One of the issues environmentalists see as a problem for humankind in the future is overpopulation. Such a fear is quite understandable as humanity’s numbers reach almost 7.2 billion and resources deplete faster than they can replenish. The Inquisitr reported on humanity’s attempts and theories on how the population can be controlled. Some think possibly a disease will be used; conspiracy theorists believe it may be the Ebola virus. Others think it will be through making contraceptives cheaper. Whatever the case, this is a fear that seems to need a solution, according to many scientists.
Now there are reports stating that doctors want people to stop having more than two children. If done, humanity can save the world from the repercussions of overpopulation. What is peculiar about the reports is that people are actually following through with what the doctors suggest, not because doctors said so but for personal reasons.
According to the Guardian, general practitioner Pippa Hayes is pushing for more medical professionals to encourage people to have smaller families as a means to help control the population’s effects on our world’s environment and resources. She opened up about her opinions on the matter in the following statement.
“Doctors should be promoting replacement number of children; two per couple, one per single parent. We don’t need to do this by coercion, we just need to talk about it.”
To be clear, Pippa Hayes isn’t just someone who is pushing her views just for her personal vocation. She also practices what she preaches since she herself has been sterilized after the birth of her second son. Also, she makes it evidently clear of her faith in humanity to follow through with her professional view.
“I was sterilized after the birth of my second son because I believed I had no right to have more than two children — it would have been more than my reproductive share. Humans are tipping the balance with the natural world, to the detriment of both humanity and the other species that share our lovely, finite planet.”
As stated earlier, many people are now following with the two-child plan. It seems as if Pippa Hayes’ faith was not in vain! According to Population Matters, a survey released to the United Kingdom by YouGov shows support for smaller families as a means to end population growth. Details on why the people supported smaller families were also a factor, primarily on opinions about the future. Availability of housing, services, and amenities, limitations on natural resources, and environmental conversation were taken into account. Over half (51 percent) who polled followed Hayes’ opinion of just two children.
Not every scientific or medical professional is on board. Jules Pretty, a professor of environment and society at the University of Essex, believes it is not procreation that is the problem, but consumption. He even throws some numbers out about population that actually support his theory.
“The earth’s population will rise to 9 billion, possibly more. But if you look carefully at projections and fertility rates across the world, the population is on track to stabilize this century, almost certainly by 2050.”
“In 97 countries, the average [woman] now has fewer than two children. You need about 2.1 births to result in straight replacement because of child mortality, so we’re already heading for a decline.”
What do you think about this situation pertaining to overpopulation and how it may save the world? Do you agree with Pippa Hayes on having smaller families or do you agree with Jules Pretty that unorganized consumption is the problem?
[Image via Jim Wileman]