A Nation of DavidsnPopulation Control and the Environmentnby Jacqueline R. Kasunn”. . . Ahaz . . . did not that which was right in the sight of thenLord . . . he . . . made his son to pass through the fire . . . he sacrificed andnburnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.”n— II Kings 16:2-4n/n, ,y.n^^’ I ‘he problems of feeding ever-growing populations”nX are leading to “tropical forests . . . being cleared atnthe rate of between 50 and 100 acres per minute,”naccording to the U.S. Agency for International Developmentn(AID), which lobbies for and administers the foreignnaid of the United States. At this rate, “today’s forests couldnbe cut in half by 2035 and gone entirely by the end of thennext century,” the agency quotes a curator at the SmithsoniannInstitution, which is also supported by the federalngovernment, as saying.nThe deforestation crisis is spawning other environmentalncrises, according to the agency: “The burning of tropicalnforests pumps nearly 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide into thenair each year . . . causing . . . global warming . . . [and] anrise in the sea level . . . because of the melting of glaciersnand polar ice caps.” Global warming will raise sea levels, sonthat “most U.S. coastal lowlands . . . would be flooded. . . .nThe . . . nation of the Maldives would be entirely sub-nJacqueline R. Kasun is a professor of economics atnHumboldt State University in Areata, California, and thenauthor of The War Against Population: The Economicsnand Ideology of World Population Control (Ignatius).n” ^: n’^ iiv/i /’n'”^^^^nmerged.” Moreover, “deforestation . . . causes soil erosion”nwhich will affect “half of the world’s population” and willnlead to “desertification and spreading wastelands.” And, as ifnall this were not enough, in these tropical forests which “arenhome to more than half the wodd’s plants and animals . . .neach day as many as 140 species of plants and animals maynbe disappearing.”nBelieving that these catastrophes result from trying tonfeed “ever-growing populations” makes it easier to believe innthe wisdom of AID’s efforts to control population growth innthe countries receiving U.S. foreign aid. Requiring a foreignngovernment to promise (as, for example, in the 1988ncontract between AID and Costa Rica) that it will try tonreduce its crude birthrate to 28/1000 might seem to be a tadnnosy, were it not for the exigencies of the environment.nRequiring the government of Costa Rica to provide sexneducation to its population of school-age children and tonachieve a “contraceptive prevalence rate at 70 percent byn1992” might seem a bit officious, did we not know that thisnis saving the polar ice caps.nIn a word, the environment is proving to be the bestnexcuse yet for imposing population control. And just inntime, too, since the earlier threats of resource exhaustionnnnOCTOBER 1991/23n