If you only read one thing this week…

Do we need to reduce population to save the planet and meet development goals? by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
July 24, 2007, 5:37 pm
Filed under: Development theory, Environment, If you only have 15 mins

The Guardian is covering an opinion piece by Professor Chris Rapley, currently Director of the British Antarctic Survey, recently appointed the head of the Science Museum in London, where he advocates voluntary population reduction as key to meeting development and environment goals. Read the article here.

I am not advocating genocide,‘ says Rapley. ‘What I am saying is that if we invest in ways to reduce the birthrate – by improving contraception, education and health care – we will stop the world’s population reaching its current estimated limit of between eight and 10 billion.

That in turn will mean less carbon dioxide is being pumped into the atmosphere because there will be fewer people to drive cars and use electricity. The crucial point is that to achieve this goal you would only have to spend a fraction of the money that will be needed to bring about technological fixes, new nuclear power plants or renewable energy plants. However, everyone has decided, quietly, to ignore the issue.

For those who can’t get enough, he also recently wrote an article for the Independent on a similar issue – This planet ain’t big enough for the 6,500,000,000.


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