One Less Child for One More Car?


Written by Vincent Gerber (Geneva, September 2010, revised in 2017)

“The ‘population problem’ has a Phoenix-like existence: it rises from the ashes at least every generation and sometimes every decade or so. The prophecies are usually the same – namely, that human beings are populating the earth in ‘unprecedented numbers’ and ‘devouring’ its resources like a locust plague.”[1]

With these words Murray Bookchin opened his 1988 article “The population Myth”. And now one generation later, the Phoenix has again reconstituted itself, while modernizing its prophecy in the process. The question of devouring resources is no longer directly mentioned. Instead, the new danger is called “carbon emissions.” But behind this new name lies the solution invariably proposed by its prophets, namely reducing the number of human beings on earth for ecological reasons.

Here is a summary of some recent facts[2]. In August 2009, the London School of Economics (LSE) published a study sponsored and ordered by the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), a “UK environmental charity and think tank, [focused on] raising awareness of the environmental impact of population growth.”[3] Written by Thomas Wire, the report “Fewer emitters, lower emissions, less cost,”[4] states in its introduction that it aims to:

“perform a cost-benefit analysis of reducing carbon emissions by non-coercively reducing population growth. The basic tenet of this project is that fewer people will emit fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). The study estimates the cost-effectiveness of providing global access to basic family planning (as a major method of population growth reduction) in reducing future CO2 emissions between 2010 and 2050. This finding is compared to other means of reducing CO2 emissions.”[5]

The simple principle behind the study is illustrated by a flow chart:[6]

To calculate the cost-effectiveness of family planning and estimate the tons of CO2 that its promotion could potentially reduce, the study “analyses the benefit of maximally reducing unintended births worldwide against the cost of satisfying unmet need for basic family planning.”[7]

By this way of calculation, the author of the study concludes that “each $7 spent on family planning (2009 US$) would reduce CO2 emissions by more than one tonne (meeting all unmet need between 2010 and 2050).”[8] In addition, investing on family planning, and thus permitting to reduce unwanted births could abate 34 gigatons of CO2 (= 34 billions of tonnes) in forty years, between 2010 and 2050.

The analysis then compares its results to other methods of reducing CO2 emissions (mostly low carbon technologies such as wind and solar power, geo-thermal, electric vehicles and so on, taking the average price of all of them together – see table 5.0.1)[9] and concludes that family planning is five times cheaper for the same amount of emissions saved. Finally, the recommendation is made to include family planning “as one of the primary methods”[10] among the different carbon-reducing methods used today.

A great chance for the UNFPA

These conclusions and recommendations were widely reported in international newspapers in November 2009, three weeks before the International Gathering on Climate Change in Copenhagen. It has been made known to a wide audience not through the LSE or OPT, but by no one else than the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN organization devoted to demography issues.[11]

The international press has relayed the information further by reporting the UNFPA annual report, “State of World Population 2009”[12], presented in Geneva on the 18th of November 2009 by one of its author, Werner Haug. According to Haug’s declarations (as relayed in the press), 40 to 60 % of CO2 emissions since 1820 are due to demographic growth[13] and each franc invested in births control is more effective than those invested on wind power. A statement that, we understand, echoes Wire’s analysis. The UNFPA report asks too for a better inclusion of this question in the political discussions on climate change – namely, the Copenhagen Climate Change conference of 2009.

When I had first heard about this recent promotion of family planning to reduce CO2 emissions – through the local newspaper[14] – I wondered what people might conclude given that kind of information. I thought it unlikely that they would think we should develop or spend money on family planning, but rather that the lowering of the population is good for ecology. And if we follow this thought – which is the one presented in board 3.0.1 and that anybody would catch right away – we end up thinking that the less we are, the less we pollute. In other words: people are pollution. A quite frightening thought for human societies…

For people sensitive to ecological issues, Wire’s report and UNFPA’s promotion of its conclusions are disturbing for different reasons. Firstly, by assuming that investing in family planning has a better cost-effectiveness than investing in low carbon technologies, it undermines the entire struggle of the ecologists who have been in favour of the development of green and alternative energies for approximately the last forty years–and this at a time when the possibilities of these technologies seems to have at last reached a large audience.[15]

Secondly, it recalls the warnings (and sometimes the apocalyptic visions) of several neo-Malthusians made during the late 1940s and ‘60s, each time without any realisation of these short-timed “prophecies”. Clearly, the issue of population has divided ecologists and scientists for decades. As one of the latest expressions of this subject, the debate between social ecology, ecofeminism and deep ecology that occurred from the late ‘80s until the mid-90s[16] demonstrated that the importance is not how many persons we number, but how we live. Humanity cannot be taken as mere numbers and statistics but should include the social reality behind numbers. In truth, it is historical knowledge that it did not take our population to reach more than 6 billion in order for society to gravely imperil our environment – a fact that we need constant reminding of – and half-less people living within today’s standards imposed by a consumerist society of growth would not resolve anything in terms of carbon emissions.

The debate might have ended there but it didn’t. Why then has this issue resurfaced today? An answer to this question can be given by looking at the motivations of the different parties implicated here.

The aim of the OPT is relatively clear: its stated goal is “to advance, promote and encourage research to determine optimum and ecologically sustainable human population levels in all or any part or parts of the world.”[17] The link between the ecological question and demography is clearly posed as the basis of the organisation.

The population issue is also promoted because of a certain feeling of urgency to solve the climate change crisis and a kind of unreliability for politics (and more generally for human beings) to bring change in the time we still have. Lovelock did express this concern in his recent work and declarations.[18] Looking at the situation globally, lowering the world’s population appears as a possibility among others that has to be taken into account because of the emergency to reduce CO2 emissions.

As it appears, the motivations of the UNFPA for promoting the link between CO2 emissions and demography are different. As we look at the history of the UN agency, we may recall that at the International Gathering on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, the international community did agree on the necessity of family planning to control world population level. But the investments on family planning have never been lower: dropping from 723 million to 338 from 1995 to 2007. And there has been no significant and concrete improvement at the grass root level. This lack of support is especially due to the withdrawal of the United States, notably because of the promotion of abortion done by the UNFPA. Instead of promoting family planning for social and economic reasons, by linking the demographic issue to the new green trend, we can assume that the UNFPA is looking for a re-launching. Like a legitimate way to defend its long-time struggle and, by the same way, its own existence.[19]

What the OPT and UNFPA both needed then was the scientific credit to convince the rest of the world of the opportunity and necessity to develop family planning in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Like the scientific credit provided by Thomas Wire’s study. A study, we may recall, ordered by the OPT – “the client” of the report.

Some critics on the calculation

To gain real scientific credit Wire’s study and conclusions have to be confirmed. But a close reading of it raises problems with the method of calculation (which have direct implications with the proclaimed results), the exclusive focus on the question of cost without the context with of social reality, and finally with the message relayed to the population.

First of all, basing itself on the UNFPA 2003 report Adding it Up: The Benefits of Investing in Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare[20], Wire relies on its figure that meeting all unmet need will reduce unintended births by 72%. This 72% reduction is the key value used to calculate the difference in population between now and 2050, with and without investing in family planning. By applying this reduction to every country worldwide after 2010, the study of the LSE determines the benefit of the promotion of family planning in terms of carbon emissions.

But what UNFPA’s report really states is that in developing countries, where traditional and inefficient forms of contraception are still used, unwanted births are numerous. According to this survey, 201 million women in developing countries are at risk of unintended pregnancies and have an unmet need for effective contraceptives. Using more efficient contraception methods there could prevent 52 million births each year. Unplanned births could be reduced by 72% and induced abortions by 64%.[21] But whereas the UNFPA report uses this number on developing countries specifically, Wire applies it universally.

This way of calculation does not take into account the fact that, in OECD countries[22], contraception methods are already easily available and used. In such conditions, the number of unplanned births would be ineffectually reduced, even with increased family planning promotion. But that fact is mentioned by Wire: In a footnote, he writes that “Thus, 72 % is assumed to be the reduction in unintended births if unmet need is met in all countries. It is possible that the figure would be lower in economically developed countries.”[23]

By not taking into account the variations of unintended birth reduction in OECD countries – no need to stress that these countries are the ones where carbon emissions per person are the higher, so the ones who have the greatest influence in CO2 emissions –artificially increases the cost-effectiveness of the method by reducing the numbers of births and, thus, the amount of population in these countries in 2050.

A second obstacle makes the cost-effectiveness of the family planning method in reality less advantageous than claimed: the question of cultural is not taken into account. By voluntarily removing obstacles to birth control and applying its figure after 2010, the LSE’s report clearly oversimplifies the cultural and logistical barriers encountered by the promotion of contraception methods in many parts of the world. Don’t we know that money does not solve everything? Here too Thomas Wire warns of that fact, but makes nothing of it because of the impossibility to get reliable data:

“Guillebaud [in “Youthquake: population, Fertility and the Environment in the 21st century”, OPT, 2007] proposes removing “obstacles to birth control” (p.22). From an analytical standpoint, the cost of removing such obstacles may represent a significant element of family planning cost. The scale of these obstacles can not be reasonably predicted within the scope of this study, but the reader should be aware that political and cultural obstacles in implementing family planning may represent additional costs.”[24]

This aspect is of course truly difficult to quantify and to include in a mathematical formula. Still, it’s closer to everyday reality: without authoritarian actions, that both UNFPA and Wire’s reports avoid (hopefully)[25], it would, take a lot of time to change mentalities, to promote more efficient methods of contraception and make them accessible. This is the reality on which our opinion and choices should be made.

Thirdly, as the results taken from Project Catalyst’s report[26] show (sum up in Table 5.0.1 reported earlier), low carbon technologies are becoming cheaper; precisely because of the investment in it, its development and the way it spreads in many parts of the world. In other words: mostly because of the very political will and financial investments that this report somehow suggests to move to family planning. For some technologies the difference is very important, but the report focuses itself on the general average result which does not vary much: 32 $/tCO2e projected for 2020 against 30 in 2030. Concentrating in particular and usual green technologies such as wind power and solar panels presents clearly a less advantageous ratio for family planning.

These different remarks show that the results of Wire’s calculation on the cost-effectiveness of family planning should not be taken for granted. The data needed for a right calculation is not available, but for the different reasons mentioned, the final result can be estimated less profitable for the family planning solution[27].

However, I do not want to be misunderstood. In the end, it might still be true that the family planning proposal is cheaper than some other low carbon technologies. I do not deny that fact. But I do clearly challenge the accuracy of these statistics in their real, cultural and social, situations.

Don’t forget the social issue

My second main remark does focus on this absence of social realities in the study. Stemming from a school of economics, Wire’s report is predisposed to look at only economic factors, when pregnancies, unwanted birth prevention, and demography are clearly social issues. We talk, mostly, about poor people, women conditions, family incomes, lives and so on and so forth. The social realities behind the numbers – be it a sum of money, an amount of people or CO2 emissions – should not be quickly disregarded. Promoting Wire’s conclusions to politics without including social views is culpable. Economical cost should not be used as the main indicator for action, especially in such complicated issues as climate change and as personal aspect as family planning. We know that the market system in which we live in has this terrible tendency to reduce everything to a question of cost and profits, without any long term vision and without any moral or ethical considerations. In addition, it introduces itself more and more into our private life. The conclusions of this report directly reinforce this tendency.

My intention is not to deny the need to address the demographic question in relation to ecology. We live on a limited planet and human beings cannot multiply endlessly and without ecological conscience, that is for sure. To find the ecological balance with nature will also require addressing the population issue. But this issue has to be addressed properly and cautiously, not only in economic terms but encompassing all social and cultural factors and all the consequences in affected populations. As Christine Cuomo said, “The coincidence of overpopulation, poverty, and race, cannot be treated as a trivial matter by theorists and activists interested in population. Connections must be explicitly analyzed and addressed.”[28]

We know that because demography in OECD countries is already quite stable or even declining[29], such statements on demographic growth-reduction ultimately points to the unprivileged populations, mostly in developing countries, that are less responsible for the high presence of CO2 in our atmosphere. Looking at world population only as a number hides the differences in relation to CO2 emissions between these populations.

The desire to implement change away from most the concerned countries appears like a new trend. The Kyoto Protocol, by implementing an international carbon market, has opened the (wrong) door to the principle that, as a global phenomenon, actions to diminish CO2 emissions can be done anywhere. A principle very well understood by the tenants of economics. The mentality of “do measures where it would cost us and disturb us the least” has consequently pushed aside the more responsible “the polluter pays” (not to mention the more ethical “from each according to their capacity”) principle. Even worse, it has allowed OECD countries to continue polluting without making any important changes in their own environmentally destructive capitalist economies. This is a clear expression of the actual “NIMBY” (for “Not-In-My-Backyard”) trend that we observe more and more today and which often paralyzes actions and/or deport them in poor neighbourhoods. Because we feel that it will demand too much from ourselves, we try to find ways to make the others act instead of us, pretending that the final result will be the same.

By showing with such studies that it is cheaper to invest in family planning than renewable energy, the OPT and the UNFPA alike have given a golden opportunity to OECD countries, mainly, with their great historical debt in the actual proportion of CO2 in our atmosphere, to remain slack on their responsibilities to reduce their pollution (which means to pay the price – the maybe more expensive but right price – for it) and to move the problem somewhere else.

My last remark concerns the message transmitted to the general public. It is for me the most worrying one. If it is absolutely important for each family to have control over such a fundamental subject as the wish to give birth or not, and to separate the act of sex from the act of reproduction, family planning can and should be promoted for itself, for its own social benefits (and even economical benefits if you like). But it certainly should not be associated with CO2 emissions. This is problematic, as I said, mainly because the general message delivered to the mainstream population is: people are pollution.

As part of the ONU, the UNFPA has a great audience among the mass media and the population. Apart from this article from this local newspaper, I’ve heard and read mentions of Wire’s report results on the radio[30] and even on the small, local, bimestrial university students’ newspaper[31] – both times in quite an ironical tone. This makes three mentions, without looking for them, only in Geneva and only in media to which I have access at that time. We may only wonder what it is like in the rest of the world.

Making so many people hear this message was, of course, the admitted purpose of UNFPA and OPT alike. Still, if a lot of people will read the different articles reported in world-wide newspapers and other media, who will go deep into the subject? Who is going to read Thomas Wire’s analysis? If I’m right to think that Wire’s results can hardly be representative of reality, and that resolving global warming needs less a reduction of population than a radical change in the very core of our societies and way of living, how many people will hear it? I doubt that this short essay and the other critical articles that I have found here and there will reach as wide an audience as the UNFPA report summary in the press. So the answer is clearly: only a few. What the general public will get is only the message delivered through the mass media. So I ask this very question: what will be the consequences of spreading the idea that “people are pollution” in the population? We have already had in the past killings in the name of religion, in the name of race and ethnicity, in the name of economic profit and territories; do we now need to add killings in the name of ecological sustainability?[32] The implications that hide in the background of this way of thinking are dangerous, especially when it is treated statistically, in global numbers, and without the social consequences and everyday reality.

A consequence, not a cause

In the end, the main problem in these reports and their promotion is clearly the declarations putting demography as a major factor in the question of climate change. What people should keep in mind is that, even if it could be seen as amplifying pollution, pressure on resources and ecological problems in many parts of the world, demography and the growing of the world population is not a cause of these problems. And every attempt to present it in such a simplistic way should be avoided. Instead, to be addressed properly, the question of demography should be considered as social sciences have proven it to be: a consequence of (mainly) economical and social factors. And it is only by resolving these social factors and by developing the conditions of existence of the concerned populations that demography can be efficiently stabilized, and even reduced, in a sustainable and non coercive manner.

If they are honest in their will to reduce carbon emissions, OECD countries cannot go on the way of investing more on family planning in developing countries, especially not instead of renewable energy in their own land for reasons of cost. And not only for ethical reasons but practical reasons as well. It is only in their own country that significant changes can be done. Despite the different debates occurring about their cost-effectiveness, renewable energies are a great part of the long term solution against global warming and for a decentralized, sustainable society. Their development depends clearly on political as well as personal will and investments; and less on technological factors than economical ones. It is by working in our own countries, were carbon emissions are particularly strong, that a concrete solution will arise. Without any important change there, the problem will remain and continue to get worse.

To sum up, there is a false debate behind the question of global demography and ecology. Contrary to the OPT statement; I claim that demography is a minor factor in climate change and CO2 emissions. It is much less how much we are rather than how we live (in every aspect) that really plays a role on the present ecological crises. This is what studies should be about, instead of trying to escape an internal introspection, by putting the blame elsewhere. This means redefining our economies of growth, our market economy and the way wealth is distributed among people. Heavy consumerists and polluting countries do need to review their way of living and their way of production and consumption (which need to be accorded to real needs, get rid of the politics of consumption for the sake of consumption, and so on and so forth) as much as the way they are dominating weaker economies and Nation-states.

If we want to have a real solution to global warming, these very questions should be addressed: What do we really need? What should be changed in our economic system? Can we do without the market system? How can we engage ourselves to change the way decisions are made? How can we influence our societies to go in the way of a just, equitable and ecological society? A numerous set of measures and possibilities – already accessible, which include low carbon technologies – do exist to reduce our ecological footprint. For that we need to choose which path we want to follow: the cheapest way or the more complex and challenging but ethical and sustainable one?

If reducing CO2 emissions is something on which we should concentrate our efforts, it truly has a price, a price that has to be paid. The good news is that the money is available, especially in a period of emergency.[33] Today, it is our world that has to be saved. The money is here, in OECD countries, but it is a political question linked to economical interests to decide for what we want to use it. Do we want more profit or less pollution? Are we supporters of one less child for one more car?

Footnotes :
[1] Murray Bookchin, “The Population Myth”, in Green Perspectives, N°8, July 1988.
[2] This article has been written in september 2010, ndlr.
[3] Thomas Wire, Fewer Emitters, lower emissions, less cost – reducing future carbon emissions by investing in family planning, LSE, London, 2009, p.1. Behind the OPT lies personalities implicated since the late 60s in the ecological movement and demographic issues, notably Paul Ehrlich (the author of the book The Population Bomb) and James Lovelock (the father of the Gaia Hypothesis).
[4] Thomas Wire, Fewer Emitters, lower emissions, less cost – reducing future carbon emissions by investing in family planning, LSE, London, 2009. Available at
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid., p.11.
[7] Ibid., p.13. The key expression “unmet need” is defined in Wire’s report as the “proportion of women who wish (in survey data) to delay or terminate childbearing but who are not using contraception.” A definition taken from a member of OPT: John Guillebaud, in “Youthquake: Population, fertility and the environment in the 21st century”, Optimum Population Trust, 2007, p. 6. Wire specifies later that “ ‘Unmet need’ is not equal to demand for family planning because there is currently a certain ‘met’ demand for family planning. The study looks at the cost of providing family planning to those with unmet need only. This cost is in addition to any current spending on family planning.” Thomas Wire, op. cit., p.15.
[8] Thomas Wire, op. cit., p.1.
[9] Ibid, p.23. Figures are taken from Project Catalyst, Towards a Global Climate Agreement: Synthesis Briefing Paper June 2009, Global Humanitarian Forum, ClimateWorks Foundation, 2009.
[10] Ibid.
[11] This report has been sent to every delegation at the Copenhagen Climate Summit by the OPT (Thomas Wire, op. cit., Appendix A, p. A1), but without promotion to the general public, as far as I know.
[12] Thoraya Ahmed Obaid et al., State of World Population 2009, UNFPA, 2009.
[13] This statement is only briefly mentioned in chapter 2 of FNUAP report, just as another quite controversial quote from Haug’s speech saying that urbanisation, consumption and divorced couples [!] have consequences in CO2 emissions too (ATS, “Faire moins d’enfants pour sauver le climat ?”, in Le Courrier, Geneva, 19.11.2009).
[14] ATS, “Faire moins d’enfants pour sauver le climat ?”, in Le Courrier, Geneva, 19.11.2009.
[15] The development of green technologies to produce energy is a partial success for the Green movement. Only, partial, because if it has truly succeed in spreading their use and proven their utility in many parts of the world and even sometimes achieve to include their development on different policies, many projects of low-carbon technologies, such as wind farms or solar panels, are still developed and owned by great corporations with profits-oriented means instead of local communities and for public good. In other words, these private corporations keep it under the rules of the capitalism market. The struggle to develop local and cleaner energy sources as a way to reach local sustainability has to continue.
[16] See, among others, Murray Bookchin, “The Population Myth” I & II, in Green Perspectives, N°8, July 1988 & N°15, April 1989; Christine Cuomo, “Ecofeminism, deep ecology, and human population”, in Karen Warren (éd.), Ecological Feminism, London, Routledge, coll. Environmental Philosophies, 1997; Bill Devall & George Sessions, Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered, Gibson Smith, 1985, pp. 70-72.
[17] Thomas Wire, op. cit., p.3.
[18] See James Lovelock, The Revenge of Gaia, Basic Books, 2006. Watch also his speech recorded here:
[19] All these affirmations are taken from Grégoire Alix, “Limiter les naissances, un remède au péril climatique ?”, in Le Monde, 18.11.09. In 2017, the President of the United States Donald Trump cuts off even more of the contribution of the USA to the UNFPA.
[20] Singh Susheela & al., Adding it up: The Benefits of Investing in Sexual and Reproductive Health Care, The Alan Guttmacher Institute and United Nations Population Fund, 2003, pp. 18-20.
[21] Ibid.
[22] I will use this term instead of “developed countries”, “the North” or “rich countries”, and the like which I find less pertinent; but they can be taken as synonyms.
[23] Thomas Wire, op. cit., p.13.
[24] Ibid., p.9.
[25] It is not clear if OPT should be added here, because of the recent declaration made by James Lovelock advocating “putting democracy aside” and for a more “authoritarian world” in order to resolve global warming: “We need a more authoritative world. We’ve become a sort of cheeky, egalitarian world where everyone can have their say. It’s all very well, but there are certain circumstances – a war is a typical example – where you can’t do that. You’ve got to have a few people with authority who you trust who are running it. And they should be very accountable too, of course. But it can’t happen in a modern democracy. This is one of the problems. What’s the alternative to democracy? There isn’t one. But even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.” (From Leo Hickman interview for the London Guardian, published 29th March 2010.
[26] Project Catalyst, Towards a Global Climate Agreement: Synthesis Briefing Paper June 2009, Global Humanitarian Forum, ClimateWorks Foundation, 2009.
[27] In the defence of his method, Thomas Wire explains that “Because the number of unintended births is used largely to calculate the limit with which the proposal can be implemented, rather than the actual cost/benefit of family planning, accuracy in the figure is not absolutely essential for the study.” For him, the figures here of the cost-effectiveness of family planning are rather “underestimate than overestimates”. (Thomas Wire, op. cit., p.18.)
[28] Christine Cuomo, op. cit., p.97.
[29] What we tend to forget, it is that, in most OECD countries, the average number of births for the replacement of the population (2.1 per women) is not reached. Some are losing population (notably Germany, Japan and Russia), the others are growing only through immigration (an issue on which the promotion of family planning in these countries would have no impact). Because of that, there is no political debate on the demographic question (contrary to renewable energies) and there certainly will be no political will to take measures on this because the impact would be too few. Politicians are more preoccupied by the ageing of the population and how to finance pension funds. In this respect, politicians are more afraid of a reduction of their population than ready to promote it. This is a question not addressed by Wire’s study, which point at the opposite to the “potential savings from social services” that a population-growth-reduction could induce as additional savings (Thomas Wire, op. cit., p.23; 29).
[30] Vincent Kucholl et Vincent Veillon, “120 secondes”, in radio Couleurs3, 19.11.2009.
[31] “Thomas Wire, from London School of Economics, has calculated that seven dollars spent on family planning, notably on condoms, will reduce carbon gas emissions of more than one ton. Fewer children, less pollution. Condoms are green.” Richard Etienne, “Us et usages des préservatifs”, in Courants, N°144, 2010. (Translation is mine.)
[32] For some misanthropic drifting of such principles, see Bill Devall, “A Spanner in the Woods: Dave Foreman talks with Simple Living”, in Simple Living, vol. 2, N°12, 1986, p. 4 ; Miss Ann Thropy [pseud.], “Population and AIDS”, in Earth First!, vol. 7, N°5, May 1987, p. 32.
[33] This has been proven recently when American and European banks needed to be saved. Some others examples could be found each year when the rank of billionaires in the world with the sum of their possession and the salaries of high directors of corporations are published, or when we read the money spent by companies for marketing purpose. What people earn, others loose it at the other end. If we want people to have access to education, to a formation, and to family planning too, a more balanced distribution of wealth has clearly to be found, as part of the solution.


Alix, Grégoire, “Limiter les naissances, un remède au péril climatique ? ”, in Le Monde, Paris, 18.11.09

ATS, “Faire moins d’enfants pour sauver le climat ? ”, in Le Courrier, Geneva, 19.11.2009.

Bookchin, Murray, “The Population Myth”, in Green Perspectives, N°8, Burlington, July 1988.

Cuomo, Christine, “Ecofeminism, deep ecology, and human population”, in Karen Warren (éd.), Ecological Feminism, Routledge, coll. Environmental Philosophies, London, 1997.

Etienne, Richard, “Us et usage des préservatifs”, in Courants, N°144, Geneva, 2010.

Hickman, Leo, interview, in The Guardian, London, 29.03.10.

Project Catalyst, Towards a Global Climate Agreement: Synthesis Briefing Paper June 2009, Global Humanitarian Forum, ClimateWorks Foundation, 2009.

Singh Susheela & al., Adding it up: The Benefits of Investing in Sexual and Reproductive Health Care, The Alan Guttmacher Institute and United Nations Population Fund, 2003.

Watson Steve, “Top Eco-Fascist Calls For End Of Freedom To Fight ‘Global Warming’ ”, 30.03.10.

Wire, Thomas, Fewer Emitters, lower emissions, less cost – reducing future carbon emissions by investing in family planning, LSE, London, 2009.

April 5, 2018

  • Hello , in Romania if you have a car with 4 places then most of them make children to fill the empty space in the back of car. Is a medieval thinking that is plaguing the whole country. I’m glad that i find someone who think like me, and this is a method to stop the Co2 Emissions, but there is people that think like this?

  • Is an endless game in which we have to trade family with car, but in finaly is ending in choosing both : family and car, thus increasing the Co2 and making an unhealthy life to our family,our children that will survive in future. What our children will say in 2040?

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