December 11th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Mandatory population control to fight global warming?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While world leaders talk about combating climate change in Copenhagen - some say population control is the only way to really fight it.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/11/art.newborns.jpg caption="Newborns lie on a hospital bed in Beijing."]
The Chinese instituted a policy limiting the number of children each family can have 30-years ago. And they claim that since then, it has prevented 400-million births - and saved carbon emissions to the tune of 18-million tons a year.

And it's not just the Chinese. There's a piece in the Canadian newspaper The Financial Post which suggests: "The real inconvenient truth" is that humans are overpopulating the world.

It suggests that every nation should adopt China's one-child policy; because if we don't control the earth's population, we will eventually destroy or run out of everything - from other species to vegetation, resources, the atmosphere, oceans and water supply - and that's whether the globe overheats or not.

This piece points out that despite China's dirty coal plants - it is a world leader in creating policy to combat the destruction of the environment.

One study shows that if from now on, every woman gave birth to only one child - the world's population would drop from 6.5 billion now... to 5.5 billion in 2050. If we do nothing - the population could soar to an unsustainable nine-billion in that same time.

Needless to say there are lots of people who disagree with population control - like fundamentalist leaders who oppose birth control or politicians from emerging economies.

Here’s my question to you: Should mandatory population control be a part of the fight against global warming?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

A. from Oregon writes:
Pretty extreme, Jack. However in the near future that is certainly a consideration that many nations must make… When food, water and critical medical services are in short supply, fewer people makes a lot of sense! Consider, Jack, the enormous drain a family of 8 has on society and the community, and yet the state and federal government rewards huge families with enormous benefits and tax breaks.

Richard writes:
Wow, Jack. Thanks very much. Finally someone in the media has the guts to state the obvious. Everything you said is true, but you were too gentle: it needs shouting out. The fundamentalists and others opposed to population control have had their way for too long.

Sean from Belvidere, Illinois writes:
Morally, there are better ways of fighting global warming than infanticide. But sadly, this method makes more sense than carbon credits.

Jay writes:
Absolutely. Every year, we have deer hunting season, with the argument that if we don’t control the deer population they will over-breed and starve to death. Why can these ‘John and Kate’ and ‘Octomom’ people not see that the same biological mathematics applies to humans as well? On a planet of finite resources, you can’t just keep producing an ever-growing pool of consumers and still expect the whole thing to work.

Paul from Toronto writes:
Jack, Humans, like the H1N1, are a virus and if we don't get ourselves under control, Mother Earth will eventually create her own vaccine and destroy us all to protect herself.

Sebastian from Ann Arbor, Michigan writes:
Well finally, it's about time we started talking about this. As an only child, son of an only child and the parent of none, I say if you want more than one kid then pay for it – a tax seems reasonable. Those who adopt would be exempt.

Sam writes:
This is the most ignorant question I've ever seen.

Filed under: Global Warming
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Joe CE

    Impratical to attempt mandatory control at this time. Reduction in the birth rate can be encouraged.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  2. Kyle Irvine, CA

    If other countries want to put a limit on birth control, that is their business not ours. But a ban like that would never fly in the U.S. Our leaders should give the power to the people and tell them how they can contribute towards helping the environment. If everyone does their share, then we'll be fine.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  3. Vinnie Vino


    Let me ask my magic eight ball, the answer is consult with China...

    Vinnie Vino
    Central Islip, N.Y.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  4. David in San Diego

    I don't think it is feasible, but nonetheless ever-increasing population is a real risk, affecting health, territorial and resource wars, and the political balance of power. It is just too bad we have no solution other than hoping technological and cultural developments will make it all go away. I suppose increasing potable water is one promising area, and a move away from reliance on fossil fuels would also be a helpful sign.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  5. Paul, New Port Richey, Fl

    End welfare. Population problem solved.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  6. Mike S., New Orleans

    Mandatory population control defies the freedoms our country was founded upon. However, government subsidized breeding programs have created an American population where you can milk the system for a living if you spit out enough kids you can't afford. Perhaps that is social, and not environmental, polution.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  7. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    It could be a small first step, Jack, but I really don't think it's the be all and end all to the problem. Another thing that could be done is to end the space programs around the world, which would stop punching holes in the ozone. There are a ton of 'green' options out there and we, as individuals, should do our part in stopping the destruction of the world as we know it. It won't make a significant difference to us, but if we start the trend, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren might just have a chance.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  8. Linda - Muncie, IN

    Jack, you have to know that you just threw gasoline on the fire. I'm not a consertive nut case but I say no to population control. Yes that might solve a few problems but it would create far more – infanticide and a huge increase in abortions to name a few. What's next? Kill everyone when they reach 65 and of course any person with a handicap. You really slipped over the edge with this one. Have a Merry Christmas.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  9. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    This goes back to your question yesterday – should we choose the gender of our child? Since most men desire to have male children, they would opt to pick that gender. If this was allowed to happen, in the future there would be no children, as a child of the female gender would most likely not be chosen. Hence, no global warming.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  10. Melissa

    Lets face facts. There is absolutely no reason for a family to have more than two children. None. We are overpopulating the planet, and people need to learn to stop having so bloody many kids for our own good.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  11. Leonard

    No it should not. We already tell people what they can buy, how they live as a couple, what health insurance plan they will have, what school districts their kids can attend. Now we want to tell them that, even if they can afford to, only have a certain number of children? The global warming problem is much bigger than this. Let's leave the people of the world with something they can do without calling their government to get answers.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  12. A. Smith, Oregon

    Pretty extreme Jack, however in the near future that is certainly a consideration that many nations must make.

    Mormans of course would yell and scream, Ole Morman Mitt would be dead set against it but when food, water and critical medical services are in short supply, fewer people makes a lot of sense!

    Consider Jack the enormous drain a family of 8 has on society and the community and yet the State and Federal Govt. rewards huge family's with enormous benefits and tax breaks.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  13. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    Sorry Jack I'm not ready yet to blame over-population of the earth as a cause for global warming. My wife and I decided early on that money was the prime factor in determining how many children to have and not carbon emissions. I guess you might say I don't buy this argument. I am however a strong believer in the idea that you must complete a good parenting course prior to getting your license permitting you to have a child. See I blame parents for many of the problems our society faces. If parents did a better job of being actively involved in the childs development we would significantly improve our society and world

    December 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  14. chris

    no it should npt that would be un-american to do that restrict the population here for a cause that is the biggest hoax on the american people the only ones are excited are the ones making millions on this cmimate crap stuff

    December 11, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  15. Eric - Houston

    Well Jack an interesting question. I believe it is self-evident that the world is over populated, but how would we enforce such a policy. I suppose we could have forced abortions and sterilizations in this country to ensure compliance. Any we births we miss, we could put the kids in foster care and incarcerate the offending parents, maybe sterilize the extra child. For the rest of the world, particularly the high birth rate, mostly third world nations the nuclear powers could enforce their compliance or otherwise limit their populations. Regrettable of course, but desperate times you know.

    Do you think we we decide to do this I could get an armband?

    Maybe tax and educational incentives might be more palatable, though much less effective, since in the end we would have to make families responsible for their own decisions and we are forgetting how to do that..

    December 11, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  16. Richard, in Kansas

    Not only should we have mandatory population control but I've always thought you should have to take a class, pass a test, and prove you can afford it before being allowed to bring another person into the world. Raising a child is the biggest responsibility you can take on, that you can do it with absolutly no training or qualifications smacks of irresponsibility.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  17. Marianne Wisconsin

    If we institute population control that's just another freedom that is taken away. Pretty soon we will have no freedoms and the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution will mean nothing.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  18. Chad N.

    Hmmm...lets think about that. What would our world be like if we already had population control in place? Would there have been an Einstien? Would there have been a Mozart? Would there have been a Picasso? Would there be a Barack Obama? We will never know what our world would be like today if population control had been implemented at some time in our past. Of course the opposite effect could be argued as well. Would there have been a Hitler or Stalin and so forth.

    We do not need to regulate the population ourselves by mandate. You can have faith that mother nature will regulate population all on her own at some point in the future. Why should we mess with the natural cycle of things, I can assure you we do not know better.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  19. Joe M


    I hope octomom is listening.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  20. Judy, Exeter, Ca

    From a scientific point of view it has always been the best solution. Can you imagine the uproar something like that would cause in this country? Church leaders would be fainting in the aisles, Sarah Palin would rally her troops and form a military coup to take over the "socialist" government, and anarchy would prevail. China is a communist country, and that is why they can impose laws of this nature. Here in the US anyone suggesting such a thing would be burned at the stake by the weenies on the far right.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  21. Melissa Jones

    It would not be a bad thing. Years ago having alot of children made sence now a days it is too expensive and it does have an effect on our inviroment. I'm sure some people will argue against it as a "IT'S OUR RIGHT" to have as many kids as we want but i would say if you smoke that is your right doesn't always mean it the right thing to do. I have one son and i can say that is all i need.

    South Hill, Va

    December 11, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  22. Jane (Minnesota)

    The earth doesn't have infinite resources – if the population continues to explode, somethings has got to give – if people don't control the explosion, mother nature will in some way I suspect.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  23. Phil-Wenatchee, WA

    I guess "Octomom" wasn't listening to this.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  24. JENNA

    Should mandatory population control be a part of the fight against global warming?

    Zero population would be 2 children. That works for me.

    But what will all the Catholics, Mormons, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar (19 and counting) do?

    Roseville CA

    December 11, 2009 at 4:01 pm |

    The Catholics and the Pope won't like it – but heck yes! Let's do it now before there is not enough food, not enough water, and not enough natural resources.

    Oh. And the Republicans won't like it either. Palin will blame it on Obama's health plan!

    December 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  26. Gregory Miami Beach, FL

    Population control? Between so many people without access to education, birth control, and common sense, there's not likely to be any control. Who ever put together the words population and control apparently didn't have a teenager at home.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  27. marlene

    This ideal would never fly. China is under never ending criticism for it's population control measures. Can you imagine what the anti-abortion segment of the US would do or say. Talk about angry mobs! Marlene in Mich

    December 11, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  28. Willow, Iowa

    Other than the individual freedoms we enjoy, I think population control would be a good idea. Each child would definitely be a wanted and cared for child. But in our society, individual freedoms are more important, abortions are bad, and birth control is expensive. Our country isn't the main problem, in nonindustrialized countries, a woman must bear many children, in hopes of having one or two grow up to take care of her in her old age. Because they lose so many. If we could change the poverty and lack of food, health care for everyone, the people wouldn't have to have ten kids hoping one would live. they would have only one or two.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  29. Pam, NYC

    Overpopulation is at the root of many problems beyond global warming. For example, Wildlife and plant habitats are being lost due to human expansion. Population control, as awful as it may sound, is absolutely necessary if the earth is to survive.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  30. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Sure why not Jack. And why not place a myriad of other controls as well. Perhaps how many times a person can get married, the amount of money a person can make, education controls, political party affilitation, types of food we can consume, what our clothing is made of, controls on household energy consumption. Heck, lets just place controls on everything in our entire lives Jack.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  31. Luci - Pekin, IL.

    I'm to old to add to the population explosion, but I think after 2 or 3 children that would be plenty to raise.
    That goes for people that have too many pets for sure.
    They need to start feeding birth control to all animals including deer etc., that are multiplying too fast.
    Free birth control pill would be a good idea for anyone who needs and wants them.
    That would help some against Global Warming.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  32. Sue From Idaho

    The people with common sense are already limiting themselves to two children per couple. Not only is climate a problem but lack of food and affordable housing factors in. Noah only kept two of each animal, the ark had only so much space.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  33. Darren

    How about we start with manditory emmisions cojtrol from all our fossil fuel burning machinery, ranging from huge factories down to our gas-powered weedwhackers.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  34. donna Pennsburg,PA

    I can see the pro-lifers blowing steam out of their ears. If it was up to them we'd have thousands more babies growing into adults who are driving more, using more gas, more oil, looking for jobs that aren't here and probably collecting welfare and,or, unemployment. Still, I think it's an individual choice to decide how many children a family should have.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  35. Dan - Saratoga Springs UT

    I've met plenty of people on both sides of the political aisle whose parents should have followed this policy if you catch me drift.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  36. T. G. from the virgin islands

    I don't think so. when I first heard about this, it sounds too much like what China is doing to their people. There has to be another way to reduce CO2 gases in the air beside this.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:17 pm |

    The fact that there are too many people fro the planet to support us in our present lifestyle is obvious. If we found a way to stabilize our population we could all live very well, indeed. However, only a authoritarian government like China can coerce it's people to force its population to adopt a zero population growth regime. Good luck trying to impose rules like that in the US. You cant even get them to obey laws that are clearly in their best interest, such as speed limits and drinking and driving.
    Not to worry, thought. This obstinate refusal to ease back on fossil fuel consumption will solve the problem. It has been estimated that uncontrolled global warming will cause the death of billions of people.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  38. JaneE

    Maybe population control should be mandatory until every child on the planet has enough to eat, decent clothing to wear, a roof over their head, and a chance to go to school. If that were the case, I expect global warming would take care of itself.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  39. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Jack, the concept is ludicrous !! The Chinese have turned their back to the truth that their 'parents' have only wanted males to keep the bloodline going and aborted females. There will be social chaos and probable war when these males with overavtive hormones need an outlet !! With the world aging across the globe and the third world dying of a host of ailments, I think the population rise will be VERY short lived !!!

    December 11, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  40. Kevin

    I hope those yearning for one family one child culture will have their motive know rather by masquerading it as a way out of global warming. The houses the stars and selfish millionaires live consume a thousand times than a thousand poor people could ever used. Maybe they will start saying soon people should stop getting rich to combat the global warm.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  41. Maria

    That's a tough one, but yes, increasing population has been the biggest culprit in the mess this world is in, and while I'm past age-bearing, if my mother had been honest with me, I never would have had children(altho I love them dearly).



    December 11, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  42. Tripshaft

    Yes it should... but let's remember that population control can also mean attrition control. Not by death panels, but by death with dignity laws. Millions of terminally ill people are forced to "live" on machines in pricey rooms until either the money runs out or they finally die.

    If you're going to do birth control, you should also do death control.

    – Westerly, Rhode Island

    December 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  43. K

    You betcha! We are encroaching everywhere. Our planet cannot continue to support the poplulation explosion.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  44. J W

    Yes...and for the sake of mother earth, I'm thankful that such common sense is beginning to penetrate the more aware among us who can see the relationship between over population and polution.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  45. The Broker.

    But you don't believe in Abortion CNN. What you mean is cut out the sex? You can't have it both ways. Well then some do!!!

    December 11, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  46. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Jack, I thought that was the reason we're fighting two wars, what's the problem, not getting enough of our soldiers killed? We can also legalize pot that should help kill off a couple of million, raise the speed limit to one hundred miles an hour that would get rid of a few hundred thousand legalize everyone to openly carry a gun on their side, have some old fashion Tombstone shoot outs, another few hundred thousand. No need for a mandatory population control.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  47. Lynda, Greenville NC

    How about we just start making people pass High School and credit checks before having kids, so we can slow the number of children in poor areas requiring food stamps and welfare programs. Then at least we can get closer to a guarantee that the children born will give back to society once they get older.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  48. Laura

    I think the rising cost of living is already imposing population control...people can't afford to have large families anymore, especially if you factor in putting kids through college. My concern is how would this mandatory population control be enforced? Forced abortions? Infanticide? Fining people with more than one kid? How?

    December 11, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  49. Greg, Ontario

    You crack me up Jack...we both know the only way mankind has ever accomplished population control is through world war. You can't call yourself free if you have someone telling you not to have children. The Chinese are constantly at war with thier own people. The day my government tells me, my family or my friends how many children we can have is the day a civil war breaks out in Canada.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  50. GWTripp, Mch'sburg, PA

    That would be the humane thing to do. Other policies that would need to deal with unwanted birth would need to be adopted in the most possible compassionate manner. Those who oppose such limits are blind to the fate of millions of children around the world today. They are dying or are being put at such physical and mental disadvantage that the life they might lead is one of agony and despair. Efforts in growth of better produce and better farming methods and better logistics for delivery of food can only touch the surface of the problem. Famine, disease and death await those unfortunate souls who are yet bringing more babies into the world than any other group. God help these poor people and their children.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  51. Bill in Penna

    One child per couple is a good idea. Getting out of two wars where we have no stake is a good idea. Health care for all citizens is a good idea.
    Legalizing drugs is a good idea: it balances the budget, stops terrorism and saves Mexico; but these too are not going to happen. Paying our bills and raising taxes to cover our expenses is a good idea but we prefer to rob from the future. Stopping pollution is a good idea.
    The piper, mother nature or what ever your choice of Law Giver, is going to enforce the rules and that is fact. Then the survivors, if any, can choose what they are going to do with the remains of the planet.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  52. Linda from Kentucky

    Amen, Jack!!! This is by far one of the most important questions you've ever asked. Not only do our fundamentalists oppose birth control and abortion, but we live in a society that actually pays women to breed like rabbits and pop out children just to get a paycheck. I once was in a grocery line behind a pre-teen boy who was telling his father that he was going to be called "Unemployed Floyd" when he grew up because he was going to have several kids by several women and live off of the government. It made me sick to my stomach(especially since I will be paying for it). Yes, we should have population control before our earth's resources are depleted. But we should also have it to stop bringing unwanted and unloved children into the world.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  53. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, we can either do it ourselves or nature will take care of it for us. Overpopulaton is a crisis that will be solved sooner or later. The ecosystem that is Earth, will sooner or later cave in to the pressure of too many people, and when it does the catastrophic results will be the death of billions. Voluntary population control is a non-starter for most of the world, however, picture Darfur or the other African droughts/starvation on a worldwide basis, and you get a slight notion of what is to come if we don't get the population under control.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  54. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Jack it means you reap what you sow.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  55. Mr. D

    I don't know why some degree of population control should not be included in the fight against global warming. What purpose does it serve having 9+ billion people on the planet other than to reduce the livability for everyone. If we are, hopefully, not going to have large scale wars, then something must be done.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  56. Doug - Dallas, TX

    What are you going to do, kill every child after the first one, throw the offenders in jail or mandatory sterilization after the first child? It would be Orwell's 1984 in real life. Talk about a socialist society! I know, we can create a government agency to control that and let them be "Big Brother" and decide how the offenders should be dealt with.

    Here's the solution; nuke Iran, we don't like them anyway. By the time it's all over the only thing the world will have to worry about is how to make sure the human race survives but global warming won't be an issue any more.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  57. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    Forget global warming, there should be mandatory controls on who should be allowed to have children. The state of parenhood today is dismal at best. Just take a trip to your local mall, grocery store or school and you can witness the sad spectacle that passes for parenting today.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  58. Alex in Seattle

    Too many people consuming too few resources has been an issue since before the publication of The Population Bomb in 1968 when the world's population was only half of what it is now. Population control would help slow global warming but it will never happen. Communist China tried it but it led to resentment of the government interfering with their people's private lives and the current gender imbalance. So if a dictatorship had to back off, democracies will never agree to do it.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  59. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Most definitely, Jack. But the fundies can't have that. Less stupid, ignorant people mean less money, power and drugs to the religeous power elite.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  60. Matthew Schmitz Oxnard,CA

    If television stops promoting shows like John and Kate plus 8, and 18 kids and counting, then maybe people would stop having so many kids. Another solution to global warming is if Wolf Blitzer stopped wasting his gas driving to Wizard's games. They always lose!

    December 11, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  61. Jay

    Absolutely. Every year we have deer hunting season, with the argument that if we don’t control the deer population they will over-breed and starve to death. Why can these ‘John and Kate’ and ‘Octomom’ people not see that the same biological mathematics applies to humans as well? On a planet of finite resources, you can’t just keep producing an ever-growing pool of consumers and still expect the whole thing to work. These baby factory families will kill us all long before the SUV’s do.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  62. Annie, Atlanta

    In theory I find it offensive. In reality, what choice do we have? We’ll be reduced to waging war for food and water instead of oil if we don’t slow it down, and soon.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  63. Sean Alger

    Belvidere, Illinois

    Morally, there are better ways of fighting global warming than infantcide. But sadly this method makes more sense that carbon credits.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  64. Sean Alger

    Belvidere, Illinois

    Morally, there are better ways of fighting global warming than infantcide. But sadly this method makes more sense than carbon credits.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  65. Tina Tx

    Well for one we don't need women in the USA to keep having litters like the one in Arkansas. We should all be smart enough to limit our kids. Is this woman getting some type of Government assistance is what I want to know?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  66. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    It is going to have to be a factor in the solution but, I'm worried that if the Vatican watches the Situation Room and the Cafferty File that you,Jack,will be joining Kennedy in being refused communion. Im sure this suggestion would infuriate the Pontif.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  67. Ron from SF

    Either we control our population through something like the One Child Policy or nature will force a die off that will make the bubonic plague look like a picnic. Take a look at Peak oil or the effects of global warming or some of the world food supply studies. If population trends continue, we're going to face a resource crisis and find that we're over the limit of how many the world can support. A major problem with that reality is that the Talib-genicals in this country refuse to face reality.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  68. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Yes Jack and it needs to be world wide especialy in China but what are the financial gaines and loses to population reductions .

    December 11, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  69. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Sure, but let's have a system where if one woman has no children, another woman can have 2 children, for example.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  70. Ted, Aloha, OR

    I doubt it would work in any nation based on a democracy. People tend to forget that China is a communist nation. As a variation of socialism, they have done pretty well in the loan department to the US. In a communist dictatorship type of government, you follow the dictates of the powers that be. Or else. to carry it 3 or 4 steps further, If we keep buyiing from them pretty soon we'll have their same policies in place here, but at least there wouldn't be any more congressional bribe and payoff system.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  71. Ed from the Four Corners

    Excellent idea waaaaay past time. Birth control and limiting family size is paramount to saving this already overpopulated planet. Of course the catholics and mormons will have a fit about not breeding like rabbits.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  72. Dave in Kansas

    Other species become extinct when they run out of food,thats why we control their population.Wolves in Alaska come to mind.But thats so they don't deplete the moose population , that would mess up the hunters.Seriously,we should have some kind of population control.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  73. Gigi Oregon

    O Brother!, haven't we just cussed China for this policy and now you want us to embrace it. We cussed Russia for spying on their people 50 years ago now we are doing it . What's next...

    December 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  74. John Hovland, MN

    Yes. However it will not happen! Reduction in population, always occurs through out history with; war, famine and disease. As a species we have NOT grown up, mostly likely never. Jack, remember the 70's movie Soylent Green. I rest my case. Oh, by the way I have no children and I am 65. I did my part, unless I find a 30 year old who wants to have 4 daughters. Old geezers do have dreams.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  75. Lisa, San Jose CA

    Before we start with any 'mandatory' birth control, how about we try 'voluntary' birth control.
    We need to ignore our own religious zealots to support birth control programs at home and abroad that would let even the poorest woman in the world have access to the same birth-control choices available to the wealthiest–IUD's, pills, shots, condoms, even abortion access as a last resort.
    We should also emphasize educating the MEN around the world about how rational family planning can be of benefit to their prosperity and how they should support their women-folk in reproductive issues. Because there are still men who think the number of children they have is what makes them manly.
    If we don't control the earths population, mother nature will. Whether it is by famine, global warming, or a dangerous pandemic (eg: H5N1 instead of H1N1), humans are subject to the same kind of population boom/crash cycle as all other organisms on the planet.
    If we don't do it, mother nature will, and she has no mercy.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  76. Don Cooper

    Jack, forget any government study from any country. The government is always wrong. The arrogance to think that they can actually predict with any kind of useful accruacy the future popultion of the earth and its affect on the globe's resources is dillusional. Government's can't effectively run their own countries and now they want some sort of new world order. Personally, I think wiping the human race off the map would be the best thing to happen. The fewer reality tv, mall going, fast food eating carbon units in the universe the better.

    Washington D.C.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  77. NeSS

    Thank you, Jack, for being someone who isn't scared to death of real issues.

    Overshoot by Bruce Catton addresses this very thing: We are past peak carrying capacity for good old Planet Earth. Something should be put in place, but the hows are tricky.

    Bottom line: Mother Earth does not need humans. She will adjust. We won't. So perhaps ridding our Selves of the Fear of talking about, for starters (rather than, oh, yelling, name-calling, labeling...)

    December 11, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  78. john

    Absolutely agree with the notion on 1 birth per female.It makes too much sense to ever occur.I am a faith person and feel supporting a birth limit is not immoral.In fact it is unselfish to limit our reproduction and a true means to reduce our carbon footprint.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  79. Joesphine the Plumber

    I agree that the population should be controlled. I think the idea might be more palatable if people wishing to have more than one child were able to purchase the right to have another child from people who wish to have none (similar to how companies can buy carbon credits from other companies). However we both know that this will never fly' especially in America where people are "me-me-me" and expect to be allowed to do anything and everything they want without limits.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  80. Dennis Truett

    Jack, If we really think about it, overpopulation is the root problem of just about every problem we are facing today. For a perfect example world hunger. The fix is obvious. Unfortunatly the politicians are the only ones who can suggest and enforce this idea, and THAT would be political suicide.

    Dennis Truett

    December 11, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  81. Al D

    Thank you Jack for bringing this topic to light.
    Over population is the real root of most problems on this planet.
    I'm not a praying man but I truely hope the conservitives and the religious right wises up before they make this planet into the hell the bible predicts.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  82. Paul Segreto

    As an only child, or if I was the eldest child, I would say, "NO." On a serious note, mandatory population control would work, but so would plenty of other measures of positive nature including emissions control, pollution control, alternative fuels, etc. Also, starting to build cities and towns in unpopulated areas would spread out the population making the growing population easier to deal with. As businesses continue to become virtual this should be easier than in the past.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  83. g brandon

    There were two billion when i got out of high school..now there is six billion..we either control population or it will control us in very unpleasant ways that most people of today dont even have the stomach to hear .Its a mathamatical fact.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  84. T.Leslie

    The numbers from China are a farce as China is only giving the number of births that are recorded "Legal Birth" that are reported. It is the unrecorded births that have exploded China's population, to which it seems that China is forgoing those numbers within its report on Global Warming. Does China also mention its massive "Black Marketing" of children? The births that are not reported because the parents cannot pay the fines for having a child either out of we-lock or a child that has not been sanctioned by a repressive government.
    In closing I'm what you might consider a moderate Democrat but that plan just smells like something Hitler might have cooked up.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  85. A

    If the government started such a policy, it would have to deal with the backlash from such religions that preach having families with more than one child; like Catholicism and Mormonism. What would the government do then?? And what would happen if a woman got pregnant after having that first child? Would it start preaching women to get abortions then? Our government is having enough trouble figuring out how to ban abortion funds in the new health care. Please... The day that our government starts to seriously consider such a plan will be the day that our country goes into the "ruled by loonies" category...

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  86. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – No Jack, population control is not a solution to global warming. It is true that human numbers themselves are a problem – but estimates of carrying capacity go from 8 to 15 billion, whereas the data show that global warming has been a problem since we had half as many people as now. Less people does not mean less combustion, and more people does not mean more combustion, by itself. One American has a "carbon footprint" more than 100 times that of one Somali. That does not mean that there aren't too many Somalis for Somalia, or that there is room for more Americans. Anyhow, mandatory population control is possible only in a dictatorship – in a free society, one must promote voluntary population control, i.e., Planned Parenthood.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  87. Melissa Vsomething

    With scientists now being able to choose the sex of a child, Maybe the future is to limit one son and one daughter per couple. Something needs to be done, and although some people may find it harsh to put a cap on human life.. a capped life is better than NO life.. The problem is most people don't see the effects of global warming universally in their day to day lives hence their refusal to change their carbon footprint.

    Melissa – Winnipeg Canada

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  88. Tom K.

    Santa Monica, CA

    Yes, but this is controversial. I don't agree that China's system is the way to go, but they have the right idea. If we could keep it to a max of two kids (one to replace Dad and one to replace Mom), the world would be better off. Perhaps the U.S. system should eliminate the child tax credit immediately. People like the Octomom would stop using our government to make easy money. Also, everyday, I see a teenage Mother walking with three young kids, one pushing the stroller with a newborn. I doubt there's a Daddy in the picture, so the problem is really widespread. My wife and I are wealthy, but unable to have kids, so we're bitter about this.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  89. rbb from california

    The simple fact is earth can't sustain too many more people. Personally I do think population control is not a bad idea however it should be more specific. Most of the educated people dont have more than 2 kids, however the real problem lies with poor minority and impoverished over populated countries. I think one child is a bit much maybe two is a more reasonable number. However this cant be a one country rule, if it is applied it should be inforced worldwide or else its just not fair.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  90. Jake

    Obviously this policy cannot be made in our American system of governance, but you bring up a very intriguing topic. One thing that you exempted though, was the disparity between population growth in developed countries and in the developing world. Maybe an answer would lie in better sexual education in the developing world, not in mandatory population control.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  91. Taylor, La Crosse WI

    Jack, it comes down to personal responsibility. A responsible couple should realize that 1 or two children barring surprises like twins/multiple births, is enough. If people decide to not be responsible, or have not been educated to the proper level to see this fact, then maybe the government should step in and do something.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  92. mike taylor

    Yes there should be a cap. How many times do you hear wild animals having their population controlled due to over population. If we as species and as a plant are going to survive, then the population needs to be cut and soon.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  93. Jim in Texas


    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have finally laid bare the real secret to the future of the world as we know it. Mankind is like a bunch of rabbits, breeding themselves to extinction. The far right nut cases and religious fanatics will deny it is a problem right up to the time global wars break our over water and food shortages. Thank goodness I will not be here!

    Jim in Texas

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  94. Eric Lein

    Jack...you realy are poking the wasp nest with a stick this time. I am suprised there arent religious mobs out looking for you now with this question. I can almost see the flaming crosses as the sun sets here in the northeast. Good luck with this one.


    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  95. Ken

    We already have mandatory control. It is called nature and will kick in before we reach 9 billion.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  96. martha campbell

    Nothing we do to fight global warming or any other global problem has any chance of success unless we control the population of humans on this earth. I think it's called spoiling our own nest.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  97. Roman Deutsch, Butler, PA

    Hey Jack. It's laughable to hear how China is setting standards for global warming. There rivers run red with poison that have caused thousands of Chinese with cancerous tumors, breathing problems, skin problems you name it.

    Yes there are too many people. We see that here in the U.S on the welfare rolls of the past. The world needs to move quickly away from carbon base fuels.

    You heard of John Kanzius radio wave machine that does three things; Purifies Saltwater, Lights saltwater to 3000 degrees and is potentially the greatest machine invented to cure cancer patients.

    Mind power over greed. World economies are built on mass products to sell to mass people. Wrong economics for a world with limited resources.

    When are the people of this world going to wake up?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  98. Sharon

    I think we should impose a "cap and trade" on population. Each woman is entitled to one child, but then has to "buy" the right to have more from childless women. Oh, wait! That would put the Duggers, Jon and Kate, and the Octo-Mom out of business!

    And the number of children should be based on how many children a man has fathered, not on how many children a woman has had if we really want to limit the poplulation.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  99. Jackson Dorr

    BINGO!! There are 2 issues. The Reproduce and Multiply rule is a selectively applied aspect of the 5000 year old documents. This needs to be ignored as are other rules of yore. Also when someone conjures a business model that will thrive under a declining population we'll be on the road to sustainability (target population at 500 million to keep Earth sustaining us until the life of the sun becomes a factor)

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  100. jmoore

    of course we should institute some sort of global population control policy, after all every child is a potential ecological disaster.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  101. Adam from Woodstock, NY

    If we could have population control internationally it could greatly decrease pollution in our world . It would also create a more stable environment in large communities that will continue growing throughout time. World wide population control could be a great growth in todays world. I may only be a ninth grader but I know that I don't want to continue growing in a crowded world.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  102. Gary Nelson

    How enforceable would such a plan be? If you have a totalitarian regime Im sure it would be simple, either do it or we will pick you up, sterilize you and put your extra child up for adoption. In a free society what would the penalty be? I think this is another case of "pay attention to me", as another crackpot scientist fills the pages of magazines with his theory and sells millions of books to aggravated readers.

    Gary Nelson
    Orlando, FL

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  103. rev nancy profit

    If women are given education, job opportunities AND control over their own reproduction-including abortions---they choose smaller families. Quality of a woman's life needs to be considered in any population control discussion.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  104. Vince

    No Doubt Jack. We should start with the cheating officials in office, hit the golf pros with 12 girlfriends and a wife. Then go to the illegal immigrants who have babies on our money. Then we can figure out how to fix the other 50% of the problem!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  105. Jessica from Lancaster, PA

    Since people clearly cannot control this themselves, we should at least be taking some steps to curb human overpopulation. No, I don't mean mandatory sterilization after one child (although drastic measures like that may be necessary if we don't do something now) but at least add tax penalties after the first or second child instead of credits that people get now. The earth can only sustain so many of any species, and humans are actually already past our ideal population size.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  106. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    Whenever I hear people attempting to limit others from having more than one or two children, I always remember that I was a third child. Considering that there are young girls having 3 children without benefit of marriage by the time they are 21, I don't see how any free society could limit the size of one's family. While I think it is an admirable idea, reality tells me that the same percentage of individuals who ignore legislation against murder, rape and gun control would also laugh at this proposal.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  107. al ruiz

    Population or over population can reasonably be linked to virtually all major problems facing humanity today from the environment, word hunger, most wars, depleting resources and on and on. It amazes me this has not been brought up before.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  108. adam marino

    You see what happens when the international community and bodies begin to seep into our nation and values. How can we even begin to think in this manner. If we do, we liken ourselves to Nazi Germany, Communist China, and Stalinist Russia. How can we seriously look at something proposed by the Chinese in terms of domestic policy?This thought process is frankly scary. With the government growing larger and more radical, I can see this taking place in the next few decades.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  109. Dr. Lott

    I am from the "hood"....when you see single mothers with 5 kids...receivng gov. assistance, on a regular basis, you wonder what resources will be needed for those 5 kids multiplied by..

    December 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  110. Frank Marston

    Dear Jack:

    I thought I was the only person in the world that thought that we desparately need world population control. One child per couple sounds about right.

    It sounds a little radical; but, the longer we wait, the more radical a
    solution will seem. Isn't it interesting that the most oposition to this
    will come from those least able to care and provide for children.

    Best Regards,


    December 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  111. Marge

    There are way too many people on this planet, and yes, if we keep reproducing like rabbits on viagra then of course we'll end up destroying our planet. Population control? Let's start with people who shouldn't have kids in the first place because a) they're incompetent or b) they can't afford it (Octomom anyone??). Of course, if we don't do something about it, mother nature could get pretty ticked off and take care of the problem for us.

    Phoenix, AZ

    December 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  112. Kas X

    Oh great! Stop this tyrannical nonsense! I want a better and clean environment, but through individual liberty and prosperity.

    Search for "Fall of the Republic" and "End Game"

    This is all a really bad plan.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  113. Katherine, Singapore

    Most emphatically NO. Check your premises. The world is not a zero-sum game, and population is not "unsustainable." You cannot call this a "free country" once you already accept the principle that the state can control and dispose of an individual's life and property as it sees fit. What is the practical implementation of such a principle? What if I want to have children? Off to the gas chambers with me and my family? Leave people alone to control their own lives and bodies.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  114. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    Those that wish to lower the level of population should do their part, and drop dead. The population of humanity will not control the long term cycles of climate change that the earth has experienced since long before humanity existed, and will occur long after we are gone. Telling people that they do not have the right to procreate is the apex of totalitarianism. If this is the recommendation of those that wring their hands over climate change then they have revealed their true colors. They are tyrants of the most despicable kind.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  115. shelly smithberger

    What we need to do is control the population of animals we raise for food. Raising animals for food causes more than half of the green house emmissions in the world. Sure, reducing the amount of humans would reduce the amount of animals that are eaten, but we could make an immediate impact by prohibiting the the inhumane practices of raising animals on factory farms in the US and around the world.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  116. Russ

    If you think about it, aren't most of our major global problems the actual result of planetary overpopulation? Why is this so often overlooked in major discussions as the true cause of our global problems?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  117. Chuck Stenerson

    we already have population control. It's called "war". As the world becomes more populous, the many will take from the few by force or the strong will eradicate the weak . Famine causes diseases and the world has it's way of controling what happens on it's surface. BUT, voluntary birth control would be the immediate way to reduce population. Goodby aunt jane and cousin dickie, alas, we never got to know ye. One child removes cousins you know hence aunts and uncles.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  118. Cecilia A.


    How about we focus more of our resources on educating women? In addition to the many socio-economic benefits that can result from this crucial investment, studies have also shown that educated women tend to have less children.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  119. Sharon

    It always puzzles me, these people who are anti-abortionist. How can they support life in one area, yet close down assistance to children already born and suffering? Yes, one child for the mother earth and free health care for all children. Also, it is stated that people over 50 years of age are the bulk that do not want a public option for all citizens, however, these very people are utilizing tax dollars input by the very people they are closing the door on. They must be Christians!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  120. David K. Scott

    I suppose those who believe that intervention on population control is against nature and God's plan will find that future starvation and other disasters stemming from letting the population grow to an unsustainable 9 billion will find that a better divine and natural plan

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  121. Joe, Las Vegas (the dealer, not the plumber)

    Hey Jack,

    Even though it couldn't happen in most countries mainly because of religion, let's not forget what really makes population grow exponetially. What I'm talking about is the age at which people have children. The younger the age people have children the worse for the population crisis. This is one of the major reasons that the U.S. population growth has been stagnant lately and countries in developing countries have been booming. Thanks Jack,
    Las Vegas, NV

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  122. Tim - Smithville

    most governments provide some sort of baby bonus or tax rebate for children.
    Instead of accumulating these bonuses, if these people were penalized after two children (negating the bonus) and continually penalized after two children, I believe that instances of larger families would be reduced out of economic necessity.
    This too would allow for families that choose to have more children than the status quo the ability to do that, lawfully, however costly.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  123. Ellen, Philadelphia

    I'm a student from China studying in the States, and let me tell you what the one-child policy has done to my country.

    China has become a nation full of self-absorbed, selfish, egotistical young males, where parents are either fined if they have a second child or forced to get a vasectomy. These one-child-policy children have a limited capacity to understand the values of sharing, and because they have had all their parents' love and attention, they view themselves as being holier-than-thou.

    This is an over-generalization, and it doesn't mean that all only-children grow up to have these qualities. But it's very prevalent within China.

    China is stepping up to deal with climate change by reducing factories' and the people's dependence on fossil fuels. Why not move towards a green America / world rather than over-stepping boundaries on personal liberty? Why not reduce people's dependence on meat that comes from methane powerhouses? A word wide one-child policy doesn't solve the root of the problem that we need to address: an over-dependence and love affair with green-house gas producing products.

    Furthermore, why rob children of the lovely experience of having a sibling to fight with, lean on for support, and care for aging parents with?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  124. Zen

    No.... Next solution?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  125. Vic, NC

    Jack, if we just ignore climate change entirely, the agricultural resources of our planet will diminish so severely that population control will just take care of itself !

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  126. Marka Danielle

    As my son so profoundly said to me when he was not quite12 years old. "I'm going to adopt a child because I couldn't look at 2 eyes that I brought into the world knowing that there are millions of eyes that have no homes or parents".
    The more we promote child bearing in ways that glorify people on reality TV shows because they have large families or bombard the public with publicity on people like the "octo-mom", etc.; people will never understand the ominous future we are creating by PROcreating!
    YES to mandatory birth control!!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  127. Holman Garavito

    Mr Cafferty,
    - I have been thinking about the Population Explosion for many years and realized that the solution is in fron of our eyes.
    - We have noticed that educated developed Countries don't seem to have this problem. This is the result in principle of the education of Women and children in their 30s.
    - When women are uneducated and bear their children late teen and early 20s resulting in 5 Generations per century. If the children are born when women are in their 30s only 3 generations per century is the result.
    - No need to control number of children, only encourage women to educate themselves, join their partners in creating a stable environment to raise the chldren and have 2 or 3 kids between 30 and 35.
    - The Population will stabilize and even drop, we might slowly move the age closer to 30 and the problem will be solved.
    - Cordially yours, Holman Garavito London, Ontario Canada

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  128. EugeneWiese

    This is another distraction against a very important issue.This is not a new Idea. If we don't stop global warming, we won't need population control because by 2050 we will not have any population anywhere on Earth and all the things in it. Gene

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  129. David of Texas

    Yes Jack YES! I touched on this subject yesterday with the Gender Selection question. There is no reasonable reason whatsoever for people to have more than 1 maybe two children. Most of us don't live on farms anymore where multiple children help run the ranch or tend the fields. I understand that no one wants to be told how many offspring they should have, but the time has come where we must stop thinking about ourselves and our egos to carry on the family name and start looking at the big picture. We need to stop rewarding people to have more children with tax breaks and welfare stamps and start rewarding them for being responsible human beings. As I said yesterday...enough is ENOUGH!!!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  130. Vince

    The world is becoming dangerously overpopulated. My wife and I don't understand why people feel the need to breed like rabbits. How many kids do they need? And why? Two should be plenty, especially when there are so many orphans who need homes. We are not having any children, we are doing our part.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  131. Ashley in Troy, IL

    Far better would be voluntary programs with incentives for adhering to them. Give people birth control, monetary incentives and college educations for their child if they adhere some kind of population-control policy, and then you might see some change.

    .. of course then that pushes the burden of saving the environment onto the little guy, and away from the major polluters.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  132. Beau - Napa

    I look at this in a couple of ways. Decades ago I wrote a college paper predicting the overall decline in our Nation's Average IQ. The more educated and upscale of the population were opting to have 2 or maybe 3 children at most. Whereas, Trailer Courts were breeding like rats. Back then, the Average IQ was 100-110. Now it's hovering in the hight 80's – low 90's.

    ...and since Homosexuality has always been with us throughout Human History, and mostly prevalent in High Density Populated areas. To me, that's a sign of God screaming to mankind; STOP BREEDING !!!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  133. Tequilah

    Well All I can Say is Can you imagine if there Were no Gay people through out history,We would Be Starving to death today and do you think we could have enjoyed the pleasures of today Rain forest ,and Oil fields, No. We should be thankful of gay people. At least thats one reason we have them Population Control.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  134. Shailesh

    Dear Jack:

    I agree with you that if we don't control population right now it will grow
    like a compound interest by year 2050.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  135. Shawn Pennington

    Does it really take a doomsday prophecy to spark some interest in the consequences of our actions? Why isn't it painfully obvious that over population is causing serious economy, societal, and global warming problems? We wouldn't survive as a species if such decisions are made to be so emotionally charged.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  136. richard ILOMAKI

    WOW JACK!!!! THanks VERY much. finally someone in the media has the guts to state the obvious. Everything you said is true, but you were too gentle: it needs shouting out. The fundamentalists and others opposed to population control have had their way too long.

    Don't let this slide away.


    Toronto CA

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  137. jeff

    yes! considering large families are hold-overs from our agrarian society. now we dont need childern as free labor, we need fewer childern period. its simple math, too great of a demand on too few resources. what i find odd is it's mostly religious people who would stop this in our Government, yet there is supposed to be seperation of church and state...yea right! wake me up when that happens, the religous nuts (eg. all of them) will fight tooth and nail just becuase their imaginary god would not be happy. maybe we should just stop religous people from breeding, they do breed more than non-dilusional non-belivers. and the same goes for republicans, they outbreed dems by like 2:1, or greater. not to forget about the un-educated, they breed like it going out of style...

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  138. Aggie

    This has come up before. I am one of the Baby Boomer generation. Recall that back in the 1960s and 1970s scientists warned our generation that the earth would soon reach its 'carrying capacity' if we did not curb the rate of births.
    We were the first generation to have effective birth control. Many of us in America and in Europe took this warning to heart. I personally vowed to have not more than two children. As a result, we were able to bring the birthrate down. This allowed technology to catch up to world population. The 'carrying capacity' of the earth was recalibrated.
    Nonetheless, I have heard many counter arguments. What happens when well-educated people curb their birthrates while others do not?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  139. James McNichols

    Obviously a law that restricts the number of children per family would be highly unethical let alone unconstitutional. However a tax program that would charge families an additional 1or 2 percent on there taxes for each additional child would be effective in significantly decreasing population growth while remanning ethical.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  140. Charles Lumb

    Jack, there's more to life than having a bunch kids that you can't possible afford. But that wouldn't be material for a reality show...

    December 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  141. Kevin-Boston

    Its not infantcide, it's called birth control pills, what do the pro -life people see wrong with sperm not being able to fertilize the egg. If that's infantcide than masturbation is pro-lifers biggest enemy. We do need population control and the biggest enemy is lack of education and resources (birth control pills) in our minority groups which perpetuates the problem. Young mothers and fathers having children that are born thru welfare and end up needing it by the time there 16 and having more children. if we don't act now and change our cultural habits we will need legislation to control the amount of children we have. What were the stats Jack on having 2 children just in case one dies I want my legacy to live on!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  142. Keeley Young

    Making this policy would get a lot of feirce resistance, epsecially from all the right wing pro-lifers. I do think it would be very smart policy to encourage women from a very young age to have one and no more than two children. This can be done within our school systems. We need to educate and our citizens especially women about the human race and what detrimental effects we have on the earth.


    December 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  143. Ms. Hala Abdoun

    America is the number 1 consumer of most of the resources in the world as well as the number 1 country wasting more then it's population; that is why there are too little resources in the world. If we make the world decrease it's population, the problem will still stand. Also, if such a policy passes, there will slowly be lesser females in the world as is the case today in China thanks to that policy passing 30 years ago.

    What needs to be done is for us Americans to be more self dependant, alternative energy resources to put in place of oil and to start enforcing recycling/composting laws to decrease the amounts of waste we put out in the world.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  144. Andrew

    One child does sound rather extreme; in 2050, could you imagine children asking "Mommy, what are siblings?" Instead, a more practical solution would be mandatory waistline control. Multiple studies show that overweight and obese people leave an overall larger carbon footprint on the environment, and in the land of plenty, our country takes the cake (no pun intended).

    December 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  145. Graeme Baldwin

    Thank you Jack for brining this idea finally to light! I have been stating this idea for the past 10 years. Population control is essential for the well being of humanity. How nieve to think that the world resources will never run out.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  146. Mark Cropper

    How about a carrot & stick approach? Maybe a $5000 dollar cash payment to people for voluntary sterilization after becoming a father or mother of one child. Then a $5000 luxury tax for each child after the first.
    Mark Cropper
    Newnan GA

    December 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  147. RusRus

    If births are limited in some way, maybe people will finally figure how precious children are, instead of treating them like a commodity to make them money at best, and I dont like to even think of the worst some children around the world have to suffer trough.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  148. Wesley

    Jack, you are one of my favourite commentators, but in regards to the question, we arenot over populated, but innendated with a lot of GREEDY people, for example the folks on Wall Street, why not get rid of them first.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  149. Jay J

    We already have run out of everything, in the sense that there are not enough resources or land on the earth for everyone now living to have an American/ European lifestyle. It is theoretically possible for some unknown miracle of technology to make it possible to have a larger world population, but for any realistic future, population control is the only way we have of saving ourselves and the Earth as we know it.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  150. John Douglas

    Of course. Relentless growth is unsustainable. Resources are finite. Our population and the resources available for it should fit together.

    The larger our population, the less quality our lives will have.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  151. Stephen from Ca

    All you people whining about infanticide and abortion need a reality check.
    There is no way the government will require abortions, nor would they ever attempt to sterilize anyone.
    Infanticide and abandonment is present in China because of the gender issues inherent in that culture. Most cultures around the world do not share those values, at least not nearly as seriously.

    There are more indirect ways to promote this sort of policy.
    The current system is set up so:
    1. People are rewarded for having more kids,
    2. The WRONG people are rewarded for having more kids.

    In the case of the US, tax laws could play a big role. Also welfare benefits and rewards could be used to influence the situation.

    Furthermore, in the US, the current laws regarding citizenship should be revised. Specifically the law that provides citizenship to anyone born on US soil. Aliens come here and have children who automatically become citizens, who are automatically entitled to all the social welfare programs offered, and these aliens can continue to pop out kids who get the same benefits, with little to no penalty to the parents.
    Make the law so that at least one parent needs to be a citizen for the child to become a citizen, and you will see our situation improve in this country. This is a social problem as much as it is a population problem.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  152. Chuck

    Until the religious doctrines of the world can understand that over 6,000 years of going forth and multiplying needs to be rewritten we will continue to create more John and Kate +8 families needing welfare and breathing my share of the planets oxygen. I created 1 replacement for me on the planet my daughter, who needs or can afford 8. Until the government can stop or teach basic birth control there is going to be problems like this.

    The fix isn't population control it's DNA testing get every kid at birth and ensure that child is supported by the parent financially no matter what and I bet birth rates go down as people are actually held responsible for their actions.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  153. Lou Bristol

    Tests. Licences. Affordability. Responsibilty.

    Folks need to pass a test to have kids. If they pass, they need a licence to identify what they can afford (1, 2, 5, Beardsley Clan) AND THEN they have to ACCEPT responsiblity, i.e. your "baby" pours gas on the neighbor kid and ignites him, YOU AND SPOUSE-Y GO TO JAIL!!!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  154. indydee

    I've been talking about this for years.
    We see these women on welfare having children from diffrent men. Then you have teenagers having kids. These children are mistreated & even killed & taxpayers have to pay to support them. You know the more you have the more money they get. .. THEY GET REWARDED FOR THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR. DO YOU THINK IT WOULD ACTUALLY STOP?!
    My grandma used to say, "How is it possible these people in India are starving but they still have the stamina to reproduce." Now I say I don't GET it!
    Hey back in the 60's we would practice birth control. What's wrong w/ practicing birth control nowadays?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  155. James McGuire

    Mr. Cafferty, The question does raise an interesting concept. And the Chinese should be applauded for at least the effort to control their population, regardless of philosophical/theological stances.
    And even though you and Mr. Blitzer may have been trying to add a moment of levity to the topic, the real issue came to light as you ended the section. You said the impact of this wouldn't happen until 2050 and then you both chuckled that you'd both be long gone, insinuating those of us now living have no responsibility for the future. Global warming and over population seem to be taken lightly by many of us because it doesn't concern our current existence. What about the generations to follow. Maybe we should really take some initiative to think about someone 50 years from now, even if we're not here.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  156. J. George

    Jack ..population control.. that is done naturally.. We don't need the method you outlined.. if the death toll continues like how its going in Jamaica and Mexico right now soon we will have to beg couples to make more babies so that the human race don't get completely wiped out..

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  157. Dennis Taboada

    Who are these "elitists" who dictate population morality. China is committing moral devaluation of human life and should be condemned and not applauded.Children are a gift from God and not to be the topic of political demagogues who themselves should have been the aborted choice.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  158. Gladys

    Yes, I really think people/marriages should only have one child to have be able to have an excelent quality live, including education, fresh air, food, and shelter.

    But, what if a person who already has a child, and re-marries with a person who doesn't have a child, wants to have another child, and another, etc.

    And that is how the world is so over populated in some areas, not all countries are the same, this is why EDUCATION is vital.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  159. Mike

    Mother Earth???? Seriously, were we not all shocked years ago when China started their 1 child per family rule. Now Al Gore starts talking about Global Warming and we have reached this point this fast! Wow, I hope I am never in a fox hole with any of you people. If you think this is such a problem, turn of that power sucking computer or phone and check out of this world to save it..........Please don't though, I do not want anyone killing themselves or anyone else over this silly issue.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  160. JH

    Although China may boast it has prevented 400 billion births with its one child policy, one of the problems on the downside there is the preference for male children which causes many families to abandon female children, or worse. Mandatory population control might fight global warming, but down the line could create other social and human rights problems depending on the method.

    Vancouver, BC

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  161. Ken in NC

    Jack, do you think a congressman will go home and tell his wife and girl friend they just decided in congress that they can only have one child each? Talk about open seats in congress LOL.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  162. Matt the Fireman.

    Overpopulation will cause conditions that will lead to mass death and destruction. The population will be controlled inevitability be it's self. Instead we should take steps to control it.
    Having a child should not be a fundamental right. If someone is addicted to drugs, mentally unstable or is without the financial means to raise a child they (for their own good) should not be allowed to have one.
    We would not allow these people to adopt a child so why would we let them reproduce?
    In my field of work I have seen people who are having several children and all the while they don't even have custody of them due to drugs/mental illness.
    These are tough decisions that must be made if we are to survive.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  163. Matthew from Orange,CA

    Yes, lets control the population by forcing people not to procreate, throw the ideal of 'Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness' out the window like the Chinese did. How would religious people feel about being told their God given right to children is being barred?

    OR, we can do what humans have done for centuries. Use our brains and find new frontiers, new resources, new ways to conserve. What ever happened to the concept of exploring and terraforming other planets? A few days watching the Discovery Channel and you get the impression that this world, and others like it, are big enough to sustain our growth, we just don't utilize it the right way. The invention of the skyscraper was in direct response to a need for growth in a small, limited space.

    We can Deny, Restrict, and Ban or we can Grow, Think and Create. Which is it, World?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  164. Ken

    How about encouraging homosexuality? We contribute to the economy and don't have kids. I know it's not something u can control but helping more people come out for the sake of our planet would be a good thing.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  165. Elaine Hughes

    Of course, mandatory population control should be implemented in the U.S. as one way of dealing with global warming. From jobs, to potable water supplies, to health care, we simply don't have the resources to take care of tens of millions of more Americans.

    The U.S. is the third most heavily populated country in the world, right behind China & India. We can't adequately take care of the people we have right now. Imagine the immense problems we will have trying to take care of millions more.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  166. Bud

    Well, Jack, you've gone and touched upon a concept that should have been addressed forty years ago. Of course we're overpopulating this planet. The problem is that we can't seem to deal with Reality as regards our species, even though we're able to utter pronouncements about over-population of other species, as in, "Them deer herds are over-grazing their food supply, so we need to thin them out."
    No one wants to accept the fact that Nature really doesn't care . . . about anything. If we don't handle the problem ourselves, it simply won't be handled - unless of course some asteroid bombs us back into the stone-age . . . pretty unlikely. Yes, I know the Fundamentalists think they have an inside track with some Big-Daddy-In-The-Sky, and everything's taken care of. But that's ideology and this is Reality. Guess which prevails?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  167. Ron

    Over population is at the core of most issues plaguing humanity, not just climate change. As populations grow there is more and more demand for goods and services that adversely impact the planet. A major obstacle to reasonable controls on the world's population is the role played by some of the world's major religions. Either we take responsibility to limit population growth or nature will do it for us.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  168. Clint

    Population Control...the very buzzwords so-called conspiracy theorists warned about years ago and attached to everything from the Vietnam war to the current rise in cancer! Really? What's next Jack? State-sponsored eugenics? A Government Mark on our foreheads, a one-world leader to rule the planet and lead us all into thinking we are all saving the earth at the secret cost of our souls? Those who want all these sudden and drastic changes are deceiving us in order to push their larger agendas thru!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  169. JasonColey from VA

    I dont think it should made mandatory , but I think people should be educated about it, also they could make it where it's beneficial to not have more than one child via taxes etc. In the long run it will work it self out either way, people talk about Climate Change etc, but in the end the Earth will still be here with or without people and life whatever it maybe will still exist on it.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  170. Josephine

    Dear Jack,

    Yes i do think that there should be some type of cap on how many children a women can have do to the over population in this world.

    I also think that it should be two children cap, because i don't think it's right for one child to grow up alone. i have three children and i can't see having one of my children growing up alone.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |

    No. This is riduculus.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  172. Bill from CA

    I agree.

    If we don't control the population of Humans all of the conservation efforts in the world will not save us. It's funny how these fanatical environmental groups and their great leader "Al Gore" never mention the obvious. China is right on!!!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  173. Alan from Canada

    Great question Jack!

    The answer, of course, is a resounding YES!!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  174. Pete

    It is obvious we need to implement population control, but it will never happen. The religious right would rather have 3 billion people suffering from starvation and disease rather than just limiting human offspring. Why is quality of life rather than quantity of life such a difficult concept for these people to understand?

    I think the limit should be two children not one, but it should be implemented globally (so a rich white family in America is limited to two children in the same way as a poor African mother is). Again, this will never happen (in my lifetime anyway).

    Unfortunately humanity is destined to create the conditions for its own self-destruction, what a complete waste of our unique and amazing brain-power that we evolved!

    Pete, NH

    December 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  175. Dave Shafran

    Hugh betcha! And we should start by a tax surcharge for each child, instead of the present tax deduction. Human population growth is the biggest part of global warming. If we don't do something now, nature will do it for us. And that will not be pleasant.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  176. E.C. Dace

    Hallelujah Jack for having the nerve to finally mention the "P" word on the air – population control. I totally agree with "The Finacial Post" in Canada. Until humans, the supposedly senient beings on this planet, start controlling the population, all the efforts of scientists and innovators to combat climate change will be in vain.
    Cal from The Woodlands.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  177. chaney, La.

    We have way to many kids in the US who are born to live a miserable existance, they are born in a cycle of poverty, abuse and neglect..... if we include this problem world wide ..... I can see where we will have to limit births world wide.........

    December 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  178. Fields

    It is ironic that population control and global warming are mentioned in the same sentence. Why? Because the one's committing this heinous crime against humanity, being population control, are the one's who contributed 22% of global green house gas emissions and ranked 1st. Do we curtail the God given rights we have as Americans tin order to make up for the skyrocketing amount of emissions from China? You decide

    December 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  179. jim Blevins

    Mandatory population controls will necessarily become fact. The only question is do we do it painlessly via law or do we wait until war, pollution and starvation do it in a very painful manner. While no one can prove they they won't be raptured up to heaven, it seems far more likely that people will reap what they sow with over population.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    December 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  180. Jill

    As an environmental engineer, I can tell you the best thing people can do for the planet is limit the number of children to two per couple. Our population has doubled from 3 billion to 6 billion over the last forty years, and will triple to 9 billion over the next forty. There are too many people on the planet. As a result, we have – and continue to – alter the ecological balance of the planet. As any microbiologist can attest, the demise of any species comes to fruition after its respective environment has been polluted.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  181. claire whitehill

    A resounding YES. I wrote a research paper in college about how to solve the problems of Egypt's misery and starvation. The conclusion:
    only a dictator who imposes one couple/one child would do this. That was in l957.

    If we do not get population growth under control, it will be the end of our way life and of the planet–endless wars over resources until enough of the people die off! An atomic conflagration in the battle over resources, probably.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  182. Chris - Ottawa, Canada

    The answer to this question lies in free markets. People should be able to have as many kids as they want provided that they can take care of them. That means paying for your kids education, medical bills, daycare, food, shelter... The days of having kids and expecting the government to be the provider need to end. That way people will have less kids, because the economy won't allow them any more.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  183. josh roberson

    Global warming isnt the only issue that could be helped by population control, possibly more important is global dumbing. While educated members of the population from strong gene pools make good decisions and limit child birth already, vastly greater numbers of the population are having child births almost anually in poor and uneducated families. By the time we reach that nine billion marker, the average IQ could be half what is now

    December 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  184. Cary

    Controlling population growth in the U.S.? Not possible.

    Lawyers here will defend it as a constitutional right, like freedom of speech or something.

    Religious leaders here think having babies is a religous freedom and don't even support birth control!

    So much for Amerca's moral mandate; maybe we need to start listening to what other countries are doing–at least on some issues.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  185. giorgio

    HI Jack

    I guess the problem is in india and the muslim world because they have average 4-5 children.This is a tactic to take controll over the world.I dont think any one able to stop them!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  186. Sandy, Virginia Beach VA

    Yes, absolutely! In this country, we spay and neuter animals in an attempt to control those populations. There should definitely be limits on the number of children allowed. There is absolutely no reason to breed like rabbits. At the rate we are going, we will deplete all of our reserves fairly quickly. Then what happens? How do YOU think the people of this planet will react then?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  187. Bob in Va.

    It's not just a global warming issue. It's a global starving issue as well, maybe even more so. Population control should be higher on the list of options than war and disease.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  188. william ryals

    Much as I dislike what China is, I must admit that they are the only country in the world with the sense and guts to do something about what may become the most pressing social problem of coming generations. It is a fact that over population has been a major factor causing wars for ages.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  189. Brian

    Each extra child ultimately adds about 9,441 metric tons of carbon dioxide in America. Driving a hybrid vehicle with a Baby on Board sticker in the window is like installing an energy efficient light-bulb on an oil-leaking Exxon Mobil tanker.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  190. michelle

    I truly believe this is a way to save the planet people show be informed of the idea and it show be put in to action. zero population growth.then their is the consideration of the poor and uneducated who just procreate.I sold birth control to a 13 year old the other day. isn"t that rape of a child..

    December 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  191. MNResident

    On one condition, Jack-All the pople who are fanatical enough to suggest this start by controlling their own sex drives and reproduction-FAT CHANCE!!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  192. Paul P

    Yes, we should limit the population, aside from the obvious carbon footprint we create individually over our lifespan, we are placing a severe strain on the ecosystem in general, from agricultural needs, to the loss of wildlife habitat to a host of other factors that imbalance nature. If we can prevent some of these women from having four, five or six kids, then I'll start turning off the lights and conserve energy. People might see this viewpoint as harsh, I see it as realistic.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  193. Aju Kurakkaran, Minesota

    This suggestion may sound offensive to some at this time but if we see the practicality and the long term good and its implications, its high time that the world need some step like this. The human population is expanding at an alarming rate; slowly and gradually wiping out the existence of many species of plants and animals. The number of households in every generation is growing in many multiples consuming the resources at an alarming rate. One child policy will limit the number of households and advocate a proper use of resources.

    The policy could allow a small flexibility for those who are very particular in having a second child. That could only be allowed if they have the resources to give a good life to the child.

    Its good to see that suggestions like this are brought forward. There could definitely be protests from many religious or human rights groups but if some studies are done on the impact of this in different areas, it would be evident how important it is in making the world a better place.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  194. Harold Colwick

    Population control is absolutely necessary for the planet which has finite resources. Try to think of a problem which isn't made worse by overpopulation. If the world fights over oil, wait until they realize the shortage of water. In Temecula CA, the water table has dropped from 250 feet to 600 feet. Check out other places like Kansas

    December 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  195. Brian

    Population control is a good idea. As a previous commenter noted, the state of parenting now and days is very sad. Unfortunately, it is because most of the parents (teen moms and such) didnt want a kid in the first place and, now that they have one, they see the child as a hinderance to thier lifestyle.

    I think that the overpopulation is a problem that has been around for a while, but no one can find a 'politically correct' way of bringing it into the limelight.

    Thanks for being that guy, Jack.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  196. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Maybe instwead of 'cap and trade' it should be 'kid and trade'. Each woman has the right to one child. She can sell that right to someione who wants two, or more. But bottom line, we limit the number of people.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  197. Kakalahale

    There are too many people. People worldwide need ways to control
    reproduction. We humans are doomed to planet wide suffering unless we start using our heads.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  198. Brian Smith Ph.D.

    There is another side to this question. Limiting human life on earth can be accomplished in another way as well. There are those of us that have past the prime of our lives, and because society can’t deal with Assisted Suicide, are forced to live on day after day suffering from sickness, despair, loneliness, etc. There are thousands living in assisted care and senior care institutions that would welcome death in a flash. I say we need to pass legislation to make Assisted Suicide a right of personal choice. That would put a dent in the population.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  199. Bill from Atlanta

    Hundreds of millions – probably billions – of people already suffer from lack of food and clean water. Global warming is not a pressing issue on the planet. Many, like me, feel man's contribution to warming is nil and simply a natural cycle. No matter what we do here in the US, if man is the source of global warming, China and India's industrialization will make people yearn for the days when the US was the big polluter.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  200. Adam

    If we could have population control internationally it could greatly decrease pollution in our world . It would also create a more stable environment in large communities that will continue growing throughout time. World wide population control could be a great growth in todays world. I may only be a ninth grader but I know that I don't want to continue growing in a crowded world, and a world where it's eventually going to be a struggle to get water and other resources.

    From Woodstock,
    New York

    December 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  201. jodiah nelson

    We have no alternatives left, short of et colonization. I have argued that population control is the only answer since I was in college studying earth system science. My peers thought my arguements were racist and totalitarian. There are no other options, either we all (billions) live a life searching for food, water and shelter rife with disease and poverty like developing nations do today or we control the population. Because there are 4 billion people who all want to live like the 1 billion in the industrialized world. We need many alternatives to solve this problem but birth control is number 1 priority. Imagine what traffic looked like in your town 20 years ago and what it looks like now, triple the population around you wherever you live, cut your food and water in half, double the airpollution, bad weather and the price of everything you buy. That's what will happen unless we do something. Think about where you want yourself and family to be in 20 years. Imagine your stress level...that's where we are headed!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  202. Simonsays/Orlando

    Absolutely. This is why we should not only allow and pay for abortion in the U.S., but encourage it. The only problem is that there will be fewer people to pick up the tab on the out of control national debt.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  203. Ken in NC

    After giving it more thought Jack, if you look at the way our members of congress are acting now, that in itself can make the case for a ONE CHILD POLICY.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  204. Jeanette

    Jack, this should be directed toward the mexican community, afterall they now have two countries, what country could be next?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  205. Alice

    Yes, yes, yes. While I hate the idea of the government having control over something as primal as having babies, it's something that needs to be done.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  206. EmeryinKY

    Population control should not be mandatory, but government should invest in an education program that accentuates the relationship between population control and climate control and sustainability. Further, government should reform tax codes to incentivize population control. Current tax codes incentivize large families by allowing tax credits for an unlimited number of children.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  207. K. Gaffney

    The predominate of population explosion is actually not paid for by those having the children. Welfare babies are being paid for by you and I; so not only are we paying for our own children we are paying for those who have 5 to 6 children and are on public assistance. You and I who have to pay our own way, educate and pay for our own children and have already made the decision to only populate by 1 maybe two children at the most.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  208. MARK PRIBBLE Anna Illinois

    We regulate the numbers of all other species on this planet it's time to do it to ourselves or we wont have a planet to worry about.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  209. Jordan Hodges

    Limiting population limits world opportunities. What if one of those 400 million births in china was the child who would grow ip to cure cancer?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  210. Luke

    Too bad our government has actually been taking the opposite approach. From tax breaks for each child to refusing to have an honest debate about including birth control discussions (aka condoms) in our education system, our society is running around with our fingers in our ears yelling LALALALA....

    December 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  211. Paul Pierson

    The idea of controlling the population is a good idea. But the limit of one child is not, they should be allowed two ,a child that grows up without a brother or sister can be lonely and spoiled. Two should be the limit, Government may have to come up with some more money for the cost of research to help the enviroment ( But what the hell they print it like wallpaper anyway)

    December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  212. Jay

    We should have taken control of population growth years ago. Those happy go lucky families with more than perhaps four to six children contribute more than just population problems. Theirs are the children who don’t get enough love, leadership, discipline and etc.
    How about each child 5 and beyond cost a hefty fee or it’s tube tying time.


    December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  213. jodiah nelson

    We have no alternatives left, short of et colonization. I have argued that population control is the only answer since I was in college studying earth system science. My peers thought my arguements were racist and totalitarian. There are no other options, either we all (billions) live a life searching for food, water and shelter rife with disease and poverty like developing nations do today or we control the population. Because there are 4 billion people who all want to live like the 1 billion in the industrialized world. We need many alternatives to solve this problem but birth control is number 1 priority. Imagine what traffic looked like in your town 20 years ago and what it looks like now, triple the population around you wherever you live, cut your food and water in half, double the airpollution, bad weather and the price of everything you buy. That's what will happen unless we do something. Think about where you want yourself and family to be in 20 years. Imagine your stress level...that's where we are headed! Prepare for wars over water, food, air and space!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  214. Doyle Bruner from Niceville, Florida

    Thank God someone is finally addressing the REAL problem.... Too many humans. I am 67 years old and all my adult life, scientists have known that the world could not indefinitely sustain an overpopulation of humans. In the 60's, it was thought that exceeding 2 billion would be overpopulation. Now we have 6.5 billion. Please continue to report this. People need be made aware of this disastrous problem.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  215. Cristian, Ontario

    It's defeinitely not infanticide, it's worse, since it comes in conflict with the basic human rights. Developed countries should redefine and minimize immigration from over populated areas, thus making them enforcing (if they wish) new birth control laws (see China). How can USA and Canada regain and hold their economic growth with no population increase? Let's encourage people to have children born in North-America instead of "importing" consumers from abroad. Local "baby factory families" will not kill us, but indeed will sustain USA and Canada as model developed countries.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  216. tom from buffalo ny

    it is not a good idea because the population would become "top heavy" with senior citizens. an economic collapse would result from only one working adult for every two retired parents.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  217. Jasmine in Germany

    I don't think our species is sophisticated enough yet, but mandatory education regarding the subject should be. The regions in the US and other parts of the world which have high reproductive rates typically coincide with poor education and poverty. Every child born should be able to contribute to society in a positive way. The human reproduces the same way other mammels do, but our brain is more developed. Therefore, we should be smart enough to have a better control of the destiny of the earth. Natural resources are limited and we have a fragile eco-system. Every human should be able to do his part to keep the earth healthy and clean, yet it is the human who is most destructive. A different mindset should be called to action. Instead of me, me, me, it could be we, we, we...

    December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  218. Bob

    I have been wondering what ever happened to Zero Population Growth.
    Heck, yes! If the world doesn't take action, we'll screw ourselves out of a place at the dinner table.

    Springfield, Mass.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  219. James

    There is no other solution better than this one for global warming and prevent the extinction of other species.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  220. Arthur F. Lueders

    Find a human specific virus that blocks fertilization with no side effects and can be distributed via some airborne vector over the continents one time.
    A project that large would have a 20% margin of error and so 20% can reproduce for that generation
    It would be fair like drawing straws.
    One could think parturition is as heinous a crime as murder since one is forcing an entity into this dimension (life) is as heinous as forcing him out of it.
    China's one child policy is great!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  221. Mark Chittick

    I think the solution to overpopulation is to send Al Gore to China where he can bug everyone so much with his global warming myth that the Chinese will no longer feel like having sex. I know it really turns me off.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  222. Peggy Desmarais

    Mandatory controls are never the answer. Especially where "sexual
    manners" are concerned. Education is always the key, the answer to problems that need a public response. Large families are wonderful, but especially in this global economy, small families will help in many ways.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  223. Larry

    Absolutely. The world needs population control. People around the world are breeding like rats with no concept of how thier children will be able to feed themselves, or live a comfortable life in the near future. Third world countries are already migrating by the millions to the few remaining areas of the world, where food is still plentyful. How long before we say 'enough is enough'? Octa-mom and her doctor responsible for the multi-births are a disgrace to the rest of society that practices family planning.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  224. Dan, Tampa

    Jack, I'm a college student and have just completed a research paper on China's one-child policy. China is highlighting the environmental benefits to make the rest of the world look at the one-child law a positive implementation. Though not necessarily justified, China's procreation laws have benefited China in almost every way. Procreation laws are easy to implement in a communist nation such as China, but few democratic nations would even have this subject up for debate. Procreation laws could never be implemented in democratic societies to reduce global warming. Could you imagine the one-child policy in the land of the free? It will never happen

    December 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  225. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    Well let's see, we have deer season to control their population since they don't have natural predators anymore. I'm just saying...

    December 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  226. George Lopez

    Population control measures such as restricting the amount of children one can have are in fact overdue by several decades.
    If the human race wishes to go back to a more sustainable population level, the time is now, but this must be done worldwide.

    I do not see the Muslim world abiding by such rules for example.
    We are doomed indeed.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  227. Marie

    Global warming is the last thing on my mind when I think of this, however, if there's reduction then that's a plus. The only reason I would be for this would be to stop the abuses committed everyday by unfit parents who only want children either for unrealistic purposes or simply because they were an accident due to poor choices. Too many times have I turned on the tv to see young(and sometimes old) parents killing their children when the newness wears off, or in the case of the woman from NC, giving them to pedophiles to make a quick buck for drugs or whatnot. It seems to me that children seem to be "the newest accessory" rather than the lifelong commitment of love that they should be. I think if anything we should monitor births in someway to avoid more Casey Anthony's in this world, and if we help the climate in the process, then that's a happy coincidence as well.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  228. Dave Schroeder

    Yes! Finally, a logical solution to preserve our dwindling resources. What is the point of reducing green house gases 50% by 2050 if the population increases by 50% over the same time period? Every baby born today is going to use and dispose of several cars, cell phones, flat screen tv's, ipod's, and thousands of other items that will pollute the planet. Any leader who actually cares about the future of this planet will try to address this issue. China should be applauded as a leader on this issue.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  229. Licia stone

    Population control is the primary solution to solving the problem. Thank you, Mr. Cafferty, for bringing this issue to the forefront. The solution which is obvious and necessary it seems is a politically incorrect topic, at least in this country. Of course this does not mean that we should not react in other ways in an effort to reverse climate change. Every nation – every nation must be convinced to address population control.
    Licia Stone
    Florence, SC 29501

    December 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  230. Dallas Elswick

    we should have put in control on one kid 20 years ago. But don't hold your breath since this country is eat up with religious idiots. These people are pie in the sky thinkers and will never change.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  231. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Yes jack and it can be done by clamping down on child support.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  232. carlos

    By all means! Its time to get real.We have to take control of population NOW! I came from a country with a population of 120 millions today.WE WERE 8 millions in 1910!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  233. Robert

    Maybe if we have to have population control it should start with the elderly Children are our future and the elderly have already lived their lives. If they cant take care of themselfs why should anyone else do it for them.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  234. adam marino

    Stop talking about mother earth please. I love nature as much as anyone. But I have never seen "mother earth." Where is she? Why don't we ask mother earth what she thinks? If mother earth exists, then she will wipe out us humans as soon as she gets angry enough. Then all you wack jobs will get your wish and us humans will no longer be a threat to Mother Earth. Oh vey!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  235. Bob from Long Island

    Population control! Good luck, this is an age old quest. The Chinese did this only when the west fell in love with their unwanted baby girls, now there isn’t enough girls for the men!
    Let’s face it, Humans are just too darn horny!

    This is the driving force behind the spread of mankind, conquests, kingdoms, empires, the US growth to the west and even the logic of Hitler’s war campaign. If you get the developing countries to sign on then the 3th world countries will take over. The world in the long run will self adjust when war, disease, or famine will do this for us.
    It may sound nuts, but we must look off this planet for more land ‘cause we’re fast getting to the point where we’re full!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  236. Mike, Toledo OH

    Population control would significantly ease the burden on the planet's resources. I can't think of any morally palatable way to enforce it though. Perhaps we could come up with incentives for adoption or small households, but it couldn't be done worldwide.

    Its time to start colonizing Mars.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  237. Annie, Atlanta

    @The Broker 4:27 – you do realize that you don't have to abort or give up sex to control the population, don't you? Wow!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  238. Giselle, CA

    I just wanted to say about this article that if I first read "humans are overpopulating the world" and next I read about a study that says " if from now on, every woman gave birth to only one child – the world's population would drop from 6.5 billion now... to 5.5 billion in 2050", then I feel as a woman that this article is blaming on women about this problem.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  239. jeff

    one thing has always bothered me: that one needs driving lessons to get a license to drive a car, yet anyone can have a child at any time! we need mandatory classes and tests a person would need to take, and pass, to have a child. i see SO many unfit parents, i fell sorry for thier litters. low IQ is passed genetically...a child of two parents both with low IQ has a greater chance of lower IQ.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  240. Anthony.....Swedesboro, NJ

    The only solution for population control is letting science use its advances and tell religions to get out of the way. Religions look at legions of unwanted children to swell their ranks.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  241. RusRus

    Two choices in our future, population control now or rationing later? The world will have to make a choice.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  242. Diane

    Yes, but it won't happen. People are too short sighted and selfish. I chose not to have any children. My three siblings had 3 children each. Using the 2 children per couple formula that used to be advocated by population control groups, they had my two plus one. When my relatives come to visit, I am struck by how much toilet paper and paper towels disappear in a week and how much garbage accumulates. This is on a tiny scale compared to the world at large. I've had this argument with many people in many countries. They always want to blame the poor for having children. I tell them, of course, if poor people have children they tend to remain poor, but that is an economic issue, apart from the ecological issue of the richer people using up most of the resources and creating most of the garbage, especially unrecylables.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  243. Jim C.


    So now we finally see the true motive of the "global warming" fanatics. They are elitists who think they're superior to other humans. They want to purge the earth of anyone who they think doesn't deserve to be here. If they can't do that by government regulation or war or by spreading fear of economic disasters, they will do it with family "planning". I.E. kill more babies.

    The theories of Malthus have been disproven again and again. The earth has more than enough resources to sustain any projected increase in the earth's population. For crying out loud Jack, we regularly turn farm fields into parking lots. Our governments pays farmers to destroy their crops. Africa is starving only because we haven't taught them how to grow crops.

    And human beings are NOT causing "global warming", just as human beings did not cause the "ozone hole". A six tenth increase in average global temperature over the last century? Yeah right... How accurate do these "scientists" think thermometer readings were 100 years ago? Were the measurments even done in the same places, or are current measurements done in cities where localized heat sources raise the temperature? And how do you average all those readings?

    If our government really believes "global warming" is real, and caused by "carbon footprint" why do they continue to send space shuttles up? They consume millions of gallons of rocket fuel each launch. Obama takes Air Force one and that behemoth limo all over the world. OUr military is using IED resistant vehicles that get 4 MPG. And they're telling the public that I have to give up my midsized car that gets 20MPG for a crackerbox that gets 30 MPG? Hypocrits!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  244. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Well Jack, the way things are going the countries involved in wars are contributing to stem populations no ? By that reasoning we are world wide leaders. China's policy, if accepted by the world, would mean that by default they would still end up with more soldiers, oops people, than the current war leaders in the world. The environmental downside here is that war machines do add to the global thermal load since all weapons leave a large carbon foot "pit"

    December 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  245. Brian B.

    Yes, I think that some form of mandatory population control should be implimented. Either that or make it so rediculously expensive to go over the "child-cap" that only those who can afford a massive "baby-tax" have more. This will generate revenue to support planned-parenting facilities and dispersal of contraceptives as well as helping decrease dependents on the welfare system, (since unproductive people currently "get paid" to ceaselessly breed).

    December 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  246. Joseph

    The topic of overpopulation and its effects on the Earth should definitely be included in the discussions regarding going Green, and it’s refreshing to see that CNN is willing to discuss the topic. I don’t think that population control should be mandated, but that people should be more educated about the consequences of overpopulation to the rest of the inhabitants of this world and in turn the human race. It is a bit confusing to hear how many artificially induced births there are, when the population is way out of control as it is. People seem way too driven by their hormones, not to mention the message of go forth and multiple. In the long run if humans aren’t smart enough to preserve their own environment, then Mother Nature will take care of situation in its own way.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  247. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    What are we? China?


    December 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  248. AJ, Potsdam, NY



    Ever since Thomas Malthus published "An Essay on the Principle of Population" in 1798, the debate has raged (primarily in the West).

    Now, with the 'awakening' of Asia as a major economic player, and additional billions of people striving to raise their standards of living -as gaged in large part by the desire to live resource-intensive lifestyles (such as we Americans) – the demand will indeed exceed the supply much sooner than even the most pessimistic had predicted.

    Short of a truly virulent and deadly pandemic, a world-wide conflagration or the colonization of space far sooner than appears possible, the Rev. Dr. Malthus will indeed be proven correct.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  249. andya

    this isn't even about global warming, this is about preventing stupid irresponsible people from breeding. I am not really for abortion but I am for limiting the amount of offpsring that are being crapped out by people who have no clue how to raise their kids. this is a good idea – especially for stupid uneducated people who don't practice birth-control.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  250. Josh (Honolulu)

    The use of fossil fuels is what created this exponential growth in population in the past 200 years. Fossil fuels has allowed us to extract resources, grow food and travel around the world at unprecedented rates and when we begin to run out of those energy sources, our population will settle at a number we are able to sustain with new, renewable energy sources. The end of population growth will not be a result of mandatory population control, but the world's peak in oil production. As we begin using more renewable energy and run out of oil, the population growth will slow down and stop at a sustainable number.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  251. Katja in Florida

    If birth control was readily available to the the people in the countries that needed it, the population growth would slow down. If you could get the religious right to shut up for 5 minutes and pass out condoms and the pill to those who need it, population control would be possible.
    If manatory birth control was enforced on all of the welfare mamma's in this country, the system wouldn't be so overloaded. It is all about responsibility and not many people here or anywhere else are willing to accecpt their share of it. so keep dreaming, its not going to happen.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  252. larry ripley

    Be fruitful and multiply. A good idea if there are only a hundred million or so of us on the whole earth. Lots of room, plenty of food and except for the occasional wholesale slaughter to rid the world of non-believers or undesirable elements (that being anyone outside your tribe), God did provide lots of survival opportunity. Now we are clogging up the Earth's arteries and the fundmentalist flat-earthers are clinging to what was a good idea 5000 years ago and just can't believe that God has allowed us to overpopulate, so God must have a plan to take care of that and we shouldn't worry our heads about it. These are people severely frightened by change and believe that God loves us so much that change which is always disruptive could not be sanctioned by God. It is the same attitude that ruled Europe and other parts of the World for over a thousand years and was known as the "Dark Ages".

    December 11, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  253. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    How about making population control profitable–especially for women, because except for a few right-wing princesses who have never heard of Women's Liberation and would not consider Booker T. Washington's advice of lifting up yourself by lifting up someone else, we're on the dirty end of every kind economic stick imaginable. That means the women who don't want children (and that's a whole lot of women) should get free birth control and be able to sell "1 child credits" to people who want to have more than one. And if that keeps me from getting communion, I couldn't care less. I am not and never was a member of the Roman Catholic Church. And boy, am I glad of that!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  254. Greg Motter

    Jack- there is nothing as uncommon as common sense.
    When will people understand that a doubled population will require
    double of everything: food, fuel, housing,water,space etc., etc.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  255. Jackie Nelson

    Jack, Thanks,
    Finally, you are talking about the only sure way to control CO2 levels as well as ensuring that we won't run out of the earth's natural resources. Every animal has a "carrying capacity". We humans have exceeded ours. It only makes sense for our own future survival. Why should I have 3 children that would have to worry about having enough water and food to survive when having 1 or even 2 children would ensure that they would have enough resources to enjoy their lives and not have to struggle or go to war for the resources.
    However, the answer is not to pass laws to limit the number of children any person should have, the answer has been proven to be the education of all women. Educated women have fewer children. Europe's population is in decline. The U.S.'s population is holding steady except for immigration. Women + Education = fewer people. Fewer people use less resources and cause less pollution.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  256. Jerry L Becker

    I absolutely think that a world wide systematic plan to drastically cut down on population growth is tremendously important. It can be done in a much less draconian manner than China did 30 years ago. It should be world wide and have strong economic incentives and really go after the "nut case" groups that believe "God tells them to breed like rabbits". These groups have a belief structure that they can "win" long term by out growing their enemies. Along with a lot of their other beliefs it is clearly short sighted and self destructive. If we can get our world wide population under control then a lot of other problems such as global warming although remaining very serious becomes manageable.
    I live in Western Wyoming and South Florida.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  257. Rich Antonisse

    I don't normally reply to calls for comments on CNN, but Jack Cafferty's frank discussion about world population convinced me to do so.

    The world's human population is truly "The Elephant in the Room" that no one wants to talk about.

    With the nearly doubling of the world's human population in my 45+ years on this planet, the intense demand and pressure on water, energy, fish, animal species, other resources, and the climate itself is unprecedented, undeniable and threatens the future of the human race. The expansion of consumerism in developing countries is fully accelerating this trend. Wolf's light-hearted comment that he and Jack would "be long gone" before the world's population hit 9+ billion may be true, but my children and everyone else's will likely live with the consequences of our collectively putting our heads in the sand.

    To bypass the emotional appeal some would would likely make to demonize and prevent frank discussion on this issue, perhaps a market for "overpopulation credits", like those already proposed for carbon or pollution, could use the power of markets to make a real, timely, and tangible difference in this critical issue for the entire human race.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  258. James Dougherty

    The world human population over the past century has increased hyperbolically. The masses in developing nations strive to emulate American consumption patterns as their economies improve, this inevitably will strain the earth's environmental equilibrium so that it will no longer be able to sustain life as we know it. It is imperative that we act to stem overpopulating of our planet, it is the only home we know.
    James D. Highlands, NJ

    December 11, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  259. Louis Lienthal in New York

    In 1960's and 1970's in USA many young people would say "don't make babies, there is enough orphans to adopt". I also remember
    how often the word "Family Planning" would come up in those days. People cared about each other and thought as a single family then. Nowadays its everyone for him/herself. I have lived in my neighborhood for 45 years. 40,30,20 years ago families here had one or two children max. Today I see families with 3 and 4 children led by a pregnant mother. Mr Cafferty, you are a very brave man to raise this taboo topic and I admire your for telling the way it is. The global warming is caused by too many people. We lie, we blame the big industries for destroying our climate, but its not true, they are only satisfying the ever increasing basic living needs required by us, the ever multiplying human beings.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  260. Cindy

    Albert Einstein said "We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive." This kind of population control once seemed absurd is now starting to make sense. We are recycling our possesions. When we die we should also stop with the chemical embalming, taking up plots of land and expensive caskets that are not bio-degradable and just fertilize the planet!! Hey Jack, did you ever see the movie "Soylent Green"? Hmmmm...

    December 11, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  261. Keith (San Francisco)

    The Chinese government limiting the number of its citizen's children is not as direct an affect on population curturbing as the growing state of their economy was. It is a fact that "third world' contries have more children than "first world" ones, because they have to. Natural selection dictates that a higher infant mortality rate requires more children in order to get their offspring to a reproductive age, thus continuing the gene-line. A better quality of life for children and parents WILL slow our population explosion down. A mandate to limit the number of children will have about as much affect on global warming as the bail-out did for the economy.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  262. Monyue

    Bay Point, CA

    Well, the world population growing to nine billion if we do nothing is stunning, but I don't thing the Chinese population control is a good idea for everyone, because most governments are democratic and will not have the polical power to do so, unlike the Chinese. However, the arable lands of some countries are very small in number(especially in Africa) as compared to that of China and India..... So while not distribute the world population evenly across the globe to avoid over population in certain parts of the world. China and India have over a third of the world population (approx. 2.5 billion), while the African continent has under a billion people. The land mass of both Chine and India is less than half of that of Africa. And it seen that the Chinese have noticed how heavily under populated Africa is and are taking advantage of that by focusing their attention to the contenent in sending its human and financial resources as good will guestures to the continent, which I caution.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  263. Wade , from Tucson, AZ

    The suggestion of mandating a solution, one child, is not where to start. That may be the goal to achieve a non-catastrophic outcome but there are many paths to achieving the goal. That should be your question for discussion, How might we (all the world's inhabitants) achieve dramatic reductions in world population levels? It is happening now in numerous advanced countries. Increased roles for women in societies is one clear answer, tax structure, shared parental roles, might be anothers, etc. The planet is over populated by the human species and deteriorating due to their activities. Technological solutions continue to loose against the population curve, which matches the CO2 curve. All people deserve a decent standard of living, but we do not need more people per se.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  264. Dan, Tampa

    Jack, I'm a college student and have just completed a research paper on China's one-child policy. China is highlighting the environmental benefits to make the rest of the world look at the one-child law as a positive implementation. Though not necessarily justified, China's procreation laws have benefited China in almost every way. Procreation laws are easy to implement in a communist nation such as China, but few democratic nations would even have this subject up for debate. Procreation laws could never be implemented in democratic societies to reduce global warming. Could you imagine the one-child policy in the land of the free? It will never happen

    December 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  265. Angie

    Overpopulation is certainly part of the climate issue, but when one person in a developed country consumes as much as twenty-some people in a developing country, it is clear that people in industrialized nations need to significantly cut consumption.

    The real problem here is that we love to blame each other in order to avoid change in our own economies and in our own personal lives. We need to each look in the mirror and make the serious changes that will decrease our impact on global warming.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  266. Gary

    Yes, Jack. It dawned on me that the Biblical phrase "be fruitful and multiply" refers to eating more fruit and study hard in math.


    December 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  267. David, Tampa, Fl

    Jack, I'm not really for government telling people how many children they can have. How ever I am for government providing an economic disincentive for having more than two.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  268. Marcia from Colorado

    It's a good idea, but will not fly in the Western world, unfortunately. There is one thing that people – particularly Catholics – could do, This is to apply pressue on the Pope to change the Church's TOTALLY UNSUPPORTED BY SCRIPTURE policy concerning birth control. The policy is completely ignored in the West (85% of US Catholics practice birth control), but causes more suffering in poor countries than any other cause, including war. Since it clearly is not based on the teachings of Christ, and is the leading cause of famine and starvation, the Church's intransigence on the subject cannot be construed as anything less than immoral. One can only assume its true function is to ensure that the Church's membership stays high enough to support its priests.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  269. Druz from Cleveland,OH

    How about the HONEST education of the populations on WHY it is beneficial to have only one child?

    For example, business decisions are made everyday on how to reduce costs and improve productivity, I'm not saying you have to run your home as meticulously as a business but in some instances it would be wise.

    You, as parents, can then focus all attention, resources, etc. on developing the best possible potential in your child.

    AND to those in favor of MANDATORY population control like that of China, what of the "extras," those "mistakes" or victims of rape or even natural born twins and then some? That is the next great debate if we were to pass such a controversial law. BESIDES as Mark Sanchez argued, in analogical similarity to this, just a few minutes ago-what AUTHORITY does a judge have to make a man publicaly apologize, HENCE, what authority will the Supreme Court have to impede on such a personal right undoubtedly protected by the U.S. CONSTITUTION!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  270. Ann Bley

    As a member of Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth), I firmly believe that world population must be stabilized. There are just too many people on the planet as there is. A growing world population is not sustainable. For those who want larger families, maybe we ought to consider a "cap and trade system" for family size.

    FYI: I haven't just "talked the talk", I have "walked the walk"; ours is a one child family. We have been able to experience the joy of raising a child, and at the same time, have helped the planet and ourselves: with the smaller family, more financial resources have been available us, allowing us to live very comfortably and pay for our child's education.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  271. Jan Carolyn Hardy

    Yes, Jack. Limit the number of children a woman may have. There are so many unwanted children, so many abortions, so little value placed on our precious human life. As a Bonpo and Buddhist practitioner/performer, I dedicate the benefit of my practice to all beings. We must become more mindful of our responsibility in this world. Limiting births to one per woman would go a long way to diminishing the population problem, enhance the value of life, and make our journey on this planet more precious. Now if we could only value all of life as much as we value human life, we might be considered an enlightened populace.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  272. David in San Diego

    Jack I’m glad you brought up the 800 pound gorilla that is ignored every time global environmental issues are discussed. The media has seemed to shy away from this obvious issue until now. Thanks, this has to be part of the discussion.
    If we want to fix the global environment one part of that fix is reducing the global population by a couple of billion (at least) and keeping it there. How to do that is the issue, I don’t believe a mandatory one child per woman law would ever pass. However, many educated countries actually do have negative population growth, so education may be the key.
    Money also seem to highly motivate people, so how about a child tax on every child after the first? The amount could be a percentage of the parent’s income to keep things fair.
    Just a thought.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  273. jimbo; mariposa, ca

    Its all a matter of math. There are only so many resources left on this planet- resources include food, a place to grow it, water, materials for shelter and clothing- the basics for survival. This planet cannot produce enough resources to supply the population at the current rate of growth. I'm glad the subject is finally being broached !!!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  274. M S Kitchen

    This is long overdue. However suggesting that this should somehow be mandatory will cause problems. The solution lies in incentivizing people to reproduce responsibly and within their means. We here in the U.S. are as guilty as any society of incentivizing populations to over produce. It is time tangible rewards were provided populations most at risk in the form of monetary support and provision of educational opportunity tied to reproductive responsibility.

    To suggest that the “overconsumption” of millionaires is significant in contributing to carbon impact on our world when compared to pure population numbers cannot be supported. For anyone to suggest that the size of an individual’s carbon footprint will ever impact global warming compared to the exponential growth in total numbers of carbon footprint in sorely deceived. Innovations that do impact energy utilization and efficiency likely will not emerge from the worlds impoverished masses – these advances will emerge from industrialized societies having material, capital, educational and political resources in sufficient abundance to permit endeavor beyond mere subsistence.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  275. Lois McDougall

    This idea is morally appalling and should be soundly rejected... especially if it is based on global warming. Do the research. In medieval times, the world had a warm period between the ninth and 14th centuries, with world temperatures higher than today's by 5 percent. They didn't have cars or plastic then! Until it is proved conclusively that global warming is occurring at catastrophic speeds that will cause Armageddon (hasn't in last 11 yrs.), shut up and leave our future children alone. If the US had more children, we wouldn't be having the problems we have now with needing more workers to pay for Medicare or Social Security. Illegals are doing yard work our teens could have been doing. Stop picking on the kids!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  276. Rick Cockrum/Kansas City, MO.

    Why has it taken so long for the issue of the human infestation to be brought up? Absolutely mandatory population control should be undertaken at the global level, as well as a replacement of the United Nations with a global governing council combined with the world court elected by a majority of nations to help implement a saner, more earth friendly age. Sadly, though Jack, this will require a paradigm shift in human consciousness which I fear the vast majority of humanity is intellectually incapable of making. So, instead, we'll just go on multiplying like rabbits until ignorance, famine, war, or a really angry earth mother scrapes us off like the parasites we've become. Go ahead, my fellow humans-prove me wrong. Please?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  277. Jay in Michigan

    Jack, my mom was one of 13 kids and I've seen what it does emotionally, financially, spiritually, physically and educationally to all involved. I've been saying that we ned to practice Negative Population Growth (NPG) for decades. And although industrialized nations like the US may have on average less children, our kids create twenty times more polution than non-industrialized nations, we consume 25% more of the earth's natural resources, and with our advanced educational systems, we still have not accepted the raw, inconvenient truth that we must control our population in order to save the planet.

    I hear women say, "I WANT three kids", not I NEED three kids; this is greed, selfishness, and irresponsibility. These women (and men) never think about how their procreating will affect their neighbors nor the planet. Just because a family may be able to afford five kids, doesn't mean the rest of the planet can afford it.

    We are smart enough to recognize the problem and the solution, just not brave and selfless enough to see it through. Countries who do not practice birth control because of relligious beliefs or lack of education need to understand the full ramifications of their breeding. And our county's bible thumpers must accept the fact that God gave us the brains to understand birth control and the ability to practice it; And afterall, God would want us to save the planet she created.

    Besides that, my school taxes go up everytime my neighbors have a second and third kid, but in return, I don't see them helping me pay for my two cats' pet insurance premiums. (Sorry, Jack – I know you have four daughters and I'm sure they are lovely, responsible people)

    December 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  278. T.J. Tampa

    Sure Jack you think its hard to pass Health Care try getting this through any countries legislation. The Cialas and Viagra lobby will burn those Congresses and Parliments down. Beside with all the Human trafficking going one you could have kept this question.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  279. Terry from Illinois

    Population control – hmmm, Republican right wingers do not believe in birth control yet America should limit them from having more extreme conservative kids with views that take away women's rights, outsource American jobs while giving companies more tax cuts, taking a surplus and spending it to record deficits, created a war in Iraq, supporting CEO wages and supporting companies who have tax-havens in foreign countries so they don't have to pay taxes in America...
    Control the Republican population and make America a better place to live !!!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  280. mike-sey

    If you really want to control the effects of a growing population, it will be important to not only control the number of people but their size as well. Look out good 'ol N. America.

    Ottawa, Canada

    December 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  281. Lee in WY

    This was being talked about in the 1960's and I always wondered why it died down. Probably not politically correct for the time, might harm the economy. It only stands to reason that there is a limit to what the earth can tolerate, and we had better pay attention now.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  282. william fitzwater

    Sadly if you look up how a population behaves . It tends to breed up to the limits of its food supply and dies off. Either war, famine or pestilence corrects the population increase as well as predation. Humans have freed themselves from these self correcting forces of nature. Or have we ?

    None of these effects has happened so far. This is a ticking time bomb. With increased population comes a situation like in India with large young population that you have to feed, clothe and provide for. Any disruption in the things that are needed to support a population results in catastrophe.

    How to correct for it in the West it is simple make having babies expensive and not having one a way of surviving with out a extra mouth to feed and loss of income. That's why in most western countries birth rates are low. As economies improve western pressure will gain a foothold in developing countries and babies will become more expensive to have .
    Look at Japan where the birth rate is so low women are being encouraged by the government to have children.

    This is a hot contentious subject. As a Christian I believe in the room for one more but look at the costs ? But this is a solid trend that will continue as the world develops. It just becomes too costly to have children example it will effectually cost 1 million dollars in lost wages to bring a child up to age 21 in the US . Unless... I won't say any more.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  283. Vic from FL

    Great, next they will be introducing Red list Blue list like Schindler's list. You people ever thought about the space shuttle program and what effects the shuttle has on the earth's protective layers when ever it exits and re-enters? Stop taking all the blame. All we can do is work on a solution for the problem but this plan is far from being morally justified.

    It's funny how some of the same people who are for population control are also against abortion.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  284. Thom Richer

    Listen very closely, Jack, to all the "solutions" we espouse these days to world problems such as abortion, global warming, population control, genetics, racism, ethnicity, and "Nation Building" and you can almost see Adolph Hitler patting himself on the back. He must be elated that the world is finally seeing things his way. Creation of the perfect race, genetic engineering, controlled populations, world domination, abortion as a form of birth control, military government, and survival of the fittest to name just a few. We are simply finding "acceptable" means of accomplishing his dream. Face it, the world will end sometime or another and whether only a select elite are here at the end it will not matter. The world as it is will not last forever. Lets not lose our humanity between now and then.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    December 11, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  285. Lauraine

    This is a question we should have asked years ago and have never addressed. All these couples having multiple births. If you can't feed them why have so many. I'm talking about hear in America. Go to Walmart and see these families draging all these kids behind and it 's sad.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  286. American Junkie

    Wake up America!!! I think we can all remember a time when we all found it horribly distastful that China had a one child policy. What has changed since then? A diabolical financial scam called "Cap and Trade" as created by Al Gore and Ken Lay, an almost identical financial tool that was resposible for the near financial collapse in Wall Street last year. Obviously polution is bad and it would be good to elimate some of that, however saying that carbon, one of lifes building blocks, is a poisonous chemical is rediculous. Anyone that took a high school science class knows that is outright nonsensical. There are people who have alot to gain by creating a false perception of climate change. In Copenhagen they are openly discussing forcing individuals om the 1st world to pay a Carbon tax to a private corporate global government. Once you justify to yourself that its ok to be forced into a one child policy, the next step is the powers that be letting you die when you are sick, when you are old and when it is no longer profitable for the growing corporate government to keep around. Eugenics policies are the same type of policies that Hilter instituted in Germany to commite genocide against the Jews. Do not let your government take your rights. America is so special and great because of our Constitution and Bill of Rights and its troubling to see so many people ready to lay them down because they have been so easily and readily manipulated.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  287. Mike in Quebec

    No, the earth will take care of this for us. In the next 50 years 50% of the population will go away!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  288. Allen N Wollscheidt

    While eventually the growth of population may need to be stemmed, we are a very long way from needing to do it now by compulsion.

    Why - because we have most of us received the gift of BRAINS.

    We presently use all of our resources - particularly our brains - at ludicously low levels of efficiency and potential. When - and if - we choose to correct that shortcoming, we will find that we have wiggle room for perhaps centuries to come.

    Once a society is running smoothly, population maintenance usually follows naturally in its wake.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  289. Joe in VA

    Suits me, I'm 67 and we decided to have no more then 2 children back in 1967. However, I read recently that it takes an average of about 2.2 children per family to maintain a culture. Cultures that fall below 2.0 cannot be sustained and become assimilated into those with higher birth rates. Europe is already under 2.0 per couple ( France is about 1.6) and will be assimilated into the higher birth rate Muslin citizenry within several generations, assuming current birth rates continue. So, it sounds simple but folks need be be careful what they ask for in this regard. Never-the-less, it's long past 1984 and we are into a brave ne world.

    Chatham, VA

    December 11, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  290. William Joseph Miller, Los Angeles

    Can we manage to feed 13 billion people? Please don't tell me there are plenty of fish in the sea. Most fisheries are getting exhausted. That's one reason Somalis are turning to piracy. Global warming and pollution are changing the pH of the ocean, which means that much if not all sea life will die. Worse, we are giving serious air time to people who insist that global warming is a hoax.
    I can't say I support China's plan, although I remember seeing a documentary once in which the Chinese seemed to be somewhat happy with the idea. In fact, according to the documentary, elderly women went around talking to Chinese women about birth control. And the Chinese women claimed they were happy to have some one to talk to. What does this tell us about Chinese marriages?????? And of course, the documentary might be government propaganda.
    However, family planning is absolutely essential. I don't favor mandatory family planning, but we definitely need to promote family planning everywhere. If you read Al Gore's Our Choice, you will see that Al Gore points out how we can stabilize the population growth. In addition, the Obama has lifted many of the family planning restrictions imposed by the Bush administration. It's one of the reasons I'm glad I voted for Obama.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  291. Peggy

    While I haven't had time to read all previous comments, my suggestion is a TAX CREDIT for the FIRST TWO children. After that, no tax credit for additional children.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  292. Ted

    Why don't you just tell the truth about 9/11 and see where it goes from there. We can support many more people on this Planet if we had smart or intelligent leaders.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  293. HULK1516

    Asking that of people is asking them to be responsible. Rights have responsibilities. Many forget, or simply ignore that. There are always consequences for a lack of responsibility.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  294. Norman

    It is not likely that the Catholic and Mormon faiths and others would be able to reconcile this with their beliefs.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  295. Eric

    Population is actually contracting in areas where it took centuries to create democracy. You can't convice me there are too many children in countries like the US where many areas see schools close and retirement homes explode. What will the world like in 2 generations? Just ask yourself who is having kids!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  296. Sue

    FINALLY some sense on this issue. As a health care worker I see doctors helping people with 10 kids to have yet another which they can't naturally have without a doctor's intervention.. It is time we realized overpopulation is the root problem, not lack of oil, not pollution. We are the problem.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  297. Joshua Suter Erie PA

    Jack, I think this question is utterly ridiculous. The United States, like most industrialized countries, is experiencing a negative population growth, not a positive one. The issues of overpopulation are mostly in the global south and are thus not related to domestic social policy.

    Also, there is plenty of food and clean drinking water in the world to properly feed every single living person on Earth. The issue is unequal distribution of these resources, not the scarcity of them.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  298. Michelle K

    Finally someone is talking about this!!! How much more obvious can over population be???

    December 11, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  299. Drew

    Quite simply, when speaking about global warming, the problem is not population, it is the consumption habits of the people already on this planet. If the 7 billion people already here were living off of renewable energy, recycling, riding public transportation, and using sustainably harvested timber and food products (i.e. soy, coffee, and beef), we could fit a lot more people on this planet (not that we would want to).

    December 11, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  300. Ben Allen, Lee NH

    The "population control" argument smacks of the same eugenics experiments of the turn of the 20th century that so inspired the Nazi's efforts to ethnically cleanse Europe. The "overpopulation" argument is far from a settled science (if it's science at all) and even entertaining this type of policy stabs at the heart of everything free and good in the world.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:00 pm |