Population policy needed for the UK in order to combat climate change

July 25, 2008

The biggest contribution UK couples can make to combating climate change would be to have only two children or at least have one less than they first intended, argues an editorial published on BMJ.com today.

Family planning and reproductive health expert Professor John Guillebaud and Dr Pip Hayes, a GP from Exeter, call on UK doctors to break their silence on the links between population, family planning and climate change. They point to a calculation by the Optimum Population Trust that "each new UK birth will be responsible for 160 times more greenhouse gas emissions … than a new birth in Ethiopia."

As far back as 1949 The Royal Commission on Population stated "We have no hesitation in recommending…a replacement size of family in Great Britain" and called for a "continuous watch over population trends and their bearing on national policies". Yet the UK continues to this day without any defined population policy.

With world population exceeding 6700 million, Guillebaud and Hayes say that humankind's consumption of fuel, water and food is exceeding supply. They add that the 79 million annual increase in global population equates, somewhere in the world, to a huge new city for 1.5 million appearing each week.

Providing contraception does not need to be coercive, they argue, asserting strongly that governments do not have to follow the example of India in the 1970s or currently China.

Many countries, including Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Thailand, have reduced their fertility rates by meeting women's unmet fertility needs and choices. The authors claim that with half of pregnancies worldwide being unplanned, no-one needs to be forced to use contraception, what they need is information and access.

The reality is, say the authors, that most women in low resource settings want to be able to plan fewer children than they have, but are prevented from doing so because of many barriers. These include lack of empowerment and abuse of their rights by husbands, partners, mothers in law, religious authorities or sometimes even contraceptive providers. The evidence shows that the demand for contraception increases when it is made available and accessible.

Professor Guillebaud and Dr Hayes call on doctors to help eradicate the many myths and non-evidence based medical rules that deny women access to family planning.

Source: British Medical Journal

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2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 25, 2008
That sounds really clever indeed! Humanity would have no chalenges and no trouble if it was just not existing!!!
no people=no problems => the british doctors are getting so clever nowadays!...
(by the way, I was not aware that the BMJ had been asked to resolve the global warming!!!;-) Could I know who asked them to take care about that issue?
1.8 / 5 (10) Jul 25, 2008
Global warming religion = anti human religion....
Enironmentalist.... they really don't care about people..
1.7 / 5 (7) Jul 25, 2008
Yes! 3 children=Crime against humanity!
The punishment for that shall be one of the parents relinquishing their space.
3 / 5 (5) Jul 25, 2008
"UK birth will be responsible for 160 times more greenhouse gas emissions %u2026 than a new birth in Ethiopia."

It's about time the truth is spoken! We must learn from our malnourished suffering brothers. Nothing says 'I care about the environment' like starving children. I'm starving my children right now! We don't eat plants in my family because plants absorb CO2. We only eat stray animals, bums and other 'CO2 emitters'. I've converted my prius to run on kittens and really any furry animal small enough to fit down the tube.

I still can't believe we send these people 'food'. Do you know the carbon footprint of sending them grains? It's about 2 tons of CO2 per pound! They better start forking some money over for carbon offset points.

Seriously though... this is population control, which is one step away from eugenics and having to get a license before having a baby.
3.3 / 5 (4) Jul 25, 2008
I have been hearing this for decades. The reality is that the indigenous UK population is breeding below replacement rate. It is only projected to increase because of immigration. However, labels of racism attach to anyone saying they want a halt to it.
3 / 5 (5) Jul 25, 2008
Uh huh dirk.bruere. It is like that in all western countries. So what this study really means is, "Immigrant Muslims should be limited to no more than 2 children per couple". Everyone else is already there, so there is no need to limit them.

I think study may be a result of the authors not bothering to glance deeply at reality, and only looking at surface stats.
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 27, 2008
The conclusions drawn by the UK family planners is overly simplistic. While it is likely true that people in UK (and US, and Canada, and Europe, and.....) generate a couple of orders of magnitude more greenhouse gases than underdeveloped countries, this should not be the only metric by which a country or the world should make family planning policy. It is simplistic and one dimensional.
not rated yet Jul 27, 2008
You know, sometimes I think that the grad students who help to do the research for these papers go around to all 10 or 20 of the sites that publish articles related to their paper, and rate down anyone who comments that their paper was poorly constructed. I don't say this to defend my comments, which are often overly antagonistic, but rather in disbelief that some of the other — perfectly reasonable — comments in this article and others (and on this site and others) are being rated down for no reason.

At first I thought that there were just a few people who went around and rated down everything that everyone said, but on certain articles I see comments with 3 to 5 votes that are rated a perfect 5, so that can't be it.
1 / 5 (1) Aug 04, 2008
I can't figure out how some just can't make the distinction between "quality of life" and "quantity of life", and how the latter affects the former ... but I see the bible beaters and bleeding hearts are out in force here. Too many humans in finite space is as detrimental to the environment as overpopulation of any other animal. The signs that we're reaching a tipping point are all around us ... and yet some of these posters (or science posers) just want to stick their head in the sand and ignore the facts.

I hope y'all know that the "... be fruitful ..." passage of the bible was written when life expectancy was like 30 to 40 years, IF you made it past the first few after birth.

I've said it before and I'll say it again ... we are not devine. We are animals whose strength is intelligence and adaptability. Most of all, we are subject to the same laws of nature every other creature is. Technology can delay the inevitable for just so long.
1 / 5 (1) Aug 04, 2008
... and also per the article, I think the british are just using GW as an excuse to implement policy they've wanted for a long time, which is a good thing as long as it applies to the immigrants too. They did that with the airline fuel CO2 charge too, only that was a revenue thing.

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