A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences considers the effects a worldwide one-child policy would have on preventing the planet from allegedly being ruined by global warming and resource depletion.
“The inexorable demographic momentum of the global human population is rapidly eroding Earth’s life-support system. There are consequently more frequent calls to address environmental problems by advocating further reductions in human fertility,” reads the abstract of a study by Corey Bradshaw of the University of Adelaide, Australia.
But Bradshaw and co-author Barry Brook of the University of Tasmania say that without “catastrophe or large fertility reductions” even harsh population control measures, like a global one child policy, would do little to stave off catastrophe. Their study found that “even a rapid transition to a worldwide one-child policy leads to a population similar to today’s by 2100.”
“Humanity’s large demographic momentum means that there are no easy policy levers to change the size of the human population substantially over coming decades, short of extreme and rapid reductions in female fertility; it will take centuries, and the long-term target remains unclear,” reads the study’s abstract. “However, some reduction could be achieved by midcentury and lead to hundreds of millions fewer people to feed. More immediate results for sustainability would emerge from policies and technologies that reverse rising consumption of natural resources.”
The study also says that even “a catastrophic mass mortality event of 2 billion deaths over a hypothetical 5-y window in the mid-21st century would still yield around 8.5 billion people by 2100.”
The PNAS study was edited by famed doomsdayer Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University. Ehrlich, along with now White House science czar John Holdren, pushed population control measures as a way to prevent ecological catastrophe.
A 1969 essay Ehrlich and Holdren argued that “man’s present technology is inadequate to the task of maintaining the world’s burgeoning billions, even under the most optimistic assumptions.”
“No effort to expand the carrying capacity of the Earth can keep pace with unbridled population growth,” they added.
More recently, Ehrlich and his wife Anne wrote that “if we fail to bring population growth and over-consumption under control… then we will inhabit a planet where life becomes increasingly untenable because of two looming crises: global heating, and the degradation of the natural systems on which we all depend.”
Ehrlich even told Huffington Post’s Josh Zepps that we could soon begin “eat[ing] the bodies of your dead” because of resource depletion.
Environmentalists continue to fret over “unbridled population growth,” especially in the context of global warming. Activists with the Center for Biological Diversity peddle endangered species condoms to spread awareness about the “scary truth about human population growth.”
“Human population growth and overconsumption — particularly meat and energy production — contribute to the extinction of dozens of wildlife species every day,” CBD says on its website.
But here’s the problem with dire population growth predictions: they never seem to come true. For example, we have access to more oil and gas reserves today than in the past and food production increases mean we are able to feed more people than ever before.
As the Daily Caller News Foundation has previously reported: “In 1968, the world population was 3.5 billion and food supplies only provided 2,300 calories per person per day in the early 1960s, according to the United Nations… Today, the world’s population has more than doubled, but advances in food production technologies have allowed more people to be fed and there are far fewer people in the world suffering from chronic hunger today than in the 1990s.”
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