Sunday, November 04, 2007

Social Stability, Population Regulation and Global Warming

4 November 2007

A brief comment.

In my view, the global warming debate boils down (no pun intended) to a question of how we regulate the size of our planet's human population.

I don't see how our planet stands a chance if population continues to grow vigorously from its present base of
6.75 billion souls.

But there is a deeper conundrum.

How can we go about answering the questions of regulating population size and carbon and greenhouse gas emissions and promoting resource conservation, etc., without first answering a far more fundamental question?

The fundamental question is, what kind of society do we wish to inhabit?

Specifically, how do we wish to balance the competing demands of civil freedom, economic freedom, the rule of law, security of title/ownership, limits on license, protection of the vulnerable, restraint on the powerful, etc.?

Until we have decided what kind of society we desire to share with our fellow homo sapiens, there is literally no hope of resolving the critical questions of human population regulation, environmental degradation, resource conservation, global warming, species diversity, ecosystem preservation, etc.

In the interim, I favour a single strategy: role-modeling.

What do I mean?

Those who think they have a better idea for how we should resolve these fundamental and vexing problems should demonstrate the solutions by living them out in their own lives.

I am intolerant, for example, of demonstrations, activism, continental campaigns mounted in diesel-spewing busses (even if it is bio-diesel), attack ads, public griping and complaining, and blaming the villain of your choice (indolent citizens, greedy corporations, short-sighted governments, Islamic extremists, religious fundamentalists of all stripes, heathens, scheming and manipulative US or Chinese totalitarians, the military industrial complex, bureaucracies at all levels (including the UN), resurgent Venezuelan, Bolivian and Russian Communists, emerging and unstable nuclear powers, oppressive dictators, etc.).

If you think you have a better idea, do it.

If it’s more than you can do alone, find some others to join you, and do it with them.

Don't talk about it. Don't complain about it. Don't blame others for the problem. Just do it.

Live your dream and vision.

Inspire others.

My own role-models remain
Helen and Scott Nearing. They wrote about their thoughts and ideas, but simply lived the lifestyle they thought was necessary to make human survival possible. I also believe that Ivan Illich did this well. Ludwig von Mises laid out the theoretical basis for how societies can work in terms of social and economic freedom, and accomplished this from a psychologically enlightened perspective. Hernando de Soto and Muhammad Yunus have articulated how these solutions can be applied to disadvantaged third and fourth world societies.

Therefore, don't be a global griper. Be a global role-model.

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