I know that traditionally, having children is pretty much down to each individual and there has never been any statutory control in this area. A new report by the Optimum Population Trust has been published earlier this week that states families should have a maximum of two children, as any more is damaging to the environment. I know this smacks of interference into people’s lives, but maybe if people are being reckless in their behaviour and damaging the planet, which let’s face affects us all, there does need to be some kind of regulation in place.
The think-tank have worked out that over an 80 year lifespan, the average UK child will create the equivalent carbon footprint of 620 of return flights to New York. When you factor into the equation that each child will have their own children, the carbon footprint gets even bigger. As well as their carbon footprint, there is the use of the Earth’s resources, water and food. The fact that the world is overpopulated is open to question, some people would like to believe the Earth can support an ever growing population. The think-tank obviously believes the world is not big enough to support the human population as it stands, and as it grows, the world will struggle to support us all.
The report has been met by some as an intrusion into their freedom to live their lives as they wish. But, is an individual’s right to freedom of lifestyle more important than the good of the wider community? Where is the line that separates freedom of choice and global responsibility? The government will in the future have to decide where to step in to perhaps curtail personal choice for the greater good. Scary thought, but it may have to happen some day as resources become limited.