POPULATION CONTROL by trialballoon
Population control solves EVERY identified problem facing humanity. You don't get more synergistic that that.
In order to control population growth, research and education seem to be the most important factors. There is probably no "one size fits all" solution. Individuals countries should make efforts based on best practices for their population. The Paris Accords might be a possible framework.
All 17 Sustainable Development Goals are impacted by population. Notably, continued population growth is quite capable of leading to the extinction of the human species, which would be contrary to all goals. At some population number various goals would become unreachable. As resources are stretched to an ever expanding population goals like elimination of poverty and hunger become moot.
The only goal which might benefit from population growth is education. In the same way it can be said "two heads are better than one", the more minds that are focused on sustainability the better.
Those with moral authority need to admit and take a stand on population issues. Leaders have been passing the buck for generations. Do we really need to be starving in order to say "something must be done"?
Some say the proper study of mankind is man. We are defined by our limits. We need to understand our population limits. Individual countries need to do studies of a sustainable population footprint. They need to inform their population of trends and consequences and options.
What actions do you propose?
The UN should lead an effort to stabilize/reduce human population. Economic models need to be developed that do not rely on inflation or other population sensitive methods. A public relations and education effort needs to be mounted on a global scale. A new field of population science needs to be promoted and implemented from kindergarten to Ph. D. programs. Governments need to create agencies to study the problem at a local level, develop plans, and execute them.
The UN should track progress for individual countries so all countries have access to method effectiveness data and best practices.
Who will take these actions and which types of actors are involved?
Education programs must be developed to train advocates for population control, develop strategies, overcome legal challenges, and monitor progress.
Individual countries should be monitored and subject to global scrutiny for failure to meet stated goals. The UN might deploy population assistance as they now deploy security forces.
Where will these actions be taken and how could they scale?
Population control needs to be global in scale. Obviously certain countries have a larger population problem than others. Some countries are even experiencing declines in certain age ranges. For example, Europe might benefit from immigration of younger immigrants for their workforce in order to support an aging population. This transfer might be more appropriately managed.
Certain countries might be more easily aided in population control. For example, Sub-saharan Africa might be more accepting of help whereas China might prefer internal controls.
In addition, specify the countries where these actions will be taken.
What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?
We do not have a climate problem. We have a population problem. We need to stop focusing on symptoms.
Our carbon emissions are directly correlated to our population. While technological developments may reduce our carbon emissions an increase in population might well wipe out all these advances. Each technological solution must be evaluated with respect to population growth trends.
What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach?
Pure simplicity. Attack all problems at once. Elegance.
There is a feeling that comes from knowing that you are living within your means which is quite different from the feeling that you are being herded toward a cliff. It is possible that a rational debate leading to a truly sustainable future may lead to renaissance of the human spirit.
What are the proposal’s projected costs?
This is a purely psychological issue. What does it cost to change a mind? Some people may require negligible assistance with birth control.
Each country may face quite different problems in this area. Obviously impoverished countries may not have the necessary research resources. It seems likely that a UN effort regarding population issues would be no more costly than disarmament efforts.
A global consortium for research might find certain economies of scale for various country types.
About the Authors
Retired systems analyst and programmer. Degree in Philosophy.
A Systems Approach by C.West Churchman (1968) should be required reading for implementations of global projects.
Fundamentals of Negotiating by Gerard I. Nierenberg (1968) should be required reading for anyone assisting countries in developing implementation strategies.
What enabling environment would be required in order to implement this proposal?
Significant assets now directed toward climate change might be redirected toward population issues. Obviously if global population comes down then carbon emissions come down. Attacking the root problem could be a more efficient use of resources.
A UN Resolution would greatly aid visibility of population issues.