Showing posts with label Phony Scarcity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Phony Scarcity. Show all posts

November 03, 2009

Population Growth and Hunger: Is there a relationship?

November 3, 2009

Are there too many people?

There is "a staggering fertility decline.

"In the 1970s only 24 countries had fertility rates of 2.1 or less, all of them rich.

"Now there are over 70 such countries, and in every continent, including Africa." (Fertility: Go forth and multiply a lot less)

People are starving?

"Experts estimate that corruption in India indirectly kills more than 8,000 people a day by diverting money from food programs into the pockets of crooked officials." (India's New Anti-Corruption Laws May Not Work )

We still have the feudal system.

Bangladeshis making cheap clothes for supermarkets are paid as little as 3p an hour.


The book World Hunger: Twelve Myths (12 Myths About Hunger.) tells us the following:

1. The world produces enough food.

But low incomes prevent many people from getting enough to eat.

The elite (A) prevent the poor from owning land (B) pay starvation wages.

2. Climate is a factor.

In America many homeless people die from the cold every winter.

Rich people in Kenya will not starve. Kenya exports food.

3. Birth rates are falling rapidly worldwide.

In countries like Nigeria, Brazil and Bolivia, lots of food is grown but many people are too poor to buy a decent meal.

The Netherlands has little land per person but manages to feed its people and export food.

Countries like Cuba and Sri lanka have managed to greatly reduce population growth rates.

They have done this by improving the lives of the poor, especially poor women.

4. Efforts to feed the hungry are not causing the environmental crisis.

Large corporations are mainly responsible for deforestation.

Most pesticides are applied to export crops.

Cuba overcame a food crisis through self-reliance and sustainable, virtually pesticide-free agriculture.

5. We must fight the prospect of a ‘New Green Revolution' based on biotechnology, which threatens to further accentuate inequality.

6. Large landowners often leave much land idle.

A World Bank study of northeast Brazil estimates that redistributing farmland into smaller holdings would raise output an astonishing 80 percent.

7. The market only works efficiently when everyone has a decent income.

8. As a result of 'Free Trade', Brazil exports soybean ­to feed Japanese and European livestock.

Export crop production squeezes out basic food production.

Since NAFTA there has been a net loss of jobs in the USDA and Mexico.

9. Poor people, such as the Zapatistas in Chiapas, seek change.

We should remove the obstacles often created by large corporations, U.S. government, World Bank and IMF policies.

10. Most U.S. aid works directly against the hungry.

US aid is used to keep repressive governments in power.

11. Low wages ­in the Third World may mean cheaper bananas, shirts, computers and fast food for Americans and Europeans.

But the system leads to greater poverty for the majority.

Corporations seek cheaper and cheaper labour.

12. ­The 'right to unlimited accumulation of wealth' ­is in conflict with 'ending hunger'.


November 02, 2009

Netanyahu to hawk alternative energy at Copenhagen

Giving gas the boot
By Aluf Benn - Haaretz - October 29, 2009
Emphasis - Aletho News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to be remembered as the leader of a small nation who warned the great countries about the dangers lurking for Western democracy, and showed them how to protect themselves. The prime minister takes pride in having been the first to sound the alarm about Islamic terror and the Iranian nuclear project, when all the others were dozing off.

Now Netanyahu has found a new goal: ending the world's dependence on oil. In his speech at the Israeli Presidential Conference last week, Netanyahu surprised participants by announcing a national project for developing an alternative to oil within 10 years. [...]

At the cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu repeated his tripartite vision of dealing with alternative energy, water resources and environmental preservation, and announced the appointment of a team led by Prof. Eugene Kandel, head of the National Economic Council, to spearhead the project.

It was a worthy platform for unveiling the initiative. The Presidential Conference participants are supporters of Israel and include many media representatives, and Netanyahu also enjoyed the sponsorship of the man of vision, President Shimon Peres. However, the Prime Minister's Bureau did not prepare even a basic information sheet on Israel's alternative energy capabilities, or on the direction of research and development, and did not invite the technology reporters to hear about the project. As a result, Netanyahu presented a half-baked idea that came across as a pretentious card pulled out of his sleeve rather than as a serious plan of action. [...]

The logic is simple: Replacing oil with clean energy will crush the political power of the petroleum-producing countries. "Dependence on fossil fuels strengthens the dark regimes that encourage instability and fund terror with their petrodollars," said Netanyahu.

The conclusion is obvious: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will not be able to wreak damage and will ferment if they lose their fountain of cash. [...]

Oil means trouble

For years, Israeli researcher Gal Luft has been preaching about "energy security" in Washington, and warning that the oil addiction is making the West a captive to threatening and unstable regimes. In his lectures, he reminds Americans that in their land of suburbia, it is impossible even to buy bread without driving a petroleum-fueled car. He relates that much of the world's oil reserves lie under the Sunni-Shiite rift - that is, in regions prone to Islamic extremism and religious wars. In short, oil means trouble.

Netanyahu shares this view, but adds two new dimensions. He believes alternative energy will create a more equal distribution of global wealth, and will not enrich only countries blessed with subterranean oil reserves. This is especially important for developing countries like China, India and the African states, which depend on oil from the Middle East and whose industrial revolution is restricted by concerns about greenhouse gas emissions.

Israel can benefit from alternative energy in several ways: by building a new high-tech industry in an in-demand field; by cooperating with the rising powers in Asia, which are less interested in the Palestinians and the occupation; and by transforming itself into a site for clean-energy experiments that improve air quality here. If Netanyahu attends the upcoming world climate conference in Copenhagen, as has been proposed, it will be to present the idea to the international community.

This week, Prof. Kandel presented the preliminary outline of the project to the government. Two steering committees will be established: one of leading scientists, who will decide which aspects of alternative energy development must be addressed, and will identify where Israel has relative advantages in that realm; and another of industrialists and government officials, who will formulate a practical plan of action. Israel also will propose cooperative ventures with foreign countries and international companies.

A preliminary Israeli-American agreement on alternative energy development was signed in the twilight of former U.S. president George W. Bush's term, but Netanyahu's bureau is planning much more extensive endeavors. Israeli companies have been making advances in solar energy, water technology, chemical industries and information systems for managing the energy economy. However, in the meantime, there has been no breakthrough invention that would free cars, ships and planes from their dependence on petroleum, and provide a clean alternative to coal-based electricity.

Full article

October 30, 2009

The Origins of the “Global Warming” Scare

Notsylvia Night - October 30, 2009

Did you know, that the “Human caused Global Warming” hypothesis didn´t originate in the 1980s, but actually in the 1880s? Although, until the late 1970s, the hypothesis was considered “a curiosity”, since it contradicted observed events.

Did you further know, that at first this hypothesis wasn´t publicly promoted by scientists or even environmentalists, but by a UN ambassador and a very ambitious British Lady politician?

It’s snowing in April. Ice is spreading in Antarctica. The Great Barrier Reef is as healthy as ever. And that’s just the news of the past week. Truly, it never rains but it pours – and all over our global warming alarmists.

Time’s up for this absurd scaremongering. The fears are being contradicted by the facts, and more so by the week.

- wrote Andrew Bolt in the Australian Herald Sun last April.

Then he goes on to debunk many of the main claims most “Global Warming” (renamed “Climate Change”) believers will cite in public:

-like the claim that
the earth is rapidly warming at the moment.
The facts, however, are
that according to data from Britain’s Hadley Centre, NASA’s Aqua satellite and the US National Climatic Data Centre
the fall in temperatures from just 2002 (until 2009) has already wiped out half the warming our planet experienced last century.
(See also: Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered)

-or the claim that
the polar ice is rapidly melting.
The facts, however, are
that a British Antarctic Survey, working with NASA, last (April) confirmed
ice around Antarctica has grown 100,000 sq km each decade for the past 30 years.

-or the claim, that
the oceans are warming up
The facts, however, are
according to Josh Willis, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who evaluated
a five years study (done using) a network of 3175 automated bathythermographs deployed in the oceans by the Argo program, a collaboration between 50 agencies from 26 countries:
“There has been a very slight cooling”…

-or the claim that
sea-levels are rising dramatically.
The facts, however, are
according to the Jason-1 satellite mission monitored by the University of Colorado, that
for almost three years, the seas have stopped rising,

-or the claim,
that world-wide devastating storms (cyclones) are getting worse.
The facts, however, are
according to Ryan Maue of Florida State University, who
recently measured the frequency, intensity and duration of all hurricanes and cyclones to compile an Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index.()
The energy index is at its lowest level for more than 30 years.

-or the absolutely ridiculous claim by World Vision boss Tim Costello that Asia was a “region, thanks to climate change, that has far more cyclones, tsunamis, droughts”.
The facts are
(besides that Tsunamis are caused by earthquakes)
according to a 2006 study by Indur Goklany, who represented the US at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
“There is no signal in the mortality data to indicate increases in the overall frequencies or severity of extreme weather events, despite large increases in the population at risk.”

Most of the myths, which are now slowly being debunked by scientists through intensive research, have once been created by “scientists”.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has for several decades now employed “scientists” who claim

that human activities are responsible for nearly all earth’s recorded warming during the past two centuries.

writes David R. Legates in “Breaking the “Hockey Stick”

A widely circulated image used by the IPCC dramatically depicting these temperature trends resembles a hockey stick with three distinct parts: a flat “shaft” extending from A.D. 1000 to 1900, a “blade” shooting up from A.D. 1900 to 2000, and a range of uncertainty in temperature estimates that envelops the shaft like a “sheath.”

This image was produced by Michael Mann, Ray Bradley and Malcolm Hughes

(other colleagues working with Mann on his subsequent “climate change” research-papers were Philip D. Jones and Gavin Schmidt)…..

However, five independent research groups have uncovered problems with the underlying reconstructions by Mann and his colleagues in their 1998 and 1999 work that have persisted through his most recent collaborative efforts, calling into question all three components of the “hockey stick.”

Mann and Jones indicate that globally- and hemispherically-averaged air temperatures from A.D. 200 to 1900 were nearly constant. Missing from their timeline, however, are the widely recognized Medieval Warm Period (about A.D. 800 to 1400) and the Little Ice Age (A.D. 1600 to 1850).
Most proxy records from around the globe show these climatic events, as Willie Soon, Sallie L. Baliunas and I concluded in a 2003 paper published in Energy and the Environment.

For instance:
* In such widely disparate regions as Argentina, Chile, southern Peru, southern Africa and northern China, records indicate a marked warming at the beginning of the last millennium followed by extreme cold during the middle centuries.

* Historical proxies for temperature – such as tree rings, ice cores and bore holes – in New Zealand, Australia and California also confirm widespread, significant warming and cooling trends…..

(Scientists) Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick..().. contend that Mann and his colleagues in their 1998 and 1999 papers unjustifiably truncated or extrapolated trends from source data, used obsolete data, made incorrect calculations, and associated data sets with incorrect geographical locations….

More recently,(scientists) David Chapman, Marshall Bartlett and Robert Harris identified methodological problems in a 2003 Geophysical Research Letters study by Mann and G. Schmidt.

Specifically, Mann and Schmidt eliminated specific proxy records (data from bore holes) they thought were inaccurate. Chapman et al. showed that Mann and Schmidt had unjustifiably excluded the bore-hole data and concluded that their methods were “just bad science” and that they presented a “selective and inappropriate presentation” of results..….

Jan Esper, David Frank and Robert Wilson () further argued that the fatal flaw with Mann, Bradley and Hughes’ temperature reconstruction is its incorrect representation of longer-term trends.

They observed that the statistical methods used inappropriately remove trends over long time periods..

But the meteoric rise of the “Global Warming – bad science” into a global dogma and from there into the legislation of, by now, most nations on earth, did not originate with scientists at all.

Richard Courtney, founding member of the European Science and Environment Forum and technical adviser to several members of the British Parliament as well as to some British members of the European Parliament wrote the 1999 article “Global Warming: How It All Began” in which he explores the history of this particular pseudo-science.

The hypothesis of man-made global warming has existed since the 1880s. It was an obscure scientific hypothesis that burning fossil fuels would increase CO2 in the air to enhance the greenhouse effect and thus cause global warming. Before the 1980s this hypothesis was usually regarded as a curiosity because the nineteenth century calculations indicated that mean global temperature should have risen more than 1°C by 1940, and it had not.

Then, in 1979, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher (now Lady Thatcher) became Prime Minister of the UK, and she elevated the hypothesis to the status of a major international policy issue…..

Courtney goes on to explain, that in 1979 Thatcher actually did not yet have a much stature abroad or at home. In Britain her only claim to fame as an Education Secretary in the Heath administration that collapsed in 1974 was as ‘Milk Snatcher Thatcher’ due to her policy of ending distribution of milk to British school-children.

It was Britain´s Ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Crispin Tickell, who suggested she should use the issue of “Global Warming” as a means to gain national and international credibility.

He also suggested, that Thatcher with her education, a degree in chemistry, could easily win debates on scientific subjects, since most other politicians were “scientifically illiterate” .

As an aside, there are quite interesting parallels between the British “Iron Lady” of the 1980s and the German “Iron Lady” of today.

Like Thatcher, Angela Merkel was not widely known before she was put into office by her party.
(Why they chose her is rather a mystery. Merkel was actually loosing votes for her conservative Christian Democratic Party, with her pro-Iraq-war position, when practically the whole German nation was opposed to it, and the seeming inability to produce a single genuine smile reaching the eyes, which gave her a definite lack of public charisma.)

Like Thatcher, Merkel also has degree in science, a doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) for her thesis on quantum chemistry.

Like Thatcher, Merkel is busy cutting down on workers´ rights and on the German social safety net. Merkel, the pro-corporate and anti-union German chancellor, is also a strong supporter of carbon tax legislation, both in Germany and in Europe, as well as a mandated global reduction in CO2 to combat “Global Warming”.

Margaret Thatcher went for Ambassador Tickell´s “Global Warming” to strengthen her prominence. Her Conservative Party went for it, to weaken the British coal-miners labor union. “Global Warming” would then give the nuclear industry a push, since now coal-fueled power-stations could be replaced by nuclear power-stations for “environmental” reasons. Britain´s nuclear industry urgently needed that kind of a push since the Three Mile Island accident had damaged public confidence in nuclear technology.

The other rationale for why nuclear power should be used instead of coal, the alleged cost benefit, was being destroyed, when privatization of the Britain’s electricity supply industry exposed that British nuclear power was produced at four times the cost of electricity produced in coal-fueled power plants.

And, writes Courtney,

the Conservative Party wanted a large UK nuclear power industry for another reason. That industry’s large nuclear processing facilities were required for the UK’s nuclear weapons programme and the opposition Labour Party was then opposing the Conservative Party’s plans to upgrade the UK’s nuclear deterrent with Trident missiles and submarines.

Subsequently the “Global Warming” issue was promoted by large government grants and funds. Scientists fell in line through peer pressure and for fear of losing their research funding and not because they actually were convinced by the argument.

In 1992 Greenpeace International conducted a survey of the world’s 400 leading climatologists. Greenpeace had hoped to publicize the results of that survey in the run-up to the Rio summit, but when they completed the survey, they gave very little publicity to its results. In response to the survey, only 15 climatologists were willing to say they believed in global warming, although all climatologists rely on it for their employment.

Though not all scientists sold out their integrity for funds:

Following the Leipzig Climate Conference in November 1995,

the Leipzig Declaration disputes the IPCC assertions about man-made global warming. It was drafted and has been signed by over 1,500 scientists from around the world.

Today the “Global Warming” and “Climate Protection” issue is being sold to the public as being a liberal or even a left-wing concern. Forgotten is it´s very much right-wing, anti-union corporate and militarist origin.

Green and environmental minded people also seem to have forgotten the connection between “Global Warming” and the nuclear power-industry, and anti-war activists never seem to register, that “Global Warming” was actually used to create more weapons of mass-destruction.

The fact that the “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” issue isn´t really about environmental protection is clearly shown, for instance, by the US Climate Change Bill, promoted by the new US Obama Administration and his “progressive” Democratic Party.

Atheo News writes about the bill in Dr. Chu’s Energy Bait and Switch

The congressional mandates “are very weak and really will not require any additional renewables beyond what states already are doing,” says Mark Sinclair of Clean Energy States Alliance. “It will be meaningless. It’s just a gesture.”

Marchant Wentworth of the Union of Concerned Scientists came to a similar conclusion, seeing that absolute requirements for renewables, after allowances, would be as low as 8 percent of total electric power generation for each utility. This is hardly a challenge for most utilities in a nation that in 2006 generated almost 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, including hydro power.

In other words, the proposed renewable sources requirements amount to little more than shallow symbolism. The current public subsidies and underwriting for nuclear power already make the nuclear choice more economically viable for utilities to maximize return on utility investment. The legislation is, in fact, a thinly veiled mandate for building new nuclear power plants, or to increase output from existing ones.

Republicans are offering a different plan that simply calls for building 100 new nuclear plants within the next twenty years.

These plans mirror similar policies across the Atlantic where the government in Britain is rushing a new generation of nuclear power plants, with a goal to begin construction within four years. Both ‘energy independence’ and climate change were cited as rationales by policy makers there as well.

Obama’s Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu, from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is a staunch advocate of nuclear power, citing it as “essential” due to global warming while at the same time ignoring the carbon emissions of the “nuclear cycle” that are produced from the mining, milling, enrichment, fuel fabrication and disposal of spent fuel. The new appointee described nuclear power as “carbon free” at his confirmation in January.

While the “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” skeptics (sometimes called “deniers”) are often accused of being paid assets of the oil industry, the economical and political advantages of the “Global Warming” pseudo-science for the nuclear power industry cannot be denied any longer.

There is, however, an even stronger and even less publicly known connection of the “Global Warmers” with another industry, as Aletho News reports:

The new Democratic climate change bill , introduced in the Senate by Barbara Boxer and John Kerry, contains more advantages for nuclear power than even the legislation which passed in the House of Representatives last June. Included are waste management, financing and loan guarantee arrangements, regulatory risk insurance, as well as R&D and training programs. Joseph Lieberman is understood to be preparing the fine print for the bill which is presently “short on details”…..

As with other major pieces of legislation under consideration by the current Congress, the financial industry is a central actor, venture capitalists “are ready to pour multibillions of dollars into clean energy” if Congress passes “some kind of bill that talks about energy independence and climate change,” Boxer said.

How deep the connection between the “Climate Change” movement and the financial industry actually is, and how important the matter is for the elite of this industry, and how this even is connected to the issue of Iran´s civilian nuclear energy program, will be the subject of part two of this report.

Part Two:

Where "Global Warming" and "Peak Oil" meet

October 27, 2009

Israel denying Palestinians access to clean water

Press TV - October 27, 2009 06:27:41 GMT

As a result of Israel's 'discriminatory' policies, Palestinians' access to water
supply is far below the minimum recommended by the World Health Organization.

Amnesty International on Tuesday accused Israel of preventing Palestinians from receiving adequate clean and safe water while allowing the "unlawful Jewish settlers" of the occupied West Bank almost unlimited supplies.

According to the report, Israelis consume four times as much water as West Bank Palestinians whose water consumption at best reaches 70 liters per capita a day. The report also says that in some areas of the West Bank, Palestinians are surviving on as little as 20 liters of water per capita a day, which is below humanitarian disaster response levels recommended to avoid epidemics.

In contrast, water consumption by Israeli settlers in the West Bank is 300 liters per capita a day.

"Water is a basic need and a right, but for many Palestinians obtaining even poor-quality, subsistence-level quantities of water has become a luxury that they can barely afford", said Amnesty's Donatella Rovera.

The 112-page report says while West Bank Palestinians are not allowed to dig wells to fulfill their need, Israeli settlers of the region are enjoying swimming pools and green gardens. There are also reports suggesting that Israeli authorities destroy Palestinian's cisterns and impound their water tankers.

"Swimming pools, well-watered lawns and large irrigated farms in Israeli settlements in the OPT (occupied Palestinian territory) stand in stark contrast next to Palestinian villages whose inhabitants struggle even to meet their domestic water needs", the report added.

The human rights group has also accused Israel of causing a "water crisis" in the Gaza Strip by continuing its crippling blockade on the territory, adding that 90-95 per cent of the region's water supply is now unfit for human consumption because of Israel's three-week offensive against the coastal territory, which damaged water reservoirs, wells, sewage networks and pumping stations.

October 26, 2009

Rainforest treaty 'fatally flawed'

Climate summit loophole lets palm oil producers cull vital wilderness

By Michael McCarthy
October 26, 2009

A vital safeguard to protect the world's rainforests from being cut down has been dropped from a global deforestation treaty due to be signed at the climate summit in Copenhagen in December.

Under proposals due to be ratified at the summit, countries which cut down rainforests and convert them to plantations of trees such as oil palms would still be able to classify the result as forest and could receive millions of dollars meant for preserving them. An earlier version of the text ruled out such a conversion but has been deleted, and the EU delegation – headed by Britain – has blocked its reinsertion.

Environmentalists say plantations are in no way a substitute for the lost natural forest in terms of wildlife, water production or, crucially, as a store of the carbon dioxide which is emitted into the atmosphere when forests are destroyed and intensifies climate change.

Now they are calling on Britain to take a lead in restoring the anti-plantations safeguard at the final negotiating session in a week's time, saying that otherwise the agreement – which seeks to halve global deforestation rates by 2020 – will be fatally flawed.

"It is a priority for the safeguard to be reinserted, or otherwise we will have a situation where countries are paid for converting their natural forests into palm plantations," said Emily Brickell, the climate and forests officer for the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF-UK).

"If this is not changed, the agreement will be part of the problem, not part of the solution, because it will allow things to carry on as they are now and we will continue to see the loss of natural rainforest," added Simon Counsell, the executive director of the Rainforest Foundation.

The key piece of text which was lost said that parties to the treaty "shall protect biological diversity, including safeguards against the conversion of natural forests to forest plantations".

It was deleted in closed negotiations but some observers think it was done at the instigation of African rainforest countries, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cameroon, while other states including Indonesia and Malaysia are believed to have supported it. Both are heavily involved in the oil palm industry, which is a major driver of deforestation because palm oil is used to make biofuels.

A move to reinsert the clause was blocked at the last talks in Bangkok by British officials, who feared that the gains of the week's negotiations (the text was reduced from 19 pages to nine) would be lost if the text were reopened. Green campaigners accept that this was a matter of procedure but think it will have been a disastrously bad call if officials do not move swiftly to replace the lost text at the final negotiations in Barcelona, beginning a week today.

"The EU has to make sure the wording goes back in," said Charlie Kronik, of Greenpeace. "It's absolutely essential, otherwise it leaves open the possibility of removing intact, high-value forests and replacing them with oil palms as party of the treaty."

The Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "The UK is pushing hard for the strongest possible deal to stop deforestation and that includes wanting specific language in the UN text on the protection of natural forests."

The proposed forest pact, which could be one of the most positive outcomes of the Copenhagen summit, addresses the fact that deforestation, mostly in Central and South America, Africa and Asia, now produces nearly 20 per cent of annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – more than from all the world's transport. Many policymakers consider that the key goal of limiting global warming to no more than C above the pre-industrial level will be unattainable unless the problem of deforestation emissions is tackled. The issue, which has become known in official jargon as Redd (reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries), now has a section to itself in the proposed Copenhagen accord.

Full article

October 25, 2009

AGW has most of the characteristics of an “urban legend”

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. - October 24, 2009

Urban legend? Gators don't really live in the sewer. describes an “urban legend” as an apocryphal (of questionable authenticity), secondhand story, told as true and just plausible enough to be believed, about some horrific…series of events….it’s likely to be framed as a cautionary tale. Whether factual or not, an urban legend is meant to be believed. In lieu of evidence, however, the teller of an urban legend is apt to rely on skillful storytelling and reference to putatively trustworthy sources.

I contend that the belief in human-caused global warming as a dangerous event, either now or in the future, has most of the characteristics of an urban legend. Like other urban legends, it is based upon an element of truth. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas whose concentration in the atmosphere is increasing, and since greenhouse gases warm the lower atmosphere, more CO2 can be expected, at least theoretically, to result in some level of warming.

But skillful storytelling has elevated the danger from a theoretical one to one of near-certainty. The actual scientific basis for the plausible hypothesis that humans could be responsible for most recent warming is contained in the cautious scientific language of many scientific papers. Unfortunately, most of the uncertainties and caveats are then minimized with artfully designed prose contained in the Summary for Policymakers (SP) portion of the report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This Summary was clearly meant to instill maximum alarm from a minimum amount of direct evidence.

Next, politicians seized upon the SP, further simplifying and extrapolating its claims to the level of a “climate crisis”. Other politicians embellished the tale even more by claiming they “saw” global warming in Greenland as if it was a sighting of Sasquatch, or that they felt it when they fly in airplanes.

Just as the tales of marauding colonies of alligators living in New York City sewers are based upon some kernel of truth, so too is the science behind anthropogenic global warming. But there is a big difference between reports of people finding pet alligators that have escaped their owners, versus city workers having their limbs torn off by roving colonies of subterranean monsters.

In the case of global warming, the “putatively trustworthy sources” would be the consensus of the world’s scientists. The scientific consensus, after all, says that global warming is…is what? Is happening? Is severe? Is manmade? Is going to burn the Earth up if we do not act? It turns out that those who claim consensus either do not explicitly state what that consensus is about, or they make up something that supports their preconceived notions.

If the consensus is that the presence of humans on Earth has some influence on the climate system, then I would have to even include myself in that consensus. After all, the same thing can be said of the presence of trees on Earth, and hopefully we have at least the same rights as trees do. But too often the consensus is some vague, fill-in-the-blank, implied assumption where the definition of “climate change” includes the phrase “humans are evil”.

It is a peculiar development that scientific truth is now decided through voting. A relatively recent survey of climate scientists who do climate research found that 97.4% agreed that humans have a “significant” effect on climate. But the way the survey question was phrased borders on meaninglessness. To a scientist, “significant” often means non-zero. The survey results would have been quite different if the question was, “Do you believe that natural cycles in the climate system have been sufficiently researched to exclude them as a potential cause of most of our recent warming?”

And it is also a good bet that 100% of those scientists surveyed were funded by the government only after they submitted research proposals which implicitly or explicitly stated they believed in anthropogenic global warming to begin with. If you submit a research proposal to look for alternative explanations for global warming (say, natural climate cycles), it is virtually guaranteed you will not get funded. Is it any wonder that scientists who are required to accept the current scientific orthodoxy in order to receive continued funding, then later agree with that orthodoxy when surveyed? Well, duh.

In my experience, the public has the mistaken impression that a lot of climate research has gone into the search for alternative explanations for warming. They are astounded when I tell them that virtually no research has been performed into the possibility that warming is just part of a natural cycle generated within the climate system itself.

Too often the consensus is implied to be that global warming is so serious that we must do something now in the form of public policy to avert global catastrophe. What? You don’t believe that there are alligators in New York City sewer system? How can you be so unconcerned about the welfare of city workers that have to risk their lives by going down there every day? What are you, some kind of Holocaust-denying, Neanderthal flat-Earther?

It makes complete sense that in this modern era of scientific advances and inventions that we would so readily embrace a compelling tale of global catastrophe resulting from our own excesses. It’s not a new genre of storytelling, of course, as there were many B-movies in the 1950s whose horror themes were influenced by scientists’ development of the atomic bomb.

Our modern equivalent is the 2004 movie, “Day After Tomorrow”, in which all kinds of physically impossible climatic events occur in a matter of days. In one scene, super-cold stratospheric air descends to the Earth’s surface, instantly freezing everything in its path. The meteorological truth, however, is just the opposite. If you were to bring stratospheric air down to the surface, heating by compression would make it warmer than the surrounding air, not colder.

I’m sure it is just coincidence that “Day After Tomorrow” was directed by Roland Emmerich, who also directed the 2006 movie “Independence Day,” in which an alien invasion nearly exterminates humanity. After all, what’s the difference? Aliens purposely killing off humans, or humans accidentally killing off humans? Either way, we all die.

But a global warming catastrophe is so much more believable. After all, climate change does happen, right? So why not claim that ALL climate change is now the result of human activity? And while we are at it, let’s re-write climate history so that we get rid of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice age, with a new ingenious hockey stick-shaped reconstruction of past temperatures that makes it look like climate never changed until the 20th Century? How cool would that be?

The IPCC thought it was way cool…until it was debunked, after which it was quietly downgraded in the IPCC reports from the poster child for anthropogenic global warming, to one possible interpretation of past climate.

And let’s even go further and suppose that the climate system is so precariously balanced that our injection of a little bit of that evil plant food, carbon dioxide, pushes our world over the edge, past all kinds of imaginary tipping points, with the Greenland ice sheet melting away, and swarms of earthquakes being the price of our indiscretions.

In December, hundreds of bureaucrats from around the world will once again assemble, this time in Copenhagen, in their attempts to forge a new international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. And as has been the case with every other UN meeting of its type, the participants simply assume that the urban legend is true. Indeed, these politicians and governmental representatives need it to be true. Their careers and political power now depend upon it. And the fact that they hold their meetings in all of the best tourist destinations in the world, enjoying the finest exotic foods, suggests that they do not expect to ever have to be personally inconvenienced by whatever restrictions they try to impose on the rest of humanity.

If you present these people with evidence that the global warming crisis might well be a false alarm, you are rewarded with hostility and insults, rather than expressions of relief. The same can be said for most lay believers of the urban legend. I say “most” because I once encountered a true believer who said he hoped my research into the possibility that climate change is mostly natural will eventually be proved correct.

Unfortunately, just as we are irresistibly drawn to disasters – either real ones on the evening news, or ones we pay to watch in movie theaters – the urban legend of a climate crisis will persist, being believed by those whose politics and worldviews depend upon it. Only when they finally realize what a new treaty will cost them in loss of freedoms and standard of living will those who oppose our continuing use of carbon-based energy begin to lose their religion.


Where is this heading? Read:

US Climate Change Bill Promotes Nuclear Industry

"A new era for the nuclear industry"

Dr. Chu's Energy Bait and Switch


(Nuclear) Energy bill moves to the Senate

International day of climate change funded by.....

Kenny's Sideshow
October 24, 2009

Anytime there are world wide organized demonstrations urging action on global warming/climate change, my first question is who funds them and who really benefits.

The Wanaka Wastebusters gather at a local ski mountain in New Zealand to call for 350 to protect their snow.

From seabeds to mountaintops, people around the world were staging a day of demonstrations Saturday to call for urgent action on climate change.

The events were being coordinated by a group called, whose name refers to the parts per million of carbon dioxide it considers the safe upper limit for our atmosphere.

The group said it wants to "inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis" ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December.
In all, more than 5,400 rallies and demonstrations were scheduled to take place around the world, all of them centered on the number 350, the group said. {more -CNN}

So if you guessed the name Rockefeller as the major known backer of, you would be correct.

'350' is a subsidiary of the Sustainable Markets Foundation, an offshoot of The Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
In 2006, David Rockefeller Sr. made a $225 million bequest to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a foundation he formed with his four siblings.
This is the same David Rockefeller whose quotes have been well publicized and have exposed his agenda.
We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected the promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world-government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the National auto determination practiced in past centuries.-- David Rockefeller in an address to a Trilateral Commission meeting in June of 1991

This present window of opportunity, during which a truly peaceful and interdependent world order might be built, will not be open for too long - We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order. Sept. 23, 1994
"For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world, if you will.
If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it." from David Rockefeller's autobiography 'Memoirs'

So I'm thinking that anything that has to do with Rockefeller's money is never in the best interests of people or the earth. Do these tens of thousands participating in the '350' social engineering 'events' really understand the background of their financial leaders or are they, as Rockefeller's buddy Kissinger might say, 'useful idiots?'

Question: Where are you at the antiwar rallies? The pentagon is the largest polluter on the planet.

A comprehensive list of Rockefeller Brothers Fund grants over $200,000 which in some way aim at “Combating Global Warming”:

Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Inc. 6/18/2009 $200,000 Sustainable Development New York City
1Sky Education Fund 6/18/2009 $250,000 Sustainable Development United States
Center for Climate Strategies, Inc. 6/18/2009 $350,000 Sustainable Development United States
Evangelical Environmental Network 6/18/2009 $200,000 Sustainable Development United States
American Council on Renewable Energy 6/18/2009 $350,000 Sustainable Development United States
Sustainable Markets Foundation 3/12/2009 $200,000 Sustainable Development United States
Rockefeller Family Fund, Inc. 3/12/2009 $200,000 Sustainable Development United States
Aspen Institute, Inc., The 11/20/2008 $600,000 Sustainable Development Global
American Council on Renewable Energy 11/20/2008 $250,000 Sustainable Development United States
President and Directors Georgetown College (Georgetown University), The 11/20/2008 $700,000 Sustainable Development United States
Center for American Progress 11/20/2008 $250,000 Sustainable Development United States
Center for Climate Strategies, Inc. 10/7/2008 $350,000 Sustainable Development United States
Resource Media A Nonprofit Corporation 6/19/2008 $200,000 Sustainable Development United States
Corporate Ethics International 6/19/2008 $200,000 Sustainable Development United States
Earth Island Institute 3/13/2008 $350,000 Sustainable Development United States
2030 Inc. 3/13/2008 $250,000 Sustainable Development United States
Better World Fund 3/13/2008 $400,000 Sustainable Development United States
Ceres, Inc 3/13/2008 $500,000 Sustainable Development United States
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives U.S.A. Inc. 3/13/2008 $650,000 Sustainable Development United States
Regional Plan Association, Inc. 3/13/2008 $200,000 Sustainable Development New York City
1Sky Education Fund 12/13/2007 $1,000,000 Sustainable Development United States
American Council on Renewable Energy 12/13/2007 $500,000 Sustainable Development United States
Corporate Ethics International 12/13/2007 $250,000 Sustainable Development Canada
Public Interest Projects, Inc. 12/13/2007 $350,000 Sustainable Development United States
Center for Climate Strategies, Inc. 12/13/2007 $400,000 Sustainable Development United States
Better World Fund 10/11/2007 $200,000 Sustainable Development United States
Rocky Mountain Institute 6/14/2007 $300,000 Sustainable Development United States
National Environmental Trust 6/14/2007 $300,000 Sustainable Development United States
Regional Plan Association, Inc. 6/14/2007 $200,000 Sustainable Development New York City
National Wildlife Federation 6/14/2007 $250,000 Sustainable Development United States
Rainforest Action Network 6/14/2007 $200,000 Sustainable Development United States
Arabella Legacy Fund 6/14/2007 $300,000 Sustainable Development United States
Clean Energy Group 3/15/2007 $200,000 Sustainable Development United States
SmartPower Connecticut, Inc. 3/15/2007 $200,000 Sustainable Development United States
National Religious Partnership for the Environment Inc. 12/14/2006 $400,000 Sustainable Development United States
Center for Climate Strategies, Inc. 12/14/2006 $550,000 Sustainable Development United States
National Environmental Trust 10/12/2006 $300,000 Sustainable Development United States
Center for Climate Strategies, Inc. 10/12/2006 $350,000 Sustainable Development United States
Resource Media A Nonprofit Corporation 6/15/2006 $300,000 Sustainable Development United States
Earth Island Institute 3/9/2006 $350,000 Sustainable Development United States
Ceres, Inc. 3/9/2006 $500,000 Sustainable Development United States
Better World Fund 3/9/2006 $400,000 Sustainable Development United States
American Council on Renewable Energy 3/9/2006 $500,000 Sustainable Development United States
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA, Inc. 3/9/2006 $400,000 Sustainable Development United States
Climate Change Organisation, The 12/15/2005 $300,000 Sustainable Development Global
Center for Climate Strategies, Inc. 12/15/2005 $250,000 Sustainable Development United States
Rainforest Action Network 6/9/2005 $200,000 Sustainable Development United States
Center for Climate Strategies, Inc. 12/16/2004 $225,000 Sustainable Development United States
World Resources Institute 12/16/2004 $200,000 Sustainable Development Europe
SmartPower Connecticut, Inc. 12/16/2004 $200,000 Sustainable Development United States
Clean Energy Group 12/16/2004 $200,000 Sustainable Development Canada
Climate Change Organisation, The 6/9/2004 $750,000 Sustainable Development Global
National Environmental Trust 12/11/2003 $400,000 Sustainable Development United States
WWF-UK 10/9/2003 $400,000 Sustainable Development Global
Climate Institute 3/13/2003 $200,000 Sustainable Development Caribbean


See also:

Dr. Chu's Energy Bait and Switch


US Climate Change Bill Promotes Nuclear Industry

"A new era for the nuclear industry"


(Nuclear) Energy bill moves to the Senate

October 05, 2009

US Climate Change Bill Promotes Nuclear Industry

"A new era for the nuclear industry"

Obama energy adviser Carol Browner announces mandates
that will result in a new generation of nuclear power plants.
Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Aletho News
October 5, 2009

The new Democratic climate change bill , introduced in the Senate by Barbara Boxer and John Kerry, contains more advantages for nuclear power than even the legislation which passed in the House of Representatives last June. Included are waste management, financing and loan guarantee arrangements, regulatory risk insurance, as well as R&D and training programs. Joseph Lieberman is understood to be preparing the fine print for the bill which is presently "short on details". The bill however does describe a "new era for the nuclear industry." Other vital findings include:

(6) even if every nuclear plant is granted a 20-year extension, all currently operating nuclear plants will be retired by 2055;

(7) long lead times for nuclear power plant construction indicate that action to stimulate the nuclear power industry should not be delayed;

(8) the high upfront capital costs of nuclear plant construction remain a substantial obstacle, despite theoretical potential for significant cost reduction;

The push for a new generation of nuclear power plants finds bi-partisan support, Democrat Barbara Boxer has said that a higher cost for carbon–which would make coal-fired plants less attractive and nuclear plants more attractive–would do the trick [in making nuclear power competitive], while Republican Lamar Alexander has said "let's start building a hundred nuclear power plants." Ever one to make extreme positions seem moderate, John McCain says the Democrats' bill falls far short, and he wants more incentives for building new nuclear plants, beyond aid the industry already gets and the advantages for nuclear under a cap and trade plan.

Unlike their political leaders the public is increasingly skeptical about the need for "climate" legislation. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reported that 30 percent of the public considered global warming to be one of the top priorities for governmental action, placing it 19th out of the 19 options surveyed in the January 2009 survey. Barack Obama's top energy adviser, Carol Browner does not see a high likelihood of legislation being passed this year. Undeterred by popular will the EPA said on September 30, that it will require newly built or modified industrial facilities that produce more than 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year to use “best available [carbon] control technologies and energy efficiency measures.” Thus directly mandating the costlier nuclear energy whether the Congress passes a climate change bill or not. An increased cost to ultimately be borne by rate payers. The expense of nuclear energy could be viewed as another military related financial drain on America since a vibrant civilian nuclear industry is vital for the ongoing development of new nuclear weapons.

Requirements for energy sources that are actually renewable will amount to little more than shallow symbolism as their costs will remain higher yet than that of nuclear. Under the House bill wind and solar will see some mandated growth but still make up a tiny fraction of US energy generation. The lack of interest in renewable energy is made clear by the recent slashing of the already minuscule funding for wave and tidal energy research.

Marvin Fertel, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry lobby, justifies the claim on public largess solely on the imperative of reducing Co2, the weaker "energy independence" rationale being absent from his response to the bill:
"The U.S. nuclear energy industry supports the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 in a way that minimizes negative impact on the economy and consumers of electricity. We appreciate the fact that Senators Kerry and Boxer recognize that nuclear energy is a critical component of any strategy to reduce carbon emissions. The nuclear energy industry appreciates their efforts, along with those of Senator Carper, to articulate the strategic value of nuclear energy in this global challenge."
As with other major pieces of legislation under consideration by the current Congress, the financial industry is a central actor, venture capitalists “are ready to pour multibillions of dollars into clean energy” if Congress passes “some kind of bill that talks about energy independence and climate change,” Boxer said.

Related articles:

(Nuclear) Energy bill moves to the Senate

- July 9, 2009

Dr. Chu's Energy Bait and Switch

- June 13, 2009

October 03, 2009

Why The Population Bomb Is a Rockefeller Baby

Obama's director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren
authored Ecoscience with Paul Ehrlich

Introduction by Pulse Media

From the vaults: this piece by Steve Weissman was originally published in Ramparts in 1970. Ramparts was a literary quarterly for the left-leaning cognoscente that ran from 1962 to 1975 and whose contributors included Tariq Ali and Alexander Cockburn. Only a select few articles have made it online or been digitised. This is now one of them, a piece sent to us by Michael Barker. Its interesting to see what has — and hasn’t — changed in the population debate and political climate in the four decades since.

Steve Weissman, ‘Why The Population Bomb Is a Rockefeller Baby’, in Ramparts, Eco-Catastrophe (1970), pp. 27-41.

Paul Ehrlich is a nice man. He doesn’t hate blacks, advocate genocide or defend the empire. He simply believes that the world has too many people and he’s ready at the drop of a diaper pin to say so. He’s written his message in The Population Bomb, lectured it in universities and churches, and twice used America’s own form of birth control, the late-night Johnny Carson Show, to regale bleary-eyed moms and dads with tales of a standing-room-only world, a time of famines, plague and pestilence.

Together with Berkeley’s Kingsley Davis and Santa Barbara’s Garrett Hardin, Ehrlich represents a newly-popular school of academics out to make overpopulation the central menace of our age. Except for a still hesitant Pope, their crusade seems sure of success. Everyone from Arthur Godfrey to beat poet Gary Snyder to the leaders of China’s 700,000,000 (whom the populationists alternately ignore and disparage) now agrees that population growth is a problem and that something must be done. The question is what? Or, more precisely, who will do what … and to whom?

Kingsley Davis, who finds voluntary family planning hopelessly futile, suggests that government postpone the age of marriage. Garrett Hardin in the April 22 Teach-In’s Environmental Handbook urges mutual coercion mutually agreed upon. Paul Ehrlich wants to eliminate tax exemptions for more than two children, forgetting that the power to tax is the power to destroy. Voluntary family planning is out and population control in, leaving those less kindly disposed to the government to see the gaunt spectre of genocide. Long before even the least of the predicted ecological catastrophes comes to pass, such fears might well turn race on race, young on old, rich on poor.

Ehrlich, recognizing this danger, aims his appeal for smaller families less toward the poor and black than toward the white middle-class American family, which consumes more resources, occupies more space, and creates more waste than any ten of its economic inferiors. But his appeal, while barely denting the great waste-production economy, will only create the self-righteousness to impose America’s middle-class will on the world.

We “are going to have to adopt some very tough foreign policy positions,” Ehrlich explains, and limiting our own families will let us do that “from a psychologically strong position … We must use our political power to push other countries into programs which combine agricultural development and population control.” Exactly what kind of power, or whether we would use it globally, or simply in countries which food shipments and “green revolutions” might save from starvation, is unclear. But he hints at a time when we might put temporary sterilants in food and water, while some of his more adventurous colleagues, no doubt impressed by pinpoint bombing in Southeast Asia, would spray whole populations from the air. If we’re so willing to napalm peasants to protect them from Communists, we could quite easily use a little sterilant spray to protect them from themselves.

We really needn’t speculate, however, Uses of the new over-population scare are quite out of the hands of either nice academics or average anti-Communist Americans. The same elites and institutions which made America the world’s policemen have long been eager to serve as the world’s prophylactic and agricultural provisioner, and they are damned grateful to the academics for creating a new humanitarian justification for the age-old game of empire. The academics shouldn’t really get the credit though. The heavies had it all planned out back in the ’50s, while young Dr. Ehrlich was still studying water snakes in the western end of Lake Erie.


In June 1952, John D. Rockefeller III, father of four, eldest grandson of Standard Oil and chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation, hosted a highly select conference on population in Colonial Williamsburg. To this showpiece of historical conservation, restored by the Rockefellers to its pre-Revolutionary beauty, came some 30 of the nation’s most eminent conservationists, public health experts, Planned Parenthood leaders, agriculturalists, demographers and social scientists. After two and a half days of intensive discussion, they agreed to form a new group which could act as “a coordinating and catalytic agent in the broad field of population.” The following fall, John D. publicly christened The Population Council and announced that he himself would serve as its first president. With this act of baptism, the population bomb became a Rockefeller baby.

In the decades previous, birth control had been largely small potatoes. The Rockefeller Foundation, together with the Milbank Memorial Fund, had, in 1936, provided John D.’s alma mater, Princeton, with an Office of Population Research. Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas pioneered programs for the (sometimes voluntary) sterilization of the poor. Planned Parenthood, a direct descendant of Margaret Sanger’s American Birth Control League, struggled to provide America’s poor with free counsel and contraceptives. Guy Irving Burch’s Population Reference Bureau, long the leading educator on population dynamics, was little more than a one-man show, as was the Hugh Moore Fund, set up in 1944 by the founder and board chairman of Dixie Cup “to call to the attention of the American Public the dangers inherent in the population explosion.”

Once the Rockefellers joined the family, however, family planning became a very different kind of business. The Ford Foundation, Carnegie, the Commonwealth and Community Funds, the Molt Trust and the Mellons joined with John D., his mother, his sister (wife of banker Jean Mauze), his brother and their financial adviser, AEC chairman Lewis Strauss, in pumping fresh blood and money into the Population Council, some of which even trickled over into the Reference Bureau and Planned Parenthood. Wealthy Englishmen and Swedes and their third world associates joined with the Americans in making Planned Parenthood international. The World Bank, headed by Chase National Bank vice president and future Population Council director Eugene Black, put its money behind Princeton’s pioneer study on population and economic growth in India. Where birth controllers once went begging, now guest lists at Planned Parenthood banquets and signatures on ubiquitous New York Times ads read like a cross between the Social Register and Standard and Poor’s Directory of Corporation Executives.

This sudden interest of the world’s rich in the world’s poor, whatever the humanitarian impulse, made good dollars and cents. World War II had exhausted the older colonial empires, and everywhere the cry of nationalism sounded: from Communists in China and Southeast Asia, from neutralists in Indonesia and India, from independence movements in Africa and from use of their own oil and iron ore and, most menacing, the right to protect themselves against integration in an international marketplace which systematically favored the already-industrialized.

But the doughty old buzzards of empire were determined to save the species. They would pay deference to the new feelings by encouraging a bit of light industry here, and perhaps even a steel mill there. To give the underdeveloped areas what Nelson Rockefeller termed “a community of interest with us,” and to extend control, they would give public loans and foreign aid for roads, dams and schools. Their foundations and universities would train a new class of native managers who, freed from outmoded ideologies, would clearly see that there was more than enough for both rich and poor.

But there wasn’t enough, especially not when the post-war export of death-control technology created so many more of the poor. The poor nations rarely came close to providing even the limited economic security which, as in Europe of the Industrial Revolution, would encourage people to give up the traditional peasant security of a large family and permit the population curve to level off. In fact, for much of the population, the newly-expanded money economy actually increased insecurity. Faced with this distortion between fertility and development, developed country elites could see no natural way of stopping population growth. All they could see was people, people, people, each one threatening the hard-won stability [emphasis added] which guaranteed access to the world’s ores and oil, each one an additional competitor for the use of limited resources.

More people, moreover, meant younger people, gunpowder for more than a mere population explosion. “The restlessness produced in a rapidly growing population is magnified by the preponderance of youth,” reported the Rockefeller Fund’s overpowering Prospect for America. “In a completely youthful population, impatience to realize rising expectations is likely to be pronounced. Extreme nationalism has often been the result.”


It was to meet these perils of population that the Rockefellers and their kindred joined the family planning movement in such force. But until they had completed a much more thoroughgoing prophylaxis of the new nationalisms, and had worked out an accommodation with Catholic opposition, they were much too sophisticated to preach birth control straight out. That would have sounded far too reminiscent of the older colonialisms and, indirectly, too much like a condemnation of the new pattern of “development.”

Consequently, until the spurt of technical assistance in the ’60s, the Population Council preached and, within the ideological confines of development thinking, practiced “the scientific study of population problems.” They provided fellowships to Americans and, as part of the broader building of native elites, to deserving foreign students. This, they hoped, would build up a cadre of “local personnel,” well-studied in population problems, “trained in objective scientific methods and able to interpret the results to their own people.” The Council also undertook population studies in the colonies, funded both demographic and medical studies at U.S. universities, worked with international agencies, and maintained its own biomedical lab at Rockefeller Institute. The foundations supplemented this approach, directly funding roughly a dozen major university think-tanks devoted to population studies. These grants no more bought scholars and scholarship than native elites. It was more efficient to rent them. Like Defense Department dollars or direct corporation gifts, the smart population money posed the right (as opposed to the left) questions, paid off for right answers, and provided parameters for scholars interested in “realistic” policy alternatives.

Study, of course, was an apprenticeship for action. By 1957, an “Ad Hoc Committee” of population strategists from the Council the Rockefeller Fund, Laurance Rockefeller’s Conservation Foundation and Planned Parenthood mapped out a full population control program. Published by Population Council President Frederick Osborn as Population: An International Dilemma, the committee’s report insisted that population growth, in the rich nations as well as the poor, would become a decisive threat to political stability. To preempt such instability, the population planners planned first to win over the educated classes, many of whom themselves felt the threat of population. But, wary of widespread personal sensitivities and nationalist sentiments, they would never push birth control as an end in itself. Instead they would have it grow out of the logical needs of family planning, and leave the task of gaining public acceptance to the native elite, many of whom they had trained.

An even more important antidote to nationalist reaction was the population planners’ admission that population was also a problem here in the U.S. “Excessive fertility by families with meager resources must be recognized as one of the potent forces in the perpetuation of slums, ill-health, inadequate education, and even delinquency,” the Ad Hoc Committee noted. They were satisfied, however, with the overall “balance of population and resources” in this country and sought only to use tax, welfare and education policy “to equalize births between people at different socio-economic levels” and to “discourage births among the socially handicapped.”


For all their domestic concern, however, population planners were primarily absorbed in “the international dilemma” and the problems of “economic development.” Like Walt Rostow, Max Millikan and the authors of the Rockefellers’ Prospect for America, they emphasized top-down national planning, Western-influenced elites, foreign aid penetration, and the use of economic growth, rather than distribution and welfare, to measure development. As a result, their plan for population bore a scary resemblance to the first Vietnamization which was then recasting the educational system, banking and currency, public works, agriculture, the police, and welfare programs of Vietnam into an American mold.

The population planners’ counter to insurgency then entered “official” development thinking in 1959, in the Report of President Eisenhower’s Committee to Study the Military Assistance Program. Headed by General William H. Draper II (perhaps best remembered as the American government official who most helped Nazi and Zaibatsu industrialists re-concentrate their power after World War II), the committee urged that development aid be extended to local maternal and child welfare programs, to the formulation of national population plans, and to additional research on population control.

Ike, a bit old-fashioned about such intimate intervention, flatly refused. He just could not “imagine anything more emphatically a subject that is not a proper political or government activity or function or responsibility … This government … will not … as long as I am here, have a positive policy doctrine in its program that has to do with this problem of birth control. That’s not our business.”

Business disagreed, the Draper Report became the rallying cry of big business’ population movement, and General Draper, an investment banker by trade, headed up both Planned Parenthood’s million dollar-a-year World Population Emergency Campaign and even bigger Victor Fund Drive.

The foundations also expanded their own programs. But the Rockefellers, Fords, Draper, and others seemingly born into the population movement hadn’t gotten rich by picking up such large tabs; not if they could help it. Despite Ike’s sense of propriety, they had continued to press for government sponsorship of birth control – and not without piecemeal gains, even in the Eisenhower government.

When Kennedy became President he agreed to a government role in research, promising to pass requests for birth control information and technical assistance to the foundations, and permitting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Richard Gardner to make an offer of U.S. family planning aid to the UN.

But none of this satisfied the population people, who, beginning in 1963, made a big public push for major government programs in both domestic and overseas agencies. In May of that year, the blue-ribbon American Assembly, with the help of the Population Council, brought “The Population Dilemma” to a convocation of leaders from all walks of American life. The National Academy of Sciences, assisted professionally and financially by the Council, issued a scary report on The Growth of World Population. Draper, Moore, and Harper & Row’s Cass Canfield then set up the Population Crisis Committee, “the political action arm of the population control movement,” to publish ads, lobby government officials and promote public support for government aid to family planning.

Sometimes the population people defended their proposals on humanitarian grounds; at other times they were more candid: “If the World Bank expects to get its loans repaid by India,” explained Draper, “if the U.S., much of whose aid is in the form of loans, expects to have them repaid … the population problem … must be solved.” Bolstered by Fulbright, Gruening and other long-term congressional advocates of “economic development,” and by a public reversal of position by former President Eisenhower, the campaign pushed the Kennedy, then the Johnson government closer to open birth control programs.

But fear of domestic controversy, especially in the Catholic community, and a lack of positive foreign response held the movement in check until the White House Conference on International Cooperation, keynoted by John D. Rockefeller III, in November 1965. The Conference Committee on Population – chaired by Gardner and including Black, Canfield, Draper and John D. – then urged that the government greatly expand its birth control assistance to foreign countries. Conference committees on Food and Agriculture and Technical Cooperation and Investment concurred, urging a multilateral approach.

Much impressed by this show of “public support,” the very next session of Congress passed Johnson’s “New Look” in foreign policy, which made birth control part of foreign assistance and permitted the President to judge a nation’s “self-help” in population planning as a criterion for giving Food for Freedom aid. (Separate legislation gave the Department of Health, Education and Welfare a birth control program for domestic consumption.) The “New Look,” which combined population control with agricultural development, international education, encouragement of private overseas investment, and multilateral institution-building, was, of course, the response of the mid-’50’s to nationalism. It was also a foretaste of what Paul Ehrlich’s “tough foreign policy positions” would easily become.


The new look in intervention got a good test in the Indian famine of ‘65 and ‘66 – until Biafra the best-advertised famine in recent times, and a major boost for the population control campaign. Ever since the victory of the Chinese Revolution, India has been a bastion of the “free [enterprise] world.” But Western businessmen long fretted over her “neutralism” and “socialism” and her restrictions on foreign participation in key areas of the economy.

In 1958, India faced a devastating foreign exchange crisis. In response, the World Bank and the “Aid India Club” promised one billion dollars a year in aid, and international investors found themselves with golden opportunities. The Ford Foundation quickly stepped in with a “food crisis” team of experts, which pushed India’s planners into increased agricultural spending, ultimately at the expense of planned investments in housing and other social services. Several rounds of business conferences on India together with official and semi-official visits followed until, in 1964, Undersecretary of Commerce Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. led a top-flight delegation of American business executives to New Delhi with the explicit objective of “persuading the government to adopt policies more attractive to potential investors.”

Hunger warriors from agribusiness were particularly hot for expansion. Poor harvest in prior years had driven food prices up, and with them, the demand for fertilizer and pesticides. Consequently, the Rockefeller’s Jersey Standard wanted price and distribution restrictions lifted on their Bombay fertilizer plant. A Bank of America syndicate, together with India’s Birla group, needed government support for what would become “the largest urea and compound fertilizer plant in this part of the world.” Petroleum producers, foreseeing an otherwise useless excess of naphtha, wanted permission to set up fertilizer plants which could utilize the petroleum by-product. The Ford and Rockefeller foundations wanted to expand use of their new high yield seeds deliberately bred for large fertilizer and pesticide inputs, and get on with the commercialization of agriculture.

But Western pressure was of little avail until the failure of the summer monsoons in 1965. Then, in the words of the World Bank’s Pearson Report, “Instead of signing annual or multi-year [food] sales agreements, as with other countries and with India itself, in earlier years, the United States doled out food aid a few months at a time as policy conditions were agreed upon.”

India, faced with a short leash on food supplies, acceded to the foreign pressures. She pared down government control, liberalized her import restriction and devalued the rupee. Her government gave the chemical and oil men permission to build new fertilizer plants, to fix their own prices, to handle their own distribution outside the normal channels of the rural cooperatives, and to maintain a greater share of management control than permitted under Indian law. Most important, officials agreed to give greater emphasis to agriculture and to maintain high food prices as an incentive to growers. “Call them ’strings’, call them `conditions,’ or whatever one likes,” boasted the New York Times, “India has little choice now but to agree to many of the terms that the United States, through the World Bank, is putting on its aid. For India simply has nowhere else to turn.”

With the ground so carefully prepared, the miracle seeds grew beautifully. Once-barren land flowered. Indian farmers harvested 95 million tons of grain in 1967-68, bettering the best of previous yields by five per cent. The following year they did almost as well, and growers laid plans for 100 million metric tons in 1969-70. Ecstatic Indian government officials announced that India would be self-sufficient in food production by 1971. “The Green Revolution,” exclaimed David Rockefeller to the International Industrial Conference, “may ultimately have a cumulative effect in Asia, Africa, and Latin America such as the introduction of the steam engine had in the industrial revolution.”


The pressure, bantered about everywhere from the Canarsie Shopping News to Business Week, had been anything but subtle. Profits would be high. Yet even liberals like John Kenneth Galbraith and Chester Bowles, both former ambassadors to New Delhi, lavishly praised the whole enterprise. People have to eat.

They have to, but even with paternalistic green revolutions they still don’t always get to. “Modern” agriculture in America and the West, dependent upon high inputs of fertilizer and pesticides, is an ecological disaster. We are only now discovering what DDT and many fertilizers do to our food, water, soil, mother’s milk and farm workers. India’s prospects are even more bleak. Chemically resistant miracle grains will soon produce miracle pests, which could easily wipe out whole areas. Early high yields depended heavily on unusually good weather – which is not dependable, and on irrigation – which is reportedly salting the soil. These problems have led many experts to question how long the revolution will remain green. But most of the experts still come down on the side of more “modern” agriculture, without even exploring possibly safer alternatives like the high-yield, labor-intensive and biologically-integrated “gardening” of the best traditional Asian agriculture.

But the real disaster is more immediate. The same high food prices which gave incentive to growers also put sufficient food out of the reach of those who need it most. Commercial agriculture, by definition, produces for profit, not people. At the same time, the new seeds required irrigation and pesticides, and heavy inputs of fertilizer, the costs of which soared with the removal of government price ceilings. “So far,” reports Clifton Wharton, Jr., writing in Foreign Affairs, “spectacular results have been achieved primarily among the relatively large commercial farmers.” Those who haven’t the capital, or can’t get the credit from village moneylenders or meager government programs, are pushed off their land and into an agricultural proletariat or worse, while the new Kulaks, the peasant capitalists, re-invest their profits in modern labor-saving machinery.

The inevitable result of this trend is class and regional conflict. Wharton reports a clash in the prize Tanjore district of Madras in which 43 persons died in a struggle between landlords and the landless, “who felt they were not receiving their proper share of the increased prosperity brought by the Green Revolution.” Two Swedish journalists, Lasse and Lisa Berg, reporting in Stockholm’s Sondagsbilagan, provide pictures of “excess” Indian peasants burned in kerosene by a landlord. One hates to speculate on how a companion population program would work, but it is all too easy to believe reports from India of forced sterilization.

But there is a positive side. As in the Philippines, where peasants displaced by the commercialization of agriculture are strengthening the Huk resistance, the Green Revolution in India is producing a Red Revolution. For the first time since Independence, militant revolutionary movements have led Indian peasants into rebellions in different parts of the country, and in certain areas, the Bergs report, the poorest people in the countryside are organizing themselves across the boundaries of caste.


Despite all a Rockefeller might do, the New Look in empire even met obstacles at home. From 1966 on, displeasure with the unwinnable war in Vietnam escalated along with the war-caused inflation, and Congress, though it had authorized the new programs, was increasingly unwilling to fund any new foreign entanglements. In the spring of 1967, for example, Senator Fulbright, impressed with what the White House Conference’s Committee on Population had proposed, asked Congress to support voluntary family planning abroad with an appropriation of $50 million a year for three years. His less liberal colleagues approved $35 million for one year. Congress has treated the domestic birth control issue with the same lack of enthusiasm, despite the growth of third world nationalism within the U.S. Members of Congress are just too provincial to understand the needs of empire.

In an attempt to create a congressional climate more favorable to population control, the empire builders decided to drum up some public pressure for their cause. Consequently, a new avalanche of full-page spreads warned war-weary newspaper readers that “The Population Bomb Threatens the Peace of the World”; that “Hungry Nations Imperil the Peace of the World”; that “Whatever your cause, it’s a lost cause unless we control population.” The ads, sponsored by Hugh Moore’s Campaign to Check the Population Explosion and signed by the usual crew of population controllers, urged greatly expanded appropriations and a crash program for population stabilization. A new Presidential Committee on Population and Family Planning, headed by HEW Secretary Wilbur Cohen and, of course, John D. III, persuaded Nixon to promise greatly-expanded federal programs and a commission on domestic population problems. The Ford Foundation, initiating its first grants for birth control assistance in the U.S. in 1966, provided a barrage of money and reports. The American Assembly, with the help of the Kellog Foundation and now-Secretary of Agriculture Clifford Hardin, sponsored a national conference on Overcoming World Hunger which, despite its optimism about the green revolution, continued to push for population control. Hugh Moore pushed Ehrlich’s book and his own ads. Draper urged doubling the 1970 AID appropriation for birth control to $100,000 and was warmly applauded by James Riddleberger, his successor as head of the Population Crisis Committee. Environmentalists, along with their enemies, “the industrial polluters,” found the chief cause of every problem from slums to suburbs, pollution to protest, in the world’s expanding numbers.

More than ever, the population power structure pushed for a world population policy. From the early ’50s, the population people realized these sensitivities – religious, ideological, military, political and personal – raised by the offer of birth control assistance, and always advocated international programs. Then, when domestic reaction to intervention in Vietnam soured the overall population control effort, they quickly joined in the generalized elitist move to transfer the entire economic development program to international agencies, where they and their third world friends could directly control the programs without interference from congressional “hicks.”

The UN should take the leadership in responding to world population growth. So urged a special United Nations Association panel headed by John D., financed by Ford, and including Richard Gardner, former World Bank president George Woods, former AID administrator and now Ford Director of International Operations David E. Bell, and AID director John A. Hannah. The committee urged the creation of a UN Commissioner of Population with broad powers to coordinate “radically upgraded” population activities. The Commissioner would work under the United Nations Development Program, whose director, Paul Hoffman, is a former president of the Ford Foundation, administrator of the Marshall Plan, and aide to General Draper in the reconquest of Japan by big business. Under Hoffman’s guidance, the second UN Decade of Development is already preparing to concentrate on agricultural development, education, and population control.

The American population elite is also trying to beef up the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which brings together the old Marshall Plan nations with Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States. Since the mid-’60s, DAC has given greater efforts to coordinating the agricultural and population control aid of the members. James Riddleberger, Draper’s replacement on the Population Crisis Committee, was the first chairman of DAC, while the present chairman, former State Department official Edwin Martin, served as a staff member of the original Draper Committee.

Most important in the new internationalism is the World Bank. Headed by Robert McNamara, veteran of population control efforts in Vietnam, the Bank is now developing the management capacity to become the key institution in administering the empire. “Just as McNamara concentrated on the cataclysmal, the nuclear threat, while at the Department of Defense,” gushed a New York Times feature, “so at the World Bank he has chosen to make the population explosion, another cataclysmal problem, his central, long-range preoccupation. For if populations are allowed to double every 20 years, as they do in low-income countries, it will wipe out the effect of development and lead to chaos.” Aided by former AID administrator William S. Gaud, now executive vice-president of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, and former Alliance for Progress chief Covey T. Oliver, now U.S. delegate to the World Bank, McNamara is currently preparing for the day when the great statesmen meet to discuss the control of population.

With support in the White House and agreement among their friends (the trustworthy American managers in the international agencies), everything seems to favor the new interventionism of the big business internationalists. Everything, that is, except a new-found popular preference for non-intervention, or even isolation. But if overpopulation per se becomes the new scapegoat for the world’s ills, the current hesitations about intervention will fall away. Soon everyone, from the revolting taxpayer who wants to sterilize the Panther-ridden ghettos to the foreign aid addict, will line up behind the World Bank and the UN and join the great international crusade to control the world’s population. Let empire save the earth.

Simply fighting this war on people with a people’s war will not eliminate the need for each nation to determine how best to balance resources and population. But where there is greater economic security, political participation, elimination of gross class division, liberation of women, and respected leadership, humane and successful population programs are at least possible. Without these conditions, genocide is nicely masked by the welfare imperialism of the West. In the hands of the self-seeking, humanitarianism is the most terrifying ism of all.

From the 1970 biographical note: Steve Weissman is a member of the Pacific Studies Center in Palo Alto, California. The Center is a research collective specializing in the social, political and economic dimensions of American capitalism. Projects range from studies and publications on U.S. involvement in the Third World, multinational corporations, labor problems, high finance and environmental destruction, to films on ecology and inflation.

See Also:

Stop Trying To 'Save' Africa

By Uzodinma Iweala
July 15, 2007