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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:47 PM

‘Population Bomb’ scientist: ‘Nobody’ has the right to ‘as many children as they want’

Stanford professor and author of the Population Bomb recently published a paper in a scientific journal re-emphasizing climate change and population growth pose existential threats to humanity and in an interview with Raw Story said that giving people the right to have as many children as they want is “a bad idea.”

“The only criticism we’ve had on the paper is that it’s too optimistic,” said Paul Ehrlich, Bing professor of population studies at Stanford University and president of the Center for Conservation Biology. “You can’t negotiate with nature.”

The study, published the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal earlier this month says that climate change is “driven by overpopulation, overconsumption of natural resources and the use of unnecessarily environmentally damaging technologies and socio-economic-political arrangements to service Homo sapiens‘ aggregate consumption.”

“Overall, careful analysis of the prospects does not provide much confidence that technology will save us or that gross domestic product can be disengaged from resource use,” the paper continued. The way to stop this is to “stop treating population growth as a ‘given’ and consider the nutritional, health and social benefits of humanely ending growth well below nine billion and starting a slow decline. This would be a monumental task, considering the momentum of population growth. Monumental, but not impossible if the political will could be generated globally to give full rights, education and opportunities to women, and provide all sexually active human beings with modern contraception and backup abortion.”

“Giving people the right to have as many people as many children that they want is, I think, a bad idea,” Ehrlich told Raw Story. “It’s not giving people the right to have as many children as they want, it’s giving people the right to control their reproduction so that they don’t have so many children that their children’s and grandchildren’s lives are in danger.”

“Nobody, in my view, has the right to have 12 children or even three unless the second pregnancy is twins,” Ehrlich continued. “That may be a hard-nosed view, but if you look at the entire situation, it’s crystal clear if we keep the populations of the rich growing, then the poor aren’t going to have a chance, and eventually, the descendants of the rich aren’t going to have a chance either.”


http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/22/population-bomb-scientist-nobody-has-the-right-to-as-many-children-as-they-want/

63 replies, 4396 views

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Reply ‘Population Bomb’ scientist: ‘Nobody’ has the right to ‘as many children as they want’ (Original post)
Playinghardball Jan 2013 OP
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #1
get the red out Jan 2013 #6
LiberalAndProud Jan 2013 #8
LanternWaste Jan 2013 #48
Taverner Jan 2013 #52
bluestateguy Jan 2013 #2
ck4829 Jan 2013 #3
Phlem Jan 2013 #19
ZombieHorde Jan 2013 #36
ck4829 Jan 2013 #37
ZombieHorde Jan 2013 #44
Taverner Jan 2013 #51
ZombieHorde Jan 2013 #56
Taverner Jan 2013 #61
randome Jan 2013 #5
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #23
sheshe2 Jan 2013 #27
kooljerk666 Jan 2013 #10
librabear Jan 2013 #15
Dont call me Shirley Jan 2013 #18
dhol82 Jan 2013 #32
Zoeisright Jan 2013 #4
mike_c Jan 2013 #7
Wind Dancer Jan 2013 #58
mike_c Jan 2013 #62
Aerows Jan 2013 #9
Xithras Jan 2013 #13
Phlem Jan 2013 #20
TreasonousBastard Jan 2013 #38
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #11
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #24
Xithras Jan 2013 #12
datasuspect Jan 2013 #14
Skittles Jan 2013 #34
HappyMe Jan 2013 #16
judesedit Jan 2013 #17
triplepoint Jan 2013 #21
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #25
Loudestlib Jan 2013 #22
leftstreet Jan 2013 #29
sheshe2 Jan 2013 #26
adieu Jan 2013 #28
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #30
Silent3 Jan 2013 #46
Marrah_G Jan 2013 #31
PasadenaTrudy Jan 2013 #33
bubbayugga Jan 2013 #35
Recursion Jan 2013 #39
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #40
possiblylogical Jan 2013 #41
CJCRANE Jan 2013 #42
possiblylogical Jan 2013 #47
dsc Jan 2013 #43
bunnies Jan 2013 #59
dsc Jan 2013 #60
joeglow3 Jan 2013 #45
LanternWaste Jan 2013 #49
Taverner Jan 2013 #50
PoliticAverse Jan 2013 #53
Coyotl Jan 2013 #54
onenote Jan 2013 #55
pnwest Jan 2013 #57
Luciferous Jan 2013 #63

Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:49 PM

1. I absolutely agree. And, it seems that much of the tradition of baby making...

...is prompted by a religious pressure to out-populate other religious groups.

Thus the resistance to any form of birth control and stigmatization of masturbation (wasting of seed).

Silly people!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:13 PM

6. +1

I completely agree.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:23 PM

8. I have thought that it was all about church coffers.

The more babies born and reared in the doctrine, the more will grow up to seek the blessing of the widow's pennies. The Church doesn't need rich believers as long as they are devout.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:30 PM

48. I think much more of the pressure comes from a lack of education and entrenched poverty

I think much more of the pressure comes from a lack of education and entrenched poverty (e.g., Asia, Africa and Latin America).

The world cultures in which education is present and contains anti-poverty programs have seen a dramatic reduction of the number of children born per household over the past fifty years (Europe: a drop from 2.5 children per women down to 1.5 in fifty years, or America's dramatic reduction from 4 children to 1.75), yet in places such as the African Sub-Saharan regions or North Africa, while seeing a diminishing birthrate, is still in the area of 5 children to every one female (down from close to 7 fifty years ago).

(Hardin, Living Within Limits; Meadows, Limits to Growth)



But yes, regardless of reason... silly people. "And thus is my conclusion: That man is a giddy thing" W. Shakespeare

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:47 PM

52. The Quiverfull Movement should be considered a Terrorist Org

 



Joking...just kinda

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:50 PM

2. And what would he have happen to someone who has "too many" children?

Is he advocating a law? Jailtime? Forced abortion? Sterlization?

If "my body, my choice" is applicable to abortion, it must also be applicable to the choice to have children.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:57 PM

3. Well, the children's children of these people could be punished with starvation, no resources...

no jobs, pollution, lack of sanitation, etc.

Nature, the environment, and our own infrastructure will do much worse to overpopulation than any law we could make can.

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Response to ck4829 (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:06 PM

19. Damn it!

There you go with the making sense and providing examples and such.

What's this world coming to?



-p

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Response to ck4829 (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:25 AM

36. OK, what do you think should be done then?

Forced sterilization after two kids? Mandatory abortions for every pregnancy after two kids? What do you propose we should do?

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #36)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:35 AM

37. Education and free contraceptives

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Response to ck4829 (Reply #37)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:16 PM

44. I support those two things. nt

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #36)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:46 PM

51. No one is asking to force sterilization

 

But just as we got most Americans to quit smoking, stop using leaded gasoline and have smaller families, we should have a public health campaign that heavily discourages and vilifies those who have as many kids as they want.

The Duggar Family should be ostracized, shunned and hated, not given a TV show

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Response to Taverner (Reply #51)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:00 PM

56. “Nobody, in my view, has the right to have 12 children or even three unless the second pregnancy..."

The article talks about "rights," which is a vague term, in my opinion. For some readers, such as myself, some of the language used in the article seems to advocate for some sort of legal action to be taken.

The Duggar Family should be ostracized, shunned and hated


I think that is kind of creepy. That behavior will transfer onto their children, and they haven't done anything wrong. If we're not going to treat each other nicely, then why bother trying to save our species? What's the point? Existence for the sake of existence?

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #56)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:10 PM

61. The Duggars are clearly selfish and using their religion to excuse that

 



Think about anti-smoking ads - the smoker is the enemy. He or she lights up, and the smoke goes right to a sleeping baby. So smokers are baby-killers.

That's the kind of vilification I am talking about

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:59 PM

5. There will come a point where we will all starve due to overpopulation.

I don't know what the answer is but one needs to be found.

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Response to randome (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:20 PM

23. The answer is not hard to figure out: birth control. In other words, having fewer babies.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #23)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:41 PM

27. Birth control is the #1 answer along with family planning...

However, we have a GOP congress along with GOP Gov's trying to Shut down Planned Parenthood everywhere. Women are being denied affordable health care, which includes Birth Control!

They are not helping the situation!

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:29 PM

10. TAX the crap out of them!

 

That was easy. If u r rich rally get taxed shitless.

Seriously xtian freaks with 20 kids, they hate gvt & probably pay no taxes & get subsidized.


There are 8x more people on earth than it can feed, the population needs reduction before cannibalism breaks out.

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Response to kooljerk666 (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:20 PM

15. Get a clue

 

All over the world there is an inverse relationship with income vs fertility. US included.

Just because the duggars are on TV doesn't make them normal.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:02 PM

18. World population has gotten to the point beyond choice, now it's become a full-on responsibility to

protect the planet for our heirs and the earth's flora and fauna.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 05:15 PM

32. just remember


famine is nature's way of population control.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:58 PM

4. That's what the rich don't get.

Their money is not going to save them forever.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:18 PM

7. Garrett Hardin has been right all along....

The Tragedy or the Commons: http://dieoff.org/page95.htm

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Response to mike_c (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:02 PM

58. Very informative reading!

Thanks for sharing.

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Response to Wind Dancer (Reply #58)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:12 PM

62. lol, just saw the typo in the title....

Glad you enjoyed it. I've been using that paper to horrify my general ecology students for many years. It ALWAYS stimulates a lively discussion.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:28 PM

9. The first place to point the finger

is at the religious institutions around the world. They are the ones that advocate against birth control and cheer people on to have as many kids as they can.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:53 PM

13. I'd go with poverty and lack of education first.

The United States and Europe, which don't have any population growth issues if you factor out immigration, have clearly demonstrated that religions more idiotic tendencies can't gain much of a foothold among populations that are well fed and educated. Here in the United States, huge families are the rare exception, and they almost always occur among the hyper-religious (and typically poorly educated) minority. Most Americans have decent educations, aren't hyper-religious, and have the average two-point-something kids.

Most global population growth today is driven by poorer third world populations in Africa, Asia, and South America. Religion and tradition does play a large part there, but again, it's mostly traceable to a lack of education and economic opportunity. There is a direct relationship between family size and a families educational level and wealth across the entire third world.

Eliminate poverty and fund education, and population growth goes away. Population growth is a SYMPTOM of these other two problems. Religious zeal is another symptom.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:10 PM

20. of course your both right.

Check out how big Mormon families can be. Unless it's a medical reason, there is no one child.

And yes I have perspective I've lived with them and been around them half my life +.

-p

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Response to Xithras (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:50 AM

38. Many poor countries have lots of children for the same reason...

mice do-- many die early. And the children are who will eventually take care of the parents. It doesn't have to be that way, of course, but until their wealth is at parity with ours it will stay that way. Of course, parity of wealth also means competition for resources...

I remember reading somewhere about a Caribbean town with a heavy birth rate. At some point television was introduced and the birth rate dropped like a stone because they had something else to do at night. I assume widely available birth control might have the same effect.





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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:36 PM

11. Make excessive breeding undesirable through media/social pressure.

 

Teach young people the whole truth. Ridicule the romanticism and emphasize the biological and social realities of breeding.

Apropos to today's DU battle du jour, the key is religion. All of them make irresponsible breeding a requirement to getting the brass ring.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:24 PM

24. "All of them?" No. Unitarians and traditional Protestant groups like

Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. do not.

It's Muslims, Baptists and Catholics that want babies, babies, babies.

Traditionally, the Jewish Bible emphasized fertility, but reformed Jews are not pushed to have big families from what I can tell.

Of course, some people just want kids because they love having a big family. But that is not common. You can do so much for 2 that you cannot do for 12.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:42 PM

12. Virtually all modern environmental problems are the result of overpopulation.

Nearly everyone agrees on that. The problem is figuring out a solution that doesn't involve gross impositions on human rights.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:55 PM

14. me and some groovy cats and chicks had a rap session about ecology and the population bomb

 

in 1972.

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:57 AM

34. SCHEDULING DATASUSPECT FOR ASS KICKING

*EGREGIOUS*

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 03:25 PM

16. Bob Barker will

start a big campaign about what to do!

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:02 PM

17. I don't know about actually setting the number, although China has, but if you care about the world'

s resources and making sure there is enough to supply us, then common sense tells you NOT to have a bunch of kids. There are many countries already with water shortages. And who knows what kind of human beings the children will grow up to be. It's a toss up. With parents that don't care....many times the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

It's funny, though. Don't want kids, but don't want abortions, even in the most necessary cases. Don't want kids, but don't even want birth control to be paid for by insurance...yet...viagra is. So much hypocracy, contradiction, conflict of interest. Ho hum.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:10 PM

21. Civil Sustainability Requires Population Control

 






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Response to triplepoint (Reply #21)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:25 PM

25. Bookmarking this post for your response. Thanks for the videos.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:14 PM

22. Why do people still listen to this guy?

Population in most developed countries has been flat for some time. Given the current trends we will likely top out at 10 billion and then decline. If you do want to reduce births just educate women. Educated women on average have fewer children. We need to keep being very progressive about dealing with our problems.

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Response to Loudestlib (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:45 PM

29. +1

People confuse overpopulation with overcrowding

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:25 PM

26. The Romney's are a perfect example...

"it’s crystal clear if we keep the populations of the rich growing, then the poor aren’t going to have a chance"



Sorry if I hurt anyone's eyes by posting a pick of the RMonies...but I wanted to make a point!

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:42 PM

28. Paul Ehrlich has been

wrong for the past 40 years. There is absolutely no such thing as a population bomb. And there are clear evidence that the human population will top out at around 9 billion, in about 30 years or so.

Sorry, but that hack has no scientific credibility anymore.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:48 PM

30. If you don't approve of families with more than 2 children, then don't have more than 2 children!

See how easy it is?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:29 PM

46. Fortunately I think the population bomb is diffusing itself already...

...but your reasoning here is poor. If too many people decide to have big families, doing so can hurt everyone, even the people who have two or fewer children.

Family size is very personal, of course, like some other choices (gay marriage, abortion) where you might say "If you don't like X, don't do X!", but the decision to have many children directly impacts the whole world in tangible ways that go beyond the individual family, making it less than a purely personal choice.

It's good that there are non-coercive ways to solve the population problem -- education, improved rights for women, and a higher standard of living seem to be the best way to reduce population growth.

If those things weren't working, however, ugly as it might become, the solution would be a lot more complicated than "If you don't approve of families with more than 2 children, then don't have more than 2 children!"

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:54 PM

31. Had I been older and wiser, I probably would have only had one child

But I was very young and ignorant of many things outside my own little world.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 05:19 PM

33. Did my duty

by not having any! My bro and sis didn't breed either. We are the end of the line!

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:19 AM

35. stuff too many goldfish into a goldfish bowl and see what happens.

 

now picture that on a much larger scale. coming soon to a world near you.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:50 AM

39. Of course people have that right. That's the problem

Rights aren't always good ideas

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:08 AM

40. Voluntary 2 kid limit, Or at least end the tax credits for kids.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:39 PM

41. There are some misguided comments

First, even in America there is a negative relationship between wealth and children. Poor people, by and large, have more people than rich. The countries with the highest population growth rates are generally developing countries. If we are going to control population we are generally going to do so by telling poor Americans and poor nations not to have so many children.

Second, we waste so much food and manage our farming resources so pitifully that starvation is not really an issue. If we were just concerned about making as many babies as possible, the earth could handle many times the current population.

Finally, much of the environmental degradation is a matter of policy. We could improve the environment and still have a decent standard of living if people really wanted to. The trade-off between economic output and the environment is greatly exaggerated by the people who are both strongly against improved environmental standards and people who are strongly for improved environmental standards.

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Response to possiblylogical (Reply #41)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:48 PM

42. If you bring people out of poverty they will have less children.

That may be more effective than simply telling poor people what to do.

However, I fully agree with your other points.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #42)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:33 PM

47. True.

But that is easier said than done...

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:54 PM

43. could I sell someone my right to have one or two children?

I could go for that.

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Response to dsc (Reply #43)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:04 PM

59. Excellent idea!

I want in. Someone is more than welcome to my "child" allotment!

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Response to bunnies (Reply #59)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:07 PM

60. It would be nice

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:21 PM

45. This is non-issue in the industrialized world

Even with the freaks like the Duggers', almost all first world countries are not even have enough babies to replace the current population. These countries only grow through immigration. The issue is with the 2nd and 3rd world countries where many children is the norm.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:37 PM

49. using imaginary rights to argue against inevitable and natural consequences is simply not relevant.

In a sense, rights are merely another imaginary man-made construct that humanity uses to more effectively interact with ourselves within the context of any human era.

Nature itself is neither aware of any rights, nor will it allow any special dispensation for those rights, as it rains on the just and the unjust alike.

If that is indeed the case, using imaginary legal or ethical rights to argue against inevitable and natural consequences is simply not relevant.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:45 PM

50. AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN!!!!!! A FUCKING MEN!!!!!

 

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:50 PM

53. How many wrong predictions does Ehrlich have to make before people start ignoring him ? n/t

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:54 PM

54. I remember screaming about this when there were half as many people as today

Back then there was fear the tipping point was past.

There is hope though: One woman, one child, one century, and back to one billion is possible still.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:58 PM

55. At some point I could see repubs getting behind this idea

after all, it would help slow the growth of the Latino population in red states.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:01 PM

57. Sorry - gotta disagree. EVERYONE has the RIGHT to have as many children as they want.

As someone posted above, if we have the right to abort, we also have the right to have as many as we want.

Now, understand me here, I'm only arguing about the use of the word "right". I completely agree that it is a bad idea to have a quiverfull, I completely understand all the concerns and ramifications of overpopulation. But DO NOT take away my right. How outraged are we about the forced one-child-law in China, and the horrible results of that bad experiment?

Go on a campaign of education, but do not take away my right. Childbearing is as personal and intimate as my very own thoughts, NO ONE has the right to tell me how many children I CAN have or CAN NOT have. That's between me and God.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:23 PM

63. I don't mind people having a lot of children, as long as they can afford to take care of them.

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