Global One-Child Policy To Save The Planet

14 December 2010

One child policy

State-dictated family planning? Oh boy...

Media Mogul Ted Turner on Sunday urged world leaders to institute a global one-child policy to save the Earth's environment. This was at a luncheon at which Brian O'Neill from the U.S's National Center for Atmospheric Research unveiled his study on the impact of demographic trends on future greenhouse gas emission according to an article in The Globe and Mail

Mr. O’Neill’s study concluded that a rapidly rising global population is contributing to an acceleration of emission growth, and that widespread availability of family planning could reduce the amount of emissions reductions required in 2050 by as much as 30 per cent.

True perhaps, but then Mr Turner, a very rich man and father of five, suggested that countries should “follow China's lead in instituting a one-child policy to reduce global population over time”. I see the logic, but here's the kicker – and this is also why I mentioned that he is a very rich man - He also suggested that fertility rights could be sold so that poor people could profit from their decision not to reproduce.

Say what now?

If nothing else, this is a pretty impressively underhanded way of, shall we say, ridding the world of those lesser humans – you know, those of us who aren't billion- or millionaires.

There is merit to his suggestion from an environmental point of view: China boasts that its controversial one-child policy has helped limit emissions growth and the lower birth rate converts to a reduction of 1.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

But what hasn't been mentioned is China's horrific infantacide practices, or their high abortion rate or gendercides. But even ignoring that, isn't Mr. Turner's United States by far the next worst offender when it comes to emissions? Surely then the U.S. should lead the way before suggesting a single standard for the rest of the world?

I get what Mr Turner, with his lots of money and five children and the ability to buy the 'rights' to as many as he wants is saying, but I don't think I like the idea of the rich being able to literally populate the world with their offspring. Sooner or later, the very poor will die out, and surely the rest of us will then slowly start taking their place?

TOPICS:   News and Recalls


  • Gunn
    Is it not also the case that the one child would then have to support the 2 adults in later life, not exactly fair, in fact in order to support the ageing population, families would need to have more children.
  • Luschka O.
    Indeed! I hadn't even thought of that yet. It doesn't seem like an idea that would catch on easily, fortunately!
  • SlayerKat
    I'm mother to three BUT also very environmentally friendly and my carbon footprint is a great deal less than say some one my singleton child friends. For example during the 1 week we had snow and our rubbish wasn't collected for nearly 2 weeks, we (as a family of 5) accrued just under 2 bin bags whilst my neighbour of 2 adults plus one child made FIVE bin bags. This is just one tiny example of blaming people with more than one child of contributing to global warming is a myth. I have brought my children up to be as wise as we are with regard to global warming and reducing carbon footprints so I refuse to be penalised for having a bigger family. Getting off my soapbox now (can you tell I have a bee in the bonnet about this :))
  • Lynley O.
    Yay good for you Kat!
  • Luschka O.
    Oh, good on you Kat! It's lovely to share the soap-box for a change! :) In fact, when I originally wrote this, I started it with a warning about me being on my soap box! I totally agree with you though. As a family of 3, we have less black bin rubbish than our single neighbour does. I agree that it's about the way you think rather than sheer numbers. I'd love to know what car, for example, Mr.Turner drives his family of seven around in and how THAT contributes to his carbon footprint! I'd probably be willing to give the idea an ear, just for a moment, if it wasn't for the whole 'buying poor people's reproductive rights' thing though - as if being poor means you don't have the instinctual need to procreate and survive?! I don't know. It all sounds a bit 'Animal Farm' to me. You know - we're all equal, but some of us are more equal than others...

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