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Reducing Humans to Carbon Ash

Reducing Humans to Carbon Ash

4 Mins
September 2, 2010

November 16, 2009 - The latest morally monstrous proposal out of the environmentalist cult comes from Lord Smith of Finsbury. He suggests that each British citizen be given a government “ carbon allowance .”

For any transaction that increases a person’s “carbon footprint” such as using gasoline or taking an airline flight, they would have to “spend” part of their allowance. Once their allowance reaches zero, they would have to pay out of pocket to purchase more credits, assuming that they are available. It is “cap and trade” for the individual.


The appallingly anti-human nature of this proposal is only surpassed by the appalling ignorance and intellectual laziness of a public that is not appalled by the fact that their politicians are literally leading them to suicide.

An essential aspect of our lives as humans is to employ the materials in our environment for our survival and well-being: converting plants into food; trees into houses; oil into energy; metals into medical equipment, automobiles, and aircraft.

It is often too costly for us to employ carbon dioxide, one of the “outputs” of our act of living, efficiently for our use. We produce CO2 in some of our industrial activities and, indeed, every time we exhale. (As do all animals!) Plants, of course, breathe in our CO2.

The carbon allowance scheme dehumanizes us by teaching us to view ourselves merely as carbon output units, and the less output the better. The implication of this view is that every single human activity—indeed, the very act of living—a sinful indulgence, like some criminal urge for which we should be ashamed and which we should strive to suppress.


Just as our superstitious ancestors tortured themselves with guilt over taking joy in the things of this world, so those who accept the premises of the environmental cult do so today.

The latest example is the rise of couples who refuse to have children because each new child is considered pollution on the Earth . Naturally, it is the choice of each individual whether or not to become a parent. But consider the complete depravity of what the environmental cultists peddle as morality.

The carbon allowance scheme dehumanizes us.

There are men and women who long to have children; to cradle newborns in their arms; to hold their babies’ hands as they take their first steps; to watch them play with their friends and their toys; to teach them to say “mommy” and “daddy”; to teach them to read; to play with them in the park; to help them with their studies; to attend their graduations; and to see them become responsible adults and, perhaps, parents themselves.

Now consider those men and women who would give up the challenge and the joy of becoming a parent, who would damn themselves to emptier lives of “if only it could have been” because they ingest the poisonous notion that each new child must be thought of first as a carbon unit that poisons this planet.

This is no joke. For decades eco-radicals have advocated zero population growth with government action to bring about that result. Now they have the ultimate argument for selling suicide, that carbon is bad and that to live as a human is to produce carbon.

So we now find a recent Oregon State University study that argues that the carbon impact of having a child is 20 times greater than any other environmental choice, such as driving a car. Thus it’s not surprising when New York Times columnist Andy Revkin broaches the idea of giving carbon credits for those who have fewer kids .

Combine this notion with the British scheme and the clear implication is that the government will allow couples to have kids only if they can “pay” for the impact of those children out of their carbon allowance.


Like any government program, the carbon allowance idea would only grow. Its inexorable conclusion would be truly totalitarian. How would government control all human activities in the name of reducing human carbon output?

In Britain Lord Smith wants each individual assigned an identification number to keep track of their activities; how about tattooing it to our wrists? The system certainly would expand to track and thus to limit or proscribe more and more of our activities. The system likely would soon become a mechanism to meet the goal, voiced by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s environmental adviser Jonathon Porritt, of cutting the country’s population in half, by 30 million , in order to build a “sustainable” society.

To the extent that individuals accept the eco-cult’s view of humans and accept guilt for living, they will acquiesce as the new puritan politicians claim the right to control and destroy their lives through a new Inquisition.

Yes, the excuse for these sorts of measures is the need to stop climate change; the term “global warming” is falling out of favor since the globe has refused to warm up much over the past decade.

Climates have changed radically throughout Earth’s history before humans were around. Further, science today has not come anywhere close to establishing that the Earth’s climate is dangerously warming up; that humans producing CO2  are the principal cause; that the effects will be catastrophic to human life; that draconian restrictions on human activity can prevent such warming; and that the harm done by these restrictions will not be far worse than the warming.

Yet it’s not with reticence and reluctance but, rather, with recklessness and relish that eco-cultists push their Luddite proposals. In spite of occasional weak claims that such measures are meant to help future humans—those children we’re not supposed to have—the logic behind them implies that in the best of all possible worlds all humans would have their carbon “sequestered,” that is, would become ash in the ground.

Any given individual might back this ideology out of ignorance, ill-intent, or a combination of the two. But whatever the case, those who love their lives and who love the potential of every human being must continue to confront this anti-human ideology and those who promote it, to make clear the ideology’s implications, and to refuse to allow themselves to be destroyed.

Edward Hudgins


Edward Hudgins

Edward Hudgins is research director at the Heartland Institute and former director of advocacy and senior scholar at The Atlas Society.

Edward Hudgins
About the author:
Edward Hudgins

Edward Hudgins, former director of advocacy and senior scholar at The Atlas Society, is the founder of the Human Achievement Alliance and can be reached at ehudgins@humanachievementalliance.org.

Environment and Energy