This is an opinion piece by someone on the left… Previously if I'd I see such a title I'd think a right-wing conservative person had wrote it…. I think she is basically saying Westerners should stop shaming peoples/countries with high birth rates, and the *real* problem is people saying the wrong people are having babies (or too many babies).
While the tackling issues of increasing population and available resources is a complicated, and maybe convoluted (once you add in religion, politics, autonomy, reproductive rights, etc), that doesn't mean we should never discuss or confront these problems because that is too difficult.
The *real* problem? We have a finite planet. At some point there will be (or was…) population overshoot, and humanity will be like Wile E Coyote spinning his feet in mid-air, before he looked down. When that happens it will be disastrous.
Regardless of agricultural or other improvements, on a finite planet, population can't continuously grow. Anything else is magical thinking.
Still, she did make me ponder how best to approach such a thing, internationally. No country wants less people due to demographic/economic/political/military reasons, *especially* vis a vis their near and distant neighbours.
So, despite the fact that I am sure it would never get passed/approved due to religious and other objections, what would be the most equitable and fair way to approach it? I wonder if it could look something like the Paris Accord, which, admittedly has no teeth, but it does show expectations and resolve, and would hopefully create a culture of responsibility around it.
1) Sustainable Population Models: Countries commit to embracing policies that encourage sustainable population model, that maintains diversity.
2) Protect Wild spaces: Countries should endeavour to live within their currently used agricultural acreage, tackle limiting urban sprawl, & enforce sustainable resource extraction (forestry, mining, etc.), especially after their population peaks following the sustainable population model.
(Humans already use 40% of the Earth's land for agriculture. Another third of Earth's land is desert. Leaves 27% to share with non-desert wild plants and animals).
3) International Co-operation/Assistance: Internationally countries should commit to encouraging the conditions that have brought down fertility rates before.
(this would hopefully put resources towards increased women's education, decreased infant and child mortality, accessible contraceptions, etc.)
4) Contraception Accessibility: Modern contraception and safe sex aids are to be available to all, and no citizen will be required to obtain permission.
(We know that 99% of women in the West use contraceptions, and I've read articles about the demand not being met for modern contraception of married non-Western women. Unreliable old school contraception, requires navigating cultural mine-fields while negotiating with their spouse over on-going or periodic abstinence, or withdrawal).
5) Abortion: Nothing in this agreement should be construed to mean or imply that it requires or sanctions either forced abortions or elective abortions.
For #1 I would recommend an unbiased formula as possible to calculate replacement fertility rates for different populations. So that in a country/population where the average woman has 6 kids, and only 2 survive to adulthood, we are not discouraging these populations from buying in by insisting they have 2 kids. Hopefully, if the international community is working on #3, this won't be a problem for long, but at least it acknowledges their demographic and healthcare issues & allows them to maintain their population.
- No illegal kids! - Don't have policies that heavy-handedly discourage parents from registering kids that may deny them access to public services, like school and health care. (China has these, they are called "black children").
- Sex-ratio Disparities - Due to either selective abortion, or even infanticide. Any ways of trying to address this seem rude or unfair to boys. Monetarily encourage parenting girls with free higher education, or tax breaks/benefits?
- Enforcement? - Most people are definitely for #5. How would people feel about near universal enforcement of contraception, says, if something like Vasalgel works as advertised? (As in, long lasting & completely reversible, with little-to-no adverse side effects.)
- Enforcement - Abuse/corruption? - If 2.1 kids is the replacement rate aimed at, how does the 10th couple get permission to have a 3rd kid? Will cuckolding be encouraged to get around forced restrictions? (presumably while the, likely man, one is sleeping with is fertile for his 1st or 2nd kid?). Will there be a black market for sperm, to reverse the contraception, for fertility drugs to cause multiple births? Or bribes for doctors to give fake documents on contraceptive procedures? What is done if an intentional extra kid is born? Will child-abuse be over-used and falsely-used as a tool to take kids away to make them available for adoption? Will sterile and infertile adults be on a priority list for adopting kids?
- Immigration/Emigration - Legal and illegal. How to handle/factor in immigration/emigration policies in and of themselves, and how they affect sustainable population policy and replacement fertility rates.
- War - Should these policies change how the international community responds to a war that does not involve them, directly? Indirectly? Could the motivation/intent behind wars (international or civil) change? Could attacks be initiated specifically because the aggressors hopes that the attacked party will be discouraged from, or not allowed to, recover to their previous numbers? Should war then change the replacement fertility rates?
Now, I know this has probably zilch chance of ever happening, apparently population overshoot is more humane and there are too many prolystizing(sp?) religions, tribalism, desire to oppress and control people (whether women specifically, or keeping people poor numerous and desperate in general). But I still enjoyed the exercise
Edited by sierraleone, 18 July 2017 - 03:33 PM.