For years, the Sierra Club and other environmentalist groups have warned us that too many babies will destroy the Earth.
"We are experiencing an accelerated obliteration of the planet's life-forms -- an estimated 8,760 species die off per year -- because, simply put," explained environmentalist Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, "there are too many people." (Well, not exactly that simple when one considers that millions of species had disappeared long before humans selfishly began drinking from plastic bottles.)
In one of his recent works of speculative fiction, The New York Times' Thomas Friedman asked: "How did we not panic when the evidence was so obvious that we'd crossed some growth/climate/natural resource/population redlines all at once?" Dunno. Maybe we value reality? Perhaps we believe in the ability of humans to adapt and to innovate. Perhaps we've learned that Malthusian Chicken Littles slinging stories about the impending end of water or oil or natural resources are proved wrong so often that we ignore them.
Though, admittedly, it's difficult to ignore the charismatic pseudoscience of Al Gore. "One of the things that we could do about it is to change the technologies, to put out less of this pollution, to stabilize the population, and one of the principal ways of doing that is to empower and educate girls and women," the former vice president explained at the Games for Change Festival. "You have to have ubiquitous availability of fertility management so women can choose how many children (they) have, the spacing of the children."
No doubt capitalism appears terribly unstable to the autocratically inclined Gore, but nonetheless, in this country "fertility management" is not only already ubiquitously obtainable by girls and women but also obtainable by boys and men -- and for free at any Planned Parenthood and at many schools. There is also post-fertility management, or 1.3 million yearly abortions -- because no one should be punished with a baby.
Then again, perhaps educating and empowering girls should be the job of parents. After all, Gore has blessed the Earth with four of his own offspring. Does he believe the world would be better off without two of them? If not, why does he assume that an "empowered and educated" woman would reach the conclusion that having fewer children is a more logical and moral choice? (Many, including Bryan Caplan, author of the superb new book "Selfish Reasons To Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent Is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think," would probably make a strong counterargument.)