Why China got population control wrong; India got it right. From Aljazeera, May 4, 2023:


From the ‘SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN’ : A future with fewer people offers increased opportunity and a healthier environment. By Stephanie Feldstein on May 4, 2023


The Overpopulation Project, two articles of interest:

Thailand’s success story – Family planning with creativity and humor:  https://overpopulation-project.com/thailand-success-story-family-planning-with-creativity-and-humor/

History was rewritten to delegitimize population concerns: we need to reassert the truth:  https://overpopulation-project.com/history-was-rewritten-to-delegitimize-population-concerns-we-need-to-reassert-the-truth/

MAHB: The population crisis – a Call to Arms. http://tinyurl.com/ybxsrlfy

“How can we expect wide understanding of our plight , if all the facts are not made easily available and are not part of world-wide education systems? 

“These facts must include at least: the numbers and distribution of world population: an overview of how these numbers have changed, and are changing: the arithmetical facts about the necessity of one-child families: a summary of the world-wide destruction we are wreaking-including climate change.”

Guardian: Want to fight climate change? http://tinyurl.com/ybr5m3ah

This important article confirms the work of other researchers (see Murtaugh and Schlax in the section ‘Your Family’  at http://qcop.org.uk/immediate-action ), and confirms that the  reduction of one’s eventual family by one might save as much as twenty times as much carbon dioxide emission as all the other likely steps that one might make.

Overpopulation Opinions: Reflections on my book tour in England

By Dr. Karen I. Shragg

Karen Shragg, author of ‘Move Upstream: a Call to Solve Overpopulation’, was invited to visit the UK to speak at several venues. The ensuing discussions led her to write  these reflections and recommendations, under a series of headings: these cover compassion, the use of focus groups, remove all shame (you will see what this means when you read the article), staying focused on our message, keeping in contact with other groups. This is an important article

Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided? Ehrlich and Ehrlich, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, http://tinyurl.com/ptauwep.

‘Virtually every past civilization has eventually undergone collapse, a loss of socio-political-economic complexity usually accompanied by a dramatic decline in population size…but, for the first time, humanity’s global civilization…is threatened with collapse by an array of environmental problems.’

The paper calls this the ‘human predicament’, and states that it is driven by ‘overpopulation, overconsumption of natural resources and the use of unnecessarily environmentally damaging technologies and socio-economic-political arrangements to service Homo sapiens’ aggregate consumption’.

Considering population and war: a critical and neglected aspect of conflict studies. Bradley A. Thayer, Proceedings of the Royal Society B,   http://tinyurl.com/o3wn8bp

This is a discussion of the reasons why population is not taken into account in the study of conflict. The author’s abstract makes clear his conviction that population stress has an impact on conflict.

In his introduction he expresses the view that ‘Political scientists are open to many theoretical and methodological approaches to the analysis of war. Yet, the relationship between population and war is not one of them. The reason why says much about the health of the study of international politics. Population, and insights from the life sciences more broadly, fall outside the standard social model forcefully advanced since Durkheim—social facts may only be explained by other social facts. For traditionally trained social scientists, the biological is taboo, and population is thus neglected. The cost of this neglect is significant. Shunning the life sciences costs political scientists a better understanding of political behaviour’

He concludes, ‘Those of us who analyse conflict for a living would be wise to recognize the myriad of contributions made by population studies. Both the life and social sciences are needed here. If successful, the result will be a consilient solution to a problem that requires one’

Confronting the inevitable: Population reduction, voluntary or otherwise. J. Kenneth Smail, http://tinyurl.com/qjem8qb

This article appeared in the online environmental journal Culture Change. It is preceded with a short note by the editor.

Ken Smail (Ph.D Yale, 1976) is Professor of Anthropology (Emeritus) at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio.

In this article he makes a case for not only slowing population growth, but for reversing it, over a period of about two centuries, to a level of two billion. Note, however, that his statement as to projected levels of population in 2050 and 2100 are outdated (the article was published in 2008). Rather than peaking at 9-10 billion, UN’s median projection is 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, with no decline expected.

To quote:-‘As a consequence of this modern-day “Malthusian dilemma,” it seems reasonable to suggest that it is now time — indeed, past time — to think boldly about the midrange future, and to consider alternatives that go beyond merely slowing the growth, or even the stabilization, of global human numbers. In this brief essay, I shall argue that it has now become necessary for the human species to develop and implement, as quickly as possible, a well conceived, clearly articulated, flexibly designed, broadly equitable, and internationally coordinated program focused on bringing about a very significant reduction in global human numbers over the next two or more centuries. In simple quantitative terms, this effort will likely require a global population “shrinkage” of at least two-thirds to three-fourths, from a probable mid-to-late 21st century “peak” in the 9 to 10 billion range to a future (23rd century and beyond) “population optimum” of not more than 2 to 3 billion, or perhaps even fewer.

Obviously, a demographic change of this magnitude, whether brought about by conscious human design or ultimately by forces beyond human control, will require a major reorientation of human thought, values, expectations, and lifestyle(s). Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that such a program will be successful. Moreover, if humanity fails in this effort, it seems likely that nature’s even harsher realities will almost certainly be imposed. Speaking as a professional physical anthropologist/human evolutionary biologist, it is entirely possible that this rapidly metastasizing — yet still partly hidden — demographic and environmental crisis could emerge as the greatest evolutionary/ecological “bottleneck” that our species has yet encountered.’

Smart Planning for the Global Family, Lester Brown, Grist Magazine, April 2011

This article is a good general exposition of the case for family planning, and is especially informative on the continual reversals of policy in Iran. See http://tinyurl.com/z2q4sl2

De-population in Japan 

The standard economist’s attitude to population growth was expressed to me over 60 years ago by a tutor who said that ‘a growing population is good for the economy’. It is no surprise therefore that the situation in Japan is bewailed by economists. If numbers decline, they argue, economic growth is hobbled and the increasing number of elderly becomes a burden.

Japan’s population is the world’s oldest: the median age is 46 years, and a quarter of the population is over 65. The current fertility rate is 1.4 children per woman: one in four women don’t have children.

There are benefits, however. The proportion of the population that is dependent on the workforce is not dissimilar to that of other countries, but within that group there are twice as many over 65 as children: so less is spent on education. Although Japan’s economy is slow growing, per capita wealth has been rising strongly, as a result of the benefits of economic growth being divided between a smaller number

This article, from the Japanese paper Japan Today praises the benefits of a declining population; http://tinyurl.com/jq9otes

This one, from CNN, is a good discussion, entitled ‘Is Japan’s aging population a good thing?’ is on http://tinyurl.com/jyhhyq4

 A Response to Critics of Family Planning Programs:  John Bongaarts and Steven W. Sinding

This is a considered essay that dissects a number of standard objections to population action. It should be noted that this article, which appeared in March 2009, is now out of date as to some of the figures quoted: for example, in the first critique it states that 137 million women don’t want to get pregnant but are not practicing contraception: this figure is now thought to be 225 million.

The objections covered question the need for policies, or suggest that such policies are ineffective, that the death toll from AIDS etc. are making it unnecessary: that programmes are not cost effective and are coercive. The article is on www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3503909.html

Article in British Medical Journal: Voluntary Family Planning to Minimize and Mitigate Climate change, by Dr. John Guillebaud, Emeritus Professor of Family Planning and Reproductive Health, University College of London.

Guillebaud puts out for discussion the “persistent myth is that quantitative concern for human numbers is intrinsically coercive, and in much of civil society this idea still inhibits rational discussion about population stabilization.” All in all, the article is highly useful as a advocacy tool to influence policy-makers and thought-leaders. Strategies to remove cultural barriers to contraceptive uptake and educate people on the benefits of small family size decisions have never been more important.

This article is on www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2102

Blue Ventures. Incorporating family planning services within community conservation initiatives can address the unmet reproductive health needs of hard-to-reach populations, enabling couples to access contraception and avoid unintended pregnancies.

This is the finding of a paper published in 2017 in Studies in Family Planning, which reports on changes in modern contraception use and general fertility rates between 2009 and 2013 in the Velondriake locally managed marine area of southwest Madagascar, where Blue Ventures began implementing an integrated Population-Health-Environment (PHE) programme in 2007.