Monday, March 03, 2008

Too Many People

Was kind of listening to Sir David Attenborough on BBC's Breakfast News this morning pushing the final episode of "Life In Cold Blood". He was discussing his lengthy career and said something quite startling. Since he has been making wildlife documentaries - some fifty six years - the population of the planet has increased threefold.

Having been surprised by this, I've had a look around, and it seems he is correct: Following on from the Second World War, there was a population of around 2.1 billion - there are now approximately 6.6 billion people on Earth. The UN estimates that world population will peak in 2200 at 10 billion. As Attenborough himself noted this morning, all these extra people place a strain on the Earth.

The drain on the planet's resources are increased to feed them, while previously natural landscapes are reduced in size so that these extra people have somewhere to live. I'm not especially interested in the "Natural World" - although I have previously been charmed by Attenborough's own work (initially with "Life On Earth" in the late 1970's) - so this isn't a WWF/Greenpeace type warning on the diminishing number of species. No, I'm less involved in looking at & after animals than these more vocal activists.

My concern is from a more, shall we say, personal point of view. There are too many people on this damn planet and there's a very simple way to stop the problem getting worse.

Stop having children.

Instead of thinking "Well done us for having a child", maybe start thinking "Do we really need one?". If you can honestly say that, hand on your heart, you *need* to have a mewling ball of vomit and faeces crawling round your house and disturbing your sleep for 18 years, then - and only then - can you start to look at the options.

Perhaps you do sleep too well and too much. Perhaps you do have too much money. Maybe you like the smell of dried milky vomit on all your possessions. It's possible tha you and your partner really do hate your friends so much that you'd like to stop seeing them for about five years, except at times that suit your babysitter. Who really needs to go on a cheap spontaneous holiday abroad ever again?

But do *you* NEED to have children? Could you perhaps adopt a child? Can you give fostering a go and see if you're cut out for it? Would it not be better to just be an Aunt, Uncle or Godparent?

No? Well how about, if you're not working, not contributing to society or just too damn young, what about getting a six year sterilization and see what you think when you can contribute to the kid's up keep? When you aren't a kid yourself? When you realise that there might have been things you wanted to do in your early 20's that didn't involve changing nappies?

A couple of weeks back, there was a report on the BBC about an Argentinian girl who had given birth to her second set of triplets. She's 16 and the mother of seven. Today, I read of a boy in the North of England who has fathered seven kids to seven different girls by the age of 21. Funnily enough, he's not working and isn't living with the latest pregnant bint.

Now. Do you REALLY need a child?

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Blogger Mia said...

Oi. You trying to do me out of a job?!


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