Population Control Is the Climate Change Fix Nobody Wants to Talk About

This article discusses one way to help stop global warming – population control.

Think of the words “population control” and disturbing events in human history come to mind. Given the precedents set by Nazi eugenicists and numerous ancient infanticidal cultures, capping the number of humans allowed to be alive at any time may seem like an egregious violation of human rights. But successful family planning initiatives show that there are humane ways to keep a growth rate in check, and some scientists have even made the case that we must do it in order for the human race as a whole to survive. As climate change continues to threaten the well-being of the entire planet, argue scientists in a recent opinion piece in Science, it’s time to take population control more seriously than ever.

The greatest driver of climate change is greenhouse gas emissions, which the Science Forum authors, including include renowned demographer John Bongaarts, Ph.D., of the Population Center and Brian C. O’Neil, Ph.D., of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, argue can be reduced by limiting the number of people who can emit them. Of course, they aren’t suggesting we revert to history’s brutal techniques to cap populations to mitigate climate risk. Rather, they suggest the whole world double down on family planning — the range of strategies that allow people to choose how many kids they have. But even this strategy is a sensitive topic for many people, which is why, as Bongaarts explains to Inverse, it’s necessary to get the conversation going.

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