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Three’s a crowd? The battle over population and reproduction


9 Threes a crowd

Where does ‘family planning’ stop being about individuals and couples making their own reproductive decisions and become a moral imperative that people should make the ‘right choices’? Are fears about population growth a new form of an old panic, or is the expanding carbon footprint a problem we need to address by limiting population growth? This¬† debate at the Battle of Ideas, supported by bpas and the Wellcome Trust,¬† features Dr Austen Ivereigh, Catholic commentator and West London Citizens organiser; Dr Ellie Lee, University of Kent lecturer and co-ordinator of Pro-Choice Forum; Adrian Stott, Optimum Population Trust trustee and Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust.

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Related topics: Debates, Science Progress

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Andes said:

Hopefully technological advances and development will facilitate the rightful private, intimate choices of all people throughout the world, forever more.

However, we probably should consider what we might prefer for a plan B, if it becomes unquestionable that the planets resources and technological advances cannot facilitate plan A.

Even if any plan B we can think of can only be sub-optimal in a moral or any other sense.

And maybe we should bear in mind the potential danger that to stick purely to TINA / plan A, may lead to significantly worse outcomes than we might otherwise see – in comparison to some of our plan B alternatives; that we might have lost the opportunity to used instead.

margo_ said:

This OPT guys is quite scary … I strongly believe that in worldbytes’s motto: the more the merrier. People shouldn’t be considered as the problem but the answer.

redvan said:

Great debate yet and nice to see the OPT get a kicking. The population debate strikes me as totally hysterical and overblown. The third world doesn’t need NGO’s wading in with stern lectures and bags of condoms, but serious industrial and economic development.

Vivien said:

Whenever i hear someone from the Optimum Population Trust speak my skin crawls. They are ridiculous though. This time the OPT guy tells us that if we really want to reduce our carbon footprint then we need to stop Ethopians coming to England and wanting to live like us as when he was poor in Africa his carbon footprint was 160th less then ours! He goes on to say that this is a numbers game, purely statistical fact that we need to stop populating. Like WORLDbytes says in our our film ‘celebrating more people’ – I am not a number.

David said:

Best debate yet on population and reproduction the OPT guy is quite a frightening doom merchant fortunately Dr Eliie Lee rocks

Praz said:

The more the merrier! I think the OPT are amongst the most anti-human and dangerous organisations around at the moment. Their rise seems to be linked to the decline in belief in the possibility of human political or social solutions. Down with the whole neo-Malthusian lobby!