Chris White, DCNF
Comedian Bill Nye gave a talk at Planned Parenthood Tuesday night in which he suggested that keeping the population level to a minimum is the best way to roll back the scourge of global warming.
Exploding population levels are driving climate change, Nye said at a Planned Parenthood event in South Texas. One of the best ways to quell that problem, he added, is to find an effective way to prevent women from having children. He went on to applaud the group for their efforts.
“What’s the one thing to do about climate change, if you want to think about the big picture? Raise the standard of living of girls and women,” he said, adding that “when you raise the standard of living of girls and women, they have fewer kids.” The abortion provider also sold $5,000 tickets to people interested having lunch with the comic.
Nye, who has a degree in mechanical engineering but is not a scientist, also heaped praise on Planned Parenthood for its efforts at tackling overpopulation. “The thing that gets me about the time that I grew up in and the time we’re living in now,” he said, “is how fast things have changed, and Planned Parenthood has been here since the very beginning.”
Nye and other activists have long promoted the idea that the world’s population is contributing to a type of global warming apocalypse.
He suggested during an episode of “Bill Nye Saves the World” in 2017 that saving the earth from climate change might entail punishing people in developed countries for having too many children.
“Should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?” Nye asked Travis Rieder, an academic for Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University. “I do think we should at least consider it,” said Rieder, who said he believes that limiting the size of families is paramount to fighting global warming.
Concerns about overpopulation took root during the 19th century when economist Thomas Malthus first theorized population growth would soon outpace the world’s food supply. Modern agricultural economists have largely dismissed such concerns.
“I learned the classic mathematics of population growth — that populations must have their limits and must ultimately reach a balance with their environments,” Erle Ellis, a professor of environmental systems at the University of Maryland, wrote in a 2013 editorial for The New York Times. “Not to think so would be to misunderstand physics: there is only one earth, of course!”
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