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President’s Page: If It Weren’t For You Meddling Kids: Greens propose global one-child policy


Just when you thought that China-style population control, with its forced abortions and forced sterilizations, has been thoroughly discredited, along comes the Global Warming crowd to breathe new life into it.

Groups from the U.K.’s Optimum Population Trust to the U.N. Population Fund are proposing rigorous population control programs to deal with the (imaginary) dangers of climate change. Diane Francis, of Canada’s National Post, would go even further: She wants a “planetary law” mandating a China-like one-child policy. (http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=2314438

Nor is Francis alone in her quest to curb humanity. John P. Holdren, President Obama’s science czar, has been advocating such a policy since the 1970s. CNN’s Jack Cafferty has recently gotten into the act as well, approvingly reading e-mails from viewers who answered “yes” to the question, “Should mandatory population control be part of the fight against global warming?”

(Cafferty would undoubtedly claim that he was merely reporting on the views of his readers, but the e-mails were remarkably one-sided. Either he cherry-picked only anti-people e-mails, or the viewership of CNN is even more left-of center than I had imagined. Probably both.)

But Diane Francis stands out both for the extremism of her views and the paucity of her facts. She writes, for example, that “ [t]he world’s other species, vegetation, resources, oceans, arable land, water supplies and atmosphere are being destroyed and pushed out of existence as a result of humanity’s soaring reproduction rate.”

One wonders what “world” she is talking about. She is certainly not talking about ours, where tremendous strides have been made in recent years to, for example, produce more food from less land, and to set aside land for game and nature preserves.

Moreover, only someone who is demographically challenged could still claim that “humans are overpopulating the world.” Mankind’s “reproduction rate” is not “soaring,” as she claims, but slumping. Birthrates are everywhere falling, and are falling far faster than anyone a few decades ago thought possible.

Francis wants to impose a one-child policy on the rest of us, but the developed world is already perilously close to a voluntary one-child policy as it is. Many developed countries are already losing population from year to year, filling more coffins than cradles. Even many developing nations have below-replacement birthrates that will, over time, condemn their nations to population decline.

Typical of most Malthusians, Francis has decided that babies, especially babies born to poor families, are a burden to the rest of us. Babies are horn as consumers, to be sure, but they grow up to he producers. Every stomach comes with two hands attached, not to mention a God-given intelligence. As the looming crisis in Social Security suggests, you eliminate productive human beings at your economic peril.

Moreover, is she seriously suggesting that we go down the bloody path marked out by the People’s Republic of China, where the government dictates how many children a couple can have?

How much does Francis really know about China’s one-child policy, with its forced abortions of women in the third-trimester of pregnancy, and its government-sanctioned infanticide?

Does she really want to see pregnant women arrested for the crime of being pregnant, as routinely happens in the People’s Republic? Does she really want the rest of the world to start shooting lethal injections into the wombs of women who are pregnant with an “illegal” second child? Does she really want to see over-quota children killed at birth by injections of formaldehyde into the “soft spot” on the crowns of their heads?

China should not be held up as a population control role model for the rest of the world, by Francis or anyone else, but roundly condemned for its widespread and systematic violations of human rights, especially the rights of women. Anything less encourages the Chinese government to continue its brutal repression of the population,

Francis would probably say that she would not want to emulate the more brutal aspects of China’s program. But how else are you going to limit everyone to only one child, especially those who, for whatever reason, desire a large family? By fines alone? Does she understand just how heavy, just how punitive, the economic lash would have to be to in order to deter couples from having children? The Chinese government has found it necessary to impose fines equivalent to several years’ income to stop the birth of “illegal” babies. Is Francis prepared to utterly impoverish families this way? Does she think the rest of us are?

If Diane Francis wants to do something about global warming, I suggest purchasing carbon credits from Al Gore to offset all the hot air she and her population control buddies have recently been emitting.

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