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British Environmental Group Encourages having Fewer Children

According to a report by a wacko environmental group out of Britain, British couples shouldn't have more than two children because even a third child will hurt the environment. In fact, this group considers having three or more kids an "eco-crime," if you can believe that nonsense. From the Times Online:

The paper by the Optimum Population Trust (OPT) will say that if couples had two children instead of three they could cut their family's carbon dioxide output by the equivalent of 620 return flights a year between London and New York.


John Guillebaud, co-chairman of OPT and emeritus professor of family planning at University College London, said: "The effect on the planet of having one child less is an order of magnitude greater than all these other things we might do, such as switching off lights. An extra child is the equivalent of a lot of flights across the planet.

"The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child."

In his latest comments the academic says that when couples are planning a family they should be encouraged to think about the environmental consequences. "The decision to have children should be seen as a very big one and one that should take the environment into account," he added.

I don't know what Mr. Guillebaud is so concerned about. Europeans are already breeding themselves right out of existence. Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, and Italy have higher death rates than birth rates. The UK's birth rate, which has been in decline since 1975, is currently 10.7 per 1000, making it barely higher than its death rate, which is 10.1 per 1000. I would think that would allay any of his concerns.

However, what Mr. Guillebaud doesn't realize is that by encouraging British and European couples to not have many children, he's encouraging a Muslim majority in Europe. Muslims are breeding faster than any other population and are moving to Europe, France especially, in record numbers. The only reason France's birth is so high is due to Muslim birth rates. Even in 2004, this was seen as a serious issue. Additionally, Mark Steyn took the analysis even further. The European countries that have the highest birth rates also have the highest numbers of Muslims:

Take France and its neighbors and rank them in order of healthiest fertility rates (2005 official Eurostat figures):


1) France
2) Netherlands
3) Belgium
4) Switzerland
5) Austria
6) Germany
7) Italy
8) Spain

Now rank them in order of highest proportion of Muslims (no central source, but compiled from national data, European Muslim groups, UN and State Dept figures):

1) France
2) Netherlands
3) Belgium
4) Switzerland
5) Austria
6) Germany
7) Italy
8) Spain

Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Guillebaud. You will probably get it.

Update: Environmental ultra-extremist wacko nutcase Paul Watson is going even further and saying that we need to reduce the world's population to less than 1 billion. Of course, he doesn't explain just how to do it. But that's not all. Get a load of this complete craziness:

We should not be living in human communities that enclose tiny preserved ecosystems within them. Human communities should be maintained in small population enclaves within linked wilderness ecosystems. No human community should be larger than 20,000 people and separated from other communities by wilderness areas. Communication systems can link the communities.


In other words, people should be placed in parks within ecosystems instead of parks placed in human communities. We need vast areas of the planet where humans do not live at all and where other species are free to evolve without human interference.

We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion. We need to eliminate nationalism and tribalism and become Earthlings. And as Earthlings, we need to recognize that all the other species that live on this planet are also fellow citizens and also Earthlings. This is a planet of incredible diversity of life-forms; it is not a planet of one species as many of us believe.

[...]

All consumption should be local. No food products need to be transported over hundreds of miles to market. All commercial fishing should be abolished. If local communities need to fish the fish should be caught individually by hand.

Preferably vegan and vegetarian diets can be adopted. We need to eliminate herds of ungulates like cows and sheep and replace them with wild ungulates like bison and caribou and allow those species to fulfill the proper roles in nature. We need to restore the prey predator relationship and bring back the wolf and the bear. We need the large predators and ungulates, not as food, but as custodians of the land that absorbs the carbon dioxide and produces the oxygen. We need to live with them in mutual respect.

[...]

Who should have children? Those who are responsible and completely dedicated to the responsibility which is actually a very small percentage of humans. Being a parent should be a career. Whereas some people are engineers, musicians, or lawyers, others with the desire and the skills can be fathers and mothers. Schools can be eliminated if the professional parent is also the educator of the child.

This approach to parenting is radical but it is preferable to a system where everyone is expected to have children in order to keep the population of consumers up to keep the wheels of production moving. An economic and political system dependent on continuous growth cannot survive the ecological law of finite resources.


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Comments (38)

I wouldn't say having three... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

I wouldn't say having three children is an "eco-crime," but it occurs to me that encouraging the adoption of family-planning practices worldwide, with an eye toward stabilizing population growth, is a noble aim and a good way to manage resource consumption.

--|PW|--

but it occurs to me that... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

but it occurs to me that encouraging the adoption of family-planning practices worldwide, with an eye toward stabilizing population growth, is a noble aim and a good way to manage resource consumption.

Yes, maybe we all be like communist China and institute a one child per couple minimum! I thought the population growth was supposed to have doomed the planet's resources by now anyway or at least that argument has been going on since Malthus back in the late 18th century. We seem to be a resilient species with the power to sustain ourselves, so I for one an mot worried about any overpopulation concerns.

Just a quick question though, would you be so willing to buy into the population control argument if it was framed around limiting welfare payments/recipients?

Something tells me the Musl... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Something tells me the Muslim community may not be so moved to reduce their high birth rates.

For one, they will take Europe from it. For another, I'm sure the Imams know it will help them take Europe and will refer to some text that says they need to multiply.

The thing I would like to see is an effort to preserve Western Culture before it gets dozed over. Architecture will surely be lost. But some of the writings and artworks could be saved.

The problem by the time people could overcome Political Correctness to admit that is what is going to happen, it will be too late to save them.

Something tells me... (Below threshold)
Insomniac:
Something tells me the Muslim community may not be so moved to reduce their high birth rates. For one, they will take Europe from it. For another, I'm sure the Imams know it will help them take Europe and will refer to some text that says they need to multiply.

The thing I would like to see is an effort to preserve Western Culture before it gets dozed over.

What are you, some kind of xenophobe?

/sarc

It's too late for Eurabia. ... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

It's too late for Eurabia. Your great grand children will not want to vacation there. You can take that to the bank.

Just a quick quest... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Just a quick question though, would you be so willing to buy into the population control argument if it was framed around limiting welfare payments/recipients?

This reminds me of the saying that you get what you pay for. There are a certain set of women who perceive their best means of supporting themselves is to have a kid out of wedlock and go on welfare. To get more money and to extend their careers they need to keep having kids every few years. The result is a lot of kids per welfare mom and another generation of women who see being a welfare mom as a legitimate career. The recent news about how much a mom's work is worth only adds to the self-esteem of welfare moms who feel their work as mothers is a valid alternative to a paying job.

In China a single child gets promised future benefits like a free college education, which are forfeited if the parents have another child. This is effective as long as the parents are more concerned about their child's future than their own. Such a strategy likely wouldn't work in breaking the welfare mom cycle in the U.S. In fact nothing short of draconian measure is likely to succeed.

Even the tax code benefits large families. Maybe there needs to be a limit on the number of kids you can claim deduction for unless you are not the biological parent. Maybe there should be a "you never had offspring" tax credit for all those who have never procreated.

As long as there's a market in carbon credits it should be legitimate to claim some credit for each child (less than two) that you never procreated. If you never procreated at all then you can claim one unborn child credit to offset your own carbon use and sell the other credit on the market on a yearly basis. On average each person on Earth represents the production of 1,833 pounds of CO2 per year. Obviously, a person in the U.S. contributes much more than that, but it could be figured out and that's how much of a carbon credit a childless person should be able to sell while also claiming to be carbon neutral (unless you have your own private jet).

Personally I don't buy the CO2 global warming link, but you can see how the money behind carbon credits could easy produce an industry that would be hard to kill.

I guess today, Dickens woul... (Below threshold)
hermie:

I guess today, Dickens would have Scrooge say "If they die they should do it now and decrease the surplus CO2."

Culture frequently does wha... (Below threshold)
kim:

Culture frequently does what biology abhors: fail to reproduce.
=====================================

Well, hold on. Paul Watson... (Below threshold)

Well, hold on. Paul Watson says: "We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion." Now, he has a point, in that as long as this is intelligently managed, the process can be a wonderful boon to those of us who remain behind.

Therefore, I nominate myself as the chooser of those who die, and pledge that, if elected, Paul Watson and all his ilk are first on the list to go. Better yet, as a one-time-only bonus, those who vote for me get moved to the bottom of the list, and thus will be those least likely to need to be slaughtered for the good of the rest of us.

All in favor, say "aye". All those opposed, say "aiyeeeee!"

Even if there had never bee... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Even if there had never been 1 single human on the planet, there would still be global warming and climate change as there had been for the roughly 4.5 billion years the planet had existed before the first humans showed up.

Sounds like Watson is Agent... (Below threshold)

Sounds like Watson is Agent Smith from the original Matrix movie:

I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.

"We need the large predator... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"We need the large predators and ungulates, not as food, but as custodians of the land that absorbs the carbon dioxide and produces the oxygen. We need to live with them in mutual respect."

Does that mean they (the large predators) will clean up all the poop?

"British Environmental Grou... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"British Environmental Group Encourages having Fewer Children"

I think that's a WONDERFUL idea! People who belong to these groups should help us all out and neither bear nor adopt ANY children.

from the Paul Watson piece:... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

from the Paul Watson piece:
people should be placed in parks

Such a freedom loving religion is environmentalism.

We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion

Gaia Akbar!

John F Not Kerry:H... (Below threshold)
cirby:

John F Not Kerry:

Have you SEEN these folks?

Not reproducing isn't much of a sacrifice for most of them.

Apologies for Mr Guillebaud... (Below threshold)

Apologies for Mr Guillebaud. Like so many enviro-loonies, he is a complete hypocrite too, having three children himself.

You are quite right to point out the the 1970s overpopulation hysteria is especially obsolete here in Europe, but that, unfortunately, is never going to get as much attention as Global Warming ..

Did this guys just get done... (Below threshold)
Concerned Student:

Did this guys just get done reading A Brave New World? WTF? I mean apart from the whole giant cities and wildlands vs his concept of sparse tiny comunities and everywhere being wildlands... it appears his society is based on that in some respects. What a moron. Suggestion though... lead by example and sterilize yourself sir, then sterilize your brain as well.

The full population of the ... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

The full population of the world could each stand in a 1 square yard space and still not take up more than a quarter of Minnesota. We have so much unused space on this planet it is ridiculous. The problem isn't overpopulation or depletion of resources, it's a lack of freedom.

A few items:1) Ye... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

A few items:

1) Yes, I know that certain cultures are less likely to buy into the "have fewer children" meme than others. Still, I hold that it is a useful aspirational goal.

2) Why, yes, I would certainly buy into the argument about reducing the welfare rolls. Not mandatory sterilizatino, mind you, but persuasion that having three kids rather than, say, eight kids, is good, particularly in that it results in net less consumption of resources.

3) These sorts of things tend to be self-regulating over time. Families recognize, on average, that they lack the financial and other resources to care for more than 2.3 (or whatever the number is) children on average. If the human population of a region becomes too dense to be supported by resources, then that population splits. And so forth.

4) We do have an advantage over animals. An animal reproduces and over saturates its environment, leading to species die-offs, because it doesnt' know any better. We're capable of making a choice. Why not exercise that capability?

--|PW|--

Capn Watson is a certifiabl... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

Capn Watson is a certifiable LOON. What a great read, but it is somewhat disappointing to know that people will believe his BS and send him money. He wants to live a few centuries ago, so I suggest he move to the middle east.

I wrote about this nonsense... (Below threshold)

I wrote about this nonsense today. It is utter stupidity!

I think that in general ter... (Below threshold)

I think that in general terms people who have children they really can't afford have them because children are a hopeful sort of thing and some people's lives need a little hope. It's a mistake to think of children primarily as consumers. We should think of them as contributors.


"We need to eliminate nationalism and tribalism and become Earthlings."

And this from a fellow suggesting isolated communities of no more than 20,000 people each. Sheesh.

He's probably suscribing to... (Below threshold)

He's probably suscribing to communities such as in The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Is he advocating something like in Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy?

He reads too much.

"We need vast areas of the ... (Below threshold)
John S:

"We need vast areas of the planet where humans do not live at all..."

Like 98% of Alaska? Or 97% of Canada? Or 99% of Siberia?

On the other hand, once the Islamists recreate their 8th century paradise in Europe, they will no longer possess the technology to cross the Atlantic and bother us. They'll see our suborbitable passenger aircraft passing over their lands at 10 times the speed of sound and attribute it to angels. After we perfect cloaking devices they won't see us at all, and the western hemisphere eventually will be forgotten.

Guys, I can't believe you h... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Guys, I can't believe you haven't pointed out the silliest thing this nutter writes. He uses the word "Earthlings."


Earthlings!

I welcome our new zero-population overlords. Where's Ehrlich and Kingsley Davis when you need them, huh?

We need to radically and... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion. We need to eliminate nationalism and tribalism and become Earthlings. And as Earthlings, we need to recognize that all the other species that live on this planet are also fellow citizens and also Earthlings. This is a planet of incredible diversity of life-forms; it is not a planet of one species as many of us believe.

Well,

1. Why don't we let Global Warming run it's course then? Won't that kill off the population?

2. Will he step up to the place, and be a good example by snuffing himself first?

"We need vast areas of t... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

"We need vast areas of the planet where humans do not live at all..."
Like 98% of Alaska? Or 97% of Canada? Or 99% of Siberia?

Downtown Detroit? Rows and rows of boarded up houses...no one wants to live there.

I prefer "Terran." "Earth... (Below threshold)

I prefer "Terran." "Earthling" is so pedestrian.

;-)

I just think it's so funny that this guy things that the population can be radically reduced, people divided into small, widely separated enclaves, and *not* develop ever greater local identities, which is where "tribalism" and "nationalism" come from.

The reasons that people are beginning to think in global terms (and I certainly see this in my children) are the very things that he suggests that we get rid of.

I wish the intelligent amon... (Below threshold)
troglodyte:

I wish the intelligent among you would have the good sense to just shut up and let these folks do their thing. James Taranto has commented far too often on the "Roe effect" - how the gene pool is daily improved by the voluntary, selective abortion of prospective liberals. These folks want to go further - a tidal wave of decisions not to parent, accompanied by massive, voluntary suicide among the very people we would most like to encourage to do precisely that. Shhhh! Never interfere with an enemy who is intent on destroying himself.

Oh, it's voluntary *now* tr... (Below threshold)

Oh, it's voluntary *now* trog.

Actually, it's not likely to get to be involuntary later either because things aren't going to get bad enough, but that really is what these people are talking about.

Voluntary extinction is so unreliable you know. Pesky biological urges.

But this is a fight that's been going on for more than a century in one form or another. The practical difficulty is in getting the right sort of people to stop reproducing and the right sort to keep reproducing. No matter how it goes it ends up at some sort of Eugenics since those suggesting drastic curbs in population want *some* people to be left and it always includes *them*.

And if they want *a* child and drastic population reductions *both* then the fecund sorts need to be kept from uncontrolled breeding.

And that involves coersion.

loved the ending to Rainbow... (Below threshold)
tacitblue:

loved the ending to Rainbow Six

and yes this guy sounds exactly like the characters from it

clancy's stuff, you can't beat it.

Syn,Yes, there is ... (Below threshold)
troglodyte:

Syn,

Yes, there is always the danger that these people will take over and coerce. But the danger is not that great, at least in Western societies - they tend to be less virile as well as less fecund. And the danger decreases with time. Like the Shakers, they ensure their own extinction (or minimalization, at least). Our biggest problem is encouraging reproduction amng the folks who can contribute most by doing that.

Voluntary extinction is ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Voluntary extinction is so unreliable you know. Pesky biological urges.

Indeed...we need to tag those who are most likely to procreate, like say, Christians. Maybe gather them up into discrete population centres, where we can keep an eye on them.

Of course, they'll start to overcrowd with all that breeding. So, perhaps we need to concentrate them, in some sort of, I don't know, camp of some sort.

That might be a solution, a final one...gee, I wonder if history can point to some similar type of eugenic...oops, population control. Hm...


/that's bitter sarcasm, for the sardonically impaired.

I'm Christian, and conserva... (Below threshold)
T. G. Scott:

I'm Christian, and conservative, but childless by choice. I don't dislike children at all--just didn't want to parent. I do believe in the sanctity of life and that every child deserves to be raised by two mentally stable parents who can reasonably provide for him or her. The only time I take exception is when I see people like I did on a documentary about 15 years ago when a primetime show interviewed a couple in the vast reaches of Appalacia who had about 11 kids and one more on the way. They were living in a run-down trailer that didn't appear to even have a door and naked toddlers, dogs and chickens were running about the yard. The man said, "Why shouldn't we have another? The government will send us another check." It's been that long ago that I saw that and I still get steamed when I think about it.

I got an idea: don't let l... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I got an idea: don't let liberal fools like this have children. That way, the environment is a little cleaner, their defective and foolish blood line dies off, the rest of us go about our business.

So what's the guy supposed ... (Below threshold)

So what's the guy supposed to say?

Or maybe I just don't get as worried about naked toddlers, dogs and chickens.

I see a lot on the other side of things. I homeschool so I know a lot of single income families and every single one will talk about the dual income neighbor with the two new high end cars lament how she'd love to homeschool but just can't afford to stay home with her kids.

Now maybe the folks with the 12 kids, dogs and chickens are horrible parents, but as a society we've developed really dysfunctional ideas about parenting. In so many ways we call bad good and good bad.

"An economic and political ... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

"An economic and political system dependent on continuous growth cannot survive the ecological law of finite resources."

Of course it can't, if you want to go back to the stone age and trap us on this ball of dirt, jackass. Sigh.

Do you want to swing on a s... (Below threshold)
kim:

Do you want to swing on a star?
Carry moonbats home in a jar?
Do you hope to outlive this rock?

Or would you rather be a pig?
======================




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