Dinging Senator Barbara Boxer for saying something stupid is cruel. And vicious. And viciously cruel; and it’s all because it’s far too easy to do. I am being lazy by highlighting her flustered response to Senators Barasso’s and Inhofe’s cheerful Hey, you guys have been claiming eco-Apocalypses for forty years now; only back then it was global cooling that was going to kill us all. Oh, and look! Obama’s science advisor John Holdren was one of them!
“…there were scientists that did call for the Ice Age…”
Watch the whole video, particularly the parts where Democratic Senators scurried around trying to obscure the inconvenient truth that while the tune of DOOM has continued unabated throughout my lifetime, the actual words keep changing to fit the latest academic fad. Hot Air has more, including this link to Zombietime’s indispensable commentary on Holdren’s shifting attitudes on global warming/cooling/whatever; I’ll just note that this isn’t the only controversial thing that the guy’s ever said, which isn’t actually germane to the conversation but probably is why you’re feeling a bit of mild revulsion about seeing John Holdren’s name right now*.
You might remember John Holdren from a previous post – one where it was noticed that the man was on the record as considering the government to have the right to force a woman to not have a baby. As I recall, it was loudly and repetitively declared at the time that thirty years was plenty of time for Holdren to modify his extremist, anti-choice views on reproductive rights. Which is an interesting argument, but I’m curious: is two years enough for him to do the same moral development, when it comes to denial of American exceptionalism and rejection of capitalism?
(H/T: AoSHQ) For those without handy video access: Holdren first sneers at the very notion that there’s something special about America in the first place, then blithely informs the virtual crowd – yes, this discussion was made to a digital audience; no, this particular flavor of the Left has always been blind, deaf, and especially dumb to irony – that of course we’re going to have to become poorer so that everybody else can become… less poor. In other words, it’s the usual zero-sum game nonsense that took refuge among our professional academic class, post-Cold War. I don’t know whether it’s mourning for the lost fever dream of Marxism, or pique that we knuckle-dragging, jingoistic class-deniers made killing the monster look easy… but ever since then a certain type has been nursing a real grudge against the American dream, and expressing it in a variety of ways. Apocalyptic environmentalism is merely one form; there are more.
Which is fine – or at least tolerable, or at least endurable – but why are we letting people who shelter these thoughts anywhere near the reins of power? Surely the President could have found somebody for science czar who had not only Holdren’s paper qualifications, but also the belief that there’s something special about this country. He could have found someone who agrees that we have the right to dream heroic dreams. I refuse to believe that we couldn’t do better than John Holdren.
(Via AoSHQ) This was written by John Holdren, Obama Science Czar, in 1977:
Individual rights. Individual rights must be balanced against the power of the government to control human reproduction. Some people—respected legislators, judges, and lawyers included—have viewed the right to have children as a fundamental and inalienable right. Yet neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution mentions a right to reproduce. Nor does the UN Charter describe such a right, although a resolution of the United Nations affirms the “right responsibly to choose” the number and spacing of children (our emphasis). In the United States, individuals have a constitutional right to privacy and it has been held that the right to privacy includes the right to choose whether or not to have children, at least to the extent that a woman has a right to choose not to have children. But the right is not unlimited. Where the society has a “compelling, subordinating interest” in regulating population size, the right of the individual may be curtailed. If society’s survival depended on having more children, women could he required to bear children, just as men can constitutionally be required to serve in the armed forces. Similarly, given a crisis caused by overpopulation, reasonably necessary laws to control excessive reproduction could be enacted. It is often argued that the right to have children is so personal that the government should not regulate it. In an ideal society, no doubt the state should leave family size and composition solely to the desires of the parents. In today’s world, however, the number of children in a family is a matter of profound public concern. The law regulates other highly personal matters. For example, no one may lawfully have more than one spouse at a time. Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two children?
This is, of course, appalling to any person who identifies as ‘pro-life’ – but it should be even more appalling to any person who identifies as ‘pro-choice.’ It is simply impossible to reconcile the position that the government may regulate the number of children with the position that a woman has a ‘fundamental right to choose’ whether or not to have an abortion. If you consider that right to automatically overrule the government’s ability to force you to carry an unwanted child to term, then it logically follows that you must also consider that right to also overrule the government’s ability to force you not to carry a wanted child to term*. And if you admit that the government has the right to dictate your fertility, then you don’t actually believe in a ‘fundamental right to choose’ in the first place; you believe in the government’s right to choose for you. Reading the rest of Zombietime’s article, it is fairly clear that Holdren is firmly of the opinion that the government does have that right, and that it trumps individual opinions on the matter. And now he’s in charge of science policy.
Or, to put this another way: they told me that if I voted for John McCain the President would appoint an anti-choice fanatic as science czar, and they were right.
*State-sanctioned population-control programs almost guarantee forced abortions. Like it or don’t like it, as you please; it still happens.