In 1825 the planet’s human population was 1 billion. In 2011, there were 7 billion human beings on the planet. With the current projections estimating that by the year 2050 the human population will be 9.6 billion, there is a pressing question:
Can climate change be stopped simply by moving to greener energy sources and reducing the consumption levels of the developed world? Or is something more drastic in order, like curbing the human population growth ? Given the grim history of states trying to control their population, could something like that be morally acceptable? And if so, how would governments around the world go about implementing such a policy?
Sarah Conly is professor of philosophy at Bowdoin College, and author of the book One Child: Do We Have a Right to More? in which she puts forward the argument that in the wake of climate change and the overall environmental destruction, future parents have a moral right to only one child, and that the state should regulate the rate of human reproduction.
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Music by Pataphysical
Artwork by Nick Halliday