Hi. This is a message from the Evangelical Childfree Movement pre-complaining about any subsequent posts by evangelical vegans. Switching to veganism is only a band-aid solution. It doesn’t solve the problem that we have too many humans on the planet. Climate change is essentially a population problem. Even if all humans become vegans we don’t solve the climate problem.
Now I realise that many countries in Europe and the Americas are trying to solve the population problem by helping COVID to spread, while others are trying to reduce the birth rate by implementing lockdowns that stop new potential breeders from meeting other new potential breeders, but it’s not enough. Aside from a few countries that were already experiencing declining populations pre-COVID (notably Japan), populations continue to increase in spite of COVID. We need to immediately stop all tax-breaks and government subsidies for breeders.
OK. I’ll turn off the hyperbole now.
As others have said, all band-aid solutions can be useful, since they buy time, but that’s only useful if we’re using the extra time to implement long-term solutions. Reducing cow’s methane production can be useful, though I totally agree that the funding source for this particular research means we should be demanding some independent confirmation. Reducing meat consumption per capita can be useful, but we don’t solve the problem until we manage to reduce the number of capits. And I really hope we can do that by making people seriously think about whether they should be having children rather than by the violence that is likely to happen as food, shelter and medical care become constrained.
In 1980s Australia, as the population was in the regions of 20M, environmentalists were trying to estimate sustainable populations level for Australia, and were coming up with numbers in the 6M to 15M range. (Very wide range - the science was and still is difficult.) The models allowed for things like the frequency of “droughts and flooding rains” and the bulk of the land mass having soil so poor that it couldn’t sustain modern scale agriculture. In retrospect, the scary thing is that it assumed continuation of those conditions, so it didn’t allow for effects of climate change.
At a talk by one researcher in this area, who I won’t name since I’m not sure if I’m remembering it right, he suggested the best green charity to donate to was your local family planning association, since the easiest and most cost effective way to delay the climate catastrophe was to reduce the number of unplanned teenage pregnancies. (Based on Australian data. YMMV. And ironically, around the time that the HIV crisis was causing more caution and more condoms, which did reduce unplanned pregnancies.)
The “tax breaks and government subsidies to breeders” perception is a particularly hard nut to crack. The tax breaks and subsidies are obvious. The fact (in Australia, YMMV) that they don’t come anywhere near covering the costs of raising the children isn’t obvious. Cutting those programs inevitably falls hardest on those who are already struggling financially. We need those programs.
Anyway, that’s enough depressing stuff for one post. I’lll stop now.