It is the news of this week, and for this time I agree with the media choice. I know it is a convention, and that nobody really knows when it will happen exactly. But, OK this is not the main issue for me. The main question is our great reproductive success as specie. I have confused feelings about that. Certainly I am worried, and I am not alone . More people is more CO2. It is true that the population growing faster is less CO2 dangerous but it is not less true that per capita CO2 emissions have not decreased the last years globally (see figure below), so even if some carbon efficiency is gained in some countries the in the world average more people means more CO2 in the last 50 years. So we have only two ways of decrease the total amount (the one that counts):
- Decrease the population.
- Decrease the CO2 per capita.
- Or even better: control the population and reduce the CO2 per capita.
In most of the world, however, a population decrease is seen a great problem as it means getting old as a country and we are used to live with many young people sustaining our economies. It is something we will have to think of, considering someday we will have to stop growing for one reason or another. Maybe climate change is the first serious warning in this sense, a symptom showing the impossibility of eternal growth. Or maybe we need to suffer the consequences of natural disasters to convince us to regulate ourselves.
In any case, I am happy for this new baby, because it is a new hope for everyone. And my hope is that we will learn to be socially and enviromentally sustainable, not an easy objective but a clever one.