A group of 11,000 scientists announced on Tuesday that the global population “must be stabilized—and, ideally, gradually reduced—within a framework that ensures social integrity” if human beings are to effectively combat climate change.
The warning, published in the journal BioScience, calls for “bold and drastic…population policies” in order to fight rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere. The scientists suggest that greater access to “family-planning services,” frequently a euphemism for birth control and abortion, could help to ensure fewer human beings on the planet.
The paper also calls for renewable energy and nature conservation, as well as reduced global meat consumption.
This is not the first time scientists have warned that a growing population could lead to ecological catastrophe. Stanford professor Paul Ehrlich argued in his 1968 book The Population Bomb that increased human propagation had rendered mass famines and global upheaval inevitable in the 1970s and 1980s. Ehrlich has faced significant criticism in recent years for the inaccuracy of those predictions.