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Help the Environment. Have Only One Kid.

environmental impact

Kids=Bad for Environment

If we’re really concerned about the environment, the best thing we can do is limit reproduction, according to CNN founder Ted Turner, The Globe and Mail reports.

At a conference of global leaders in Mexico on Sunday, the media mogul and father of five urged world leaders to institute a global one-child policy to save the environment.

Even scarier than the idea of state control of reproduction is Turner’s notion that poor people could profit from their decision not to reproduce by selling fertility rights.

At the conference, economist Brian O’Neill discussed his study on the impact of demographic trends on future greenhouse gas emission. The global population is now close to seven billion people, and is expected to rise to 10 billion by 2050, with 80 per cent of that growth coming in developing countries.

Mr. Turner said it was time we took a radical approach to the environment by following China’s lead in instituting a one-child policy to reduce global population.

“If we’re going to be here [as a species] 5,000 years from now, we’re not going to do it with seven billion people,” Mr. Turner said.

Sure, China’s one-child policy has helped limit emissions growth — according to official Chinese calculations, the policy has resulted in 400 million fewer births since 1979, with a population that now stands at 1.3 billion. That means a reduction of 1.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. But it also has contributed to high levels of female infanticide and abortions.

Perhaps instead of offering to buy poor people’s reproductive rights, we should provide family planning and contraception available.

Personally, I would balk at any plan that involves the state in reproductive rights. Sure, we need a radical plan to help the environment, but this isn’t it.

Do you think limiting reproduction is a good way to help the environment?

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photo: flickr/Just Taken Pics

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