May 12, 2009

Voluntary Population Reduction

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofkids @ 7:33 pm

A couple of months ago, in the heat of the Octomom hype, there was a lot of buzz about a comment out of Great Britain where it was suggested that people should voluntarily stop having children. As owner of a large family site, Sky News contacted me for a comment on the piece. I don’t believe it was ever used, but while going through some of my notes, I found my quote. Since this is an issue that is still being debated heavily, I thought I would post my remarks to the idea here:

The idea of voluntary population control has been around for several decades. It picked up a lot of steam in the 1970s, when there were a lot of predictions of doom and gloom if people didn’t stop having children. So, people did stop having children, which is evidenced by a growing crisis in many countries that are finding their populations decreasing so rapidly, it is going to have disastrous results on their economies. The root of this issue is excess. People who have lived as if there is no tomorrow, indulging in grand lifestyles and consuming as much as they want. It’s easy to justify that lifestyle if you are not having children, because there is the argument that you are not creating a life that will consume more after you are gone. That’s an easy way out. Children are a resource too, one that needs to be replenished, just like the other resources of our world. The children of today are the workers and the inventors and the minds of the future which will tackle the issues of the next decades. It seems much more prudent for us to begin to change, to be more conscientious, and to pass on those qualities to our children. We need people, people solve problems. If we limit the number of people, that will not make the problems go away. Sure, some problems may eliminate themselves, but others will arise. We need the greatest resource…the human brain…to tackle those. Instead of fearing that there is no tomorrow, we need to stop living like there is no tomorrow and stop consuming so much. More importantly, we need to pass that on to the next generation. What good is there to save the earth if there will be no one to inherit it?

Oddly enough, this idea of voluntary reduction is more of a reality. Though it has nothing to do with being eco-friendly. People these days do not desire large families. 1-child families are the fastest growing family-size-of-choice in the U.S. and most other countries. There were no proclamations made to bring us to this point, just a focus on material living. I still think doom-and-gloom calls for action like the voluntary reduction proposal are meant more for the drama than anything. Most countries at this point are really worried about plummeting populations, not the opposite. My husband’s favorite saying is, “If we are trying to save the planet by not having more babies, who are we saving it FOR?”


1 Comment »

  1. Well, with the whole global-warming/climate-change *awareness* inciting the call to sterilize yourself in an effort to save the planet… just as your husband asked, I ask, “For who?” These same people want to save the planet, yet I wonder if any of them thought of the ultimate gift they could give(in line with their extremist attitudes)…. have they thought of eliminating their own impact? I really don’t think so. There is an innate drive of self preservation in humans. And to answer the ‘who’ question, well, my 9th grader’s Biology teacher asked a similar question as the focus of their study for one whole term this year. He asked, “Which species has the greatest right to life?” I never found out his answer, he hemmed and hawed through my questions.

    So I wonder about environment extremists…. do they only want to tell people how to live (control issues in the guise of charity), or do they think the best way to preserve the planet for whatever species they deem as worthy is to stay alive and continue their agenda. I’m guessing they will all choose the second one.


    And on the other hand, if we didn’t have environmentalists, we would have someone on the other extreme vying for their own agenda.

    Comment by Gelsum — May 19, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

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