The Best Green Technology Is Population Control

Illustration for article titled The Best Green Technology Is Population Control

"I don't see our environmental ills as a failure of technical capacity. Many technologies can have a positive effect on the environment; the problem is us, and where we tend to focus our innovative energy.


"As environmental ideas have entered the zeigeist, mostly thanks to global warming—and still mostly focused on that issue—plenty of technology companies are lining up to tell us how they're helping green/save/clean the environment. Advertising agencies and PR firms are delighted to sell us any number of "green" gizmos and they're throwing in some nice self-esteem blowjobs for all of us, using their persuasive talents to assure us that we're enlightened and forward thinking because we just stuffed a green X into our Prius.

"But green blowjobs aren't really my gig. I'm not interested in PV cells, or solar paint, or zero emissions cars, or any of a zillion other objects that companies want to sell us so that we can feel good about ourselves while we roar off the cliff. If I had to think of a couple technologies that I greatly admire, I would say... wool sweaters and long underwear are fabulous. They have a low manufacturing cost and are far more efficient than burning coal for electric heat, or burning heating oil, and they might even obviate the need for a better-insulated house. I remain enamored with bicycles and their gears. These technologies are so wonderfully elegant and do so much while asking so little that I like them quite a lot. And certainly I like the hat and gloves I wear so that I can ride my bike to work in the winter, instead of being tempted to drive my car.


"But the one—the most absolutely key, the rock star green technology—that I champion over all others is birth control: vasectomies, IUDs, the pill, condoms. I don't care which kind you or your family prefers or finds most appropriate, I love them all. Any technology that reduces the absolute number of consumers (and particularly Americans and Europeans who consume the most) now that's a TECHNOLOGY!" — Pump Six And Other Stories author Paolo Bacigalupi, interviewed at

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I think the people who feel the world is overpopulated should be given a .38 with 1 bullet in it, and encouraged to do the right thing.