In the news:
JONATHON PORRITT, one of Gordon Brownâ€™s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society.
The trust will release research suggesting UK population must be cut to 30m if the country wants to feed itself sustainably.
Porritt said: â€œPopulation growth, plus economic growth, is putting the world under terrible pressure.
Population growth is one of the most politically sensitive environmental problems. The issues it raises, including religion, culture and immigration policy, have proved too toxic for most green groups.
However, Porritt is winning scientific backing. Professor Chris Rapley, director of the Science Museum, will use the OPT conference, to be held at the Royal Statistical Society, to warn that population growth could help derail attempts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Some signs of wakefulness here.
No matter how much we reduce emissions, each person will create a certain amount, as will the infrastructure they require.
I think most people believe that if they make themselves a tiny green apartment, they’ll be fine. They forget:
All of these are needed and all require space; in fact, multiply your apartment size times ten to see the space you need.
Then take into account that for nature to thrive, it doesn’t need reservations like Indians; it needs wide open spaces unbroken by fences, roads or towns. It needs its own part of the world, and we’re probably selfish to touch more than one third of the open space on earth.
With that in mind, our world probably has an optimal carrying capacity of 500 million humans. Those would be able to live comfortable lives: 2500 square foot homes, families of 2-4, electric cars and culture.
If we’re smart, we’ll encourage everyone to not breed, except those in the 120 and above IQ range. That will produce a society where every person has roughly comparable intelligence and so has roughly comparable earning potential, ending class war forever. It will also make a society of people who understand innately the moral and practical requirements of living life sanely, instead of living in a utilitarian-cum-individualist fantasy as we have been.
The English have taken the first step. Let’s see where this goes. It’s not a question of avoiding cataclysm as much as planning a better future. A planet choked with waste and piled high with stupid people, or a verdant planet with intelligent and moral guardians?