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LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 08:  Actor Bill Nye  LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 08: Actor Bill Nye 'the Science Guy' speaks at Jumpstart's Read for the Record at the LA Public Library on October 8, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Jumpstart)  

Bill Nye warns that population growth is driving global warming

Bill Nye the “Science Guy” joined former Vice President Al Gore in linking global warming to the rapid growth of human populations over the last two centuries.

“In the year 1750, there were about a billion humans in the world,” Nye, who is not actually a scientist, said on Fox Business’ “Stossel.” “Now, there are well over seven — seven billion people in the world. It more than doubled in my lifetime. So all these people trying to live the way we live in the developed world is filling the atmosphere with a great deal more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases than existed a couple of centuries ago.”

“It’s the speed at which it is changing that is going to be troublesome for so many, uh, large populations of humans around the world. Now, you may have heard of the hockey stick graph. This is where, uh, we compare the temperature of the world over the last 10,000 years with the temperature now,” Nye continued, citing the discredited “hockey stick” graph developed by former University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann.

Nye made his comments in a debate with global warming skeptic Marc Morano, the editor of the skeptic news site Climate Depot. Morano pushed back by arguing that the “hockey stick” graph has been proven wrong and that peer-reviewed studies have shown that the world was warmer during Roman times and the Middle Ages than it is today.

“It comes down to hundreds of factors are influencing our climate here,” Morano said. “CO2 is not the tail that wagged the dog. Another scientist who has essentially reversed herself is Judith Curry from Georgia Institute of Technology. She now says openly that you cannot control climate by reducing emissions.”

“And that seems to be the entire premise of the United Nations, that somehow, if we tweak emissions through carbon taxes, cap and trade, we can alter weather patterns,” Morano continued. “You opened up with tornadoes and Barbara Boxer. She actually went down to the Senate floor the day of tornadoes and implied a carbon tax would help prevent future tornado outbreaks. This is medieval witchcraft.”

Nye’s comments came after it was reported that failed presidential candidate Al Gore told an audience that “fertility management” was part of the solution to global warming and sustainable development in poor countries.

“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 at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

The idea that the human populations were too large for the Earth to support became popular in the 1970s when current White House science advisor John Holdren and scientist Paul Ehrlich preached the idea.

Holdren and Ehrlich both testified before the Senate in 1974 that the global economy would stagnate because of overpopulation, which even technological advancement would not be able to mitigate.

“We are going to move to a no-growth [economy],” Ehrlich said. “Now, whether we do it intelligently through the government by planning as rapidly as possible, or whether we move there automatically-by the way, when I look at some of the figures these days, I think we’re moving there much more rapidly than people realize — we’re going to get there, obviously.”

The world population was 3.5 billion in 1968 and food supplies only provided 2,300 calories per person per day in the early 1960s, according to United Nations data. The world’s population has more than doubled since then, but advances in food production technologies have allowed more people to be fed and there are far fewer people in the world suffering from chronic hunger today than in the 1990s. Incomes have also increased and economies have flourished since the 1960s.

Furthermore, global temperatures have been flat for the last 17 years now, despite the fact that the world’s population has grown by about 1 billion people since the late 1990s.

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