Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Planet of the humans was misleading about green technology, but I agree that population growth is like the elephant in the room

I disagree with most of Michael Moore's latest film, Planet of the Humans. Green technology is much better than depicted in that misleading film. Still, green technology, alone, may still not be enough to stave off global warming. That's one point made in the film which I agree with.

For instance overpopulation is a problem. No, I don't think we need to promote a mass die off of the human race to address global warming. World population is still growing and we still need to accommodate the growing population. The growth rate is slowing. I would like to see it slow down more significantly to at least zero population growth; steady state. It's not there yet, but it is slowing.

I usually discuss over population as a part of a criticism of anti gay and anti women's rights policies that still exist in much of the third world. Also there's still conservative attitudes about sexuality in parts of the west. It doesn't make sense to prosecute people for not being into total heterosexuality.

I also wouldn't give third world countries a total pass for low consumption because so many people in the third world aspire to consume more. To live more like USA; driving cars and so forth. Economic growth in China over the past few decades; for instance.

Much of the third world is rising out of poverty. This isn't necessarily bad, but looking forward, growing population also means growing consumption as living standards rise.

I do think we can raise living standards with green energy.

While I favor zero population growth, I also realize that there are economic adjustments that need to be made as this usually leads to a higher percentage of the population being senior citizens. Children are the future generations who pay into things like Social Security. Adjustments have to be made, automation, later retirement, different distribution of wealth and so forth.

In the meantime, world population is still growing which means some of that growth still aspires to come to the United States and other western countries. This can help us bolster the number of people paying into Social Security; especially if we do more to legalize these mostly hard working immigrants.

I tend to be fairly liberal on immigration issues, but I also recognize the consequences of population growth. Larger cities, more people, more traffic, a harder time achieving goals for reducing carbon emissions. As population continues to expand, it creates pressure for economic growth.

I also notice that a lot of folks, including some people who are liberal on immigration issues, still don't want to see smaller communities, like Bellingham, WA. grow into big cities. Bellingham is growing and currently facing a housing shortage. Much of our growth is related to our popularity as a retirement destination.

Here is where good planning for density is important. Planning for transit, bike paths, parks, high rises and so forth. Trying to curb sprawl. For instance, we need to think about space wasted in parking lots that are empty much of the time.

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