Monday, February 02, 2009

Worry a little less about sustainable development and a little more about sustainable population growth

The government's green adviser has warned that couples who have more than two children are being “irresponsible” by creating an unbearable burden on the environment. Not much really to say, except that this guy has taken leave of his senses. No society can prosper (or even survive for that matter) on negative population growth. How are we supposed to pay for the rising costs pensions or healthcare when you have a declining workforce paying for an ever growing army of pensioners?

Right now, Britain (and most of Europe) is suffering not from population growth but from population decline. Britain is currently below the population replacement level of 2.1 children per couple, and we are having to rely on immigration in order to create population growth. As Mark Steyn has put it in his book America Alone, "we are having to import the children that were not prepared to have".

Perhaps it's time that environmentalists worried a little less about sustainable development, and instead worried a little more about sustainable population growth.