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Going green to the extreme

August 7th, 2009
04:18 PM ET

How much would you sacrifice to save the planet?  Would you consider not having a child? 

A new study by Oregon State University suggests having multiple children may be the most environmentally damaging of all human activities. 

By having one less child, an American would save more than nine thousand metric tonnes of carbon dioxide - many more times what you could save by simply living a rigidly green lifestyle. 

Professor Ben Zuckerman at UCLA suggests this could be a wake-up call for environmental groups.  He says: "The mainstream environmental movement has entirely dropped the ball on this issue and I think its really been a disaster for our country... They have hundreds of trivial ways in which one can reduce one's environmental impact of the earth but they don't even mention population."

For the record, it has not yet been scientifically proved that there is a link between human activity and global warming, even if there is a broad consensus on a connection. 

Do you think environmental groups will be going well beyond their remit if they start advising against having children? Or do you think the situation has become so serious, each one of us should consider taking such drastic action if it's relevant?

Let me know what your opinion on this. Leave your comments below, and I'll read some of the best out on tonight's show at 2100 BST.


Filed under:  General
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Felix

    I cannot believe that there are people who think that a human life is less significant than the environment. Of course we need to take care of our natural surroundings, but this does not preclude keeping humans beings from coming into existence...wait, oh I forgot, if we're just animals, then it does make perfect sense. I guess this article is more of a reflection on how far removed we are from understanding the purpose of life than it does on population and the environment. By the way, just wait until the next article comes out which recommends we kill people in order to save the environment...

    August 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  2. Kathy

    I think it makes perfect sense, really; you're not asking parents to have 0 children. You're asking them to consider drawing the line at a smaller number than usual. Just by breathing we're releasing CO2 into the air, and when you consider the waste a human produces in his/her lifetime, it makes total sense to consider curbing population growth. Otherwise, there will be no humans at all within the next few generations.

    August 7, 2009 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  3. Anderson

    Population growth itself is not devastating the environment. What I see the most is a lack of good parenting and education. I suggest professor Zuckerman should visit the greenest cities in the US and show us some new conclusions on use and abuse of natural resources.

    August 7, 2009 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  4. Moret

    It's what I practice... I have to travel a lot across the Atlantic, but
    my wife and I are vegetarians and have no children, so that our
    combined footprint is much smaller than that of even a single-child
    family.
    Overpopulation has been just about the only problem for
    at least 25 years - everything else is just peanuts in comparison.
    If Earth had to support 3-4 billion people, we could solve every
    problem linked to climate, food, etc.
    We have bred beyond all reason - it's time the rest of the world
    followed China's example and encouraged (mandated might be
    better, but I do not see that happening in the US or Europe)
    a 1-person, 1-child policy. For instance, give good tax breaks
    for the first child and (for a 2-parent family) for the second, but
    nothing more for a third child and start adding increasingly punitive
    taxes for a 4th or 5th or... child.
    Humans cannot take precedence over the environment - not only
    in a moral sense, but even in the most practical and selfish
    sense: we will not survive long in a severely damaged environment.

    August 7, 2009 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  5. Paul Arthur van Doorn

    The cause of the most important problems in the world and the greatest threat to our world is overpopulation. The solution to this is not to have no children. The solution is to bring welfare and knowledge to all the people in the world. The population is stabelizing in countries with enough welfare. But wouldn't more welfare cause more CO2, you might ask yourself ? No, I can explain. How this all is possible is described in my book 'How to save our world, the spiritual society' and will be publidhed this month in the Netherlands and later this year in English. It will be available all over the world and offers a complete and integrated set solutions of how to solve the major problems in the world. Visit my site or get into contact with me, spiritualsociety.nl .

    August 7, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  6. syocom

    Western nations like the United States should definitely be having these discussions. When looking at simple per capita carbon emissions, these nations rank the highest. Your article casts many "green" efforts as trivial and many of these ARE when one considers they primarily require a broad-based cultural lifestyle shift. Our Planet has no time for this.

    A couple of the main drivers of smaller American family sizes over the past 30 years i would suspect is the issue of costs of rearing children to rising cultural standards and access to education for eventual parents. That influence of a sound eduction instills the simple ideology of quality over quantity and part of the American Dream is that we provide a better world for our children than we ourselves live in. Such an idealistic investment in our youth takes money and quality time.

    At this point in time though, our nation's largest and lowest hanging fruit in terms of carbon emissions simply rests with how we make our energy and how we propel our cars.

    Population control has to be a topic and is an effective lens of perspective for us to look upon the EASIER SACRIFICES our society should make. When we look at imposing limits on how we decide to form our family, carbon taxation for the next 30 years looks like a much better option.

    Though, if our Congress can't make these rational long-term decisions to reduce GHG, perhaps people will be contemplating not bringing children into that future world.

    August 7, 2009 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  7. local man

    I chose to not have children 40 years ago and was told I was selfish.
    It is very apparent that there are too many people on this little planet.
    Halve the population we might then be in balance.

    August 7, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  8. Lorraine, Oakland CA

    "I cannot believe that there are people who think that a human life is less significant than the environment."

    This is called a strawman argument – in other words, no one is saying a human life is less important than a tree. Saving the "environment" isn't about the environment at all – it's about saving humans in the not so distant future.

    The ocean's fisheries are collapsed or collapsing, the world is running out of clean, fresh water, and more of our agricultural land is turning into desert – not to mention that environmental pollutants are a concern because of the impacts they have on human health.

    And yes, population is a major factor – and so is the complete lack of decent management and protection of these resources that are vital to the continued well-being of human beings.

    It would be nice if people thought more about having kids before they did it. I see parents all the time that aren't prepared financial or emotionally for raising kids, and they do it anyway.

    August 7, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  9. Tassos from Greece

    I personally belive that this is a good idea. With unemployment rising and depression thriving overall the World, and primarily overpopulation it is agood idea to consider having a small number of children if not at all, and this is serious.

    It is time to reconsider the childlren-having theory as many of the products required to raise a child do form a serious enviromental hazzard.

    I have observed that cost of living can be ihhibiting to many families and in many cases it is indeed very high.

    August 7, 2009 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  10. Muthyavan.

    While Environmental scientist and Campaigner's are requesting for less child birth in cutting dawn the carbon emissions to earth. China which forced a birth control of one child to one family, to its world highest population nearly thirty years ago is considering to increase one additional child to each families to its population, because shortage of work force. Specially they are experiencing shortage of labour in looking after the ageing population of the new rich China.

    Global warming and increase carbon emission is becoming a great threat to earth environment, world population is only recording a steep increase in certain regions of the world while it is at a sharp drop in many parts of the world. Specially in many western industrial countries they are able survive and increase their productivity because they are drawing in more and more skilled workers from other highly populated countries annually. So global population increase is not at all an immediate threat to environment it is only helping an international workforce a balance distribution.

    Global environmental threats can only be encountered by injecting more research internationally in cutting dawn the carbon emissions and introducing more of ecologically friendly living among the world population. How nature is balancing the growth of forests,mountains and rivers humans birth and growth will also will be balanced according to the global requirement needs.

    August 7, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  11. Zahara Rubinstein

    i agree with Moret, but i also think that the tecnilogy is impacting the growth in the population. since the piniciline, we have multiplied beyond control. people used to die from a simple cold that we now take an asprin to cure. i think, if someone really wanted to save the enviorment, but still carry on a normal life, they would not take medicine or shots that prevent us from dieing out. these desises where sent upon us for a reason- so we stay under control.
    also, the whole prosess of developing and manufacturing medicne, relises incredible amounts of co2 and other substances that destroy the earth we live in.

    August 7, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  12. Curt

    The effects of overpopulation should not be looked upon as simply an opinion. For some reason we feel that a moment's thought on the subject is adequate and that our opinions on the subject are just as good as the scientific community's body of irrefutable evidence. It keeps growing; just like mass denial.

    August 7, 2009 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  13. karim

    to felix : no one is saying that a human life is less significant than the environment, people are more worried about their children, who will have to live on a hyper-polluted planet than on the environment itself (why would people give a damn about nature if our health and even our economy, to some extent, didn't depend on it ?)

    August 7, 2009 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  14. Global Thinker

    Important topic! Many don't consider the consequences on resources, before deciding to have large families. I too ask myself when people are going to learn to be more responsible. This topic, however, probably goes deeper into the grand structure of things.

    August 7, 2009 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  15. karim

    ps : why not adopt ? adoption not only helps the environment by reducing emissions, but also helps a child find happiness and alleviate the costs this child represents to his orphanage or charity that will have more funds available for other children.

    August 7, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  16. JPKelly

    Seems I recall that Paul Erlich well over two decades ago raised the issue of overpopulation and the strain it puts on the earth's ability to support the human population. I think it is incredibly selfish, inconsiderate, and ignorant for any couple to consider adding more than two new humans to "spaceship earth"-they should not more than replace themselves. Of course, Americans in particular (and I am one) must get our consumption down significantly and more in line with the rest of the world. The idea that global warming is not human-influenced is as ludicrous as the right-wing religious fanatics' contention that evolution is not scientifically valid. Sometimes I think we in the US are headed into a new dark ages wth our pathetic lack of scientifically-based education.

    August 7, 2009 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  17. Neca

    Not having kids are good just about for any reason. For Christian they dont take a chance of bringing a person here to be a sinner and taking a chance not to believe in Christ and boommm go to heal!
    Dont have kids let this planet with animals it will be much better and nicer place!!!!!!!!

    August 7, 2009 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  18. Barbara H.

    I can recall when Italy and Germany were paying women significant sums to have more babies before WWII. Of course, those countries were manufacturing "cannon fodder" as Europe's peasantry was once described.

    Other than to produce "cannon fodder" what reason is there for having more children than just to replace yourself? Modern society has found other ways to care for the elderly than leaving that burden solely with their children. Modern agriculture certainly does not require the large families that were once necessary. Automation has reduced the number of workers needed in most manufacturing.

    Many of the emigrants from Germany to the USA and South American in the 1800's came here NOT because they were drawn to the hope of a better life, but because they were PAID by their fellow neighbors to leave. They recognized that overpopulation was pauperizing the country.

    Maybe it's time to PAY people not just for their "clunkers" but also to NOT have more children than required to replaced themselves.

    August 7, 2009 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  19. Dan

    Believe it.

    A human life, my own included, is insignificant when compared to "the environment" (by which I assume you mean the sum of all ecosystems across planet and not just what you can see our of your living room window). The notion that a human life is more valuable than a member of any other species is entirely subjective (since we are human ourselves) and most often seems rooted in religion. It is this inability of people (of whom the "faithful" seem to be the most susceptible) to view the world around them, and their place in it, objectively that threatens us all.

    By most estimates, the world population will reach 9 billion by around 2050. Personally, I thought the 6 billion people we had back in 2000 was more than enough. How many more do we need? A 50% increase in population in the space of 50 years is potentially disastrous (not to mention ridiculous).

    From my own observations, people seem to have a child for one of three reasons:

    – they want someone to take care of them when they’re old
    – they have insufficient access to family planning
    – they arrogantly assume the world would be a better place with a child of theirs in it

    The first two can be addressed through better social support systems, but the arrogance is not so easy to remedy.

    But it isn’t just “the environment” that we should be concerned about. An increasing population brings other threats as well. The parts of the world that are projected to have the largest increases in population are Africa, Asia and South America – arguably the parts of the world that are the least equipped to deal with it. And when the people in these parts of the world are starving en masse (not to mention being displaced by rising sea levels), where do you think they are going to try to go? To Europe. To North America. To Australia and New Zealand. Whether they are welcomed with open arms or refused entry, conflict will ensue. It’s in everyone’s best interest to limit (and preferably reverse) population growth.

    August 7, 2009 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  20. DogMan

    This article (and the tv piece) is poorly framed and seems to be designed to provoke the reaction: What, environmentalists want to kill off my potential family?!?! "The mainstream environmental movement has entirely dropped the ball on this issue... they don’t even mention population.” Well, i am familiar enough with environmentalism to know they do mention population all the time. Try David Suzuki's Green Reader. "They have hundreds of trivial ways in which one can reduce one’s environmental impact" – these are not trivial, they are so important – we are not going to save ourselves by never having children again!

    Obviously we must endeavor to live responsibly AND stabilize population. Lowering your carbon or environmenntal footprint by 10-20% isn't even that hard and can save money and is healthier, and 50-60% is doable for the dedicated, and 90% is at least theoretically possible -without even lowering standard of living. Its about being smart, long-term, taking care of what we are given, and passing it on.

    August 7, 2009 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  21. Marcel

    The main question remains a philosophical one...
    What is better ? To live a cruel life and starve... Or to EXIST LATER !
    What ? You never thought of this ? Well, now you know...
    There is no need that the billions of people have to live all now !
    Well, of course, if we keep destroying this planet, there will be no "later"...

    If you can´t live without children, go adopt some...

    August 7, 2009 at 10:40 pm | Reply
  22. Martin Varela

    Darwin theorized that species were constantly adapting in order to survive and of course those not adapting would fall out of the genetic pool. If groups start on a path of not reproducing in order to "save the enviornment" are they really doing it for that reason or is it because nature is knocking them out of the genetic pool because they can not adapt? I find that it is good to educate your children but at a certain point highly educated people are intellectualing themselves out of having families.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  23. Tim

    Here is just one more attack against the family and the importance of the family. For me the family is the most important thing in my life. I have been married for 7 years, have 3 kids, another coming in November, and I wouldn't change that for anything. I have been and would be willing to sacrifice anything for my family. The only thing that not having kids would do is that it would allow all of the childless people in the world to buy more things to try and fill the void in their lives. I currently moved from Hawaii to Hong Kong and I am able to see the difference between these two cultures, one that has family the other that doesn't... Which one would you say is more environmentally friendly?? The one where most families have children, Hawaii!! Not the one where they have one of the lowest child birth rates, Hong Kong...

    August 8, 2009 at 12:03 am | Reply
  24. Gary Wilson

    We could argue this point over and over, but when we are shoulder to shoulder with everyone on the planet in a couple of hundred years we may have to seriously consider one child per couple.

    August 8, 2009 at 1:42 am | Reply
  25. Tim

    We most certainly must start having fewer children! While we're at it, let's stop the poor from having children, because they are really becoming a drain on government finances. And don't forget the homely! Wouldn't want them procreating, at least not more than once; they make the pretty people look even prettier. Mentally deficient? Better get the sterilization instruments out. After all, if we are going to clean up the environment by curbing human population, we might as well work on the kind of crowd that's going to be left over, eh? SOMEBODY has to make sure this happens. Might as well be Adolf's spiritual descendants in the new Department of Population Control sure to be created by the ever-slower-growing tax revenue. Of course, environment won't matter much when the populations that manage to stop growing are conquered by those populations who continue procreating at will and thus strengthen their numbers. But I forget . . . peace and flowers will cover the planet first, and no one will want to make war by that time!

    August 8, 2009 at 1:55 am | Reply
  26. pragmatic chap

    while human lives are significant, haven't we already faced the one-child policy issue? look at what's happrnrd in countries such as china and india whose populations exude CO2 emisions which are much beyond anything that that part of the world can copr with.

    now, people emit CO2 by just BREATHING, for goodness' sake! are we now supposed to stop breathing to "save the planet"? what about the option of adoption? or stricter laws againsy yeenage pregnancies? just a few ideas.

    August 8, 2009 at 2:04 am | Reply
  27. Qreur

    It't not the NUMBER of children.. it's the QUALITY that counts. Lesser genetic capabilities will continue to dominate the future human genome since thinking people get less children and those who are dependent on the taxes paid by the productive, continue to have more. In time, the human gene pool will deteriorate.

    To save the planet, people with productive genes should be rewarded to have more children and those with parasitic genes should be punished.

    August 8, 2009 at 2:26 am | Reply
  28. gfmohn

    When I has a kid, people said, "Excuse me for breathing," as a sarcasm when they felt unappreciated. Now, some people feel so guilty that they actually say this and mean it. These poor people really shouldn't reproduce. Then the knowledge that they deserve a Darwin Award for improving the human gene pool will give them some much needed self-esteem.

    August 8, 2009 at 2:33 am | Reply
  29. Dave

    Telling or forcing people not to have children goes against human nature, and is a subject that is rightly shunned.

    But since it costs money to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, surely this about giving people an ECONOMIC CHOICE about having or not having children?

    Europe already has a system in place whereby companies pay to clean up their carbon pollution (and a similar system is likely to come to America soon). It currently costs around $20 per year to offset each tonne of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere.

    So if two people want to have a child, they simply pay to offset the 9,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide that their child will generate.

    In other words, if people choose that having a child is very important to them, they would pay $180,000 per year for the privilege.

    August 8, 2009 at 2:41 am | Reply
  30. Harshad

    Of course it makes sense. More the people, more energy requirements, more vehicles required, more damage to environment. Authors do not seek to make people celibate, they just want us to understand the need to have fewer children. One child every couple, thats what we ought to observe. I support it.

    August 8, 2009 at 4:27 am | Reply
  31. Mak

    It's really simple ... no earth, no mankind. So yes in the future this is going to be a possibility, I don't see the problem in it.

    August 8, 2009 at 5:31 am | Reply
  32. John Schilling

    It's the quality of children and their contribution to the earth that matters. Not having a child won't solve anything. At the end of their lives, people that don't have children are a burden on society as they have no family to rely on. Many old people that are childless end up miserable, lonely and bitter.

    August 8, 2009 at 6:48 am | Reply
  33. Ray

    Many years ago, I read that our planet cannot support the current population. Half or less is about right. Yet, Japan and Germany's birth rate of about 1 child per couple considered low and abnormal; China's one-child policy is considered unfair. And many cultures (western, eastern and everything in-between) think that having children "for the grandparents" is the thing to do.

    In a Star Trek Next Generation episode called "Half a Life", a planet forces people to commit suicide at 60 years old. Unfortunately, as a sci-fi tv show, episodes like this one did not garner as much attention as it deserved...it definitely makes one think.

    If we are reaching the point of "no return", as some environmentalists are saying, do we seriously believe that recycling cans, turning off lights, and buying and trading carbon credits will undo the damage? At some stage, the hard questions will have to be asked. Let's think about how to answer them, rather than blaming people for asking...

    August 8, 2009 at 7:27 am | Reply
  34. Izzie Nutz

    The planet has only been able to support a load of 7 billion people due to cheap and abundant energy. As energy becomes greatly more expensive during the decline of carbon fuels, it will quickly become apparent that some form of population control or reduction is an absolute necessity.

    August 8, 2009 at 8:39 am | Reply
  35. Noel Dass

    I think this discussion is long over-due! No one is suggesting taking human life to ease the effects on the environment. It's only a matter of reducing the number of children one wants to have or not having them at all. It's really a choice that we're all allowed to make.

    There's also a strong argument in favour of fewer children on the financial and economic front. With the cost of living rising daily worldwide and with job security and stability becoming increasingly an illusion, the fewer mouths to feed, the better the family will be overall!

    No point having a dozen children but without the resources to sustain a happy and healthy childhood.

    August 8, 2009 at 10:22 am | Reply
  36. Theo

    "How much would you sacrifice to save the planet? Would you consider not having a child?"

    Exactly. That is my vision. I feel humanity are a plague. I won't reproduce for this reason.
    Greets from Belgium,
    Theo

    August 8, 2009 at 10:38 am | Reply
  37. John

    Of course, the Chinese for years have been financially penalising couples who have more than one child – but it's much easier to do it without the tiresome issue of democratic elections every few years...

    It's notable that the replies to this article are all articulate, well-informed and well thought-through (ie the issue has not yet filtered down to the majority of the population..!).

    Many leading 'greenies' (Zak Goldsmith, Tony Blair) have large families, and I hope that increasingly they will be called to account on this before presuming to lecture the rest of us on conserving the planet's resources. To borrow the old racial discrimination phrase: if you have more than two kids – you're part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    Oh, and one more thing: it's very important that we not allow people to confuse population growth / numbers with the issue of immigration (ie just shuffling around those people who already exist). A recent poll in the UK found that most people wanted to solve population growth by limiting immigration (more so than by limiting family size) – which predictably misses the point entirely.... 🙁

    August 8, 2009 at 11:13 am | Reply
  38. Francis

    Felix, you must be religous? Otherwise there is no explanation for your knee jerk reaction that we can't put humans before the planet. Well if we don't put the planet before humans, it, and therefore us are f.... ehm in deep trouble.Unless your God descends from above, and cleans up the environmental damage for us. Which God told you BTW that human life is more significant than the environment.

    The world is 97% full. Please delete anyone you can.

    August 8, 2009 at 11:51 am | Reply
  39. Lorraine

    When I was 12 in 1972 I remember hearing on the radio that population growth was a huge problem and that by the year 2000 we might reach 5 billion people. I was shocked and decided then and there I wouldn't have kids. We're now way over 5 billion and I'm always surprised and sad population control became a forgotten issue.

    I believe if having kids was truly planned, instead of an accident which happens when someone says, "Oops, what happened to the condom?" then everyone who really wanted children would be satisfied. Why not automatically fit people with a patch so they can't have kids, and have them wait six months before removing the patch.

    August 8, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  40. Lakshman Dalpadado

    Environmental degradation is due to several factors

    1. Excessive number of humans
    2. Excessive materialistic consumption to maintain high living standards
    3. Increased meat consumption ( increased animal farming)
    4. Increased life span and shifting demographics- more elderly people

    The last is very important. Whilst we try increase the life span of the elderly , at the same time we are carrying out millions of abortions. We are trying to preserve the present generation of elderly at the expense of future generations. Society needs young people to function; therefore limiting family size to one or maximum of two is essential.

    We should all try to enjoy life and die as early as possible. Forget Cholesterol and enjoy your food. As a agnostic and a heart surgeon thats what I do!!

    August 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  41. Jay

    There are too many people on the planet, yet there is a well-organized movement of Fundamentalist Christians called Quiver Full who believe that God wants them to have as many children as possible. Some of them even get their own reality TV shows.

    These people take their name and their rationale from a verse in the Psalms that says "children are an heritage from the Lord; happy is the man who has his quiver full of them." All well and good, but this poem, like the rest of the Bible, was written at a time when a newborn's chances of surviving to maturity were slim at best, and people had as many children as they could in the hopes that at least one would survive. Those conditions no longer obtain in the 21st century, which is why Quiver Full is sadly misguided and needs to be stopped.

    August 8, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  42. Mike, Colorado Springs

    I don't think the planet needs "saving", or that having one less child than I do would do much of anything, so no... I wouldn't even consider it. I would be willing to make large sacrifices if climate science had remotely like the certainty of say... orbital mechanics (e.g. a planet-killer asteroid were found impacting the earth in 50 years). But it doesn't. Not even close.

    Due to large uncertainties in how aerosols and clouds are modelled, climate science can't even say with certainty if the feedback on small CO2-induced warming is positive or negative. And given that the planet's had both far higher temperatures and far higher CO2 levels (not necessarily at the same time) in geologic history, it seems highly unlikely that the feedbacks are strongly positive (as most of the GCMs assume). Basically, I think another decade or so of no warming or slight cooling will have sufficiently discredited the models that we'll pay less attention to models and start do a lot more real, observation-based science again.

    August 9, 2009 at 5:18 am | Reply
  43. Omar

    I think population control is an issue which affects mostly developing countries where governeent funded initiatives to promote smaller sized families conflicts with religious beliefs (in muslim countries mostly). It is important to keep a smaller family but it will need education to put the message through, China's one child policy and it's subsequent enforcement was a draconian extreme, now it's DNA testing is also prone to cause problems. how can they test the human spirit?. they should've watched Gataca.. I think environmental groups should focus more on green house emission and green technology, this is a very volatile topic which can easily be politicised and would then take the focus away from getting the developed economies towards lowering their emmission levels to the developing countries being asked to control their population. It would well mean that economic aid will then become available to only those countries that comply with standards set by he donors and create more problems within and this could beused as fodder to further the agendas of extremist groups.

    August 9, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  44. REYES

    I CAN NOT UNDERSTAND WHY HUMANS,

    August 9, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  45. Diana

    But people DO contribute to the degradation of the planet. Ever seen the trash on Mt. Everest? Or look up the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" and see what we're doing to the ocean. Or think about overfishing. Or the decimation of our rainforests? The more people we create, the worse these issues are going to become. So, what's wrong with people having one or two children? Even with simple "replacement", we'll have 7 billion people. Isn't that enough? That vast number is why we have corporations and chemical companies creating our food, rather than farmers. I don't have children, and many of my friends don't either. We're not say that YOU shouldn't, but we wish that people would look at the big picture and see that the world doesn't need ANYONE to have 18 kids. The idea that just because one CAN procreate, doesn't mean it's always a great idea. And certainly not to the Quiverfull extent! What purpose does having 18 kids serve? "Be fruitful and multiply" was a statement made thousands of years ago, at a time when population growth was an actual issue. If nobody had more than one child now, we'd still be fine...we're not going to die out. I don't have children for many reasons, but reducing my footprint is definitely one of them. An helping to create a society where people aren't all jockeying for the same finite resources seems like a good thing to me.

    August 12, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  46. Lester

    Wow! Reading these comments just drives home the kind of wackos, on all sides of the spectrum, get their news from CNN. You've got everything from the religious nuts that believe that people are more important than the planet. (Where would you have all these people live?) To the liberal human hating tree huggers, believing that humans are all intrinsically evil. For those, I say, please, commit suicide to rid the planet of some of it's burden. Has anybody ever heard of being reasonable? Limit procreation to no more than replacing yourself. Don't fly around the world on giant personal jets, (Al Gore), causing tons of pollution every day. You know, be reasonable. And the one that wondered about where we would live with the rising sea levels. Could you please tell me where you get your information? I live in a coastal town, and the sea level isn't rising. Use your head, think for yourself. Don't just follow Al Gore and others like him blindly.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  47. Peter Thorne

    Native American Strong Man, Chief Iron Bear, is pulling for his North Carolina County
    LUMBERTON — Harold “Chief Iron Bear” Collins will undertake a feat that has never been done before. The Robeson County strong man will pull a 20,000-pound tractor trailer for 20 MILES into eight towns in Robeson County to bring awareness to the history and beauty of the county.

    August 13, 2009 at 3:42 am | Reply
  48. Steph

    "By having one less child, an American would save more than nine thousand metric tonnes of carbon dioxide"

    I think you mean one FEWER child, but...yeah. I think that it's hilarious when people strive so hard to recycle and buy green and blah blah blah (all good things), but then go pop out a child or five and still consider themselves eco-friendly.

    August 14, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  49. Vishwanath

    I scannot believe that a country like United States,the world's greatest superpower,is still debating whether 'global warmiing exists","if signing kyoto is necessary","evolution theory is valid or not".You just have to go to Bangladesh to see that global warming exists.You just have to look at yourself in the mirror to prove that u r product of evolution.Wak up and smell the coffee before its too late.The only reason countries like india and China are not ruling the world is because of the vicous problem of population explosion.Its time that we gave due attention to world's population menace to save our future."For saving the future of one child,having a 2nd child may be sacrificed"...its prudent and practical.

    August 18, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Reply

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