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Migration, Population, Development, and Global Warming

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Editor's Note: This piece was coauthored by Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris.

The theoretical basis for the man-made (anthropogenic) global warming (AGW) deception was established by The Club of Rome (COR), a think-tank that provides ‘suggestions’ to the United Nations. Composed of UN bureaucrats, high-level politicians and government officials, diplomats, current and former Heads of State, economists, scientists and business leaders from around the globe, the COR said that the world is overpopulated and using up all resources at an unsustainable rate. There are three parts to their charge:

  • Population increase is a global problem because resource use increases with every new citizen born.
  • Developed, industrialized, nations, use more resources than undeveloped nations.
  • As nations develop, they increase their use of resources.

COR made two false assumptions.

First, the world is not overpopulated. If everyone on Earth lived in the State of Texas, each person would have, on average, 1063 square feet. Canada, the second largest country in the world, has about the same population as California. People might not want a bigger population, but that is a different question that poses the challenge of who decides the number, and which group is reduced? Quality of life, defined in terms of relatively cheap and accessible food, housing, work, and transport, is not related to population density. Countries like Singapore and the Netherlands are good examples.

Second, we are not running out of resources. While resources are ultimately finite on Earth, we are not even close to exhaustion of any resource, as the recent debunking of ‘peak oil’ showed.  Regardless, technology can, as it always has, discover or create substitutes.

The COR bolstered its claims with two early publications, The Population Bomb (1968) and Limits to Growth (1972). The claims and the predictions they engendered were wrong. Despite this, governments and environmentalists elaborated on the COR’s conclusions to establish their objective of reducing population and development. They claimed that the developed nations caused the most damage by using fossil fuels with a rapid post-industrial increase in the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. There are three problems with that; the inaccurate determination of pre-industrial CO2 levels, the control of the data on current levels of CO2 by the UN IPCC, and the failure to acknowledge that in all records temperature increase precedes CO2 increase.

They assume that, as development progresses, population will continue to increase. In fact, the empirical evidence shows exactly the opposite. When any country develops its economy through the use of fossil fuels, population levels off, and, eventually, starts to decline. Demographer Warren Thompson theorized about the relationship in 1929. His work is now called the Demographic Transition model. 

In other words, the way to achieve the COR goal of a reduced population is to encourage fossil fuel driven development.

Most countries are barely keeping up with a decline in the native-born population. The average total fertility rate requires 2.1 children per family to maintain population levels. Fall below that average, and population numbers decline. All developed nations are well below this with some as low as 1.2.

Currently, many nations are offsetting the declining population associated with development through immigration. The U.S. is barely maintaining its population with current levels of immigration.

Japan is a country that does not allow immigration and as a result is seeing a trend toward an increasingly aging population with all the demands of established social programs and not enough children being born to support it. 

President Modi of India faces the opposite problem, which is why he is promoting development using fossil fuels. He argues, correctly, that the west developed and improved quality of life with fossil fuels, now the environmentalists want to deny his people the same opportunity.

The point is the AGW scam was created using a false premise of overpopulation and exhaustion of resources. The world is far from overpopulated, and the solution, if you consider it a problem, is to encourage development using fossil fuels. Yet, this is the one solution environmentalists vigorously and without reason, oppose.

Solving social problems is good, of course, especially if you can solve it by correcting another. For example, in the U.S. there is concern about illegal immigration. Estimates of illegal immigration are difficult to obtain, but one website suggests 700,000 per year. This is close to the number of abortions performed each year, which was 893,000 in 2016.

According to the Guttmacher Institute (AGI) the major reasons for having an abortion include, negative impact on the mother’s life, financial instability, and unwillingness to be a single mother.

The theme indicates that, under different circumstances, either their own or for the child’s future, most mothers would be willing to see their baby have a chance in life, especially if it contributed to a better America. Most make the abortion decision because of personal hardships and costs; if those were taken care of, they would usually make a different decision. Many agencies offer adoption support. The problem is it never covers the costs and time involved. The billions wasted coping with illegal immigration could easily pay for a sensible and humane solution - wide-spread adoption support.

Such important programs could also easily be subsidized if another mistake—the billion USD a day wasted on ‘climate finance’ around the world—was ended. It’s about time.

Dr. Tim Ball is an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba. Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.

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