Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Seven Million: How to Make the World a Better Place

The last few days the rapidly increasing numbers of humans have been getting a lot of press, probably well-merited. The New York Times had an interesting story yesterday about a campaign to link birth rates in the developed world with species extinction.

Were the US birth rate reduced from about two children per woman (below the replacement rate) to 1.5, green house gases would decline by 10 percent by 2050 and by 33 by the end of the century, the story says.

Canada's birthrate already is about 1.58 per woman, so I have no idea what decreasing that farther would mean. What I do know is that all children should be wanted children, and that women around the world should be educated. Literate girls grow into women who have fewer chilren because they are more likely to know what their birth control choices are as well as having a better idea of how to raise healthy children. Indeed, educating girls have proved to be a more effective path to population control than coercive government policies.

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