GPSO 2011: Action #99

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How are people in other countries managing their population concerns? GPSO collects Actions from Pledges all over the world. Here are some of the things that were done in 2011:

Date: February 9, 2011

Person(s) Involved: Clive Dyson, Professional Engineer and Member of O.P.T., United Kingdom

Clive sent an email to over 100 influential persons in the UK, seeking to raise their level of concern and increase publicity for GPSO. He said:

Three things (which are all important) can be done to address these issues:

1. Using less: reducing the amount of any resource consumed by each person, especially in the developed world. For example, by building more efficient vehicles, insulating houses, conserving water and living at higher population densities.

2. Meeting our needs with less impact: by increasing efficiency, for example, by increasing crop yields and decreasing fertiliser usage.

3. Slowing population growth: having a population of 8 billion rather than 11 billion would reduce the scale of the problems we face.

As David Attenborough has said:“There isn’t a single environmental problem that wouldn’t be easier to solve with fewer people.”Whilst we must address the first two, technical, approaches we need to increase the attention being paid to the third. This issue cannot be addressed purely in sterile statistical terms. People love children and, quite understandably, do not want to see an imposed limit on how many children they have. Humanity is great: but we do need to recognise that there are finite limits to how many of us can exist at any one time.We will only be able to halt the exponential growth in global population by a change in culture, in much the same way that people’s attitude (on the average) to smoking has changed.

It should become accepted that adding more people to the world is very polluting [COORDINATOR’S NOTE: people, of course, are not pollution, but many of our activities certianly are] and reduces the natural habitat available to other species. This doesn’t imply ‘no children’ or that there should not be some large families. We need to see a voluntary reduction in the average family size, as tends to happen as poverty is reduced and education improved.

Read more on Dyson’s ideas here.

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