William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Stream: Global Warming Alarmists Plead: Save the Children By Not Having Them

Look at all that greenhouse gas!

Look at all that greenhouse gas!

Today’s post is at The Stream: Global Warming Alarmists Plead: Save the Children By Not Having Them.

Global warming will, of course, doom us all. That is, if the models created by scientists are any guide. Which they aren’t, since these models have for decades predicted temperatures far greater than what we actually see…

Who will fare worst in our coming climate apocalypse? That’s right! The children! The promised destruction of our littlest ones is why NPR and a group of academic philosophers say we should “protect our kids by not having them”.

Protect our kids by not having them? That’s like saying the way to protect your house from fire is by not building it, or that the way to protect against crop failure is to cease farming.

Barren wombs as cure for our climate “catastrophe” makes sense to philosophers Colin Hickey, Travis N. Rieder, and Jake Earl, who defend the idea in “Population Engineering and the Fight against Climate Change”, which will appear in the journal Social Theory and Practice (PDF). They say “threats posed by climate change justify population engineering, the intentional manipulation of the size and structure of human populations.”

Now all philosophical arguments start with something called premises, the assumptions which must be accepted to get the argument going. Here are theirs:

Two uncontroversial ideas set the stage for this article. First, climate change is among the most significant moral problems contemporary societies face, in terms of its urgency, global expanse, and the magnitude of its attending harms. Second, population plays an important role in determining just how bad climate change will be.

Balderdash: both ideas are controversial and, as shown above, both are far from the truth. This is not a good beginning, as Aristotle emphasized: “The least degree of deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.” Let’s see if that prophecy holds here. From their premises, the authors derive this:…

Go there to read the rest, especially if you want grandchildren. Find out how their argument ends!

13 Comments

  1. Except the Muhammadans who should be invited to the West and encouraged to breed by giving them welfare for life.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/674203/sick-work-migrant-bring-12-MORE-children-2-MORE-wives-Europe-Denmark-Syria

  2. In Uncertainty Briggs makes a rather simple, yet in the context of this post, brilliant statement on page 75: “The goal of science is to find just those premises which make propositions as near to certain as possible …”

    These jokers ain’t doin’ science.

    Most people think doing science is trying to find The Truth by slapping a bunch of possible reasons together. That’s backwards; it’s more like a Sherlock Holmes “eliminate the impossible” puzzle.

  3. “Protect our kids by not having them? That’s like saying the way to protect your house from fire is by not building it, or that the way to protect against crop failure is to cease farming.” I believe you’ve summarized current progressive thinking perfectly there.

    Interesting picture at the top.

  4. Finally I found out that the picture at the top is from the movie DETOUR!!!

  5. Gary,

    These jokers ain’t doin’ science.

    I won’t call them jokers or anything, but you are right that they are not doing science. They are doing philosophy.

  6. Sander van der Wal

    August 25, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    If the tendency to believe in Global Warming is genetic, this is in fact an excellent idea.

  7. Grace: Yeah, I saw it on TCM soon after I started following Briggs’ Blog. I said, “Whoa! Briggs is Tom Neal.”

    But that was before the The Stream posts started.

  8. JH, I thought they were doing Choreography. 😉

  9. Global warming is not controversial. What to do about it certainly is controversial, but not that it’s happening. This idea sounds about as controversial as ideas get when it comes to what to do about it. Societies can use various carrots and sticks, via taxes or assistance or such, to try to influence constructive activities, but directing the structure of families is a horrible idea and these idiots ought to just STFU about it. The main focus should be cleaner, more efficient energy sources. Not adapting to the will of Exxon.

    JMJ

  10. JH said:
    “Gary,
    These jokers ain’t doin’ science.”

    “I won’t call them jokers or anything, but you are right that they are not doing science. They are doing philosophy.”

    JH,
    What are you on about? Are you trying to pretend that “science” is somehow “above” philosophy?

    I will contend that all the physical sciences (including mathematics) are but sub-disciplines within the great discipline of philosophy and all are bound by her rules of logic. Most particularly, the “Law of Non-contradiction”… a proposition and its converse cannot both be “true”.

    As is common in popular “anti-philosophy” a proposition can be “true” in one discipline (such as in the physics of engineering) but irrelevant or false in another (such as in the ideological assumption of “anthropologically caused climate change”).

    JMJ,
    You are characteristically so completely vague that your “reasoning” could only appeal to yourself and your ideological fellow travellers.

  11. Oldavid: Puncto!

  12. JMJ: Global warming is not controversial in the sense that things are warming or staying level. What IS controversial is whether or not humans had any significant contribution and what the ramifications thereof are. Anyone with a science education should understand that (hopefully others, though that is not the case in political ideologues). I agree that family sizes are not the way to address any problems. Nature will take care of that part.
    I would note that you support Exxon by supporting wind plants, so I guess you are adapting to the will of Exxon.

  13. Oldavid,

    The study of mathematics is different from the one of philosophy in many ways. Is science somehow above philosophy? Perhaps, at some aspects. (No, no pretending required.) Are ALL the physical sciences being sub-disciplines of philosophy? The answers to both questions are of no use to me, and really don’t matter to me.

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