Next on the Environment Agenda: Population Control!

World Population Growth 2008 illustration

Photo Credit: laurenatclemson

We've discussed the issue of population control before on Treehugger, but every now and then a turn of events makes it necessary to drag it all out again. Jonathon Porritt, former chairman of the Green party, and the heart of the Sustainable Development Commission, is back on the scene today, reminding us that the battles we are waging against global warming are not reaching the real root of the problem... population control!You wouldn't help an alcoholic much by picking up the beer cans from around their yard, you wouldn't help a sex addict by providing free condoms at their doorstep every morning, and you certainly couldn't solve all the global warming issues of the world with advanced technology alone, when its the overpopulation of people who are causing the greatest burden on the planet.

Advice from Jonathon Porritt
Porritt advises us to nip the problem at its source by reducing population growth, and his current standpoint is to create somewhat of a guilty conscience to those having three children or more, calling them "irresponsible", and then verbally celebrating the couples who choose two children or less.

This means of course not only telling folks how many offspring they should responsibly foster, but also how to procreate correctly in order to limit yourself to such a number. This means if your Catholic (as well as a handful of other religions), abstaining from sex entirely after your second child (probably not the most entertaining choice out of the bunch), or the use of an "unnatural" form of birth control, will be your most "responsible" choice as a green citizen, but not necessarily as a faithful member of your faith.

Now, Porritt is not advocating lining every adult male and female up for involuntary vasectomies and tubal ligation's. He is recommending that couples be taught about the importance of their responsibility for their our own carbon footprint and do what they can to reduce it. This means having fewer children, who would otherwise add a whole other imprint upon your own footprint.

Population Control is a Touchy Subject for Most
Now, there are two very touchy subject to be talked about here. One, once you start talking about using ones good conscientiousness to reduce any problem, who are the most likely folks to listen to this advice? The responsible, educated, and middle-class adults who can raise and foster a healthy, well-educated, and balanced child. So in turn, you might end up reducing the well-balanced proportion of intelligent and well cared for children in the world.

The other touchy subject is the question of abortion. Should it be allowed as a means of population control in certain situations? What about the necessity of shifting away from today's focus of disease control and prevention, in order to make the greatest difference in population control and contraception.

At what point do you think Porritts' two child restriction is going too far? Or perhaps not far enough...

Source: The Times Online
More on population
Tech: Toilets Flush Out Population Numbers
Half of World Population Could Face Food Shortages by 2100: Another Dire Global Warming Effect
Moving to a Stable World Population

Related Content on