Friday, 18 November 2011
There has been considerable coverage of the announcement that the world’s population has crossed the 7 billion threshold for the first time.
On the back of this people have expressed their fears about what this means in terms of managing resources. One eminent scientist went so far as to suggest that families in Scotland should be limited to two children.
I don’t think that the question shouldn’t really about limiting the number of children; it should be about how much we humans consume, in terms of food, energy, water and other resources.
There is enough to go around, we just need to find a better way of sharing it with one another.
Reports from UN and elsewhere suggest this is possible but we will have to change the way we manage and share the earth’s resources to ensure there is enough for everybody.
We hide ethical issues of sharing behind the false god of economic growth. What we in affluent countries cannot do is continue to consume resources at the current wasteful rate.
For these reasons excessive consumption rather than excessive population is the real issue.