Posted by Jobst Brandt, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 22, 2006 at 3:02 pm
Global Warming (conservation is counterproductive)
That global warming is brought home to the population of a world that
more interested in the immediate future, is important, but no remedy
is being offered. Recycling paper, plastic, reducing use of
automobiles and conserving water is not the answer. Besides, power
consumption is growing as more people are pressed to live in areas
that require more heating and air conditioning.
Not long ago, here in Palo Alto (pop 25000), we had black-smoke
belching steam trains, cars with smoky exhausts, trash piles burning
in back yards, and fireplaces with smoldering fires, without having
smog, something that seemed to be peculiar to Los Angeles at the time.
It wasn't so much what we did that caused smog, but how many people
did it. The same goes for global warming.
Conserving energy and resources is not the answer because that only
serves to prolong the inevitable a short time. Conservation is
counterproductive by ameliorating and masking the true problem.
Unless we all live as ascetics (I doubt even that the would do) there
are too many people on earth all hoping to live as wastefully as we
We often hear of declining birth rates but never of declining
population growth. Home building in most of this nation and Europe is
in full swing at an increasing rate. These homes do not stand empty
nor are traffic jams on our roads made of empty cars. Each vehicle is
occupied, not the product of declining population.
Educating people to not reproduce at untenable rates goes against many
religions and even if accomplished is not enough. We must also change
our economic system that depends on growth. There is where the real
problem lies. Our Ponzi scheme economy, based on growth must change.
If we can reverse population growth by educating world citizens to
practice individual restraint the economics of it will be an equally
I don't believe just telling every citizen about where our planet is
going is enough. It will require concerted positive national and
world leadership. I am not hopeful.