Population Myths:

After the meeting

Therefore, what?

Step 1:
Talk to your children

Humans are Innovators

Humans are often portrayed as the villains of the planet. Discuss with your children how we are actually innovators.

Combating Fear

Teach your children the reality of population dynamics and work to alleviate their fears that the world is over-populated.

Protecting Rights of Families

Discuss with your children the importance of families, and how protecting families, and their right to decide how many children to have, helps protect our society and our planet.

Protecting the Environment

Discuss ways that your family can help protect the environment by not being wasteful. Think of ways that you can work together to accomplish this.

Step 2:
Talk to family members and friends

Use some of the questions from the discussion group to guide your conversation.  Or, choose some additional questions from this list:

The Child Decision

Talk to your family members and friends about what guided their decision to have, or not have children.  

China's One Child Policy

Discuss how China’s one child policy has impacted that country.  (Geo-political, social/cultural, economic impact, etc.).    

Low Fertility Rates

Discuss how countries with low fertility rates, like Italy, might be impacted, both socially and economically.

Conscious Consumption

Discuss how you can each help the environment by being more conscious about your consumption of goods and about your waste.  

Dangers of Birth Restrictions

Is restricting number of births born to couples an effective way to lower population?  Explain the axiom: “Strong economic development and modernization is the best contraceptive.” 

Step 3:
Engage the Broader Community

Public Policy

Look for public policies, or currant legislation that effect the decision to have children. Write a letter or call your representative to show your support, or opposition.

Conscious about Environment

Encourage those around you to be more conscious about the environment, and find ways to eliminate excessive consumption and waste.

Supporting Mothers

Encourage support for mothers, and policies (both government and employer) that would allow them to spend more time with their children.

Encouraging Couples to have Children

Find ways to support cultural changes that will encourage couples to have children.

Talking Points-
Population Myths

Every family on the planet today could have a house and yard, and all live on a land mass the size of the state of Texas.  The math:  Texas is 7,494,271,488,000 sq ft divide that by the current world population of 7.8 billion and you get approximately 960 sq ft per person. A family of four would have 3840 sq ft, which is .09 of an acre, enough for a house and small yard.

Thanks to continuing increases in crop yields, the world’s farmers are harvesting hundreds of millions of tons more grain each year on tens of millions acres less land than they did in the 1970s and ’80s. For instance, according to USDA figures, the world was producing 1.9 million metric tons of grain from 579.1 hectares of land (a hectare is 2.47 acres) in 1976. In 2004, we got 3.1 million metric tons of grain from only 517.9 hectares of land. Food production capability continues to increase.

The world is not experiencing a population “explosion,” but a population “implosion.”  The overall World Fertility Rate (TFR) has declined over 50 percent in the last 60 years.  Over 90 countries and territories have sub-replacement fertility rates.

CIA World Factbook

Countries with fertility rates below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per women, face impending economic crisis, and cultural elimination.

Much of the decline in fertility since 2001 can be explained by changes in the marital composition of the population.

China’s one child policy caused 336 million forced abortions, many of them females, and now China has an excess of 30 million bachelors who will never find brides.

Chinese Health Ministry, 2017
Kuangshi Huang, “Marriage Squeeze in China,” Journal of Family Issues, 35 12 (2014): 1642–1661.

There is no need for population control policies.  As countries become more developed and industrialized, fertility drops naturally.

We can all take steps to ensure the environment can support a larger population, for example; eliminating a consumption and waste culture.

 “Parents are becoming happier over time relative to non-parents… non-parents’ happiness is declining absolutely. Children appear to protect parents against social and economic forces that may be reducing happiness among non-parents.”

Advocacy Tip

Don’t Burn Bridges

Civil discourse allows us to build relationships with those with whom we may disagree. You never know when you might find yourself advocating a cause alongside someone you have opposed in the past. It’s a small world.

Differences are part of life, as well as relationships. Bask in those differences and find a way toward common ground. Look for allies everywhere and avoid alienating others.

Treat everyone well, including those who don’t seem relevant to your effort (security guards, service, maintenance workers, etc.).  Rudeness is not soon forgotten and kindness and sincere compliments are long remembered.

“People burn their bridges until they realize they’re stranded…and it’s too late.” —Anonymous


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