Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

Venerable Royal Society issues report calling for population control

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

LONDON, May 8, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – One of the world’s oldest and most venerated scientific institutions has joined the chorus of the population control movement, calling for a “stabilisation” of the human population, “reduction of fertility” in Africa and reduced consumption of energy in the developed world.

Meanwhile, the report is being blasted by critics who say it is nothing more than the same population-paranoia that has been sold for decades by the radical environmentalist movement, fuelled by bad science.

Launched two years ago, the Royal Society’s review of human population issues was to be “a comprehensive and scientific review of the evidence,” by a panel of 23 academics in economics, population studies and conservation sciences.

The report says that the world is headed for a “vortex of economic, socio-political and environmental ills,” if the developed, western countries do not reduce the energy they consume, and if the human population overall is not “reduced.”

“The number of people living on the planet has never been higher, their levels of consumption are unprecedented and vast changes are taking place in the environment,” the report says.

“We can choose to rebalance the use of resources to a more egalitarian pattern of consumption … or we can choose to do nothing and to drift into a downward spiral of economic and environmental ills leading to a more unequal and inhospitable future.

“Reproductive health and voluntary family planning programmes urgently require political leadership and financial commitment, both nationally and internationally. This is needed to continue the downward trajectory of fertility rates, especially in countries where the unmet need for contraception is high.”

The Royal Society is one of the oldest continuously running scientific organizations in the world, having been founded at the dawn of the modern age by a royal charter in 1660 by King Charles II. British governments have been using the Society as the lead consultant on scientific issues since 1775, and today the Society serves as the country’s national science academy, funding research fellowships and scientific start-up companies. The influence of the Royal Society is without peer, and its recommendations to governments are taken up not only in Britain but around the world.

Jules Pretty, a member of the working group that developed the population report, said there is a need to “reduce fertility” in poorer nations, particularly in Africa and to reduce the production of CO2 gases in the rich countries.

“When we slow down population growth we empower women and provide more money for least developed countries to invest in education. The majority of women want fewer children,” Pretty said.

The Royal Society has not revealed the background of all the members of the working group, but at least one is associated with an extremist population reduction organization. Jonathon Porritt is the former chair of Britain’s Sustainable Development Commission and a member of the Optimum Population Trust, the notorious pressure group that campaigns for governments to adopt enforced population reduction policies like China’s One Child policy.

Tom Worstall, a Senior Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London, lambasted the report as a “dismal failure,” arguing that it failed to take into account the complex relationships between population, resource availability, and economic growth.

“These sorts of errors would lead to a marking down in an undergraduate essay and to the failure of a PhD defence. The Royal Society should withdraw this report and work on fixing both the factual and logical errors before trying to tell the rest of us how to live our lives.”

The report drastically oversimplified the relationship between population and consumption of resources, he said. Far from being a simple matter of “handing out condoms to all and sundry,” the population issue is “actually a complex interaction of rising incomes, falling child mortality rates and even opportunity costs”.

He also accused the report of failing to take into account the fact that handing out condoms will not significantly slow down population growth in the most fertile countries that have not adopted the contraceptive mentality. Ninety percent of the world’s fertility, he said, is intentional. Demographers have noted that the countries that have embraced contraception as a lifestyle, those in North America, Europe and the Far East, are already experiencing negative population growth.

But it is in “the discussions of economic growth and resource consumption” that the report becomes “almost schizophrenic,” he said. The report calls for the transition to a “steady-state” economic model, but fails at the same time to understand what that means, Worstall said.

“A steady-state economy is not one in which growth stops: it is one in which resource use is limited but economic growth carries on indefinitely as we find new ways to add value to our limited resources.”

The report, in demanding the cessation of economic growth, fails also to make a distinction between “quantitative” growth, the simple increase in production of goods and services, and “qualitative growth,” what Worstall describes as “making better things out of those limited resources”.

“In fact,” he writes, “there is no environmental or resource limit to such growth at all – and that’s the same as growing GDP by increasing the value rather than the quantity produced.”

Raheem Kassam, a writer for the Wall Street Journal and an anti-extremism activist, wrote on The Commentator website, “Based on what can only be described as the irresponsible usage of population growth predictions, the Royal Society has sanctioned a report that both undermines its credibility and attempts to dupe Western consumers into remorse over our ‘lavish’ lifestyles.

“The Royal Society boasts that Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein, Dorothy Hodgkin, Francis Crick and James Watson were life members. It is my contention that these innovators and pioneers would be embarrassed of the pessimistic approach taken by modern scientists, many of whom see themselves as activists and are indeed children of ideology rather than professionals with a commitment to the scientific method.”

Demographers maintain that the current rate of growth of the human population is set to decline rapidly over the next few decades. The experts say that the rate of growth is slowing markedly around the world and will level off at 8 to 9 billion by 2050 then start to decline. Among many governments in Europe, particularly those of former Soviet Bloc nations, there is increasing alarm at the demographic prospects. Fewer babies inevitably means fewer workers and consumers for goods and services with consequently shrinking economies.

Some countries, like Italy and France, are starting to look at ways of propping up the birth rate by creating government baby bonuses while retaining legalized abortion and widespread use of artificial contraceptives. In other countries, like Russia, where the problem of population shrinkage is already being seen, are looking at limiting abortion access.

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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