Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm afraid you have a dire case of emotional manipulation


I have just been informed that the Population Research Institute has issued another video cartoon explaining their stand that the world is in fact in imminent danger of being seriously underpopulated. I think these videos are a very effective project. They give the facts, the numbers, and encourage people to think about things.

This approach (facts and thinking) seems to contrast sharply with the work of the population control movement/enviro-nutters who tell us that the reason the cute polar bears are falling of those shrinking ice floes is that there are too many (brown) people being born. And no, it doesn't have to make sense. What are you, some kind of thinky person? Don't you have a soul?

Oh, and by the way,

Shut up.

Let's compare, shall we?

We start off with a rather eerie drama in which a husband gives a huge electricity bill to his pregnant wife. She asks, apparently despairing, "Oh no! How will we have enough left to feed the children now?" (all of whom are crying...see, babies cry all the time, right? That's why no one likes them). Then a parade of greyish zombie-babies is crawling along a landscape of ugly new powerplants, which gout smoke and make the world generally nasty. This is followed by a depiction of a crowd of Chinese people on top of the Great Wall. The crowd is so huge, we are led to believe, that there isn't enough room to stand on the Wall, so people are asphixiating and falling off. The scene switches to a picture of penguins falling off calving icebergs and into the hostile freezing cold water (poor little penguins...much cuter than babies!). Then, somewhat inexplicably, a group of people (old people, I note) are locked in a burning house.

Observe also that there is no narration. No explanation or documentation is offered. These are merely images, literally cartoon versions of the propaganda slogans that have been offered by the population/eco-loonies to argue that we should have more abortion and to which we are expected to respond emotionally. But of course, any presentation of the facts of any of the situations being symbolised by the cartoons would be a bit of a problem for the sloganeers.

So let's stop for a moment and examine the claims.

First: "As long as humans keep reproducing, the demand for power will outstrip the supply. We'll have to keep building power plants that cause all kinds of environmental degradation."

Sed Contra, the world's power consumption is being met. People are clever little monkeys and usually solve problems like this without too much trouble. That's why we pay engineers so much money. Power plants that burn coal no longer produce sulfuric acid, for example. Acid rain is a thing of the past. Same goes for the food production problem that so exercised the mind of Thomas Malthus. You will note that, despite the hysterical shrieking of Paul Erlich, the world did not die of hunger in the 1970s. I was there, and I remember eating things just fine. The solution was what we now call the Green Revolution. People thought up clever ways of solving the food production problem.

Second: "See? China is horribly overpopulated and if we don't cut back our baby-making activities, we're going to end up like them."

This one is just silly. In the 1970s, the Chinese Commie government bought the whole "population=poverty" line that was then the favourite slogan of the Malthusians and decided that they would control their population by force 'cause that's the way to get things done in Commiethink, saves so much money and time that would otherwise be wasted trying to convince people to go along. So they instituted the One Child policy. Any woman, in their extremely regulated and watched society, who showed up to work pregnant without a license was, ahem...shall we say "urged" to report quickly to the "family planning agency" to get the problem looked after. Those babies who were born illicitly were often killed by state family planning agents looking to their own careers and necks if they allowed violations to go unaddressed. (This also made it possible for the state to eliminate the problem of Down's syndrome and a few other congenital trouble-spots. A Chinese obstetrician told a visiting American doctor that there really was no problem with Down's in China: "Those ones don't make it out of the delivery room".)

The only trouble, from the Commie point of view, is that now they have gone through 40-odd years of this, there just really aren't that many young people bringing up the rear. Moreover, sex-selection, made possible by ultrasounds, has given the Chinese a much bigger problem. They've killed off quite a significant percentage of the girls. And, barring unforseen advances in artificial reproduction methods, (which, frankly I don't put past them), you still need women to make your population go.

Now, the Chinese government, about one generation too late, is starting to worry. You've got the inverted pyramid in which huge numbers of old people are going to have to be supported by an ever-shrinking number of up-and-coming young workers.

And to add insult to injury, because the Chinese economy has been so successful recently, and because of the social and cultural changes that have been imposed by the economy-minded government, these young folk have learned that it is more fun to work for themselves, buy all the nice new things, and have a fun life than look after their crotchety old relatives.

They've been very successful westernisers over there, in short.

The Chinese "government" (as it is usually referred to in the media) has rather belatedly realised that they need to encourage people to have more children. I don't suppose they ever thought their efforts to change people's minds would be so successful. In Shanghai last year, officials were dismayed that their public pro-child campaign had been met with opposition from young people who feel that they ought to be allowed to enjoy their lives without the burden of looking after mum and dad. The state does that kind of thing right?

Third: The penguin/polar bear thing.

Uh, guys? Penguins can swim, hey? So can polar bears.

You knew that right?

Did you know that everyone knows that?

Fourth: The old people being burned alive in a crowded house thing.

Actually, I got nothin' here. Just doesn't seem to mean anything. So... ummm....


the most interesting part comes at the end. The Sun says to the Earth, "I'm afraid you have a dire case of overpopulation."

The Earth asks the question: "Is there anything you can do?"

The question remains unanswered, and the image of the earth fades leaving a diapered baby with the caption, "We can all help prevent this. Make the Green Choice".

Interesting choice of words there, hey?

What, exactly is being proposed here?

Obviously abortion, but what about the people who are already born?

As I always like to say to people who advocate reducing the world's surplus population, "You go first, Indie," we'll be right behind you.

Compare that video with the one below and see if you can spot the difference.

Spot the difference?

(BTW, did you catch the brief flash of the Spinster Cat-Lady? I laughed, but perhaps somewhat hollowly at that one...)


Zach said...

That's why we pay engineers so much money

But not so terribly much as all that.

Ponzi schemes, er, I mean creative financial instruments, pay much better than actually solving hard problems with the real world and, you know, making stuff that works.

Nod said...

First vid is creepy. "Make the green choice" by preventing babies? Sounds more like "Soylent Green".