Humanitarians: Please, Spare the Humans

I am not a big fan of conspiracy theories. They tend to be a dime a dozen, and are usually without merit. I do not think there is a monolithic cabal of conspirators plotting to take over planet earth. However, it is certainly the case that there are plenty of people out there who are hatching sinister schemes on a regular basis. And when you put a bunch of these folks together in the same room you can certainly end up with some really big trouble indeed.

Of course many of these people might have the best of intentions. They might have the good of humanity in mind. But history shows that those who have been the most callous toward individual human beings – or indeed, whole classes of people – are often those who go on about the good of humanity. So caution is always in order here.

The truth is, there exist plenty of humanity-hating humanitarians. I have documented many examples of this over the years. And new examples are not hard to come by. Consider a recent gathering of some very influential people. They were – as I warned about – put together in the same room, and came up with some rather ominous-sounding ideas.

It seems that some of the leading billionaires in America met for a private powwow in Manhattan earlier this month. Here is how the Times describes the meeting: “The philanthropists who attended a summit convened on the initiative of Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, discussed joining forces to overcome political and religious obstacles to change. Described as the Good Club by one insider it included David Rockefeller Jr, the patriarch of America’s wealthiest dynasty, Warren Buffett and George Soros, the financiers, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, and the media moguls Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey.”

Evidently the chief issue they focused on, following the lead of Bill Gates, was “overpopulation”. The article ends this way: “Another guest said there was ‘nothing as crude as a vote’ but a consensus emerged that they would back a strategy in which population growth would be tackled as a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat. ‘This is something so nightmarish that everyone in this group agreed it needs big-brain answers,’ said the guest. ‘They need to be independent of government agencies, which are unable to head off the disaster we all see looming.’ Why all the secrecy? ‘They wanted to speak rich to rich without worrying anything they said would end up in the newspapers, painting them as an alternative world government,’ he said.”

Indeed. Whether or not they are acting as an alternative government, my attention was sharply focused when I read about “overcoming religious obstacles”. In case you need translation on that, it usually means that our elites are quite happy to ride roughshod over the concerns of religious folk everywhere, especially Christians, if they dare to stand in the way as the elites seek to create a brave new world.

I am not the only one to have alarm bells going off. John-Henry Westen also had some concerns about this gathering of big cheeses. He notes how Gates has long been on the overpopulation bandwagon “Gates’ enthusiasm for population control comes as no surprise since he has himself admitted to being strongly influenced by the views of Thomas Malthus, the fear-mongering overpopulation guru of the late 18th century. He has also admitted that his father headed a local Planned Parenthood while he was growing up.”

But is overpopulation really the problem? “In sharp contrast to the ideas of the billionaires, a recent film containing the views of some prominent demographers has sounded the alarm on underpopulation rather than overpopulation. Promoting the film ‘Demographic Winter’ at a recent event, celebrated columnist Don Feder said that the demographic problem of worldwide declining birthrates ‘could result in the greatest crisis humanity will confront in this century’ as ‘all over the world, children are disappearing.’

“Feder noted, ‘In 30 years, worldwide, birth rates have fallen by more than 50%. In 1979, the average woman on this planet had 6 children. Today, the average is 2.9 children, and falling.’ He explained the situation noting, ‘demographers tell us that with a birthrate of 1.3, everything else being equal, a nation will lose half of its population every 45 years’.”

Many experts have noted that the global birth dearth is the real problem which we should be focusing on. But even assuming, for the sake of argument, that these wealthy elites are right, how will they achieve their drastic population cuts?

We already know – based on where their previous billions have gone – that it will not be pretty. It will involve abortions, sterilisations, and mega-tons of contraceptives being dumped all over the third world. Indeed, these wealthy white elites will especially target the developing world.

However, as population expert Steven Mosher asks, “What happens when governments, often in response to pressure from abroad, attempt to directly regulate the fertility of their people? Both humans rights and primary health care, it turns out, tend to suffer setbacks. Urging governments to interfere in the intimate decisions of couples concerning childbearing does not encourage limited government and the rule of law, but their opposite, an intrusive bureaucracy and human rights abuses. Nor does concentrating scarce health care resources on fertility reduction programs lead to improvements in the general state of health of a population.”

As he argues in his important book, Population Control: Real Costs, Illusory Benefits (Transaction, 2008), “For over half a century, the population controllers have perpetrated a gigantic, costly and inhumane fraud upon the human race, defrauding the people of the developing world of their progeny and the people of the developed world of their pocketbooks.”

Of course our fat cat elites will suffer nothing from such programs. It will be the poor and voiceless who will most suffer. But never mind; after all, it is for the good of humanity you know.

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8 Replies to “Humanitarians: Please, Spare the Humans”

  1. But Bill, what about the huge drain on our worlds resources.
    Isn’t the world about to explode or something?'_house


    But I guess I should be more explicit. My argument is not simply the envious sour grapes: they’re so rich we don’t have to listen to them.

    I would love some repsonsible environmentalist to actually work out who consumes what of the worlds resources.

    I imagine it would mirror the wealth ratios. What is the statistic bandied around? Would the top ten percent of the world’s population consume 90% of the worlds resources? I don’t know, I can fairly confidently assert that it’s disproportionate.

    What’s terible is that they are blaming the rest of the world who put them on their thrones in the first place (eg smokers for Buffet, office workers for Gates, housewives for Oprah).

    That’s what sin does, isn’t it? It’s everybody else’s fault.

    Michael Hutton, Ariah Park

  2. These rich elites are certainly a bunch of hypocrites. They’ve made their fortunes, had their kids, and now want to deny both of those things to the rest of the world.

    Ewan McDonald.

  3. Yes, Michael – sin is everyone else’s fault! (I have some relatives who think along these lines – scary, esp. considering they see themselves as Christians, too.)

    It continually freaks me out that environmentalists and conservationists seem to think that birth control via abortion is a perfectly acceptable form of population control. I have had dealings with one individual who believes that Western countries should not be providing aide to 3rd world countries – neither in times of natural disaster / droughts / famine or otherwise – because he believes it to be more “humane” that they just simply die out. This is apparently on the belief that if we provide aide, we just prolong a life fated to hardship and drudgery and unnecessarily stretch the world’s resources. When I pointed out that this type of practice would have the “side-effect” of benefiting him personally (ie. his quality of life would be maintained, if not increased since there’ll be more available resources to his country), he went quiet.

    So in reality, population control of these measures don’t benefit the good of mankind – only the good of one particular mankind: elitist westerners.

    Mathew Hamilton, Victoria

  4. Thanks guys

    You three all make excellent points. And it is not just about Western elites benefiting while non-Westerners suffer. It is also about a subtle form of racism: ‘we white rich Westerners are the solution, you coloured poor folk are the problem’.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. I don’t know if this is simply a form of racism. Oprah Winfrey is black, after all. I disagree with Mathew Hamilton to some degree. When the world became aware of the famine in Ethiopia in 1984, there were 35 million mouths to feed. Now, with the current famine in that area, the number of people needing assistance is 78 million. Certainly, this is not showing a birth rate of 1.3 children per woman. I’m a big believer in a hand up, not a hand out. Where are the programmes exploring ways of boosting food production in this area? Not GM and other abominations but grass roots efforts to improve the sustainability of life in these areas. I am absolutely opposed to abortion. Killing humans is not the answer. But what is? Can the developing world sustain population increases of this magnitude? Is it really selfishness on the part of the Western world or is this simply a fashionable way of removing responsibilty from the developing world to address its problems of tribalism, corruption, graft, etc?
    I have lived in a developing nation as a child. All the aid that was given benefitted a small minority of people who were able to reap huge rewards for themselves and their families. The intended beneficiaries saw nothing. I have no problem with the giving of aid. But it should be targetted and effective. THAT is the key issue.
    Lucy Zubova

  6. Thanks Lucy

    A few quick thoughts: Fertility rates are declining even in the developing world, just more slowly. And political realities have a lot to do with how nations fare. Since you mention Ethiopia, let’s look at it a bit more. It used to be known as “the breadbasket of Africa”. That was before the Marxists came into power. As usually happens, the Communists ruined production and destroyed the economy, effectively causing the famine there.

    So foreign aid alone may not always help. As the late British economist Lord P.T. Bauer used to say, foreign aid is really about taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries. The type of government a nation has is often more of a concern than the nation’s fertility rates.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  7. Overpopulation is not the problem: sin is.
    That is THE issue. The Solution? We need to recognise and make known that Christianity is the source of freedom, democracy, etc etc which flows from salvation. (see “How God Saved Civilisation” and “How Christianity Changed the world”. Christianity changes people for better and that changes the world for the better – that is perhaps the most powerful and necessary message we need to give.
    That said, of secondary importance is that food and resources are NOT limitations to world population growth.
    There is plenty of land, food, water, minerals etc to go around for hundreds of years (see Lomborg’s “the Skeptical Environmentalist”).
    We have oodles of space. Every person alive in the whole world could stand in the smallest state in Australia, Tasmania, and not be able to touch another person. They could all live in Queensland, Australia, with only 5 people per quarter acre block, and have room to spare.
    There is plenty of food – our farmers could grow heaps more if they could sell it all.
    If Australia had 200 Million people, instead of our paltry 20 Miliion, it would be sustainable to turn back 3/4 of the water flowing to waste out of Queensland to recharge the Great Atesian Basin and put water back into our inland rivers which rarely flow – to bring alive the ‘dead-heart’ of Australia. Similarly the water flowing to waste from the North of Western Australia and from the Northern Territory. With 200 Million people and such projects Lake Eyre could be a permanent inland sea and the inerior of Australia would turn from sunburt land to green heartland.
    Peter Newland

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