Last week, Climate Change Was Bad. This Week, Climate Change Is Good.

Press Release

Last Week, Climate Change Was Bad. This Week, Climate Change Is Good.

Last week, Canadians heard all three levels of government and the media declare almost unanimously that human-induced climate change was a bad thing. In fact, governments and political parties competed with one another to demonstrate who was the greenest. However, this week, Canadians are hearing these people virtually say that climate change is a good thing.

How is that?

Well, Statistics Canada announced this week that Canada's population had increased by 5.4% since 2001. If, as we generally are told, an increased population means more pollution—especially in a cold northern climate where heating living spaces is essential—then increasing Canada's population means increasing its share of human-induced climate change.

The absurdity in this whole situation is that a number of politicians and others– who were last week falling over one another to be classified as green—are actually gloating over the fact that Canada has had the highest population growth rate among all the G-8 countries. It is being implied that this is something that all Canadians should be proud of.

So let's slow down a minute and think.

When some officials in Hong Kong and other Chinese cities were saying not long ago that their populations would decline, and that they would have to take measures such as increasing the birth rate, many people outside of China reacted with horror. What was the most over-populated country in the world talking about? What earthly sense did it make to add more people to China's population when it was already racing down the road to environmental suicide? To add to the absurdity, in the recently-proclaimed Asian Year of the Pig, many Chinese have been talking about a probable baby boom because babies born in this year will supposedly experience prosperity!! Unless China undertakes a programme of world conquest and systematic annihilation of the populations of many other countries, the chances of new babies and other individual Chinese already in that country getting more and more of the Chinese pie are improbable, to say the least.

Undoubtedly, those Chinese with any environmental sense would agree. So, if Canadians also agree that talking of population expansion in China as an achievement is absolutely absurd, what sense does it make to cheer-lead population expansion in Canada? Once again, is Canada a separate planet with limitless room for more people and with unlimited ability to receive naturally-circulating pollutants? Or is it a country (and like many other countries, already on the receiving end of the enormous amount of pollutants that China is emitting and will continue to emit, and of the probable enormous climatic consequences of Chinese and other industrialization)? And if Canada is to “Act Locally” as in “Think Globally. Act Locally.”, then Canada, China and all other countries should be doing their own house-keeping. Proclaiming that Canada is #1 among the G-8 in population growth—as if to say Canada is participating in a population competition to see which country can be the most environmentally irresponsible—-is both childish and absurd.

Equally nonsensical is the claim that because mass immigration is responsible for the largest part of Canada's population increase, that mass immigration, therefore, must be a wonderful thing and that it must continue. And even more nonsensical is the unquestioned assumption that Canada's population has to keep growing. Where did the thought process go in all of the writers who produced stories in the past few days about Canada's population increase? If we are to believe the dual claims of most scientists—that climate change is human-induced and that total world population is far too high—, then those writers should have been connecting the climate change “dot” of last week with the population growth “dot” of this week. They should have been saying that all countries in the world—-not just grossly over-populated China and India—should be participating proportionately in population stabilization and eventual reduction.

A third disconnect is not so obvious, but it is very real. There is something more than just “passing strange” about the new 31.6 million population figure that Statistics Canada has announced. As late as 2005, Canada's Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, a federal agency which regularly publishes population projections, predicted that Canada's population would be 32,426,000 at Census time in mid-2006. Yet Statistics Canada has said Canada had a population of 31,600,000 in mid-2006. Why the discrepancy?

There seem to be two things to look at. One is that in the previous three 5-year periods for which Stats Can provides Census figures, the population increases were 1,930,000, 1.580,000, and 1,410,000 respectively. It is true that there is a decline. But why the sudden decline—-especially when Canada has the world's highest per capita immigration rate of around 250,000 per year. Without even looking at births, this alone would have totalled a population increase of around 1.25 million. It is true that deaths and emigration have to be subtracted from immigration and births. But the answer quite possibly is that the widespread claims by many census workers—that the 2006 Census was done cheaply and sloppily, and therefore inaccurately—are true. Stats Can denies the charge, of course, but the strong suspicions remain.

In other words, it is quite probable that Canada's real population in mid-2006 was close to or even higher than the figure of 32.4 million that was predicted by the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. This will give the irrational gloaters and cheerleaders across Canada even more to cheer about.

But to those Canadians who can connect the climate change “dot” of last week with the population increase “dot” of this week, cheering makes no sense.

And, if our federal government wants to act for the good of its own citizens and wants to do its share internationally, it should be doing something to stop things that are obviously destructive and senseless. That means it should dramatically reduce Canada's highest-per-capita in the world immigration intake.