A report from the London School of Economics think tank Optimum Population Trust (OPT), arguing that population control would be the cheapest way of fighting global warming, has been rejected by population researchers.
The President of the Population Research Institute, Stephen W. Mosher, criticised the claim by the OPT that limiting population would be five times cheaper than investing in "green technologies".
"The idea that people equal pollution dates back to the very beginning of the population control movement in the Sixties," he said. "It wasn't true then, and it isn't true now. Free people equal prosperity, which in turn provides the resources that you need to conserve and protect the natural environment. So these anti-people fanatics have it exactly backwards."
The OPT report claims that the world should be reducing carbon emissions by encouraging contraception and family planning. The chairperson of the OPT, Mr Roger Martin, told theSan Francisco Chronicle that the main problem behind global warming is that there are too many polluters coming into the world.
"It's always been obvious that total emissions depend on the number of emitters as well as their individual emissions -- the carbon tonnage can't shoot down, as we want, while the population keeps shooting up," he said.
"The taboo on mentioning this fact has made the whole climate change debate so far somewhat unreal. Stabilizing population levels has always been essential ecologically, and this study shows it's economically sensible too."
In an even more extreme report, the London Sun said that the OPT research indicated that "condoms are the cheapest way to fight climate change".
The Sun said it had been estimated that world population in 2050 would be 8.64billion, but that the Trust says contraception could reduce this to just over 8.1billion -- with a potential saving of 34 gigatonnes of CO2.
But in a response published by the Catholic News Agency, Mr Mosher said that human-generated global warming was "still an open question."
He also speculated that the OPT’s recommendations could result in forcible contraception to prevent what he called a "make-believe problem."
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