Tracy McVeigh of the Gaurdian writes:
[Caroline Lucas, the Green MP] said: "We need to have a far greater public debate about population, whether it focuses on improving family planning or reducing global inequality – and looking again at how we address the strain on our natural resources. The absence of an open and honest discussion about this issue means most people don't give much thought to the scale of global population growth in recent years. In 1930, just one or two generations ago, the world's population stood at around two billion. Today it is around seven billion, and by 2050 it is projected to rise by a third to 9 billion.
"We live as if we have three planets instead of just one. It is interesting that public figures, environmental groups and NGOs in general have tended to steer away from population to the extent that it's become a taboo issue. The horrific consequences of China's one-child policy and of other draconian efforts to regulate procreation have, for many, rendered discussion of the subject completely unpalatable. Yet as long as an issue remains a taboo subject where no one talks about it, then there's very little chance of finding the solutions we need."
There is a reason why population control remains a taboo subject. When we hear "population control" we ought to here sterilization, mass abortions, and environmentalism run amok. The article goes on:
"The Beckhams, and others like London mayor Boris Johnson, are very bad role models with their large families. There's no point in people trying to reduce their carbon emissions and then increasing them 100% by having another child," he said. "England is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and the fastest-growing in population terms in Europe. In 15 years we'll have an extra 10 million people here.
Note for a minute the tone in which children are mentioned. To such environmentalists and secularists, children are an unwanted burden on society. This is why labels like "unwanted pregnancies" are so popular today. In an age that worships individual autonomy over personal responsibility, "family planning," via contraception and abortion, become essential particularly to our sexual exploration.
But anytime one raises the question of population control, the issue of China's failed one-child policy is raised and righly so. China's policy has led to mass abortions, forced sterilizations, and an entire generation dominated by males. Furthermore, China's workforce is unsustainable. For every person retiring in China, only four are expected to support them. If America's ratio was bad and unsustainable, what do we say about China's? China's failed attempt at stemming their population growth remains an absurd attempt to tweak human nature. In spite of an oppressive, totalitarian government, population control has failed.
But what do those reprimanding the Beckham's have to say regarding that?
Lucas said the Green party was not afraid to raise the subject because it was "fundamental" to wellbeing. "The lesson to be learned from China is surely that efforts to curb population growth in a way that restricts individual liberty are dangerous and come at huge human cost," she said. "Policies that focus on increasing access to birth control for all who want it, reducing poverty and inequality, improving food security and tackling environmental degradation are where we should be focusing our attention . . .
"I don't believe that government incentives or laws to that effect are what we need. As a richer country, we face different challenges when it comes to population than those in the developing world, where high birth rates are linked to dire poverty and inequality. It's an equally important issue for both richer and poorer nations – this is a global debate which affects us all."
There are countless holes in this argument. The belief that one can limit population growth without government's iron fist is a dreamworld. If we learn anything from China in addition to the failure of government policies, it is that. Liberals, feminists, and secularists have been pushing birth control and "family planning" for decades and yet the population continues to grow and "unwanted" and "unplanned" pregnancies are still common.
Furthermore, the emphasis on the developed world is interesting. We are reprimanding the Beckham's for having four kids while many in the third world are having many more. Grant it, due to poverty, government oppression, societal structures, and rampant disease, most children born in the third world do not live beyond the age of five. A tragedy to say the least. But a brief look at the statistics show that the population isn't growing the fastest among more secular States, but in the third world.
But then again, I though evolution cured these sort of problems? After all, if the central doctrine of evolution is survival of the fittest, then why do we care if people starve? Why do we want to limit our own population from growing? Why is mass deaths really a bad thing? Are those promoting population control really wanting more room at the water hole? Doesn't chance and our selfish genes take care of such problems naturally? Why even bring it up?
Furthermore, how will we manage to push for personal autonomy, as the article promotes here, and at the same time trust that humans will be "responsible" enough not to over-breed? Again, the writer and those being interviewed seem to be living in a dreamworld. What about those autonomous individuals who want to have large families? My wife and I want to have at least four kids (two biological and two adopted). Does that make us a burden on society? Clearly so to some. How will those worried about the environment and the world population promote both small families and personal freedom especially in a world as fallen as ours?
Then again, how will autonomous family planning, if such a plan would work internationally, solve the problems that population control raises? As mentioned, China has some serious problems to solve as a result of its effort to curve its own population growth. Let's just assume that curving the population of the world would also solve inequality and poverty (it won't), what are we to do with the generations that age which are massive and the generations that follow who are dwindling?
But then again, as Christians this is a conversation we never have. We do not see human life as a burden, but as a blessing. We ought to rejoice in seeing married couples celebrate and welcome life as the Beckham's have done. I know nothing about how they are raising their children or their personal beliefs, but to reprimand a couple for simply having kids is dangerous. I find it fascinating that when secularists talks about children, marriage, and family they can't avoid mentioning death. The fascination that naturalistic secularism has with death is simply astonishing. Raising the question of population growth allows for extreme environmentalists and big government socialist to promote their causes and those causes always involve totalitarianism and death. This talk about individual liberty is simply a ruse.
The Guardian - Beckhams a 'bad example' for families: With a fourth child, the couple have joined the ranks of the irresponsible, population experts say
Washington Examiner - The expected value of each human being is positive