United Nations bureaucrats, demonstrating their usual flair for ham-handed propaganda, have tagged October 31 as “The Day of Seven Billion.” Apparently they want us to view the arrival of the seven billionth person on the planet with the same dread that medieval villagers felt for ghosts, witches and warlocks. We refuse.
Led by the U.N. Population Fund, various anti-people groups are attempting to terrify the good citizens of Earth this Halloween by raising the specter of … babies. The seven billionth baby, to be exact.
Take the group Population Matters, for example, which will be:
… marking the day [of Seven Billion] by highlighting the
unsustainability of continuing population growth. This increase in
population puts huge pressure on the environment and makes attempts
to address issues such as biodiversity loss and climate change even
more difficult. As Population Matters patron Sir David Attenborough
has said, “All environmental problems become harder —
and ultimately impossible — to solve with ever more
The earth’s population has risen in the last century, its press
release goes on to complain. Turning a blind eye to the lengthening
life spans and soaring per capita incomes that have accompanied
this growth, Population Matters wants a world where childbearing is
restricted and there are a lot fewer human beings.
“Everyone agrees that we need to find ways to create
a sustainable world for future generations. Slowing population growth
can play a valuable role in this,” says Simon Ross, Population
Matters’ chief executive. “Where people have choices, such as
the UK, we are asking them to have ‘two or fewer’ children as part of
a sustainable lifestyle.”
Population Matters is not alone in using the birth of Baby Seven
Billion to advance an anti-people agenda. The Sierra Club’s Carl
Pope says that the rising population will make the future world
“a very grim place.”
Engelman of the Worldwatch Institute opines that, while ending
population growth “won’t solve [our] problems by
itself … it will help — a lot.” He goes on to
add this effort is “in the interest of all who care about a
truly sustainable environment and human future.”
We at PRI disagree. In fact, we disagree so much that I have
accepted an invitation from BBC to publicly debate Chris Packham of
Population Matters this Friday, October 14th.
I will first tell Mr. Packham to check his math. Even a
rudimentary look at human numbers reveals that the world’s
population is not continuing to climb, but is leveling off.
According to the latest UN estimates, the world’s population will
level off in thirty years or so and then begin to decline, slowly
at first and with increasing rapidity. (See PRI’s latest cartoon about this very
If he is worried about 7 billion people on the planet, I will
tell him, just take a deep breath. By the end of the century, the
population will fall below 7 billion again.
Second, I will remind him that population growth is an important
driver of economic progress. Every stomach comes with two hands
attached. Every mouth is backed by a creative human intelligence. We
can solve the problems that are caused by our growing numbers. In
fact, we have been doing so for many centuries now.
The reason why human well-being is increasing faster than human
numbers is quite simple. The more minds you have in play, the more
rapidly scientific and technical advances occur. And in today’s
world, you have hundreds of millions of minds at work. Not only
that, they are interconnected in an unprecedented way, while at the
same time having access to endless stores of information. Whatever
problems are caused by our slowly increasing numbers are dwarfed by
our incredible and growing potential for coming up with creative
Third, I will tell Mr. Packham that forced pace population
control programs have never been the answer. Aren’t we all glad
— and haven’t we all benefited — from the fact that Steve
Jobs’ birth mother choose life, instead of an abortion? Don’t we all
mourn the 400 million Chinese children who were aborted by the state?
I am certain that the parents of Baby Seven Billion will celebrate
his birth. And we at PRI will be celebrating right alongside