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Wednesday, October 16, 2013


MINOT, ND -- Two hundred years ago, the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus became famous for his "the sky is falling" predictions about population growth and starvation. Malthus claimed that the human population was growing beyond the earth's capacity to sustain it. He opined, "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man."

Today, the earth's population is seven and a half times greater than the 900 million people it had when Malthus warned of overpopulation. Malthus failed to see that growth in population rates, food production, energy technology, the earth's ability to provide, and human ingenuity were not static. Yet, his thinking, regardless of what the last 200 years have demonstrated, is still being recycled by those attempting to restructure society to match their twisted view of what people can and cannot have and how our natural environment works.

War, disease, and misguided and overly powerful governments have traditionally been the tools that destroy populations, reduce productivity, and push people into poverty and misery. We are experiencing the political class intentionally taking steps to lower our quality of life, limit our health care quality and options, and adversely affect our standard of living.

On July 1, 2013, the President of the United States addressed students at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He claimed that Africa, as well as the rest of the world, must prepare for a lower standard of living than the developed world has enjoyed to date. He told them that global warming was the biggest threat to human existence, a threat that could only be addressed by severely limiting the use of dirty energy.

Of course, he did not tell them that he intended to stop the use of the coal and oil resources that have produced the energy that has provided the high standard of living. Instead, he told them the world would have to prepare for a future without the cars, big houses, and air conditioning enjoyed by some and sought by all. Failure to reduce the human carbon footprint, he said, means "the planet will boil over."

President Obama was churning out rhetoric that fewer and fewer people are swallowing. In America and around the world, his credibility is routinely questioned. He exposes his hypocrisy as he travels regally using the very energy sources he condemns and enjoying the standard of living that he wishes to deny to everyone else.

He lies when he asserts that dirty water and dirty air are less of a concern to mankind than global warming. Even the bogus claims of global warming proponents that 140,000 lives a year are lost due to warming pale in comparison to the harsh reality that three million people die from indoor and outdoor air pollution, four billion suffer from life-threatening diarrhea, 300 to 500 million suffer from malaria, and 200 million suffer from schistosomiasis.

The President presupposes a connection between carbon footprint human actions and global warming. The problem with this analysis is the same as that of Malthus' analysis of the earth's carrying capacity. It is short-sighted, unproven, and makes no sense in practice.

Over the past 15 years, there has been no increase in the earth's average surface temperature. Historically, we know the earth has gone through at least seven ice ages and the counteracting warming periods. All of these ice ages and warming periods occurred when human impacts were nonexistent or so slight they could not have "tipped the scales" to cause either the ice ages or the warming cycles.

Great harm is wrought by the President's deceptive and fear-mongering rhetoric. His rhetoric is facilitating both economic damage and human suffering. No thinking person can any longer believe America has a responsible leader.

Society's desire for a higher standard of living need not be limited. That desire does not threaten the earth or its resources. Our well-being is threatened by the actions of selfish, egotistical tyrants and demigods, more commonly known as the politicians. If Americans allow a Malthusian president to pilot the Ship of State, we will surely run aground.



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Robert L. Hale is founder and director of a

nonprofit public interest law firm.

Robert Hale's biographical sketch and photo





A Voice from Fly-Over Country is copyright (c) 2013

by Robert L. Hale and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, fgfbooks.com. All rights reserved.

This column may be published or posted if credit

is given to the author and fgfBooks.com.


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