Monday, February 2, 2009

Green Taboo: Population

Population: The elephant in the room. Uncontrolled population growth threatens to undermine efforts to save the planet; the environmental movement must stop running scared of this controversial topic. It's the great taboo of environmentalism: the size and growth of the human population. It has a profound impact on all life on Earth, yet for decades it has been conspicuously absent from public debate. Most natural scientists agree our growing numbers and our unchecked impact on the natural environment move us inexorably toward global calamities of unthinkable severity. They agree the need to address population has become desperate. Yet many environmentalists avoid the subject, a few objecting strongly to any focus on our numbers. Some activists insist acting to influence population growth infringes on human rights; they maintain that it is best to leave the problem alone.
What do we do about the population problem? How do we address the problem without infringing on human rights? Perhaps more to the point, is it a human right to have as many kids as you please?

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