Writing for The Guardian, William Rees provides an informed and intelligent voice on how to solve what may be the most pressing problems in the world today:
The proximate drivers are excess economic production and consumption, and over-population.… Carbon dioxide is accumulating at an accelerating rate in the atmosphere and 2014, 2015 and 2016 sequentially shared the distinction of being the warmest years in the instrumental record. . . .
At the same time, this is a world of chronic gross social inequity that erodes population health and social cohesion. According to Oxfam, the world’s richest eight billionaires possess the same wealth as the poorest 50% of the human family. More generally, the richest quintile of humanity takes home about 70% of global income compared with just 2% by the poorest fifth of the population…. This situation is egregiously unjust, socially destabilising and ecologically precarious.
His solution is sound and feasible: “[P]lanned degrowth toward a quasi steady-state economy is technically possible, would benefit the poor and could be achieved while improving the overall quality of life, even in high-income countries. Considering the human suffering that would be avoided and the number of non-human species that would be preserved, it is also a morally compelling strategy.”
How can we move forward to this solution? The first step is for governments and the United Nations to abandon current family planning models in favor of one based on true human rights—like the Fair Start model. This model balances the right to have children against every child’s right to a fair and equitable start in life.
Support the change we need by signing our Fair Start petition.