Kudos to Alexandra Paul for pushing back against the constant media messaging – often promoted by their advertisers – that falling fertility rates are a bad thing. Her recent letter, published in the LA Times, points out what should be obvious: Growth is not sustainable. She is speaking that truth to the powerful – media and corporate conglomerates – who would exploit future generations as cheap labor, and the Earth with them, to continue growth-fueled profits.
The move towards smaller and better planned families is 1) the product of decades of intentional interventions to stave off disaster, 2) emblematic of the liberation of women, and 3) the most effective tool – on a scale of 20x the impact – we have to fight the climate crisis.
But the fight is hardly over. By the year 2100 world population could vary by billions of people, depending on whether the average woman in the world today has one child more or one child fewer in her lifetime. If the average woman alive today has between 2 and 3 children, the world population will grow to as many as 16 billion by 2100. We need policy that stabilizes population growth at an optimal range of between 500 million and 5 billon, period.
There are lots of ways to speak truth to power the way Alexandra is doing. Take a few steps on your own here.