From Baby Credits to Carbon Credits: Climate Science and Economics in the IPCC

 The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has done little to enhance clarity on the question of climate change.  Neither the Messianic voices of global warming, led by individuals such as John Holdren, nor the denialist voices will be advanced or silenced by this report. 

It should be noted that leading voices in the climate debate, including President Obama’s science czar, were advocates of baby credits to control global cooling before they advocated carbon credits to control global warming. An examination of their past views should be undertaken before more economic policy decisions are made.

A 1976 CIA report stated global cooling  was a major threat.

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Their arguments have proven false in the past and they have advocated other policies such as forced sterilization and baby swapping adoption services based on gender. These policies were advanced in the name of science and the environment, not for social engineering.

Consider John Holdren who is the Assistant to President Obama for Science and Technology, the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and a Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. He is an advocate of increased spending to fend off an impending climate crisis. But his views are untrustworthy when you examine his past. In order, he has argued that increased amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere causes:

1. Global cooling and crop failures,

2. Global warming, and finally

3. Climate change.

Mr Holdren’s past views and his ‘scientific’ studies have proven flawed. What would our current society like if Mr Holden had been able to turn his ‘science’ into policy?

In 1968, Paul Ehrlich, a colleague of John Holdren and his future co-author, published The Population Bomb. This book stated that the Earth had reached its maximum population and mass starvation would occur in the 1970s and 1980s. This Malthusian view proved completely wrong, but it views are worth noting. The main conclusion was:

“The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.”

The message of fear was obvious.

One advocate of this new anti-population movement was John Holdren. He also supported the “global cooling effect” which believed carbon emissions would cause temperature drops and crop reductions.

In 1978, it gets interesting. John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich published a book titled Eco-Science: Population, Resources, Environment.

In this book, Mr Holdren and Mr Ehrlich advanced their beliefs on global cooling. They stated action was needed in response to science. Among the policies they identified to reduce global cooling and control population growth were:

1. The creation of a “baby credits” trading scheme where individuals could trade their reproductive rights for cash with other individuals. Couples with no babies could sell their ‘baby rights’ to other couples who wanted to have more babies than the state determined level. This baby credit trading scheme is an eerie predecessor to the carbon trading scheme now in place.

2. Putting a birth control chemical in the world’s drinking water or food supplies to reduce fertility levels to rates they would determine were acceptable and implant young women/girls with birth control capsules when they hit the age of puberty . Later, the capsules could be withdrawn when the woman decided she wanted to have children (withing state proscribed limits.)

3. Create financial lotteries with cash prizes that would only be open to childless people;

4. Create an adoption system so potential parents who wanted a male child instead of a female could adopt what they wanted rather than “trying for another child.” Unsuitable single mothers would also have to give up their children for adoption.

Both Mr Holdren and Mr Ehrlich believed that by the 1980s, global cooling would have a devastating impact and that the population would be demanding action. Imagine what might have happened if those governments had acted on global cooling. Now, of course, we are told that schemes should address either global warming and/or climate change.

History is soon forgotten and policy makers tend to live in a time bubble where the past was last year and the future is the next election. But what lessons could be drawn from these events, given that the people involved in the past are now in positions of significant policy and spending influence?

a. Before undertaking any spending programs or policies such as more carbon credit trading schemes, reviews should be made of what these individuals and their colleagues have advocated in the past.

b. With respect to an individual spending project such as vehicle emissions, multiple sources of data should be reviewed to determine if ideological views have found their way into the discourse.

In the 1970s and 1980s, many mainstream scientists were making morally demands about how the rest of us should reshape our lives to meet their scientific views. Now, in 2013, we are facing new demands for more radical polices from the same voices, albeit based on the exact opposite of what they believed earlier (cooling vs warming).

Those scientists who made these past projections about global cooling and mass starvation are frequently the same people who now occupy significant positions of influence. John Holdren is one of those people. Before letting their voices gain any further influence, a review of their own views might be useful.

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