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The late Julian Simon became famous for his relentlessly logical attacks on the fundamental fallacy of the overpopulation myth, a myth chiefly propagated by Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book, The Population Bomb. Ehrlich’s essential error, shared by Ms. Vernelli and other neo-Malthusian hysterics, is the conception of man as strictly a consumer of resources, entirely ignoring the ingenuity of man as producer.
Consider the consumption of food and trees that Ms. Vernelli aims to avoid by her child-free choice. This zero-sum view is easily debunked: The United States today has more forest acreage than when the first English settlers arrived, while also producing vastly more food. How is this possible? Advanced agricultural techniques produce more yield per acre. Marginal farmland reverts to forest, and advanced forestry methods replenish the timber necessary to manufacture paper and other wood products.
The human mind is the ultimate natural resource, and it is unfortunate that eco-fanaticism has led Ms. Vernelli to diminish the potential supply of this resource. While many bloggers reacted to the Daily Mail article with vicious sarcasm — several urged Ms. Vernelli to follow her argument to its logical conclusion and reduce her “carbon footprint” to zero by committing suicide — in truth, this poor woman is a victim of misanthropic propaganda that perversely devalues humanity.
What really plagues the Toni Vernellis of the world is not a lack of resources, but a shortage of hope. If you’re looking for reasons to despair, the prophets of gloom and doom will always oblige. In the face of this tide of negativity, to have a child — to bring forth a new human life — is the ultimate act of optimism.
Having “selfishly” borne six children, my wife says she’s done her share. Still, I’m sufficiently optimistic to harbor hope of a seventh child. And who knows? Maybe I’ll get lucky tonight.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online