Former Vice President Al Gore raised eyebrows last week when he suggested that “fertility management” was the key to fighting global warming and promoting economic development in poor countries. Gore’s comments drew criticism from free-marketeers who said his remarks amount to “eco-imperialism.”
“Gore’s agenda for saving the world from global warming has always included population control,” Myron Ebell, director of global warming and international environmental policy at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Advocating population control specifically for Africa is just another form of imperialism. Gore’s eco-imperialism is uncomfortably close to the original racist goals of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, who advocated population control in order to control the number of black and brown people in the world.”
The world is expected to have more than 9 billion people by 2075, with much of that growth coming from developing countries in Africa. This is alarming to environmental activists like Gore, who argues that “fertility management” is needed to address a whole slew of global development issues, including mitigating global warming.
“When Gore advocates ‘making fertility management ubiquitously available,’ does he mean that there should be free condom dispensers on every solar panel?” Ebell added.
Gore was on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland last week titled “Changing the Climate for Growth and Development.” The panel looked at global development through a “climate lens” and included other world leaders such as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
“Depressing the rate of child mortality, educating girls, empowering women and making fertility management ubiquitously available — so women can choose how many children and the spacing of children — is crucial to the future shape of human civilization,” Gore said on an international panel on global warming last week.
“Africa is projected to have more people than China and India by mid-century; more than China and India combined by end of the century, and this is one of the causal factors that must be addressed,” the failed presidential candidate added.
Gore then tied Typhoon Haiyan and Superstorm Sandy to manmade global warming, adding that extreme weather events were 100 more times common than 30 years ago.
“And it comes about of course, because we continue to put 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere everyday, as if it’s an open sewer,” Gore added.
Gore and the Obama administration have been arguing that extreme weather is now more common than ever because of rising global temperatures. Not all climate scientists, however, agree on whether or not global warming is causing weather to become more extreme.
“It is misleading and just plain incorrect to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally,” University of Colorado climate scientist Roger Pielke told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last year. “It is further incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases.”
“Hurricanes have not increased in the U.S. in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since at least 1900,” Pielke added. “The same holds for tropical cyclones globally since at least 1970.”
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