Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tiny People, Big Footprints

By Brian Dixon

A new study by statisticians at Oregon State University points out that reducing family size may be as much as 20 times more important than anything else people might do to reduce their carbon footprint.

This is just the latest evidence of the clear connection between population growth and climate change. We can only hope that sometime soon policymakers will make the same connection as the scientists.

It’s an especially critical connection to make as the world stumbles toward a global plan to bring emissions to a level that allows for climate stability. Really, is it even possible to achieve that if the global population grows to 12 billion by 2050? That’s not outside the realm of the possible.

It seems obvious that if we’re ever to get to a fair, just and humane level of global per capita emissions – one which isn’t dependent on keeping billions and billions of people in abject poverty and despair – stabilizing population is necessary.

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