13. Overpopulation

13th blog, February 28, 2019

One of the biggest taboos is starting a discussion about overpopulation. Recently we have seen that with a discussion that was started by one of our Dutch parliamentarians - who had the courage to propose to limit the number of children that women are allowed to have. The discussion about the number of children caused so many emotions that it was aborted before he could cause electoral damage to his party. Of course, faith was added to the discussion, as well as the woman's right to self-determination and all kinds of other reasons why everyone has the right to get an unlimited - like flowers or weeds? – number of children.

Meanwhile, seen from the point of view of Mother Nature, do humans not become a plague? I gladly leave the answer to you.

Yet a discussion about population growth in the context of CO₂ is not unjustified. Throughout the centuries, CO₂ emissions from the consumption of fossil fuels have been directly proportional to the number of people on our planet. Anyone who starts a discussion about eating meat as a source of CO₂ production should also have the courage to discuss the right to produce an unlimited number of children. Perhaps in the context of the Dutch Climate Agreement, we should abolish the child allowance so that people get fewer children and the CO₂ emissions of the Netherlands automatically falls?

Dutch annual population growth has averaged 0.4% over the past 5 years, and as a result our CO₂ emissions are also rising, at 0.4% per year. In the next 10 years to 2030 we’ll have a population growth of 4% and so we should not actually reduce 49% of the CO₂ emissions - as is the plan of the Dutch government - but 49% + 4% = so reduce around 53% to achieve a 49% CO₂ reduction compared to 2018.  In addition to the abolition of child allowance, maybe we should also introduce a CO₂ levy on children? Is that not an interesting money-making measure for the Dutch Climate Agreement?

All joking aside, a tax on having children and abandoning the child benefit are of course steps too far for a Climate Agreement that - as you now understand - only 'slows down the increase in CO₂ concentration'.

What then is the line that we have to follow? As everywhere in the world, education and prosperity growth are the best solutions against unbridled population growth. As soon as people become prosperous, the number of children each family has begins to fall. So if we want to reduce the CO₂ increase caused by unlimited growth of the world's population, we must fight poverty as hard as we can in all areas where it is prevalent.

By giving the African, South American and Asian people - as I argued in the blog 'The Territorial CO₂ limitation’ - the chance to increase their prosperity by solving the CO₂ problem for us, we also ensure that the growth the world population drastically decreases. More prosperity means fewer children, leading to a little less CO₂ emission, and a bit more room for everyone.

If you remain interested and you think others should also read this, spread the message. Our next topic is the 'Internet economy'. 

Pieter Hoff
Green Musketeer

Background information
On 8 October 2018, the IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) issued an emergency call to all countries to reduce their CO₂ emissions by at least 50% by 2030. The Netherlands wants to comply with this by means of a Climate Agreement. Pieter Hoff is of the opinion that the Climate Agreement needs additional policies to achieve 0% net CO₂ emissions by 2030 and that this supporting policy can be implemented much more efficiently, quicker and less costly than the current proposals that are included in the proposed Dutch Climate Agreement.