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Green Family Values: Sex and the Environment-World Population Day

6.6 Billion and Growing6.6 Billion and Growing

Today, July 11th, is World Population Day, a day set aside to increase awareness about global population issues and the strain it creates on the environment. In a time when it seems like there is a day set aside for every issue that requires more than one day of action and awareness, World Population Day will not be celebrated with gifts, cards, and flowers. This year, men's role in family planning is the focus.

World Population Day was established by the United Nations Development Program on the day in 1989 when the Earth's human population reached five billion people. Almost 20 years later, we have reached over 6.6 billion humans on this fragile planet with approximately 77 million people added each year. The question that must be asked is when will we no longer be able to support the our global population or have we already reached this point?

Info for Health's Population Report sums up the issue well:

As the century begins, natural resources are under increasing pressure, threatening public health and development. Water shortages, soil exhaustion, loss of forests, air and water pollution, and degradation of coastlines afflict many areas. As the world's population grows, improving living standards without destroying the environment is a global challenge.

Most developed economies currently consume resources much faster than they can regenerate. Most developing countries with rapid population growth face the urgent need to improve living standards. As we humans exploit nature to meet present needs, are we destroying resources needed for the future?

There are so many issues involving global population growth and the controversy surrounding it. Public health, food supply, freshwater, coastlines and oceans, biodiversity, and global climate change are all affected by our increasing population. We may not feel the effects in the United States directly yet, but if we look to developing countries and the natural resources available, it is easy to become alarmed. Of course, there are those people who deny this is a problem and feel human ingenuity will sovle any issue that arises.

If we want to insure a livable future, we must increase our sustainabilty practices, as well as stabilize the human population on Earth. With 1 billion people being added to the planet every 13 years, we must slow this growth to enable us to address sustainability issues and preserve a higher standard of living for all people. Voluntary family planning in all countries should be supported, including eliminating the Global Gag Rule. Even though the United States population grows mostly due to immigration, there are still large families in this country with eight or nine children. However, 99% of the population growth does occurs in developing countries, where two in three people lack clean drinking water. Family planning education that targets both men and women, as well as aid should be a priority as we look to stabilize population growth. As the Sierra Club states, "When women and men can choose the size and spacing of their families, they tend to have smaller, healthier families. This has a ripple effect that benefits communities socially, economically, and environmentally."


  1. Cavalary says:

    We don’t need to slow the growth or even settle at current levels, we need the population to drop hard and fast…

  2. Are you guys still adhering to the tenets of “The Population Bomb” by Paul Ehrlich? Wasn’t that gem published way back in 1968? Anyway, the body of this text quickly clarifies the need for the argument. Ehrlich, his disciples, and the mention of the Global Gag Rule are little more than a poorly shrouded declaration for the global expansion of legalized abortion. No matter how many other “overpopulation issues” get mentioned, abortion is always the central topic. There tends to be little mention of birth control, or (God forbid) abstinence.

    As I mentioned in a post to the vegan’s call for ending fishing:

    “In my opinion, man is a part of nature and there is nothing un-natural about his desire to lay claim to a piece of land and eat whatever diet satisfies his palate.”

    Maybe I should have included the naturalness of man wanting to proliferate via offspring. If man truly is part of nature and if he exceeds this world’s limitations, nature will reduce his numbers via pestilence, disease and famine. This happens in the animal kingdom in nearly every instance where hunting is banned, but rarely where it is managed. The problem with the Ehrlichian way to manage the human animal is that the abortion option – which is much crueler than hunting game – is the only option that gets universal support.

    In response to Cavalary, I can not imagine that anyone celebrated the 130,000 plus deaths caused by the tsunami in 2004, although some claimed that it was Mother Earth pushing against the rising population. Also, I pray that s/he never projects such views inward and starts with self.

  3. From what I’ve read, it seems to be “World Fornication Without Consequences Day” or “World Euphemisms for Eugenics Day.” Kill all the poor blacks in Africa. It was Hitler’s goal. It was Margaret Sanger’s goal, and their legacy is alive adn well in the Earth Worshipping movement.

    If you folks are so concerned about reducing the population, why aren’t you pro-AIDS? It kills all sorts of people. Isn’t that what you want?

    It seems to me that if people practiced abstience before monogamous marriage, then
    a) there’d be no “unwanted” pregnancies
    b) there’d be no STDs (show me one couple of monogamous persons with an STD between them?)
    c) there’d be true respect for women (whereas artificial contraception turns women into sex objects).

    Natural family planning also encourages all these ideals, is proven by secular studies to be more effective than all forms of artificial birth control (WHO recently endorsed even the rhythm method as more effective than the Pill), is sociologically proven to bring happier marriages, doesn’t have any harmful side effects, and is consistent with an ecological viewpoint. After all, estrogen pollution from birth control pills is a rising environmental issue, ignored by the Pelvic Left.

    If you people were consisted, you’d be having Couple to Couple League day. But you’re nothing but a bunch of hypocrites, like Al Gore and his multimillion dollar, energy-wasting estate.

  4. Jennifer Lance says:

    I am glad this post has inspired discussion. I appreciate everyone’s opinions, and I hope to read more of them. I do feel that VOLUNTARY family planning is key to this issue.

    In response to John Hathaway’s comments about the writers at GO, we are all different people with different ideas and opinions, so I do not expect there would be consistency (I think this is what you meant by “consisted”), which is a good thing. In my experience, there is something in everyone’s life that makes them a hypocrite, but we all try to live our lives in accordance to our beliefs. I have agree that the natural family planning methods are best, better for the woman’s body, better for the Earth, just better, but my post was not about birth control methods specifically (nor killing Africans), but supporting voluntary family planning through education as a way to help ease the problems associated with population growth and the strain on the environment.

  5. I do believe that your report was offered with honest, personal sincerity. However, you have to understand that mentioning the Global Gag Rule, Family Planning, the Sierra Club and Global Population Control (a.k.a. Ehrlich’s mantra) all in one article will usually warrant a response from someone that opposes abortion. You also did well to avoid saying that natural family planning methods are best for baby.


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