Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · The Two Child Solution
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The Two Child Solution

Robert Downes - April 28th, 2008
The Two Child Solution
Want to save the planet? Then forget about solutions like wind power and Earth-friendly fluorescent light bulbs. Forget recycling, “green“ building and carpooling. Forget buzzwords like “sustainable resources“ and all of your good intentions, because they do far too little, too late. There‘s only one obvious way to stop global warming and save ourselves.
We need fewer people on Planet Earth.
At present, there are nearly seven billion people on Earth, pumping out 3.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year into the atmosphere.
So what will happen by mid-century when there are 10 billion of us?
There were only three billion people on Earth when I was born in the ‘50s, and only 150 million Americans. Global warming wasn‘t a problem.
But with 10 billion people expected on Earth by 2050, the “solutions“ we‘ve come up with for solving global warming are feeble when you consider the overwhelming weight of our numbers.
Let’s imagine that every soul on Earth switches to fluorescent light bulbs tomorrow. Let’s say we ditch our coal power plants and switch to wind power, nuclear energy and electric cars... That still won‘t save us if we have 10 billion people fighting for water, migrating from drought and starvation, and pouring over their borders.
If you think Al Qaeda and illegal immigrants are a problem now, just wait until the consequences of global warming kick in...
In the 1960s, an outfit called Zero Population Growth (ZPG) argued that the human race needed to trim its numbers or risk facing a Malthusian apocalypse with not enough food to go around. That dire prediction was scuttled, thanks to the so-called “Green Revolution” of the ‘60s, with new fertilizers and pesticides making it possible to feed the hundreds of millions of folks crowding places like China and India.
Today, however, those fertilizers, pesticides and hormones are coming back to haunt us in the form of groundwater pollution and public health issues. Go figure.
But ZPG is still around, only now it’s called Population Connection, an organization that’s trying to educate the public on the perils of overpopulation.
Controlling human population doesn’t mean sending anyone off to a Soylent Green factory or dropping bombs on China. Population Connection says it simply means that the human race must make a commitment to having no more than two children per couple.
The claim is that with only two children per couple, we will replace ourselves as individuals, but add no more people to the planet. Over time, the attrition of the human race through natural death rates will bring our numbers down to saner levels -- say two or three billion.
A more radical idea is proposed by author Alan Weisman, whose book, “The World Without Us” suggests that we could create a paradise on Earth through a commitment by each couple to have only one child.
If every couple on Earth produced only a single child, we would have a global population of just 1.6 billion by the end of the century, Weisman claims -- the same number as existed on earth in 1900. That would mean no more global warming, no struggles over water, fewer refugees and no need to fight over scant resources.
Obviously, this utopian idea is not likely to happen. In China, for instance, people regularly thumb their noses at their country’s one-child-per-family rule.
Ironically, we in the Western countries have done a great job of controlling our population numbers. Couples in America and Europe have on the average gone with a two-child-per-family approach that has kept our population under control (see graph). The increase in population in Europe and the U.S. is a result of immigrants from Muslim countries or Mexico.
But in Third World countries like China, Brazil and India, people have lots of kids because that‘s their “social security“ system to care for ma & pa when they get old.
Consider India: It‘s half the size of the United States, but has more than twice our population -- one billion people. India churns out 130,000 new births every day of the year -- the equivalent of a new city each day. So here‘s the joke: How many Indians does it take to screw in an Earth-friendly fluorescent light bulb to save our planet? Fill in the blank.
The Bush administration has encouraged this population time bomb by denying funds for family planning programs in poor countries where they need it most. And the Catholic Church, among other religions, actually encourage its followers to have more children.
In medieval times, it made great sense to pump out more Catholics (or Hindus or Muslims, etc.) to have more believers to fill church coffers or pump-up the ranks of armies. More people meant more power.
But today, encouraging the poor to have more children is a recipe for cannibalism in the long run. Religious leaders need to lead the way with a more responsible message or our goose is cooked, literally.
Fortunately, recent studies show signs that people in Mexico, Brazil, India and other poor nations are starting to adopt the two-child-per-family approach that’s the norm in America and Europe. Having fewer children is the new “in” thing in the Third World. Maybe we’re pulling back from the brink.
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