When these "green" Malthusian prophets of doom start taking their own
lives out of their guilt over carbon footprints, I'll then consider
limiting my fecundity.
Two children should be limit, says green guru
Sarah-Kate Templeton, Health Editor
COUPLES who have more than two children are being "irresponsible" by
creating an unbearable burden on the environment, the government's
green adviser has warned.
Jonathon Porritt, who chairs the government's Sustainable Development
Commission, says curbing population growth through contraception and
abortion must be at the heart of policies to fight global warming. He
says political leaders and green campaigners should stop dodging the
issue of environmental harm caused by an expanding population.
A report by the commission, to be published next month, will say that
governments must reduce population growth through better family
"I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own
responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they
decide to procreate and how many children they think are
appropriate," Porritt said.
Go easy on the guilt trip, Jonathon
Green GP refuses to help women have large families
"I think we will work our way towards a position that says that
having more than two children is irresponsible. It is the ghost at
the table. We have all these big issues that everybody is looking at
and then you don't really hear anyone say the "p" word."
The Optimum Population Trust, a campaign group of which Porritt is a
patron, says each baby born in Britain will, during his or her
lifetime, burn carbon roughly equivalent to 2½ acres of old-growth
oak woodland - an area the size of Trafalgar Square.
The British population, now 61m, will pass 70m by 2028, the Office
for National Statistics says. The fertility rate for women born
outside Britain is estimated to be 2.5, compared with 1.7 for those
born here. The global population of 6.7 billion is expected to rise
to 9.2 billion by 2050.
Porritt, who has two children, intends to persuade environmental
pressure groups to make population a focus of campaigning.
"Many organisations think it is not part of their business. My
mission with the Friends of the Earth and the Greenpeaces of this
world is to say: `You are betraying the interests of your members by
refusing to address population issues and you are doing it for the
wrong reasons because you think it is too controversial," he said.
Porritt, a former chairman of the Green party, says the government
must improve family planning, even if it means shifting money from
curing illness to increasing contraception and abortion.
He said: "We still have one of the highest rates of teenage
pregnancies in Europe and we still have relatively high levels of
pregnancies going to birth, often among women who are not convinced
they want to become mothers.