We must take action on rising population
IT is UN World Population Day and the aim is to show the world's growing population and all the social, environmental and political problems associated with it.
Population Matters is a charity that is concerned by the unchecked growth of the earth’s population, which has tripled since 1950. It is fast approaching the eight billion mark as it increases by 250,000 every day.
That’s the equivalent to another Portsmouth every day or another London every month.
Clearly this is causing destruction of the rainforests, over-fishing of the oceans, extinction of thousands of species of flora and fauna, overcrowding of our towns and cities and atmospheric pollution, which is generally accepted as the root cause of global warming.
Perhaps the most immediately obvious problem is the shortage of land available for new-build housing when so much of our countryside is protected green belt.
Inevitably this is reflected in the ever-increasing price of new homes which have become noticeably smaller as developers are forced to cram in more to the acre.
Traffic congestion is certainly a problem for most people where road-building has failed to keep pace with traffic growth driven by population growth. More people, more cars, more congestion.
The UK is more densely populated than China. In fact, we are three times more densely populated than France so this must be having a major impact on our lives.
Figures for 2016 show that the UK’s population increased by 193,000 due to live births exceeding deaths with a further increase of 335,000 due to net migration.
Birth rates are dropping in some places, but it is a mixed picture.
Worldwide, the environmental effects of this population explosion has been far-reaching with 80 per cent of Kenya’s forests felled since 1950 by people needing firewood or simply more land to graze their cattle.
This has had major repercussions for wildlife with vast colonies of monkeys and exotic birds being displaced.
It is inevitable that millions, faced with starvation, will try to reach Europe in search of a better life.
Tragically many millions will attempt to cross the Mediterranean in search of a better life with a loss of life far in excess of current levels.
The most obvious and immediate solution would be to make non-coercive family planning available to the 220m African women currently without contraception.
Experience has shown that the vast majority of African women would like no more than two children.
Finally, rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have been accompanied by a steady warming of the earth with a further increase of 2.6C by 2100, forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The effects of this range from melting of the icecaps and glaciers, to increasing the spread of the deserts adding further to the woes of
sub-Saharan people trying to live off the land.
We are not a political or religious organisation and seek to attract new members from all ethnic groups/religions and backgrounds.
We are not against children. All we do is encourage people to consider the population growth caused by having more than two children and the resulting loss of countryside as these children grow into adults who need homes.
Our respected patrons include David Attenborough and Chris Packham.
Only by taking action to contain the human population now can we possibly prevent future generations from having a greatly impoverished quality of life.
People need space.