Dr. Mehta published an essay in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association detailing how the real culprits of climate change have been overlooked. Who are these dastardly swine, you say? Physicians! Jerks the lot of them, apparently.
According to Dr. Mehta:
If we accept that the total number of humans living on this planet as an important contributor to climate change, then we must look to who is responsible for this exponential increase in population.
(Psst. In case you can't work it out, he reckons its physicians).
When I read this, I had this vision of physicians taking part in some global ius primae noctis, dropping in on couples on their wedding nights for a quick game of "doctors and nurses" and siring a league of doctor-spawn. Awesome, I said. How did I miss that memo?
(Kind of like the time I was told that a medical association ball was going to be held in a "Gentleman's club". My immediate reaction was "Cool! Strippers and beer. Great choice!", then I was told that the gentleman's club to which they were referring was one of those no-girls-allowed posh old men's clubs. Apparently they were willing to make an exception for the female med students on the grounds that doctors are toffy-nosed enough they wouldn't bring the tone of the establishment down. Clearly they had never met me, then.)
Anyway, back to the Canadian. After reading further I realised that what he was actually advocating for was for doctors to get busy with the population control measures. Really sell it to people, y'know. ("Hey you! You walk like man who want vasectomy! I do nice and cheap! No problem!")
Citizens and the scientists who would like to slash our carbon footprint also need to consider the unsustainable number of humans on this planet and acknowledge that this is a critical factor and that reducing our number is fundamental to efforts to curtail climate change, as well to improving the quality of life for all. Physicians have the glorious opportunity to rise above the boundaries of nations, race, and religion for this very worthwhile cause.
Does anyone else get a bit jumpy when people with wacky, slightly totalitarian ideas start using the words "glorious" and "for all"?
I'm not morally opposed to even the most contentious of contraceptive issues - abortions (because given my past it would be damned hypocritical if I was), but I am VERY wary of attaching ideology to a woman's reproductive rights. A woman deciding on whether or not to access a pregnancy termination already has enough on her mind without pinning the future of the planet on the contents of her uterus.
Men too. No man should have "the snip" because he's worried about his carbon footprint. Thats more retarded than commercial free-to-air TV programming.
Luckily, other Canadian doctors appear to agree with me. One of the responders felt:
...that he (Mehta) is part of a trend within the Green movement that goes to a misanthropic extreme. Within his argument, language and ideas are used that likens the human race to, for example, a rabbit population that needs to be culled.
Insidiously related to this is the notion that, like rabbits, humans are totally subject to instinctual drives. If we, as physicians, perpetuate this cynical view of humans as automatons, we will continue to hand over fertilityreducing technology exclusively and abandon the biopsychosocio-spiritual model that views human beings as more than matter.