Vogue Mag writer Nell Frizzell: "Is having a child an act of environmental vandalism or an investment in the future? Is it possible to live an ecologically responsible life while adding yet another person to our overstretched planet?"
UK Guardian: "Census data from the US released last week showed the number of babies born in the country in 2020 dropped to the lowest level in more than four decades. The same day, Japan marked Children’s Day by announcing that the number of under-14s in the country had fallen for the 40th consecutive year to a record low." ... "It is not just in the rich world that the appetite for having children is falling. Also in 2020, China may have recorded its first overall population decline since a catastrophic famine in the late 1950s, the Financial Times has reported." ...
"Last century, the global demographic panic was about an overpopulated world running out of food. Those fears have long looked out of date, but it is only recently that we have understood how soon much of the world may be grappling with shrinking populations. ... An end to global population growth could have advantages, including relieving pressure on our battered environment, particularly if the decline is centred in carbon-intensive wealthier economies."
WaPo's Ishaan Tharoor: "Two years ago, the U.N. IPCC warned that without huge, unprecedented cuts to carbon emissions over the next decade, the world would place itself on the brink of climate disaster. Subsequent studies suggested that, even if the demands of climate activists were met, it would take decades to measure any discernible effects.
There are reasons for hope. Myriad governments have embraced ambitious plans to transition their economies toward being carbon neutral....The World Economic Forum - a bastion of optimism - foresees a future in 2030 in which urban centers are transformed into zones shaped by pedestrian activity, technology increasingly obviates the need to own cars, fewer people eat meat, people breathe cleaner air and renewable, clean energy dominates the energy sector."
"But new research inspired by the famous wager between economist Julian Simon and biologist Paul Erhlich has found just the opposite. Consider the amount of time it takes a typical worker to earn enough money to buy commodities — the “time price” of those items, so to speak.
The recently published “Simon Abundance Index” found that for each 1 percent increase in the world’s population, the average time price of 50 commonly used commodities declined by 0.934 percent. In other words, for each 1 percent increase in population, the cost of commodities has fallen by almost 1 percent. Each child born today eventually grows up to make resources less scarce, on average, by contributing to innovation and the global economy.
So, worrying about overpopulation makes little sense."
Such a fall would remove some of the projected strain on natural resources but would present governments with stark policy choices over migration and the economy. The world’s population will peak at 9.7 billion in 2064 and decline to 8.8 billion by the end of the century, according to research led by the University of Washington in the US and published in the Lancet. It says some countries, including Japan, Spain and Italy, will see their populations halve, while sub-Saharan Africa’s population will triple in the next 80 years. ...
The number of older people will overtake the young, with 2.4 billion people over the age of 65 forecast by 2100, compared with 1.7 billion under the age of 20. The major factors in shrinking the population are widening access to contraception and improvements in educating women and girls. If those trends are curtailed, higher growth will ensue.
"More rapid growth in educational attainment, on the other hand, is likely to produce increased economic activity and an eventual net increase in emissions of around 5% to 25% by 2100, depending on the region."
Britain said it planned to treble tree planting rates over the next three years to help reach its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, as part of efforts to fight climate change..."We will make sure that the right trees are planted in the right places and that more green jobs are created in the forestry sector," Eustice is due to say, according to a government statement published on Sunday.