Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You'll Get a Gas Out of This

Screw It. Let's Cut CO2 Emissions Any Way We Can

In a world gone completely mad, Here's a new slant on green house gases.

Triple Pundit reports that a study conducted by the illustrious London School of Economics, and commissioned by the ubiquitous Optimum Population Trust found that "expanded access to family planning and contraceptives is five times cheaper than low-carbon technology in reducing greenhouse gases."

There you have it. Just when scientists are starting to come to the conclusion that carbon has infinitesimally less influence on climate than the sun, the famous LSE has figured out how to get a cheap "bang for the buck" both literally and figuratively, and reduce carbon emissions.

The sad news is that this is not a joke.

Triple Pundit (a play on words for people, planet and profit) bills itself as:

an innovative new-media company that brings clarity to the triple bottom line impact of business, by providing intelligent, balanced analysis of new business initiatives, startups, corporate titans and cube-dwelling change agents.

We are critical optimists who write about the creation and development of sustainable organizations, brands, and business cultures- innovative solutions that make business better. We strive to bring solutions to the forefront, but we don’t have all the answers. You can help us shape the future of 3P – and conscious business – by joining in the conversation and sharing your ideas.

Critical optimists, probably. Leaders in the out to lunch bunch, maybe so.

The Optimum Population Trust says that it is:
the leading think tank in the UK concerned with the impact of population growth on the environment. OPT research covers population in relation to climate change, energy, resources, biodiversity, development impacts, ageing and employment and other environmental and economic issues. It campaigns for stabilisation and gradual population decrease globally and in the UK. OPT is a registered charity and is financed by its members. It receives funding neither from the government nor from any political or business interests, and is not affiliated to any other organisation.
The good news is that it is not government funded. The bad news is that it exists, and people are wasting their valuable brain energy on this stuff. On the other hand, you can watch the world's population go up by the second on their web site here. Who's doing all the counting?

But the LSE folks, have now proved that they, like most everyone else, are in it for the money. They did not do this report for free.

It is a cost benefit analysis that purports to find that:
each $7 spent on basic family planning (2009 US$) would reduce CO2 emissions by more than one tonne (meeting all unmet need between 2010 and 2050). By comparison, a one tonne reduction in CO2 emissions is predicted in Project Catalyst1 to cost a minimum of $32 using low-carbon technologies (Project Catalyst 10): $25 more per abated tonne of CO2 than family planning. This study also found that meeting all unmet need would prevent the emission of at least 34 Gt of CO2 (gigatonnes of CO22) between 2010 and 2050 making the assumption that demand for family planning is not stimulated by family planning proposals.
They then recommended:
From the cost-benefit analysis, it has been found that family planning (considered purely as a method of reducing future CO2 emissions) is more cost-effective than most low-carbon technologies. It is recommended that an optimum mix of carbon-reducing methods includes family planning as one of the primary methods.
Tell it to the Chinese. Oh, they already know that. How's it working for them?


Anonymous said...

I have to say, this is, well, kind of enraging. The combination of junk political science, and just plain junk science, that these yahoos are displaying is certainly nothing short of staggering.

Personally, I think the solution is pretty obvious: if we're concerned about rising population rates, all that we need to do is raise third-world standards of living to first-world standards of living. This tends to lower birth-rates.

But I don't think we need to be worried about rising population rates to begin with - that's why we have capitalism. Capitalism expands to meet its demand, that's the entire point behind capitalism. If you have double the population, then you have double the production of food and products to match the population. Fearmongering about diminishing resources doesn't take into account things like genetic engineering in foodstuffs ( and suchlike ), and furthermore, doesn't seem to place a whole lot of trust in the ability of humanity to adapt to its surroundings.

Phew - sorry to rant like that. I just find these population-boom people to be rather hard to take sometimes.

mbrandon8026 said...

I almost thought it was a joke Walker, except that the HRCs aren't a joke, so this probably wasn't either.

There are actually people in the world who believe this stuff.

Go figure.

Anonymous said...

I know, eh? It's kind of scary, really, when you think about it.