Friday, January 22, 2010

Doctors for the what now?

I onced blogged about the inane self-conceit of organisations that have the appelation of "Doctors for..." in the title. It was called "Strippers for industrialisation, and other types of stupid" and still garners alot of misdirected google traffic. (Suckers).

So far, along with my favourite lumps of ca-ca to kick over at Doctors for the Environment (nope, still won't link them), I have found Doctors for Native Forests (they have the ENTIRE text of Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax" on their site), Doctors for Global Health (which makes sense for a change), Clown Doctors for Kids (acceptable), Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (OK), Doctors for Human Rights (meh) and Doctors for Life (Eew. I'm not even going there...)

But wait, whats this? Enter: Doctors for a Sustainable Population. Somewhere in the back of my head I started hearing that music that always played when Darth Vader entered the room. Then I noticed that they used to be called "Medical Association for Planetary Survival" (Why would you change that?)

I'll also give you a dollar and a big sloppy kiss if you can guess who they list as their "associated organisations". Oh, alright, I'll tell you. Its Sustainable Population Australia and, yep, pucker up, Doctors for the Environment Australia.

Doctors for a Sustainable Population are, interestingly, not too worked up about climate change, but are pretty freaked by peak oil. Unfortunately, they think they are just the guys to solve the problem, only because they are doctors, they think what they need to do is implement:

sustainable population targets by family planning and population reduction in the most socially acceptable way.
First, define which is the most socially acceptable way to enforce a reduction in population? I would be interested to hear it. And why is this a doctor's job, anyway? They say:

DSP believes that doctors, a relatively large group trained in science, are the most likely to realise the danger to the future to us and our descendants, and to be effective in explaining this to society.

Wow, this type of thing could never get out of hand, could it?

Also, referring to doctors as trained in science is kind of cute, because I can tell you this for free: The degree I'm studying does NOT give any training in the key basis of the methodology that is science. We are being trained as technicians. Its vocational training of a fairly ad hoc nature. Scientific methodology is assumed knowledge because once upon a time it had already been acquired by this stage. These days, though, you can even get through a PhD without ever having to comes to terms with the P for Philosophy. As a second-generation scientist, I was somewhat appalled to discover that most of my peers actually confuse science with a belief system, and wouldn't notice an Aristotelian logical fallacy if it put on a fruity hat and did the macarena.

Why do these types of people immediately jump to the conclusion that we have to MAKE people have less children? Clearly they have never had a 10 pound incontinence-making device exit a sensitive area of their anatomy. Most of the evidence from the developed world would indicate that if you give women access to birth-control and the choice between buying shoes and having so many children their uteri fall out, they tend to go with 1.8 offspring* and the sexy, faux-leather strappy numbers that show off some toe-cleavage.**

* Yes, thats right. Australia's total fertility rate has been below replacement level since 1976, hence immigration. Even developed Catholic countries like Spain have very low fertility rates. Spain's is lower than Australia's at around 1.3. Italy's is around the same as Spain's, probably because of all those fabulous shoes.
** I actually loathe shoe-shopping. The whole retail industry seems to be full of terrible, ill fitting shoes, and the only ones I like either never have my size, or are only available in white (white!) or cost in excess of $300 (which should be illegal). I was merely trying to make a point. Insert favoured retail item of your choice. e.g. an education or a new set of Makita power drills.

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