Environmental Science 101
Limiting Human Population
Limiting Human Population
Purposeful control of growth rates, and reduction of human population size.
Why do this? Problems of Over-population:
Depletion of Natural Resources
Accelerated Habitat Loss
Amplified Climate Change and Global Warming
Loss of Biodiversity / Species Extinction
Degradation/Loss of Fresh Water
Lower Life Expectancy
Diminished Quality of Life, Less Freedom, More Restrictions
Emergence of New Pandemics and Epidemics
Intensive Farming Practices / Soil Depletion
Rise in Unemployment, Crime Rate, and Violence
Reducing Population Growth Methods
Introduction, acceptance and use of birth control methods
Reducing infant mortality
Changing status of women
Policies restricting or discouraging excess births
Small family "role models"
Changes to immigration policies
China’s Population Growth
1.3938 billion people in China (2018)
Any increase adds millions to population
Mao opposed any policy which limited population growth - “numbers means strength”
After Mao, strict population control programs
1 family - 1 child (1978)
Policy eased (Nov. 2015)
Population growth declined from 3% in 1970’s to 0.5% in 2018
3% of 1.3938 billion is 41,814,000
0.5% of 1.3938 billion is 6,969,000
Negative aspects of program:
“The Emergency”: 25 June 1975 to 21 March 1977
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a nationwide state of emergency due to prevailing "internal disturbance“.
Decree allowed the Prime Minister to:
Rule by decree.
Suspend civil liberties.
Imprison political opponents.
Censor the press was censored.
Several human rights violations were reported during this time.
India’s Population Control Problems
September 1976, Sanjay Gandhi (Prime Minister’s son) initiated a widespread compulsory sterilization program to
limit population growth.
8.3 million voluntary, compensated and forced (via police roundups) sterilizations. (mostly men)
Since then, strong backlash against any government initiative associated with family planning, especially sterilization.
India’s Continued Problems
Since 1970’s, voluntary sterilization programs have focused on women.
Between 2013-2014, 4 million sterilizations.
U.S. Forced Sterilization
Before WWII, United States performed the greatest number of forced sterilizations in world.
Between 1907 and 1939: More than 30,000 people in twenty-nine states were sterilized.
Many of them unknowingly or against their will.
Other Population Programs
Late 1980s to 2010: Promoted reduced birth rate. Mandatory contraceptive courses were required for obtaining marriage license. Government emphasized benefits of smaller families and use of contraception.
2012: Reversed earlier policy; promoted increasing birth rates and argued against population planning.
2014: Outlawed permanent contraception. Birth control advertising became illegal.
Shrinking population (-0.3% growth rate)
Government encourages women to have children and to have more children.
Some cities are offering monetary incentives.
2006: Putin has Parliament adopt a 10-year program to stop shrinking population (-0.1% growth rate)
Population planning Health Care Bill requires some parents to space each child three years apart.
2012: Prime Minister Erdogan stated abortion is murder. Announced legislation to severely limit the procedures.
Argued abortion and C-section are plots to stall Turkey’s economic growth.
Repeatedly demanded each couple have at least three children.