If the releases of greenhouse gases are the basic cause of global climate change (true I think), then unquestionably the threat is due to activities of mankind. And no amount of cap and trade legislation, blocking of tar sands pipelines, tweeking of gasoline consumption per mile, etc. is going to accomplish any significant improvement. If it is people who cause greenhouse gas emissions, it follows that more people on the surface of this planet will lead to even more greenhouse gas emissions.
If we can not (or will not) take action to slow down the rate of population increase, we are destined to see even more and bigger storm Sandys in our future. Completely aside from the issue of global climate change, over population is a root cause of almost every threat to the environmental attributes we hold dear. Hardly a week goes by that I do not receive a solicitation to “Save the ?????” where ????? is whales, old growth forests, tropical reefs, orangutans, scenic vistas, sea otters, wild salmon, polar bears or ice caps. In my opinion, a rapidly advancing world population increases the threat to every ?????.
Lumberjacks and timber barons do not go into old growth forests just to hear the roar of chain saws, they go there because an ever growing population pays them well to do so. The orangutan is not threatened by a native of Borneo with a new chain saw, he is threatened by the third son of a New Jersey banker who wants a teak deck on his new boat.
Homo sapiens is the only species capable of developing endangered species lists — and the only species dumb enough to breed ourselves onto an endangered species list.
Donald E. Proctor