Do you ever think that the answer to human disasters is to ensure that there are no people? Do you ever wonder about the fact that there are 30,000 people dying every day from preventable causes and muse that those horrifically high numbers could easily come down to zero if only there were no people at all? Do you think that people should prefer to save 8.5 hectares of potential wildlife habitat for 82 years rather than have a child?

If you answered yes to these questions, perhaps you should consider joining the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT – pronounced Vehement, because they feel strongly about things). But of course, don’t consider too long about joining – the nature of the beast means that the membership may not be around forever.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, VHEMT is designed to make people think twice about having children. Its motto is “may we live long and die out” and it is “a movement advanced by people who care about life on planet Earth.” Just not, of course, human life. But don’t think that this group is “a bunch of misanthropes”. No, members of VHEMT don’t turn cartwheels when a tragedy strikes, taking thousands of humans to an early death. Instead, voluntary human extinction is the humanitarian alternative to human disasters. How do we stop so many thousand people dying each day in horrible and tragic ways? No more people!

The logic is, of course, impeccable: no more humans means no human disasters. But then there would be no one present to witness such a disaster averted or the thousands of people saved. Nor would there be any humans left to enjoy the species saved, the wild areas regrown and the habitats reformed. Indeed, the sane reaction to the argument that Earth will be fantastic without anyone around is a healthy, “Who cares?” Literally, no one. The only ones who could care are us, humans. But we wouldn't be around.

At least VHEMT are not yet so vehement that they support government coercion of people towards extinction (and quite frankly, it does not seem a very attractive political programme). The one child policy or its equivalents is not for VHEMT. It wants people to refuse to populate the planet voluntarily. Extinction yes, but coercion no. The only thing I want to say to VHEMT’s programme is “Certainly! But you first.”

Marcus Roberts was two years out of law school when he decided that practising law was no longer for him. He therefore went back to university and did his LLM while tutoring. He now teaches contract and...