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Pontification Prompts Population Proliferation Problem

On his way to Australia for World Youth Day, the Pope has called for Catholics to find a way of living, a style of life that eases the problems caused to the environment.  He wants humanity to safeguard the world against the ravages of climate change.

“We need to rediscover our earth in the face of our God and Creator and to re-find our responsibilities in front of our Maker and the creatures of the earth He has placed in our hands in trust.

We need to reawaken our conscience.  I want to give impulse to rediscovering our responsibilities and to finding an ethical way to change our way of life and ways to respond to these great challenges”.

The Age July 14, 2008

Somebody should help the Pope to connect some dots.

The amount of climate changing greenhouse gas emissions is a product of the number of people on earth and the average per capita greenhouse gas emissions.

If we reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions by one-third while the population increases by 50% (as seems likely over the next 50 years) we will still cause the emission of the same total quantity of greenhouse gasses as today.

And we have made virtually no progress on reducing per capita greenhouse gas emissions, even in the rich world, since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.  So if the world population continues to grow we will not achieve what the Pope is calling for.

We must both reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions and stop population growth.

And yet the Pope still bans his flock from using the contraceptive pill or condoms.

In addition to causing global warming, an increasing population threatens the habitat of the creatures of the Creator.

Demand for land to grow food, fuel crops, and wood is set to outstrip supply, leading to the probable destruction of forests according to a report by the Rights and Resources Initiative (BBC News, July 14 2008).  The report says that only half the extra land needed by 2030 is available without eating into tropical forested areas.

The Pope has no credibility on the issue of finding ethical ways to live without encouraging a halt to population growth. 

Charlie Nelson
July 2008