The Telegraph picked the perfect messenger to communicate the new way we should think about population declines. A high-level WEF adviser tells us:
Oxford Professor Sarah Harper is a very important person. The Telegraph article listing her credentials forgot to mention that she serves on the Global Agenda Council on Ageing Societies of the World Economic Forum.
Prof Harper is thrilled about recent declines in fertility:
Prof Harper told the Telegraph: “I think it’s a good thing that the high-income, high-consuming countries of the world are reducing the number of children that they’re having. I’m quite positive about that.”
The academic said declining fertility in rich countries would help to address the “general overconsumption that we have at the moment”, which has a negative impact on the planet.
Most importantly, declines in births will bring about reductions in CO2 emissions from wealthy nations, Prof Harper points out:
Research has found that wealthy nations tend to have much larger carbon footprints than poorer countries, as rich people can afford to buy more goods, travel more and do other activities that generate emissions.
Carbon emissions from high-income countries were 29 times larger than low-income countries on a per capita basis in 2020, World Bank figures show.
Population Declines or Population Replacement?
Here’s the strange part: If the leadership of the World Economic Forum wanted to reduce emissions from wealthy countries, I could understand how they would hope that population reductions would lead to a decline in economic output. Aside from moral implications, it is simple math that fewer people means fewer cars on the road, less food consumed and so on.
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