I may be sticking my neck out here and upsetting many people, but I honestly believe that there is only one way to resolve so many of the world’s economic and environment problems and that is to look at population growth.
The need for financial growth
We are told that there is always need for growth in an economy, and why is that? Well, I’m no economist but I can see that if the world’s population continues to grow we need businesses to produce more, use more materials, use more power and make more money to pay more wages.
With a stable population there would be no need for this.
The environmental crisis
Where do we start? Firstly, the above need for financial growth causes the need for more materials and energy to be used. But, more people create more waste too. More people need more fields torn up for more houses. More people mean more cars, more food, more stuff!
With a stable population we wouldn’t need more and we could stop concentrating on how to make more with limited resources and concentrate on how to make the most of what we have and how to deal with the mess we have made.
So how is this solved? Should a Chinese style decree be made limiting the number of children we have? No, personally I don’t believe this is the enlightened way to achieve this.
What we need to do is change how we view parenthood completely.
I personally chose to not have children, for many reasons, one being that this planet doesn’t need any more people. I have been lucky, I haven’t faced much prejudice for this choice, but I know there are people who are constantly bombarded with comments ranging from pity to being attacked for being selfish. I’m not sure how not having kids is seen as selfish but that is the comment some people get.
There are so many messages as we are growing up that the “right thing to do” is get a job, find a partner and have kids. Society is flooded with it these messages, leading people to believe that it is their right to have children.
If we can challenge this paradigm and celebrate those that have chosen not to have children we can work to slow down population growth. Rather than being expected to have a career and a family people will be more able to choose one or the other. How many career minded people struggle to follow their dreams of rising through the business world but also meet what society expects of them by having children? How many would choose to not have children if society didn’t make it a requirement of “normality”?
The sooner we see the elephant in the room and start looking at how to slow population growth the sooner we can start solving so many other problems, until that time the elephant will be rampaging over any plans for a better world.