Too many people?

When discussing global warming and the environment there seems to be a huge
elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about - that no matter how much
we cut down on personal consumption it won’t make a difference if the global
population keeps expanding. Take this recent
the New
which discusses how bad things could
get and yet still imagines a world with a few billion more people than at

Now the New Scientist
is probably just being realistic and
assuming that no politician is going to be brave enough to raise the subject
of global population control.

I’m not prepared to go as far as Steven Kotler and say that people should be
criminalised for having large families
but we are clearly not suffering from a shortage of people
and something does need to be done. For example, in the UK after World War II
the government introduced child benefit to encourage people to have more
children in order to rebuild the population - shortage of people is no longer
a concern but we still have child benefit. Why? Probably because no politician
has been brave enough to suggest cutting it.

I’m not going argue about the right of people to have some children but
surely there is also a commensurate responsibility to find the means to
raise them. I don’t see why other people should pay to help me raise my two
children and I don’t see why I should pay just because someone else decides
they want a large family.

In the past discussion of birth control has focussed on the developing world -
I say it should focus on the west since, unfortunately, it’s currently the
developed world has has both a high density of population and the worst per-
capita impact on the environment.

Read the New Scientist article - doesn’t sound very appealing does it? Reading
it made me think of people living like battery hens - I don’t think anyone
would like their children to live like that. The solution is simple - have
fewer children.


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