In the Mirror


The Two for One Solution

Blog From
June 29th, 2011

(Article first published as The Two for One Solution on Blogcritics.) Al Gore popped up from the ashes of disgrace last week to criticize President Obama’s poor climate change record. In an article in Rolling Stone, he blistered Obama’s Bush-like non-handling of the global warming problem. In a less publicized appearance a couple of days earlier at the eight annual Games For Change Festival, Gore discussed his latest doomsday fear, overpopulation. According to Al, there are so many of us living today that our sheer numbers threaten Mother Earth.

Although he’s less than clear about his overpopulation foreboding, Gore apparently isn’t claiming all that body heat is contributing to global warming. Rather, he thinks we need to reduce our numbers in order to reduce the pollution humans churn out. His answer is for women to be less reproductive.

Al cutting loose on population control theory is a freaky thing to watch and, fortunately, totally unnecessary. He can safely sink back under his pile of ashes because, if there really is an overpopulation problem, Obamacare will take care of it. At least in our little corner of the globe.

The real predicament of health care today is that it makes people live too long. Get a little help from your MD, your body does better and you end up prolonging your stay on the topside of the planet. This unfortunate situation only gets worse as treatments improve, because, when people live longer, the demand for medical services increases. It’s a vicious cycle that ends up pushing costs through the roof. It also keeps too many of us hanging around gobbling up other resources, too.

While this ugly little bit of reality is dawning very slowly on most of us, the government figured it out a while ago. And now we have Uncle Sam’s two for one solution, Obamacare. One of its major missions is to drive down the rising costs of health care. The advertised ways are controlling things like insurance premiums and payments to health care providers, but those approaches are quickly becoming casualties of reality. Obamacare’s real cost savers will be limiting treatment options and rationing health care, which lower the quality of care. Those with life threatening illness who land on the short side of these bureaucratic decision-making processes can look forward to abbreviated futures. As people start dropping so do costs. And so does the overpopulation meter. A health care-climate change win-win.

It’s shades of Soylent Green, of course, but is it a bad thing? Either way, we can’t live forever. Besides, the planet certainly breathes easier when there are fewer of us breathing at all.

If your survival instinct is kicking in about now and you’re resisting the idea of a shorter lifetime, think about this. If we don’t start dying a lot sooner, we’re going to create way too much garbage, which is a major pollution issue itself. Then there’s the food problem. The ‘have’ nations will eat it all up, leaving the ‘have-nots’ to starve. And we know how masses of rotting corpses pump up the global warming thermometer. Not a pretty picture.

On the other hand, is there anything to the overpopulation fear besides a chance to bash Obamacare? Demographic experts fervently deny it. According to one, populations are about to peak. He chastises greenies, like Gore, who even mention overpopulation because the climate change issue is all about over-consumption.

Al isn’t getting any help on this one from his usual ally, the United Nations, either. According to its forecasters, the world’s population is continuing to increase. It is projected to hit 7 billion this year and to exceed ten billion by the end of the century. But, the growth will occur in poorer countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America while populations in the rich nations are declining. It’s the latter, not the former, that create the pollution.

Which brings us full circle. What is Al really trying to say in his overpopulation discourse? If we’re lucky, we’ll never find out.

See you in the mirror.


Posted in In the Mirror