By Jack Alpert: Why a One Child Policy is Not Sufficient

Alpert on Civilization

 

https://www.quora.com/How-would-you-feel-about-a-global-1-child-policy-to-help-slow-down-the-population-growth/answer/Jack-Alpert

Jack Alpert here explains that a one-child policy will not reduce our population fast enough to avoid the starvation of over 8 billion people this century.

Our survival is totally dependent on rapidly depleting non-renewable resources, especially oil and other fossil energy, but also aquifer water, and minerals.

Our survival also depends on over-exploited and rapidly depleting renewable resources like soil, fish, and forests.

In addition, the wastes created by our large population are disrupting the earth systems required for our survival like the climate, and the carbon and nitrogen cycles.

To avoid unimaginable suffering, in our children’s lifetimes, we need to support and vote for a birth lottery in which anyone wanting a child must apply for a permit, and then once a year, a sustainable number of birth permits will be randomly allocated to applicants.

Only about 1 out of 140 women will be permitted to have a child because our overshoot predicament is so severe. This will be very sad for the unlucky 139 couples, but the good news is we only need the birth lottery for about 50 years after which our population of about 100 million people will be permitted to have as many children as they wish, because the natural birth rate of prosperous advanced civilizations is sustainable.

While at first glance Alpert’s plan may seem bat shit crazy, but when you consider the alternatives, his plan is the only fair and feasible solution to a very nasty problem.

In summary, our choices are:

1. Continue business as usual for a decade or so more and then experience unimaginable suffering as more than 8 billion people starve to death this century, leaving the survivors with a lifestyle at best equivalent to medieval times on a very sick planet.

2. Vote for a birth lottery which will disappoint the majority of people desiring children for the next 50 years, after which people may have as many children as they wish and continue to enjoy the advantages of a healthy planet and a prosperous advanced civilization, like a stable climate, forests, biodiversity, abundant food, health care, education, and technology.

If we can somehow muster the strength and wisdom to break through our inherited tendency to deny unpleasant realities, the correct choice seems obvious.

Thirty years of research by Jack Alpert in support of the above can be found here, and other work I’ve posted by Jack Alpert can be found here.

12 thoughts on “By Jack Alpert: Why a One Child Policy is Not Sufficient”

  1. Replies from Gerhard, Bev and Frank all reflect thinking that is steeped in contemporary convention and denial. Modern humans do not face a problem, we face a predicament (there is no solution). The longer we persist with business-as-usual, the more catastrophic the collapse. Tinkering with reproductive rights (in the future) is a case of far too little, far too late. A tipping point on the Climate Change teeter-totter could be as close as the end of northern hemisphere summer 2020. Everything we discuss on sites like this one, or discussed by scientists at IPCC meetings, is likely to prove entirely academic.

    The suffering that parents have condemned their children to, will beggar belief, but that will not stop many from continuing to reproduce. Look at Yemen and add steroids, for a preview of what is coming to your town.

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  2. Of the Four Horsemen, I like Pestilence the most. He works quickly, without giving great pain, and across all classes of the society. Let him freely roam.

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  3. Enact a Logan’s Run type Policy, but only include the global 1% ($38K> U.S.) since they are responsible for most of the environmental holocaust with their incessant entitlement & consumption.

    I make $30k Can a year sitting on my ass, but have lived on less than $20k per since 2009. Easy.

    Cull the herd. It’ll also get quieter since most of those spoiled assholes are the loudest ones.

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  4. Problem is culture. I live in LatAm, where women are primarily seen as mothers. Try changing this mindset. [Incidentally, I’m a Latin Martian — living happily childfree — but of born-and-bred European parents who handed out plenty of “scripts” to live by but never once mentioned words like “child-bearing” or “child-rearing”]. Nonetheless, in parts of Africa, childless women are buried face down. And during China’s full enforcement of the one-child policy, those in rural areas circumvented this rule by simply not registering their children as theirs. In Southeast Asia, the village chief still has the final say about women’s lives. Additionally, during a layover at the Salt Lake City airport, I spotted several American couples with 4-5 children. I am all for quotas, as Jack Alpert details in various interviews. They should’ve been implemented when human population was at 3 billion — already in overshoot. [Listening to a William Catton interview as we speak]. Wildlife is so stressed that diurnal behaviors are being switched to nocturnal just to avoid us and our gizmos. Animals both on land and in the water are no doubt feeling under siege. But what do you do with all the above? This illusory “diversity” rhetoric –illusory because we’ve built and continue to expand species monoculture [ours]– allows for what were once adaptive behaviors that have since turned maladaptive. Yet try telling Latins, Middle Easterners, South and East Asians, Pacific Islanders, Africans, and anyone else who legally immigrates –let alone illegally migrates– to the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and various parts of Europe that they cannot have offspring. Heck, they immigrate so they can enhance reproductive success. Conservation biologists across the globe are also some of the worst offenders since they regularly come face to face with the processes degrading the planet’s ecosystems, yet persist in the same maladaptive behaviors.
    How seriously do we implement and enforce this?

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