The stickiest problem of all.

It’s a sticky one. In fact it’s so sticky, no government or conservation group (at least any reliant on membership revenue) will touch it with a bargepole. But in reality, you can forget climate change, species extinction or habitat loss, there is only ONE issue at the root of all those other issues: Human Population. There I said it. And to his credit, Mark Carwardine has said it too in this month’s BBC Wildlife Magazine. Even David Attenborough recognises the futility of conservation without a radical rethink on our own burgeoning population. ” I’ve never seen a problem that wouldn’t be easier to solve with fewer people, or harder, and ultimately impossible, with more.” David is obviously an intelligent man, but you really don’t have to be a nuclear scientist to conclude that.

So when should ‘we’ as intelligent, responsible members of society, say something? There are 7 billion of us now with 9 billion predicted for 2050. Just half a century ago, that figure was 3 billion. Quite frankly I don’t see a human rights issue in protecting the right to breed, but I do see an issue in trying to accommodate a population that can’t be fed or have access to basic resources. So is now the time to stop worrying about offending religious or human rights groups and to speak out on what is a mind-blowingly obvious global issue?

Now before you start pelting me with rotting vegetables, can I just say that this is not about culling old people, Asian people, short people, any people. As Chris Packham has said, there are not ‘too many’ of any particular type of people, there are just too many ‘organisms’. In other words, we have to look at this biologically rather than emotionally. And there is light along the tunnel. It’s a fact that when women have access to education and family planning facilities…AND when they are treated as equals to men, the birth rate falls.

The problem is staring us in the face and although riddled with emotional and cultural considerations, so is the solution. Perhaps we all need to put our brushes down and stop sweeping this under the carpet?

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5 thoughts on “The stickiest problem of all.

  1. It’s simple common sense: there are too many of us and people find difficulty in saying this because they worry they will be associated with the violent ‘population control’ movements of the past, which have attacked particular sections of the world’s human population.
    I agree that there is a significant change brought about when women take reproductive control and it is worth adding to that the benefits when women control local food production, clean water etc – but these things are often achieved by challenging traditional male roles in society, and anything that smacks of feminism is as unpopular as discussing population size!

  2. Here’s part of the problem:

    Quote from Georgia Platts:

    “But right now, Catholic bishops, charities, schools and universities are demanding exemptions from new rules requiring that insurance plans cover contraception for women, free of charge.

    And President Obama is listening, even as Congressional Democrats object.

    The demand for exemptions is based on moral and religious grounds. Religious rights, it’s claimed. But about women’s religious rights? When women’s moral and religious beliefs conflict with the Catholic Church, why should the church win out?”

  3. The problem could be ‘solved’ in a few generations but the solution would be Draconian and involve people now making the supreme sacrifice of limiting families for generations ahead. The worry is those who implement such policies as has happened in China and the offshoots such as infanticide. It will not happen for the selfishness humanity exhibits is part of the reason it has kind of supremacy it now enjoys.

    I am sorry if it sounds extreme but the Catholic religion is a luxury that the planet cannot afford: it would amaze most people to know just how its tentacles and suckers permeate every aspect of life in Italy, for example. On National Aids day a dictate went out to forbid the mention of condoms or prophylactics on state TV. The mafia survives largely thanks to the Vatican..if you look closely the models are the same and involve the exploitation of ignorance through fear (the here and now in the case of the Mafia: the hereafter in the case of Catholicism.

  4. A friend of mine was once asked by an American colleague

    “describe Britain today? ”

    Their answer, simple and poniant….


    Sometimes the truth is so simple and the required action so obvious that it’s painful to observe nothing.


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