Former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post calling for more programs to “stabilize” world population to fight global warming.
Podesta argues “family planning” — code for access to abortion and contraceptives — would “do a world of good for the planet, which is bearing an environmental burden because of population growth.”
“Population projection experts estimate a worst-case scenario in which we grow by 70 percent and reach a population of 13 billion people by the end of the century,” Podesta wrote in an op-ed co-authored with former Colorado Democratic Sen. Tim Wirth.
“But if we continue to invest in sensible international family-planning programs and accept the challenge of meeting the needs of women and families, we could potentially stabilize the population at below 10 billion,” wrote Podesta and Wirth.
It’s not a new argument. For decades, catastrophists have argued global population growth would swamp the Earth’s ability to support human life. Stanford University Prof. Paul Ehrlich popularized the argument in his 1968 book “The Population Bomb.”
Ehrlich warned of mass starvation in the 1970s and ’80s due to population growth, and called for policies to limit population growth. Now, Podesta is applying that same logic to stopping man-made global warming.
“In fact, family planning ranks as one of the 10 most substantive solutions to climate change, according to a recent analysis of peer-reviewed research,” wrote Podesta and Wirth. “In addition to being cost-effective from an emissions reduction perspective, the co-benefits to women and families across the globe are enormous.”
Podesta and Wirth went on to criticize the Trump administration for expanding the “global gag rule” to block federal funding to health groups that push abortions. Podesta used the incident to highlight his main point that “[t]his is where women’s rights activists and environmental activists have a powerful opportunity to push back and align their resources.”
Environmentalists don’t need Podesta to tell them to make common cause on other liberal causes. The Sierra Club, for example, has come out against restricting immigration and in support of abortion.
More recently, a coalition of 30 environmental groups signed a statement telling Congress to “immediately move to re-open the government with a clean funding deal that protects the Dreamers.”
The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration in June to stop the U.S.-Mexico border wall from being built, arguing it would harm endangered species that range along the southwestern border.
Interestingly enough, environmentalist support for Dreamers and opposition to a U.S.-Mexico border wall goes against Podesta’s argument that population growth is straining the environment.
“American environmentalists and women’s rights advocates have every reason to feel under siege by the Trump administration,” wrote Podesta and Wirth.
“But this is all the more reason to find common cause in fighting for healthy women and a healthy planet,” they wrote. “Progress is made possible when groups that have long focused on single issues join forces to build fairer, more sustainable economies and societies.”
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