Green activists promote one-child policy,
contraception as keys to save planet
The National Post’s Diane Francis promoted the idea of a global one-child policy in her Dec. 8, column. The article ran at the beginning of the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, and in it Francis, the editor-at-large of the Post’s Financial Post section, said the real environmental issue is not global warming but overpopulation. Her solution to this perceived problem is a “a planetary law, such as China’s one-child policy” which “is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently of one million births every four days.”
She claimed that any policy to address hypothetical climate change problems will not “work unless a China one-child policy is imposed” on the planet: “The only fix is if all countries drastically reduce their populations, clean up their messes and impose mandatory conservation measures.”
Francis said that following health advances that have increased longevity and decreased child mortality, “humankind has not yet recalibrated its behavior to account for the fact that the world can only accommodate so many human beings.” She said that without restrictions on the number of children born, world population will be about 9 billion by 2050, but if every female was limited to only one child, global population will fall one billion to 5.5 billion by 2050 and 3.75 billion by 2075.
She wrote: “China has proven that birth restriction is smart policy. Its middle class grows, all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food and one out of five human beings that live there are not overpopulating the planet.”
Later when Francis appeared on Fox News, host Laura Ingraham challenged the self-described feminist on how she could support government dictating family size and enforcing it with coercive abortion and sterilization, as Red China does. Francis said she was unaware of such elements of the country’s brutal one-child policy.
Francis is not alone in her support for depopulation as a solution to recent concerns regarding the environment.
During the Copenhagen conference, the United Kingdom’s Optimum Population Trust launched Pop Offsets. Carbon offsets are a way for people who feel guilty about their carbon footprint to make amends for the supposed damage they cause to the environment. Most offset schemes go to tree planting and energy effeciency programs, but Pop Offsets allows people to voluntarily donate to “family planning” programs in the developing world. While claiming to not fund abortion and focusing instead on contraception and family planning education, some of the groups Pop Offsets work with are involved with abortion.
Jim Hughes, vice president of International Right to Life Federation, told The Interim, that he found the idea “offensive” and said if wealthy North Americans and Europeans “really wanted to reduce their carbon footprint they could do so by using fewer natural resources rather than ameliorate their guilt by offing people in Africa, Asia and Latin America.”
The theme of reducing global population runs deep in the climate change agenda. In November, the United Nations Population Fund released its 2009 State of the World Population report. In it, the UNFPA called for a reduction in world population in order to protect the natural environment. The Fund’s executive director Thoraya Obaid said, “Rapid population growth and industrialization have led to a rapid rise in greenhouse gas emissions.” To avert further disaster, the report, entitled “Facing a Changing World: Women, Population, and Climate,” claims “universal access to reproductive rights” would “reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in the long run.”
Piero Tozzi of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute said that the UNFPA report was “a thinly veiled attempt to harness popular environmental concerns in service of population control.”
The issues of population and the environment have increasingly been linked. At Copenhagen, Zhao Baige, the vice minister of Red China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission, told delegates in Denmark that “Population and climate change are intertwined, but the population issue has remained a blind spot when countries discuss ways to mitigate climate change.”
Hughes said such talk is “deeply disturbing, treating human beings like a cancer on the planet rather than a tremendous gift.” He said the Earth exists to support human life, not vice versa, and that environmentalists have their priorities “seriously mixed up.”