Judith Allinson, Green Christian’s Web Editor writes:
Population growth has been a taboo subject in many churches.
I invite you to talk about it more, and ask God if there is more that you or your church could or should be doing in regard to this subject.
It has been shown that pound per pound: donating to family planning charities, where women would like to control their family size but are too poor to afford contraceptives– is the most efficient way of using money for reducing climate climate change.
(Even more than by donating to saving rainforest habitat charities- one of my pet interests)
Perhaps we should be raising money for family planning charities and girls education charities – rather than some of the other charities we support.
Sometimes we are afraid to talk about this for fear of offending a few people in our churches, even within our own groups –
Yet the increasing population is the main driver of all the other environmental problems:
- Loss of rainforest
- Increasing carbon dioxide emissions
- Need for more houses eating up green land and covering soil
- Reduction in space for wild habitats. (e.g. look at the larger animals of the world: already 97% of the of the worlds animals are made of humankind and our domestic animals: sheep, cats, cows, with only 3% for all the other wild animals)
What can we do?
1. Remove the taboo about discussing this topic in churches
2. Support family planning charities
3. Support girls’ and women’s education.
4. Support charities such as Population Matters which campaign and provide information on these issues.
I urge you to look at the Population Matters website – It goes into the issues in much more depth than there is space for here.
See an earlier article on GC’s website:-
Population growth, climate change and sustainability of the environment. Do/should Christians care? – By John Guillebaud 2008
Comments on "Population growth"
Philip Clarkson Webb:
Should we not be lobbying the aid agencies, particularly thiose we actively support, to conduct surveys to ascertain the demand for family planning and then to respond to that demand by supplying what is needed? Philip.
Rev Dr Paul Overend:
Thanks for the article - I share this concern. But pound for pound, (as you say) changing from a meat and dairy diet to a plant-based vegan diet is even better for the environment. In fact, a plant based diet of grains, fruit and veg, and pulses and nuts can cost less than meat, and so you can donate the difference to family planning charities. Paul ps – The issues are not unrelated – for a large meat and dairy consuming population requires vast resources of water, energy, land and etc. ‘Going vegan’ reduces our global environmental footprint – even more than stopping flying. Also, it’s food for cattle that causes the destruction of rainforests more than food for human beings.