The nutter from the Optimum Population Trust is ranting again:
Humans are plague on Earth – Attenborough
Humans are a plague on the Earth that need to be controlled by limiting population growth, according to Sir David Attenborough.
The television presenter said that humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the world’s resources.
He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.
“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,” he told the Radio Times.
Sir David, who is a patron of the Optimum Population Trust, has spoken out before about the “frightening explosion in human numbers” and the need for investment in sex education and other voluntary means of limiting population in developing countries.
The first and most obvious question to ask in response is, “Well Sir David. So, which two of your three siblings should have been killed then?”
For population growth does indeed come from a couple having more than two children.
The second thing that should be pointed out here is that we do in fact know how to manage this process of curtailing growth in the number of humans.
Everywhere it has happened, everywhere this species of ours has gone from rural and Malthusian destitution to a bourgeois urban middle classness, the population growth rate has fallen like a stone. Indeed, so much so that it becomes the population contraction rate. It doesn’t actually need you and Jonny Porritt demanding full body condoms for all. It only requires that people know they can eat three times a day, have a roof over their heads and that there’s a decent chance that all the children they do have will survive into adulthood. Absent immigration there just isn’t any population growth in the rich world. Far from it, there’s contraction (to be absolutely accurate you have to adjust for it taking until the second generation of immigrants to reduce childbirth down to the rate of the indigenes).
And amazingly, we’ve also cracked this “Get Rich” commandment. We do know how to do this. The last 30 years show us that we do as well. In essence, globalised markets. That’s pretty much it actually. That is what has driven the largest reduction in poverty in the history of the species. Concurrent with which, and no, it ain’t just coincidence, we’ve seen every demographer rapidly revising down their numbers for future population.
Sure, there are things that can be done at the margin. Women who want contraception, great, campaign to get it to them. Why not? Do recall though that it’s the wanting to use contraception which is important and drives 90% of actual fertility. Availability drives only 10% or so of it.
My suggestion is therefore, if you really are worried about population growth (as opposed to Porritt’s insistence that there are just too many damn peasants), that you campaign for free trade. Will do more to reach your declared goal than anything else. In the absence of your doing so I’ll just conclude that you are ignorant whereof you speak.