Group Calls for Population Control to Stop Global Warming

By Monisha Bansal,
April 18, 2007

Ahead of Earth Day on Sunday, an advocacy group warned that the United States is ignoring "the most crucial factor in reducing global warming" -- population control.

"Human population growth is the paramount environmental issue," Ric Oberlink, a spokesman for Californians for Population Stabilization, told Cybercast News Service.

"Global warming is a very serious problem, but it is a subset of the overpopulation problem," he said.

Oberlink argued that an increase in the emission of "greenhouse gases" -- carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for climate change -- is a result of human activity, "like most environmental problems."

Although one part of the equation is what people do, he said, the other part is how many there are.

"If we had half as many people, we wouldn't have much of a climatic warming problem," argued Oberlink.

"Many have noted the disproportionate impact of America on greenhouse emissions and rightly called for reduced emissions. But it's hypocritical to say that the problem is that Americans consume too much and then say it doesn't matter how many Americans there are."

According to the population group, Americans are "by far the most voracious consumers and the greatest producers of greenhouse gases per capita of any nation on earth."

And the U.S. population, it says, "has been doubling every 40 years and is headed for one billion before the end of this century."

"No matter how clever and inventive human technology can be, it will be overwhelmed by the explosive multiplication of unrelenting population growth," asserted Randy Alcorn, a senior writing fellow at Californians for Population Stabilization.

"While it may be beneficial to replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs, it would be more effective towards salvaging the planet to turn on light bulbs in minds darkened by political expediency and religious dogma," he said.

"Those who surrender reason to religious and political doctrine and push the rubble of their misguided convictions into the path of prudent population reduction policies are complicit in condemning an entire planet to doom," said Alcorn.

Oberlink criticized environmental groups for not addressing population growth.

"Today, major environmental groups seldom discuss population growth," he said. "They have become increasingly politically correct and increasingly ineffective in protecting the environment.

"It's easier to single out targets like Big Oil and Big Detroit instead of calling for changes in personal behavior or taking on a tough issue like population growth with its concomitant connection to volatile issues like immigration or access to birth control," Oberlink said.

Environmental Defense, the World Resources Institute and the Union of Concerned Scientists did not respond to invitations to react to the criticism of green campaign groups.

But pro-family organizations take issue with the population control arguments.

"While there is growing consensus that the earth is warming slightly, there is no consensus that humans are the main cause," the Family Research Council said in a statement.

"Those pushing global warming are proposing a radical agenda as the solution to a problem that is not yet fully understood," it said.

"In part, this solution calls for population control, which is code for abortions, condom distribution and mass sterilization," said the FRC.