly ironic that they are pushing this agenda for unilateral environmental action and new regulations based solely on their gut feeling, with poorly executed and slanted intelligence, all while ignoring the public, the world, and dissenting voices of science and reason. Hmm… the environmental left have become their worst enemy: George W. Bush.
As I have stated before on this blog, I believe it is in all of our interest to manage our consumption better. We should promote efficiency and conservation in our collective American mentality. If you conserve energy and resources, you should reap the benefits of lower costs (not be charged a “minimum” like with my summer natural gas bill).
We should not be making sweeping, wholesale, potentially damaging regulations without considering the fact that we don’t really fully understand the problem we are trying to solve and don’t even perceive the problems we will create while trying to solve it.