Thankfully, there's just one Trent Franks.
The conservative Arizona Congressman from District Two, which includes Maricopa County, apparently believes human beings should multiply like rabbits until the entire Earth is covered. Why else would he take issue with the following piece of writing from President Obama's science czar, John Holdren:
"Human values and institutions have set mankind on a collision course with the laws of nature. Human beings cling jealously to their prerogative to reproduce as they please -- and they please to make each new generation larger than the last -- yet endless multiplication on a finite planet is impossible. Most humans aspire to greater material prosperity, but the number of people that can be supported on Earth if everyone is rich is even smaller than if everyone is poor," Holdren wrote.
A bit of research shows that Holdren did have some radical ideas about how to control the population, which he and Paul Ehrlich -- author of The Population Bomb -- put forth in a 1977 book called Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment. For instance, he pondered whether a sterilization drug should be introduced into water supplies. He denied he believes in government-sponsored population control during his confirmation this year. According to a Washington Times article last month, Holdren:
... is not and never has been an advocate for policies of forced sterilization.
And we agree -- forced sterilization can't be the answer to population growth.
On the other hand, what rational human being could argue with the idea that "endless multiplication on a finite planet is impossible?"
Franks' statement was mostly concerned with Holdren's alleged view that a fetus is not a human being. Social conservatives and right-to-lifers are having a field day with the following statement, reportedly from a 1973 textbook:The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being.
Does this statement mean that Holdren believes fetuses and even little kids are not human beings? True, a literal reading of the sentence implies he does. But that idea is so ludicrous, it makes more sense his point was lost due to poor writing. Holdren (below) will probably get the chance to make the laughable statement that yes, he does believe toddlers are human beings.
We're more worried about the economic impact of his ideas on how to solve global warming than the chance he'll usher in a type of 21st-century holocaust as Obama's science advisor.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.