Feminist icon Gloria Steinem recently suggested that the “patriarchy” is responsible for climate change, by suppressing abortion and forcing women to have children.
“Listen, what causes climate deprivation is population,” Steinem told Refinery29 in an interview last week. “If we had not been systematically forcing women to have children they don’t want or can’t care for over the 500 years of patriarchy, we wouldn’t have the climate problems that we have. That’s the fundamental cause of climate change.”
Steinem’s comments reveal the classic liberal Malthusian lie — that increasing population will doom humanity. Thomas Malthus warned that population grows faster than the food supply, and that overpopulation will be the worst issue humans face. But human ingenuity launched multiple revolutions in food production, and made the modern world’s record population sustainable.
Even so, liberals cannot accept that the market solved this fundamental problem, and they constantly warn about overpopulation, despite evidence that underpopulation — especially in developed countries, but birth rates are falling even in undeveloped countries — is a bigger threat, as people age with fewer young people to replace them. Birth control and abortion are hailed as the solution to overpopulation, even as birth rates across the world are falling.
There is (or at least should be) a robust debate about whether or not humans are causing catastrophic climate change. Climate prediction models have failed time and time again, and the Democrats’ push to silence climate “denial” suggests that the alarmists are afraid of real challenge and debate. When climatologists are choosing “career suicide” to keep their “scientific integrity,” there’s clearly a problem.
Finally, Steinem’s tenuous claim is the worst justification for abortion imaginable. She essentially defended killing babies on the questionable premise that a smaller population will avoid an undefined impending future catastrophe. Imagine someone defending infanticide on this basis, or forced sterilization. Add a little racism, and voila! There are the arguments of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood.
The arguments for population decline were tenuous enough when Thomas Malthus made them. Now Steinem is asking people to have fewer children in order to avoid some future catastrophe. What comes next? Liberals are already comparing the Republican health care bill to the misogynist dystopia “A Handmaid’s Tale.” They’ll think of something.