Over at the Huffington Post blog, David Roberts, a staff writer for Grist.org, describes the relationship between activist causes, like women’s reproductive rights and “sustainable development,” and population control.
Roberts says he doesn’t directly address the problem of over-population because talking about it as such isn’t very effective. Apparently, telling people that they and their kids very existence is the “ultimate problem of all problems” doesn’t resonate very well. It “alienates a large swathe of the general public,” you know, the ones who still have some residual moral sensibilities.
So, instead, Roberts pursues items that he think will ultimately result in lowered populations…a subordination of these causes as means to the greater end. He writes, “Each of these — empowering women and spreading prosperity — is worth pursuing in its own right. Each is a powerful political rallying cry. Each produces a range of ancillary benefits.”
But of course the greatest benefit of them both is that they help in “scaling human population back.”
And as Roberts notes, the connection between radical environmentalism and population control has been devastating for the cause, leading him to conclude that overt population control rhetoric “is political poison.”
His concluding advice? “If you’re worried about population, work toward sustainable development and female empowerment.”
And, I might add, if you are able to similarly disguise a radical environmentalist agenda and separate out the perception of pursuing population control, why not work toward that too?