Overpopulation and Climate Change – A short briefing

World population is going up. How far will it go? Surely something should be done?

In a free society can we compel people to have smaller families? This will seem to many a step too far to a totalitarian state akin to China’s now abandoned only one child family dictate. The fact is that the rate of increase is going down. Putting this another way, population is going up less quickly and the increase in population is continuing to go down. This is because fertility rates in most countries is going down. And importantly fertility rates are going down fastest in the countries with currently the highest fertility. This map is an easy way to see how in just one or two generations the world’s fertility rate is falling: http://brilliantmaps.com/fertility-rates/ (Source date Population Resource Bureaux). You can click through the fertility rates at this UN site: http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Graphs/Probabilistic/FERT/TOT/

The fertility rate is falling for many reasons but the largest factors are thought to be the gradual reduction in world poverty and improvements in education and women’s empowerment.

So let’s not use the current world population increases as an excuse not to tackle climate change. We need to do more in the west. And yes we need to do more to reduce world poverty and support the majority world with fair trade and removal of trade rules rigged against weaker developing nations.

I recommend the book: “Population 10 Billion” by Danny Dorling