Sunday, 6 September 2009

Do We Need a Population Policy?

If the population density of the USA was as great as that of Southern England the population of the USA would be 6.7 billion (i.e. equal to the whole of the current global population!)

Our infrastructure is clearly being severely stressed!

The ongoing population growth in the UK is not sustainable, any more than the current rate of global population growth is sustainable!


Do you think that to be a responsible electable UK government that political parties need a bold, tough, new population policy for the UK? Could such a policy help them get elected?

I think so, on the basis of a simple common sense argument over climate change.

The current prediction for UK population growth is from 62 million now to 77 million by 2050.
The UK government seems prepared to allow a population increase of 25% over the same time frame.
How are we are expected to reduce our annual CO2 emissions by 80%! This is Madness!

How much more are the existing 62 million people in the UK going to have to reduce their CO2 emissions to make allowance for the increase in CO2 emissions caused by 15 million more people over the next 40 years? How much harder will that be?

Globally the situation is even worse.

Here the population is expected to increase by at least 33%, yet the same order of CO2 reduction is being required of the 6.7 billion people we have already, around 2 billion of which we cannot feed properly now! This is utter lunacy!

Can I ask-
Are the government and all of us really serious about tackling climate change?

Isn't it high time something was done about limiting population growth - both in the UK and globally?

This subject appears to not be considered but surely this is the elephant in the warm climate change room!

Links on this topic

Please note: This blog post was post by Dazmando for and on behalf of Billbloggs as a guest post

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  1. I suspect people believe that, like with climate change, it's someone else's problem. People still want to spend £20K getting married and then get their two kids, just in the same way that they would never think of giving up their gas-guzzling cars.

    Someone else can do it.

    I am at a time in my life when my friends are starting to spawn and there's never any talk of whether they ought to be. A government taking a bold decision on population would be welcome, but then any politician taking any bold decision would be welcome. They don't do it because it might damage their political careers. Ho hum.

  2. If you mean we should talk about population, perhaps ask people to have less children than they want, yes we should.

    However, it would help if we keep calm. Predictions of population over more than a decade are useless. in the 1960s British numbers were expected to top 70 million by the year 2000; in the 1920s the population was expected to fall to 30 million by the end of the century, cue big panic over depopulation. Any prediction can only be based on a projection of what we are doing now & tomorow we will do something else.

  3. I agree this is the elephant in the room that trumpets from time to time and is silenced by well-meaning ostriches. A world-wide population rethink is certainly required. On CO2 emission grounds - definitely; on health grounds - absolutely (increased use of condoms would help in the fight against AIDS, mothers would be less worn out through child-bearing and thus more capable of taking part in economic improvement measures); better parenting - hopefully (with less children to supervise some adults who find life all too much for them may be able to exercise these skills more easily), I do realise this last is more subjective and problematic. The matter needs a re-appraisal by some religious bodies (all the main religions have sects that discourage or even actively campaign against contraception). Unfortunately this cannot necessarily be done by government edict of 1/2/3 child(ren) per family - how do you define a 'family' with the high rate of divorce in some societies to say nothing of serial monogamous relationships; what above natural multi-births. This is primarily a case of education and cheap availabilty of contraception methods appropriate to circumstances. It may need further discussion regarding multi-foetus insemination IVF, etc.
    As a previous blogger says, projected figures are unreliable BUT it is obvious that humankind cannot go on increasing at the current rate, nationally or universally. Oldbiddy

  4. I am so glad that more and more people are becoming willing to talk about this touchy subject!

    I think religious beliefs and established customs and practices within our societies is not the first problem that we have to address.
    The basic underlying disagreement that must be resolved is over whether overconsumption by the rich or overpopulation by the poor is the root problem.

    At present they each continue to blame the other for making global, and to a certain extent even national, population growth into a problem!
    Those of us who are environmentally concerned, but also capable of making a balanced and unbiased judgement, believe that what we actually have is a truly dreadful and unsustainable combination of both these problems!
    Simple common sense must surely support this view mustn't it?

    I think we must first of all somehow convince all the NGOs like Greenpeace, WWF, and FOE, and also the Green Party, and all their followers, that it this is not primarily just an overconsumption problem.

    They still consistently use this argument to duck the population question, and have done so for many years.

    Please refer to this link

    This seeks to justify their viewpoint. Please read it in full and let me know what you make of it. I will let you know what i concluded from it later!

    We badly need more debate and agreement amongst these "green"people before their collective and powerful environmental influence can be brought to bear upon our politicians and world leaders.
    However, it seems to me that it would be a good start in the UK if one of our Political party leaders had enough courage to raise the subject and thus tried to precipitate such an open public debate on population.

    This would naturally involve all the Green NGOs and religious leaders, as well as knowledgeable concerned organisations like OPT.

    In all seriousness, is a political party that does not have an acceptable population plan for the UK available for scrutiny before the next election "fit for purpose" and deserving of our votes?

  5. Surely the world population will decrease when we runout of food and resourses. And when land is taken up by flooding. Wont the world fix itself by getting rid of us

  6. 100% contraception and 75 years will sort it. Will you chose the willingness to relinquish your decendants to save the planet in support of the AlGoryian greeny high tax controlling policies that stifle freedom and liberty but save the planet? I Think not. We are all human beings. You choose. Collectively we make a difference but individually we are selfish.