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.