Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Population, Contraception and the Like

This is in response to a particularly egregiously underinformed article in the NYTimes. Rush Limbaugh was on to something (of course for the wrong reason, that goes without saying). Here's why:

Population growth is no longer a problem (link to Hans Rosling) in countries like India. India has 2.7 children per woman - and the number is coming down. It is higher than US' 2.05, yes. It is impossible that India's population will double now. The bomb went off long ago when people stopped dying, thanks to modern medicine and better sanitaion. It took some time to adjust to a low birth rate. The same is true for most south Asian countries. Africa, on the other hand, just did not develop. Of course African population will go up this century - it should, because Africans will stop dying because of ill-health.

Since the average American woman adds 2.05 people to this planet, and the average Indian woman adds 2.7, the question is, whose offspring will warm the earth more? With per-capita emissions of CO2 20 times more in the US than in India, it is a no brainer to see that the American woman is 20 times more at fault than the Indian woman.

Alas the best green technology is still the financial derivative, which can destroy economies, start recessions and reduce carbon footprint. Go, Goldman, Go!

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