The concept of being "Green" is gaining increasing momentum in the developed world. One hopes that the removal of the Bush regime from power will result in improved legislation to slow the decline of the Earth's natural wealth which is being rapidly depleted. Bush aside, no major policy leader in any nation except China has bothered to propose measures to curb the growth of population. Meanwhile, European countries and many other countries have policies which encourage childbirth and increasing population seemingly to support their aging and selfishly infertile populations whilst reducing the need for importation of foreign labourers. While the economic decisions of humans are ultimately to blame for most environmental destruction, the quantity of humans certainly contributes directly to these problems as does the population of any pest species. We have already mentioned on this blog the 12 Monkeys scenario. In the spirit of Malthus, population limitation must be made a priority for governments. If measures are taken quickly to impose limits on population growth, 12 Monkeys can be avoided.
Unlike most of human history, we are now at a stage of having not just exceeded, but having overwhelmed the carrying capacity of our environment given the standard of living that we demand. In the absence of extremely harsh environmental regulation and economic restriction, Reproduction can no longer be seen as a right, but as a privilege, one which must be approved and earned by the collective authority. China's template solution allows only one child per couple and imposes varying degrees of penalties for any violations. A better solution would be one of progressive taxation. The degree of progression could be debated, but the overall outcome should be a birthrate which is less than or equal to the deathrate.
Such scheme would also have a positive effect on economic development, education, economic opportunity, and wealth per capita in nearly every region on Earth.