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11,000 “Experts” (10 from Maine) say world population must be reduced to avoid climate catastrophe

Rep. Chellie Pingree and Maine State Rep. Chloe Maxmin pose for a picture with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Both Pingree and Maxmin support Cortez’s Green New Deal, which aims to enact similar policies to a new “emergency declaration” from more than 11,000 scientists.

HONOLULU, HI– A coalition of 11,000 scientists from 153 countries that was founded by Stuart H. Scott, the man who brought Greta Thunberg to Poland for the COP-24 event in 2018, are now saying that unless the world’s population is reduced, humanity faces catastrophe.

Ten of the “experts” from ScientistsWarning.org that signed the statement are from Maine, all employed at Maine colleges or the state’s public university system. The founder of the group also aggressively advocates against the world’s current growth-focused economic system.

Scott, who is a regular at climate change conferences, brought together more than 11,000 scientists and climate experts to study climate change and render their conclusion for how to avoid the catastrophe they are forecasting.

The full “emergency declaration” contains a variety of directives.

Among the “profoundly troubling” signs the declaration lists are:

– Sustained increases in both human and ruminant livestock populations
– Per capita meat production
– World gross domestic product
– Global tree cover loss
– Fossil fuel consumption
– The number of air passengers carried
– Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions
– Per capita CO2 emissions since 2000

The report lists “encouraging signs” as:

– Decreases in global fertility (birth) rates
– Decelerated forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon
– Increases in the consumption of solar and wind power
– Institutional fossil fuel divestment of more than US$7 trillion
– The proportion of GHG emissions covered by carbon pricing (such as the carbon tax that has been proposed in Maine)

There is caveat on the encouraging sign of decline in global fertility, the declaraiton says. That caveat is is that the decline has slowed in the last twenty years.

Among the solutions proposed by the scientists are many that readers may have seen before.

ENERGY & POLLUTANTS

– Quick and massive energy efficiency practices
– Replace fossil fuels with low-carbon renewables
– Leave existing fossil fuels in the ground
– Wealthy nations provide support to poorer nations to transition away from fossil fuels
– Carbon taxes that steadily escalate prices to restrain use of fossil fuels
– Carbon extraction
– Enhancing natural systems
– Promptly reduce the emissions of short-lived pollutants such as methane

NATURE

– Protect and restore natural ecosystems
– Curtail cutting in existing and primary forests
– Increasing reforestation and afforestation where appropriate at enormous scales.

FOOD

– Change to mostly plant-based foods while reducing the global consumption of animal products
– Free up crop land used for grazing into production of plant-based human food
– Convert to “minimum tillage” cropping practices and others

ECONOMY

In keeping with Scott’s vision of capitalist pro-growth economics as a “cancer” on humanity that will eventually kill mankind as the “host”, the report calls for a “carbon free economy” that moves away from growth as the goal of the economy. Instead, the scientists say the goals should be sustaining ecosystems, improving human well-being by prioritizing basic needs and reducing inequality.

The declaration does not lay out specific strategies or tactics for overhauling the entire world economy. The call for a carbon free economy and many other components of the declaration are reminiscent of the “Green New Deal” proposal from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that is co-sponsored by Representative Chellie Pingree from Maine’s First Congressional District.

The rollout of the Green New Deal led Dr. Patrick Moore, the co-founder of Greenpeace, to warn that most humans would die of starvation if the plan were implemented. Moore called the GND a “recipe for mass suicide.” Others have compared it to a Soviet five-year plan or worse.

POPULATION

Most controversial is the declaration’s call for a reduction in the world’s population of human beings. The declaration calls for the population to be stabilized and then “ideally, gradually reduced.”

Among the ways the scientists say population could be reduced is through reduced fertility rates via expansion of family planning services, a term commonly used by the political left to describe birth control and abortion.

That approach, at least the abortion component of it, was widely panned when Senator Bernie Sanders (D – Vermont) said during the CNN Climate Change Town Hall that he supports expanding abortion as a means of population control to fight climate change. Sanders is running in the Democratic Party’s primary to challenge President Donald J. Trump in the 2020 election.

Ten of the more than 11,000 signatories on the declaration, which can be viewed by clicking here, are from Maine. All list associations with Maine colleges or universities, several in the University of Maine system.

They are listed below:

Andrew Barton, Professor of Biology, University of Maine Farmington

Roger Hooke, Research Professor, University of Maine

Malcolm Hunter, Professor of Wildlife Ecology, University of Maine

Philip Nyhus, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Colby College

Rosanna Murphy, Geology, University of New England

Klaus Rohde, Professor emeritus Zoology, University of New England

James Saunders, Lecturer, Geology, University of New England

James Vesenka, Professor of Physics, University of New England

Nigel Andrew, Professor of Entomology, University of New England

Harold Heatwole, Adjunct Professor/Herpetologist, University of New England

You can read the full 323 page list of signatories by clicking here.

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