Birth control: The under-discussed climate change solution

Birth control: The under-discussed climate change solution

[Ed. – This chestnut is really, really old.  It takes a very young mind to think it doesn’t get enough public discussion.]

The equation seems fairly simple: The more the world’s population rises, the greater the strain on dwindling resources and the greater the impact on the environment.

The solution? Well, that’s a little trickier to talk about.

Public-health discussions will regularly include mentions of voluntary family planning as a way to reduce unwanted pregnancies and births. But, said Jason Bremner of the Population Reference Bureau, those policies can also pay dividends for the environment.

“And yet the climate-change benefits of family planning have been largely absent from any climate-change or family-planning policy discussions,” he said. …

Talking about population control requires walking a tightrope: There’s nuance between encouraging access to birth control and a China-style one-child policy, but that doesn’t always translate in the retelling, and it can all too easily sound like a developed world leader telling people in the developing world that they should stop having children—especially because much of the population boom is coming from regions like sub-Saharan Africa.

And there’s a coalition of critics ready to pounce on any speaker who slips, or even to twist the words of those who don’t.

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