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Climate change cash pays for forced sterilisation

The Guardian is reporting that UK climate change aid money has been used to fund forced sterilisation programmes in India.

Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money have been spent on a programme that has forcibly sterilised Indian women and men, the Observer has learned...

Court documents filed in India earlier this month claim that many victims have been left in pain, with little or no aftercare. Across the country, there have been numerous reports of deaths and of pregnant women suffering miscarriages after being selected for sterilisation without being warned that they would lose their unborn babies.

Yet a working paper published by the UK's Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes. The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases, although it warned that there were "complex human rights and ethical issues" involved in forced population control.

I couldn't help but recall the comments of a Royal Society fellow, Paul Erlich, on the subject of involuntary sterilisation:

[T]he first task is population control at home. How do we go about it? Many of my colleagues feel that some sort of compulsory birth regulation would be necessary to achieve such control. One plan often mentioned involves the addition of temporary sterilants to water supplies or staple food. Doses of the antidote would be carefully rationed by the government to produce the desired population size. Those of you who are appalled at such a suggestion can rest easy. The option isn’t even open to us, since no such substance exists.

If the choice now is either such additives or catastrophe, we shall have catastrophe. It might be possible to develop such population control tools, although the task would not be simple. Either the additive would have to operate equally well and with minimum side effects against both sexes, or some way would have to be found to direct it only to one sex and shield the other.”

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Reader Comments (53)

I nominate Dr. Ehrlich for the Josef Rudolf Mengele Memorial Medal.

Apr 30, 2012 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney

I was somewhat surprised at how many of the Graun's commenters don't seem to see this as a problem.

Apr 30, 2012 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta

Deeply shocking...

Apr 30, 2012 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Absolutely shocking mis-use of our aid, not to be supported in any way at all. However, I have occasionally commented, especially to Dellers, that population explosion is, without doubt, the great threat to the "planet", as we are seeing here and now - not through starvation (easily solved by science) but through unemployment, civil unrest and internecine war. We just have to look at places in sub-Saharan Africa, Egypt, India, the Carribean etc. So some kind of population control is inevitable and genocide is not the preferred option. In the time honoured tradition dosh is the best incentive - I remember when I lived in India in the 60's men could get a transistor radio for getting snipped. I think our aid would be better spent on hygenic clinics an colour TV's!

Apr 30, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterVernon E

Just frightening stuff. The indigenous population of this country have a declining birth rate anyway so why is it needed?

I assume that in order to have a child one would have to meet a points based criteria. So for instance any member of the inner circle can have as many children as they like. And it would be wrong to prevent homosexuals or disabled people to reproduce because that smacks of bigotry.

Smoking would naturally mean no chance of getting the "antidote" as would being a non believer in CAGW.

There may not be the means to do it at the moment, but you can bet your arse they would use it in a second if it were available.

Apr 30, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterduncan

Words fail me. Shocking.

Apr 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

I note that the courageous Rob Wilson conflated population and consumption with climate change in his recent driveby.

Apr 30, 2012 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Let's see them try this in the UK before they export it to other countries. "complex human rights and ethical issues"!? No there aren't, it's plainly and simply morally and ethically wrong.

Whoever in Whitehall thought this up should get a dose of their own treatment.

Apr 30, 2012 at 3:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris

Those of you who are appalled at such a suggestion can rest easy.
The option isn’t even open to us, since no such substance exists.
Somehow I don't find myself resting easy at all. Presumably when the required substance does exist there will be plenty of people considering the option seriously.
How are you on compulsory population control, Vernon?
Bearing in mind that even the UN believes that the earth's population will peak at about 9 billion by mid-century and then start to fall, provided that we stop deliberately trying to keep the poor of the world locked in their poverty.
How many times does it have to be said that the best form of population control is personal wealth even if it does piss off the Malthusians and the eco-fascists?

Apr 30, 2012 at 3:59 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Club of Rome again. Their footprint seems to be all over cAGW/depopulation/green everything etc

The Earth has cancer and the cancer is Man

Some investigative journalist should really take a look at the aims of CoR

(that's the BBC out of the running)

Apr 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM | Registered Commentermangochutney

To think I thought the airline that contributed to a sub-Saharan birth control program for each ticket sale - think "Fly Air Gazebo and prevent Africans." - was over the top. Are there no moral constraints on what may be done with "government" money?

Apr 30, 2012 at 4:04 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

This is very, very, very, bad for all sorts of reasons.

Who is/are the morons who dreamt up this horrific use of British taxpayers money? And who authorised/continues to authorise it? We should name and shame them.

Apr 30, 2012 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

The (optimum population trust) have discovered that polar bear photographs increase the urge to kill the inferior.

Apr 30, 2012 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

I have just travelled in the US, Israel and France and flown around the globe to do it. There's an awful lot of unpopulated, non-desert country out there! Why don't these prophets of doom have any respect for human ingenuity? It's culture/politics which means say, as you fly from Myanmar (Burma) into Thailand, not only do you change timezones by half and hour, but the land under the plane suddenly becomes fertile and cultivated. Amazing things borders!

Lobotomising politicians rather than sterilising populations is probably the best approach to keeping us and many, many more, happen on "The Planet".

Apr 30, 2012 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael Lewis

Despite the controversy, an Indian government report shows that sterilisation remains the most common method of family planning used in its Reproductive and Child Health Programme Phase II, launched in 2005 with £166m of UK funding. According to the DfID, the UK is committed to the project until next year and has spent £34m in 2011-12. Most of the money – £162m – has been paid out, but no special conditions have been placed on the funding.

When it announced changes to aid for India last year, the DfID promised to improve the lives of more than 10 million poor women and girls. It said: "We condemn forced sterilisation and have taken steps to ensure that not a penny of UK aid could support it. The UK does not fund sterilisation centres anywhere.

There seems to be some opposing statements here. It would be best resolved with a question in the house.

Apr 30, 2012 at 4:35 PM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

"Lobotomising politicians rather than sterilising populations is probably the best approach ..."

Michael I think you'll find that the politicians are already pretty much lobotomised. Remember only 3 members voted against the Climate Change bill.

Apr 30, 2012 at 4:36 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Those of you who are appalled at such a suggestion can rest easy.
The option isn’t even open to us, since no such substance exists.

Wow am I relieved now. As if you wouldn't jump to such a measure if a substance like that is found, right?

Must I then begin to read all biotechnological journals from now on? With gnashing teeth? Anxiety pills?

Apr 30, 2012 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterLuis Dias

Quite disturbing how many guardianistas in the comments are quite ok with taking away by force people's basic human right to procreate. Other people, naturally.

Apr 30, 2012 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterRB

The favourite old tune of (white, affluent) environmentalists: too many (brown,poor) people breeding.
ISTR an early passage in Ehrlich's Population Bomb that recounts his horror of seeing an Indian city full of Indians!
As a working hypothesis, it would seem that a Friend of the Earth is an Enemy of Humanity.

Apr 30, 2012 at 5:45 PM | Unregistered Commentermalcolm

here is further documentation of the complicity of affluent western nations in controlling the birthrate of other races for the 'betterment' of the planet. and to think that we in our arrogance think that those ancient civilizations who sacrificed their children to gods were abhorrent. we are, either by our action or inaction, way more culpable in this genocide or holocaust.

Apr 30, 2012 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaroline K

Off topic but UK Met office got it wrong and they want more money for better computers.

BBC News
30 April 2012 Last updated at 17:52
April is the wettest month for 100 years
Aerial video shows Somerset floods
Man dies as floods create havoc
Somerset’s rivers on flood alert
Badminton Horse Trials cancelled
This has been the wettest April in the UK in over a century, with some areas seeing three times their usual average, figures from the Met Office show.

Met Office 3-month Outlook
Period: April – June 2012 Issue date: 23.03.12
The forecast presented here is for April and the average of the April-May-June period for the United Kingdom as a whole.
This forecast is based on information from observations, several numerical models and expert judgement.

The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier-than-average conditions for April-May-June as a whole,

and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months.

With this forecast, the water resources situation in southern, eastern and central England is likely to deteriorate further during the April-May-June period. The probability that UK precipitation for April-May-June will fall into the driest of our five categories is 20-25% whilst the probability that it will fall into the wettest of our five categories is 10-15% (the 1971-2000 climatological probability for each of these categories is 20%).

Apr 30, 2012 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdrian Kerton

The Greens hate people.

They hate westerners becasue we "consume" (i.e. we're not content with subsistence any longer)

And they hate poor brown and black people becasue there are so many of them (and they 2breed").

What a sick & dangerous philosophy.

Apr 30, 2012 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeary

"the UK's Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes"

Then they should first sterilise themselves, hopefully in an Indian clinic.

Apr 30, 2012 at 6:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeary

LOGANS RUN is coming true

Dont need to remake it with Ryan Goslin

Get rid of the Carbon get rid of the people

Erhlick Too many people no just the wrong type
And the wrong colour

Monbiot you proud of your Eco Fascist mates

Apr 30, 2012 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

I imagine that Tobis and Romm will be mightily pleased by this. But isn't it disgusting

Apr 30, 2012 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

The ultimate mad scientist speaks . . .

It might almost be Dr Strangelove.

Apr 30, 2012 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

Want to get rid of the carbon get rid of the people

Apr 30, 2012 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

It would certainly revolt me if the DfID was in any way involved in sterilisation programmes in the sub-continent, even more so if the threat of climate change was put forward as a key reason for involvement. Whether the quoted "working paper" really exists is another matter. In any event, I doubt that it correctly reflects departmental policy.

Apr 30, 2012 at 7:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

Shocking to hear this, I honestly though this had finished in the 70s.

This is the tangible end product product of the kind of philosophical certainty that dismisses all opponents as "deniers".

Off course these bastions of "certainty" who are supporters of this policy are the same as those who are annoyed by the gadfly "deniers" at home - so horrible with their lack of respect for their "certainty".

So, until that litte problem of the "deniers" is sorted out - with the finalisation of ever creeping policies that outlaw dissent - they get to keep their self glorification alive by implementing their little projects as far away as possible, on the poorest, least educated people, least able to argue and fight back. It's their dream power scenario.

(Stops before swearing ensues...)

Apr 30, 2012 at 7:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

The reason we must fight climate change is because we must save the planet for future generations. And the way to do this is to prevent there from being any future generations.


I think I detect something that Captain Yossarian would find very familiar in the circularity of this argument.....

Apr 30, 2012 at 7:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterCatch 22

Bishop you heared of Potholer 54 called Peter Hadfield used to be Science correspondant for the BBC

Well hes Climate Change fan famous on youtube his argument being Climate Skeptics aint allowed to disagree with AGW
"Because we are not Scientices" blah blah
But he isnt a scientice either so cant really talk
Fair play he does play down the Alarmist side of AGW he has a little go at Al Gore
Ask Peter Hadfield what he thinks of Enforced sterilizations to fight AGW

So why dont you do the same hire in a Film crew and a Video Production Company and and make a simplifield Youtube version of your book and post it on Youtube and as AVI or Realplayer free download

Take a bit of money but it can be done
Might even consider going to Kickstarter what Frack Nation did

Put a Video of Hocky Stick Illusion on Youtube

Apr 30, 2012 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

Caught a chunk of an interview on the BBC 24 hr News with Sir John Sulston early this morning (almost certainly a repeat). Usual stuff about man’s affect on climate being all but unchallengeable. What we are seeing around the world – drought in parts of Africa, extreme weather events, people having to migrate to avoid dieing of starvation, etc. etc. – all down to us – particularly in the west. Solution – make the standards of living more even across the world and reduce the numbers by some world state diktat – we have no choice. He sounded so benign and plausible – Nobel Prize professor an’ all – how could he be talking anything but sense. As has been said many times elsewhere, the Royal Society are nothing more than part of the political propaganda machine – how very sad and even more worrying – the rot is at the top. The BBC of course fielded an unchallenging interviewer. I wonder if he would have given the interview if a scientifically literate sceptic had been the interviewer?

Apr 30, 2012 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeA

And I thought Dellers et al talking about eco-fascists was slightly (only slightly) over the top. I apologise for my stupidity

Apr 30, 2012 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterbilbaoboy

"Those of you who are appalled at such a suggestion can rest easy. The option isn’t even open to us, since no such substance exists."

But I bet a few 'scientists' are salivating at the thought of receiving a hefty grant to produce one.

Apr 30, 2012 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Unfortunately this is not a surprise, but the logical and inevitable outcome of the Green's hatred of Humanity.

Necessary sacrifices to the Great Green God, Gaia.

Paul Ehrlich's joy will know no bounds.

Apr 30, 2012 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

"that population explosion is, without doubt, the great threat to the "planet""

No it isn't, Prosperity is cutting the fertility rate quite successfully so that the threat in the prosperous countries, including China, is a rapidly aging society.

Apr 30, 2012 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

During my recent decade-long stay in the UK, I gathered the impression that the current crop of UK politicians are out of touch with the realities of actually working for a living and have no grounding in ethical behaviour. I know our home-grown pollies in the Antipodes are not all shining lights in the ethical or moral department either, but the UK 'genus politicus' seemed to me to be inhabitants of a quite alarming moral and ethical vacuum.
In my view, handing out moneys taken from taxpayers to foreign nationals to further the ends of discredited Malthusian ideas is totally without a shred of humanity or decency and epitomises the very worst of racist behaviour. This sort of behaviour is the very antithesis of benevolent foreign aid.

Apr 30, 2012 at 9:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

This article gives some of the history of enforced sterilisations throughout the world including India. Suffice to say we have been doing this for some time.

The measures served their purpose. During 1976, eight million Indians were sterilized. Far from being dismayed by the massive violation of human rights committed by the campaign, its foreign sponsors expressed full support. Sweden increased its funding for Indian population control by $17 million. Reimert Ravenholt ordered 64 advanced laparoscope machines — altogether sufficient to sterilize 12,800 people per day — rushed to India to help the effort. World Bank president McNamara was absolutely delighted. In November 1976, he traveled to India to congratulate Indira Gandhi’s government for its excellent work. “At long last,” he said, “India is moving effectively to address its population problem.”

Some might be disturbed by what happens to so called "black children" in China - ie those that are born outside the one child policy - they are starved to death in dying rooms.

Apr 30, 2012 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterTDK

Shocking and not.
"Either the additive would have to operate equally well and with minimum side effects against both sexes, or some way would have to be found to direct it only to one sex and shield the other.”

Zounds like bishop bullcrap has already got it figured out. How dare a man of the cloth even entertain methods to this madness....and tell him how to sp sterilization will ya vman?
Yeah, I know they sp it that way, OVER THERE.

Apr 30, 2012 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered Commentermickey

"At the moment, it is probable that the indirect effect of civilisation
is dysgenic instead of eugenic ; and in any case it seems likely
that the dead weight of genetic stupidity, physical weakness, mental
instability, and disease-proneness, which already exist in the human
species, will prove too great a burden for real progress to be achieved.
Thus even though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy
will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it
will be important for Unesco to see that the eugenic problem is
examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed
of the issues at stake so that much that now is unthinkable may at
least become thinkable."

Julian Huxley - UNESCO, its purpose and philosophy.

It appears that for Grauniad commenters, the unthinkable has become thinkable. Barely can they disguise their hatred, intolerance and prejudice.

Apr 30, 2012 at 10:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustin Ert

It becomes more and more clear, that CO2 is a dangerous gas. It attacks especially climate scientists and politicians.

Apr 30, 2012 at 11:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterSvend Ferdinandsen

We should be thankful that the designs for the gas chambers and crematoria are incorporating scrubbers and carbon capture.

May 1, 2012 at 2:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterDocmartyn

"Some investigative journalist should really take a look at the aims of CoR"--mangochutney

IIRC, there was much talk in the early 70's about "the Seven-Headed Beast" of Revelations having something to do with Rome, which has seven hills. Fundamentalists, of course, said it meant the Catholic Church. I thought that notion ludicrous at the time, and given that the Church has been busy in recent years trying to commit organizational hara-kiri, it now seems even ludicrouser. But the Club of Rome? Maybe. The maliciousness is there; all we need now is to tie it into 666 in some fashion....


May 1, 2012 at 7:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

"Whoever in Whitehall thought this up should get a dose of their own treatment." --Chris

Whitewashhall will no doubt call for a thorough nonvestigation...

May 1, 2012 at 7:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

A simple analogy.

I was born in a damp terraced house in Toxteth, Liverpool, that was condemned shortly after we left (my parents had returned to the country with nothing after 12 years away.)

There are many people from on up high who would have driven around Toxteth in 1963 and think that enforced sterilisation would be a god idea in this country. There are many who still think like this.

The are always people who will question your right to exist.

You do not give anyone that power. For any reason. Even if you agree with them.

This article above is at the core of my anger with CAGW. What world are we creating in future generations?

Politics and society is a function of humans, not the other way around. Allowing the right to life to be removed for a stated political reason is a direction that can lead to a barren future.

This is similar to the 10:10 video splatter video. Except that it is worse, because the victims are deemed to be worthless and ignorant.

May 1, 2012 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Josef Rudolf Mengele would have been proud of them. So would have Der Fuehrer. It is further proof of the convervence of Global Warmist theory and Nazi thinking. How proud they are about molesting poor Indian peasants in the climatic interest of the Master Race they represent!

May 1, 2012 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered Commenternicholas tesdorf

My wife`s immediate comment when I mentioned this report was: "That is shocking". My own reaction, after agreeing with her, was it will be compulsory euthanasia next. Just think how much that would save on the welfare bill if your number came up just on retirement age. Given the history of phrenology, lobotomy and the powers available to doctors via the Mental Health Act, then anything is possible.

There appears to be a concerted, organised propaganda programme in full swing, ahead of the Rio conference on global sustainability. Population control looks as though it is on the agenda as one of the options discussed in the bubble that contains this group of politicians, pressure groups, officials and hangers on - a group surely deserving a collective noun.

May 1, 2012 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

And the really sad thing is that the rate of population growth is slowing and forecsts are for population to peak and then decline. As people get richer, and as they loose faith in their countries, they stop having children. Japan is the best known example of this but some middle east countires are not far behind. It wont take many generations before everyone is really worried by the lack of children being born.

May 1, 2012 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

DFID is sterilising Indians in the name of climate-change?
Indians are some of the lowest per capita CO2 emitters out there; bottom third:

One sterilised American equals 12 sterilised Indians, the sterilisation of one individual from Qatar would save 50 Indians from the Knife.
DFID might need some Stern-style evidence to support its behaviour.
Who would be better able to provide this policy lead evidence than the Royal Society (with its new member)?

May 1, 2012 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterCT

The climate alarm opportunity has been exploited and led by so many 'less than admirable' people that this news of others behaving atrociously is not a surprise. They can thrive in the absence of decent standards and in a culture containing a glib presumption of crisis.

I think the logicians can show that anything can follow from a false premise. Out of the premise that airborne CO2 is a severe threat to our wellbeing, a great deal of harm has already been seen. These outrages reported from India will, if confirmed, be another instance of harm. One far removed from the seminars and committees in which so many enjoy their crisis management and their theorising to save the world. Pompous self-inflation at one end, cruel and brutal mutilation at the other.

The scientific case against the alarm is convincing for me. The economic case against the precipitate actions for CO2 reduction is convincing for me. But clearly not for those in power. Perhaps the moral case will have more effect. In the UK, for example, I regard the inflated feed-in tariffs as morally wrong, and I hope that one day the windfarms will be dismantled sooner rather than later because more and more people will view them as morally unacceptable. They are a blot not merely on our landscapes and seascapes, but also on our political culture. The windmills will be removed for a price - as and when they are widely seen as symbolic of a madness, but other harms flowing from that madness will not be removed quite so easily.

May 2, 2012 at 11:27 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

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