This is really, really, bad work here. It’s an almost Ritchie level of misunderstanding. For what is being done is to work from first principles without going out and looking to see whether other people had already worked through this problem. Those other people having, just possibly you know, come up with an answer to hte question being asked.
So, that question is, well, should we be having babies when the planet might boil? The answer is – yes.
Our philosopher here says no, perhaps not. And it is our philosopher who is wrong.
Yes, humans are producers, and many wonderful things have come from human genius. But each person, whatever else they are (genius or dunce, producer or drag on the economy) is also a consumer. And this is the only claim needed in order to be worried about climate change.
The problem here is that we have a finite resource – the ability of the Earth’s atmosphere to absorb greenhouse gases without violently disrupting the climate – and each additional person contributes to the total amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. So although humans will hopefully save us (we do, in fact, desperately need brilliant people to develop scaleable technology to remove carbon from the air, for instance), the solution to this cannot be to have as many babies as possible, with the hope that this raises our probability of solving the problem. Because each baby is also an emitter, whether a genius or not.
More humans means more emissions therefore we should have fewer humans. This is one of those things which is possibly true. But of course what we want to know is, well, is it true? And the answer is no.
For this has been considered. In the SRES which came out in, erm, 1992? And which is the economic skeleton upon which every IPCC report up to and including AR4 was built. And it specifically looks at the varied influences of wealth, population size and technology upon emissions. That’s what it’s actually for in fact. It can be thought of a working through of Paul Ehrlich’s I = PAT equation, impact equals population times affluence times technology. Except, of course, it gets that equation right, dividing by technology, not multiplying by it.
And the answer is that population isn’t the important variable. Nor is affluence, not directly, it’s technology which is. Move over to non-emitting forms of energy generation (and no, not some crash program, just the same sort of increase in efficiency which we had in the 20th century will do it) as in A1T and we’re done. Or if you prefer a bit more social democracy, as in B1.
Population size just isn’t the driving force behind the problem. Thus it’s also not the solution. And we’ve known this for more than 20 years.