Nov 192009
Condom Man To The Rescue

Condom Man To The Rescue

Condoms, gotta love them, not only can they prevent unwanted pregnancies and nasty diseases, they can save us from climate disaster too! Not, but it sounds good, at least if you buy the population control mantra which boils down to trying to limit the number of children women in underdeveloped countries  have so that those of us in more privileged countries don’t have to curb our environmentally damaging habits.

The battle against global warming could be helped if the world slowed population growth by making free condoms and family planning advice more widely available, the U.N. Population Fund said Wednesday.The agency did not recommend countries set limits on how many children people should have, but said: “Women with access to reproductive health services … have lower fertility rates that contribute to slower growth in greenhouse gas emissions.”

There’s only one problem…

The U.N. Population Fund acknowledged it had no proof of the effect that population control would have on climate change. “The linkages between population and climate change are in most cases complex and indirect,” the report said.

It also said that while there is no doubt that “people cause climate change,” the developing world has been responsible for a much smaller share of world’s greenhouse gas emissions than developed countries.

As Betsy Hartmann succinctly put it in a piece we pointed to recently,

Overconsumption by the rich has far more to do with global  warming than population growth of the poor. The few countries in the world where population growth rates remain high, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, have among the lowest carbon emissions per capita on the planet.

Serious environmental scholars have taken the population and climate change connection to task, but unfortunately a misogynist pseudo-science has been developed to bolster overpopulation claims. Widely cited in the press, a study by two researchers at Oregon State University blames women’s childbearing for creating a long-term “carbon legacy.”

 November 19, 2009  Posted by on November 19, 2009

  2 Responses to “Condoms–Prevent Pregnancies And Save The Planet? Not So Much.”

  1. And further comment via email from Betsy Hartmann: “With its latest report linking population and climate change, the UNFPA has
    moved backward toward the bad old days when it promoted population control.
    Reproductive rights advocates expect and deserve better from the agency. So
    does everyone interested in coming up with serious policies to address climate

  2. […] as I pointed out last week, The U.N. Population Fund acknowledged it had no proof of the effect that population control would […]

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