The population control movement in Britain has found a new and powerful voice in a top government adviser. Jonathon Porritt, who chairs the official Sustainable Development Commission, says people should have no more than two children. He says curbing population growth through family planning must be at the heart of policies to fight global warming. A report by the commission, to be published next month, will say that governments must reduce population growth by funding better family planning — even if it means shifting money from curing illness to increasing contraception and abortion.

“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. “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.”
Britain’s population, now 61 million, is projected to pass 70 million by 2028 — thanks mainly to the higher birth rate of immigrants (2.5 children per woman) compared with that of British-born women (1.7).

Porritt, who has two children, is a former member of the Green Party and a current patron of the Optimum Population Trust, which has been campaigning for a couple of years for people to “stop at two”. He says other environmentalist groups, such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, “are betraying the interests” of their members if they refuse to address population issues.
This month an international group of scientists and academics is launching a campaign called Global Population Speak Out to publicise what it calls the “fundamental link between the size and growth of the human population and environmental degradation”.

Josephine Treloar, a mother of seven, told The Times that large families lead more environmentally friendly lives: “People with two children often have more money and their assets are ploughed into fewer people. “ In large families there is an element of necessity that means material goods are used more efficiently,” she pointed out. ~ Times Online, Feb 1

An interesting angle on the anti-fertility campaign is provided by “green” doctor Pippa Hayes. The British GP, who was sterilised after the birth of her second son — even though she wanted a daughter — says she would refuse to treat someone for fertility problems if they already had four children. “I would say, ‘Sorry, this is something which is against my beliefs, but I suggest you go and see one of my partners’. I believe I would have the right to be a conscientious objector if it happened.”

Good to hear a voice raised for freedom on conscience among doctors — even if it belongs to someone who thinks two children is “all we are entitled to”. ~ Times Online, Feb 1

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet