UK Scientist Chris Rapley has had the courage to ask to right question in an editorial for The Independent a few days ago: “Behind the climate crisis lies a global issue that no one wants to tackle: do we need radical plans to reduce the world’s population?”
Taking the publication of the UN’s State of the World Population 2007 as his starting point, Rapley correctly sees the interconnection between climate change and the world’s growing population: “Whether it’s the burning of fossil fuels versus the rate at which plants absorb carbon, or the heat absorbed from sunshine versus the heat reflected back into space, or global birth rates versus death rates – each is governed by the difference between an inflow and an outflow, and even small imbalances can have large effects. At present, all of these three are out of balance as a result of human actions. And each of these imbalances is creating a major problem“.
But whereas climate change is now high on politician’s agenda, the issue of population management remains a serious taboo. “In practice, of course, it is a bombshell of a topic, with profound and emotive issues of ethics, morality, equity and practicability. So controversial is the subject, that it has become the Cinderella of the great sustainability debate – rarely visible in public, or even in private“.
Read also an earlier post I did on the same subject.Author : Willy De Backer