NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


February 4, 2009

A member of Britain's government says couples should be limited to two children to save the Earth from global warming.  It's discouraging that such people are in positions of power, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

Jonathon Porritt, chairman of the government's Sustainable Development Commission, doesn't have the power to set a two-child limit on British couples -- at least not yet.  But he's nevertheless "unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate."

"I think we will work our way toward a position that says that having more than two children is irresponsible," said Porritt, who favors contraception and abortion as means to curb population growth, but probably wouldn't be adverse to a totalitarian law that caps the number of babies a couple can have, says IBD.

As a practical matter, Porritt didn't need to say anything, says IBD:

  • The fertility rate among the English has been less than two children per woman since the early 1970s.
  • There has been a small increase in recent years, but it's hardly cause to celebrate for those who would like to see the healthy survival of English civilization.
  • The government reported last year that foreign-born women are making up an increasing share of the childbearing population in England and Wales.

Last year, the government issued a news release that noted:

  • The proportion of live births to mothers born outside the United Kingdom continues to rise.
  • In 2007, 23 percent (160,358) of live births were to mothers born outside the United Kingdom compared with 22 percent (146,956) in 2006.

Source: Editorial, "The Population Bum," Investor's Business Daily, February 2, 2009.


Browse more articles on Environment Issues