Saving the world on a shoestring budget

Worried about your carbon footprint? Want to save the planet on a shoestring budget? What to do?

You could vote for the ETS at the next election. Apparently it will reduce your emissions by 5%. Or if you have an average size Australian carbon footprint apparently you could fork out A$6.15 per annum and buy the equivalent 5% of offsets from PopOffsets. Or if you seriously want to save the planet from man made CO2 then elliminate 100% of your footprint for just A$123 per annum.

How do they do it? This is what their website says:-

PopOffsets is unique – the first project in the world that, simply and transparently, enables individuals and organizations to offset their carbon footprint by funding the unmet need for family planning and the removal of the many barriers to women who want smaller families.

Our project recognizes the intrinsic links between increasing CO2 emissions, climate change and the world’s ever-growing population.

Research is indicating that providing a currently unmet need for family planning is the lowest cost way of reducing CO2 emissions and climate change – possibly less than one third of the cost of other technological fixes – without any environmental downsides.

Irrespective of AGW and carbon emissions this is a charity that I could readily support. Donating contraceptives to poor women in poor nations seems like a genereous thing to do whichever way you dice it.

24 thoughts on “Saving the world on a shoestring budget

  1. To prove they are true believers, control freak envirosocialists should just volunteer to sacrifice themselves to Gaia for an awesome 100% “carbon footprint” reduction, preferably before they gain enough control to do likewise to us “for the planet”.

  2. I thought about Tony Abbott and the Pope when I posted this. Tony could show what a free thinking Catholic he really is in such matters by proposing to pay these guys A$135 million per annum out of consolidated revenue instead of implementing an ETS. Of course if this scheme was accredited then it would generate carbon credits within the framework of an ETS but why bother with all the ETS red tape.

  3. Would this even be counted by the powers that be? It’s all rather silly.

    There’s not really much consistency with what is counted and what isn’t. Do bush-fires count towards our carbon footprint? I read in what I’m sure is a very reliable source (some comment on some other blog I can’t remember) that it doesn’t – unless deliberately lit. It sounded absurd, but given the situation, I’ve been wondering if it’s actually true. Anyone know?

  4. This is despicable and deceptive organisation. They use unproven and unprovable statistics of birth rates in families to ‘prove’ that they restricted the growth of population and thus saved green house gas emissions… I mean what a complete joke. Thats worse than when japan gets a tax offset for ‘not building’ the building it ‘would have’.

  5. I suppose that’s true. But the difference is that these guys are voluntary, the ETS would force me to pay loads more my power (which I can’t afford anyway ;( )

  6. Contraceptives will never be effective in poor countries. People in poor countries have children so they can grow up to support them when they are too old to work.

    It’s not like poor people don’t understand how babies are made, FFS. Incredibly patronising, stupid and anti-human idea.

    As Damian said, if greenies are really concerned about the effect population has on the environment, they should shoot themselves rather than try to sterilise the populations of 3rd world countries.

    If they were supporting sexual health education or something similar then that is a different story. This is just green eugenics.

  7. Most lefties would love this idea… why change your jetsetting lifestyle when you can just pay a few brown people not to have kids?

  8. Contraceptives will never be effective in poor countries. People in poor countries have children so they can grow up to support them when they are too old to work.

    Yobbo – people have children for lots of reasons including a love of children, tradition, family pressure, little accidents, and worries about old age. Amoungst my own circle of friends and family “little accidents” don’t seem to be an insignificant reason.

    Everything I have ever read on the subject suggests that family planning services can significantly reduce fertility. Perhaps everything I have ever read on the subject is wrong but I’m not likely to persuaded of that simply on the strength of your conviction.

    I think Q8 on the FAQ for the website is worth a read. An extract:-

    This question repeats the conventional economic wisdom – that couples in resource poor settings actively plan to have many children to compensate for high child mortality, to provide labour for the family, and to care for parents as they age. Those factors are real and certainly enhance the cultural acceptance of large families but economists overlook the fact that potentially fertile sex happens more often than the minimum needed for intentional conceptions i.e. having a large family is not usually an actively planned decision – it is mainly an outcome of human sexuality.

    http://www.popoffsets.com/faq.php

    I would agree that claims about the efficacy of family planning ought to be supported by solids studies and their effect quantified and qualified.

  9. “In 1985, more than forty world leaders, representing more than half of Earth’s people, signed a “Statement on Population Stabilization,””: http://www.ditext.com/ehrlich/10.html (about 1/3 way down the page) at “The Population Explosion” by Paul R. Ehrlich & Anne H. Ehrlich, 1990. I don’t know that all their theories were correct, but plenty of people knew about this problem years ago.

  10. If Ehrlich was involved, I’d say it’s almost certainly bullshit. In the 60’s he said, “The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines-hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.”

    In the 70’s, he claimed billions would die in the 80’s from famine – including millions in the US. In the 80’s, he was still at it, but also found a new armageddon in nuclear winters. By the late 80’s, he’d switched to global warming – and is one of the most vocal alarmists on the subject.

    He still talks up famine from excessive population – though now he ties it in with AGW.

    The population explosion of recent decades didn’t occur because people are breeding like rabbits – but because they were no longer dropping like flies – ie, life has improved dramatically (with exception of sub-saharan Africa – largely thanks to AIDS, and the fact it’s a political cesspit).

  11. Ehrlich has been having fantasies about poor people starving to death for 40 years and the people who are behind charities like this one share that fantasy.

    Actually he was the first person I thought of when I read the original post.

    Amoungst my own circle of friends and family “little accidents” don’t seem to be an insignificant reason.

    No offense Terje, but your circle of friends and family are not people living a subsistence existence.

    Everything I have ever read on the subject suggests that family planning services can significantly reduce fertility

    You might be right Terje, but the question is why do that?

    Having children does not make poor people poorer, even in purely economic terms. Children do not eat very much. By the time they do, they are already about 60% as productive as a fully grown adult. They are a medium-term investment that end up being a great benefit to a couple that has one, much like a home loan is for people in rich, western countries.

    The only people benefitting from this “charity” are deep greens who think the world is overpopulated, and rather than do the world a favour by offing themselves, would rather pay to see less brown people. Just like Fleeced said.

  12. Yobbo – if I give people contraceptives as a gift and they elect to use it, then obviously they see benefit in using it. If they don’t see benefit in using it then they will chuck it away. So if giving away contraceptives does lower fertility then it seems to clearly suggests that these same people want to have less kids. And in terms of whether they benefit from having less kids this is something I think they are much better placed than you to judge.

    Receiving contraceptives or reproductive information as a gift does not restrict your choices. It expands your options. It is in my view a very liberal and empowering gift to give.

    I am not a deep green. However I think the world would be better off with a declining population. Given trends in fertility and demographics I think the world will probably experience such a situation towards the end of this century. I think it will usher in an era of enormous economic prosperity as the ratio between labour and capital switched towards favouring labour. I think policies deliberatly geared towards increasing population are misguided and stupid. Gifts that fascilitates people who desire to have less kids are a good thing.

    If those that give the gift have ulterior motives then so what? The baker bakes for profit but we still enjoy his bread.

    The opposition has commited itself to lowering emissions without an ETS or Carbon tax. This being the case we should desire that they give away as little of our money as possible in meeting that objective. If giving contraceptives as a gift achieves this goal at low cost then it seems like the least bad option.

  13. Making contraceptives available to people is one thing but selling it as a way for people from wealthy countries to absolve themselves of carbon footprint guilt by reducing third world populations seems very distasteful to say the least.

  14. I’m not sure they restrict their activity to third world nations. Apparently unplanned teen pregnancy is quite high in the USA.

  15. There’s an idea Terje – they could give carbon credits for abortions.

    If the price is high enough, people could even get pregnant on purpose just to sell the abortion rights!

    /sarcasm (or so I like to think)

  16. “There’s an idea Terje – they could give carbon credits for abortions.

    If the price is high enough, people could even get pregnant on purpose just to sell the abortion rights!

    /sarcasm (or so I like to think)”

    It’s not sarcasm. Maybe you could pass for one of these psychos with ideas like that. You could be an undercover libertarian mole and take one for the team.

  17. Fleeced – when it comes to unwanted pregnancy prevention is better than cure. Cheaper also.

  18. Taya you don’t know what these guys are up to? On the face of things giving contraceptives to poor women is fine. But its industrialisation that is the best contraceptive. And you don’t know thats all these people are doing. There are horrid strains of eugenicist thought about the place

    Plus its dirty business bringing in the CO2 business when you know thats crap science. Don’t be giving these people money until you can vouch for their non-nazi credentials.

  19. The best way to stop population growth in poor countries is to make them wealthy countries, the best way to make a country wealthy is to have a ethical government with respects human rights. There is only one charity that does this and it is not one that subject mothers to our views of population CONTROL.

  20. Jono – we can walk and chew gum at the same time. You imply that giving people contraceptives and giving them reproductive information and offering them family planning councelling amounts to CONTROL. This is quite patronising. And the notion that only one charity can help the poor is silly.

    Frankly I’m a bit surprised at the hostility to this idea. About the only grounds I can see valid criticism for this initative would be along the lines of “does it work”.

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