This section covers things that anyone can do now.
This website seeks to inform you, and there is much more that you can do to inform yourself. Look at the section ‘Reading’, for books, articles and videos.
Empower to Plan
Women around the world want the power to choose how many children to have – and when. Evidence shows that where women are empowered, there’s a natural fall in birth rate. Yet many women – both in developed countries and in the Global South – lack the contraception, knowledge and freedom to take control of their fertility.
Population Matters in conjunction with other grassroot NGOs to create Empower to Plan, which crowdfunds three charities which are effective family planning providers to support their projects and increase their impact. Doubtless the charities will vary, but at time of writing they are as below.
Chase Africa, bringing free family planning to Kenyan communities. They are seeking to pay for three mobile day-clinics, enabling 600 people to access modern contraception: tinyurl.com/yb7k8r5t,
You Before Two, which is a UK based sex education project empowering girls at high risk of sexual exploitation and pregnancy, and providing them with the facts on contraception and relationships: tinyurl.com/y7n54thm
Wings Guatemala, which helps women and men in remote communities to gain access to modern contraception: tinyurl.com/yd8debuz
In considering the intended size of your family, bear in mind the consequences of a number of children above that necessary for replacement. Note that the additional burden on the planet of one extra child must substantially exceed the savings that one can make in one’s life by the most rigorous measures to be green.
Two academics have carried out research that makes this point very clearly. They are Paul Murtaugh, a professor of statistics, and Michael Schlax, an oceanic and atmospheric science professor, of Oregon State University.
As reported in the New York Times, “Take, for example, a hypothetical American woman who switches to a more fuel-efficient car, drives less, recycles, installs more efficient light bulbs, and replaces her refrigerator and windows with energy saving models. If she has two children, the researchers found, her carbon legacy would eventually rise to nearly forty times what she had saved by these actions”
“A parent is responsible for one half of the emissions of their children, one quarter of the emissions of their grandchildren and so on”. They also calculated that the hypothetical woman could cut about 486 tones of CO2 in her own life, but that savings for each birth forgone would be between 9441 ton and 12730 tons: so each birth forgone saves 20 times more than the efforts she made in her own life.”
There is a rather technical paper on http://tinyurl.com/lfuaqsq
If your family is already established, discuss the issue of population often enough that your views are known (without lecturing, of course). You need to do this, because you can scarcely lecture your adult children who are about to get married not to have too many kids. They would probably not, at that stage, appreciate this advice.
See also this Population Matters article: http://tinyurl.com/ho7tc55
and also Guardian: ‘Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children’ on https://tinyurl.com/ybr5m3ah
Support charities and other bodies
There is a list of bodies you can support in ‘UN and Others’ here: the ones particularly recommended are Marie Stopes International for action, and Population Matters for information and campaigning. If you are in USA, Population Media Center is an excellent organization: however Marie Stopes and Population Matters are registered charities in UK: therefore you can reclaim tax, and this may make better use of your money if you are a UK citizen.
And, of course, there is QCOP! Support can mean becoming a member, which is free and helps to show that many Quakers accept the connection between world population and the environmental imbalance.
A very practical action you can take is to find your choice of charities that support young girls in education, where education is not necessarily available, or universal. For example, one of our members supports the Girl Child Education Fund based in Kenya. It is specifically designed to keep girls in the Turkana and Samburu tribes in school so that they will not become child brides as early as 12 years of age and to raise the status of young women. You can learn more about it at https://www.friendsunitedmeeting.org/news/girl-child-education .
And. look at this site, for brilliant clarification about population growth: https://www.populationeducation.org