I keep saying that peak oil denial is the new climate change denial, but climate change denial was really just the new overpopulation denial. Authoritarian patriarchy refuses to accept physical limitations of Earth and its resources, which is why its propaganda is marked by obsessive denial of empirical realities. So what if global population is already straining those limits? God will fix everything if we just have faith!
“Overpopulation” isn’t about people forced to live shoulder-to-shoulder in a dystopian Soylent fantasy. Overpopulation is about how many diapers and bags of groceries and gallons of water maintain Michelle’s megasized family. The size of a human footprint is less important than the human carbon footprint — which she doesn’t believe in, because then she would have to change, and that would mean God has changed. God isn’t allowed to change.
Michelle Duggar would also be the first to deny that she is an evolved mammal; yet like bacteria that eat all the food in a Petri dish and die off at peak population, she is responding to urges of the flesh: be fruitful and multiply. She has rationalized nature’s command as a holy command. And that’s fine; she can have fifteen more kids if she likes. In the praxis of her endorsement of Rick Santorum, however, it’s clear that what she really wants is to give every American woman no choice at all. And remember, the whole point of her fecundity is to outnumber the godless liberals.
Climate change emerged as an issue in the 1970s, right as America experienced its own post-peak oil shocks. That decade was marked by environmental awareness and education as well as attention to population issues. At the time, world population stood at about 4 billion. The 1980s brought Ronald Reagan, who removed the solar panels from the White House roof and pandered to the cult of life. Thirty years later, global oil production has peaked, the climate is changing, and there are seven billion people on Earth. The stakes are even higher, as are global temperatures.
There is absolutely nothing “Christian” or even moral about faith-based inattention to these issues. Christian faith did not sustain the Greenland Norse when their climate changed and they had chopped their last tree. There is no morality in extinction, or starvation, or resource depletion, but there is a moral: nature is never tragic; humans are.