The Guardian is reporting that UK climate change aid money has been used to fund forced sterilisation programmes in India.
Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money have been spent on a programme that has forcibly sterilised Indian women and men, the Observer has learned...
Court documents filed in India earlier this month claim that many victims have been left in pain, with little or no aftercare. Across the country, there have been numerous reports of deaths and of pregnant women suffering miscarriages after being selected for sterilisation without being warned that they would lose their unborn babies.
Yet a working paper published by the UK's Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes. The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases, although it warned that there were "complex human rights and ethical issues" involved in forced population control.
Norman Borlaug, the founder and driving force behind the revolution in high-yield agriculture that Paul Ehrlich predicted was impossible, has died at the age of 98 95. Like Radley Balko, I am struck by how uneventful his passing is likely to be in contrast to the homage paid to self-promoting seekers of power like Ted Kennedy who never accomplished a tiny fraction of what Borlaug achieved. Reason has a good tribute here. Some exceprts:
In the late 1960s, most experts were speaking of imminent global famines in which billions would perish. "The battle to feed all of humanity is over," biologist Paul Ehrlich famously wrote in his 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb. "In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now." Ehrlich also said, "I have yet to meet anyone familiar with the situation who thinks India will be self-sufficient in food by 1971." He insisted that "India couldn't possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980."
But Borlaug and his team were already engaged in the kind of crash program that Ehrlich declared wouldn't work. Their dwarf wheat varieties resisted a wide spectrum of plant pests and diseases and produced two to three times more grain than the traditional varieties. In 1965, they had begun a massive campaign to ship the miracle wheat to Pakistan and India and teach local farmers how to cultivate it properly. By 1968, when Ehrlich's book appeared, the U.S. Agency for International Development had already hailed Borlaug's achievement as a "Green Revolution."
In Pakistan, wheat yields rose from 4.6 million tons in 1965 to 8.4 million in 1970. In India, they rose from 12.3 million tons to 20 million. And the yields continue to increase. Last year, India harvested a record 73.5 million tons of wheat, up 11.5 percent from 1998. Since Ehrlich's dire predictions in 1968, India's population has more than doubled, its wheat production has more than tripled, and its economy has grown nine-fold. Soon after Borlaug's success with wheat, his colleagues at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research developed high-yield rice varieties that quickly spread the Green Revolution through most of Asia.
The contrast to Paul Ehrlich is particularly stunning. Most folks have heard of Ehrlich and his prophesies of doom. But Ehrlich has been wrong in his prophesies more times than anyone can count. Borlaug fed a billion people while Ehrlich was making money and fame selling books saying that the billion couldn't be fed -- but few have even heard of Borlaug. Today, leftists in power in the US and most European nations continue to reject Borlaug's approaches, and continue to revere Ehrlich (just this year, Obama chose a disciple of Ehrlich, John Holdren, as his Science czar).
Continuing proof that the world moves forward in spite of, rather than because of, governments.
Answer: Because it is the perfect political bludgeon. One of the reasons I felt like high school debate really was broken (I don't know if it has been fixed since) was because every single debate eventually devolved into which side was more likely to cause a nuclear war. It didn't matter if you were arguing about energy policy or the presidential primary system, no good debate case stopped short of blaming the other side for nuclear war.
There was Clare Short, a member of the British Parliament and Secretary
for International Development under Prime Minister Tony Blair until she
resigned in 2003 over the Iraq war. Claiming that Israel is actually
"much worse than the original apartheid state" and accusing it of
"killing (Palestinian) political leaders," Ms. Short charged the Jewish
state with the ultimate crime: Israel "undermines the international
community's reaction to global warming." According to Ms. Short, the
Middle East conflict distracts the world from the real problem:
man-made climate change. If extreme weather will lead to the "end of
the human race," as Ms. Short warned it could, add this to the list of
the crimes of Israel.