Population growth and global warming

Roger V. Short

  • Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Level 4, 766 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne 3010, Victoria, Australia.

Published online: Jun 04 2009

Abstract

When I was born in 1930, the human population of the world was a mere 2 billion. Today, it has already reached 6.8 billion, and is projected to reach 9.2 billion by 2050. That is unsustainable. It is slowly beginning to dawn on us that Global Warming is the result of increasing human CO2 emissions, and the more people there are in the world, the worse it will become. Ultimately, it is the sky that will prove to be the limit to our numbers. The developed countries of the world are the most affluent, and also the most effluent, so we must lead by example and contain our own population growth and per capita emissions. We also have a big debt to repay to former colonial territories in Africa, Asia and South America, who desperately need our help to contain their excessive rates of population growth. Belgian and Dutch obstetricians and gynaecologists can play a critical role in this endeavour. After all, we already have a pill that will stop global warming – the oral contraceptive pill.