Plan a Family, Save the World

Great column from Neal Peirce in the Seattle Times.

Imagine the next president of the United States moving decisively to slow down the world’s population growth as it arcs from today’s 6.7 billion toward a predicted and perilous 9.2 billion by 2050.

The cost to the U.S. Treasury could reach $1 billion a year. Worth it? Consider what a proactive U.S. global family-planning effort might achieve:

* By moderating population growth, there’d be some lessening of catastrophic food and water shortages afflicting less-developed nations.

* Global-warming dangers wouldn’t rise quite so rapidly.

* The rights and life prospects of millions of women around the globe might be enhanced.

* Significant worldwide totals of abortions and infant deaths could be avoided.

* Democracy and stability would be promoted around the world as fewer nations faced the turmoil easily triggered by high birth rates creating population “bumps” of poor and resentful youth.

* With a clear, unequivocal U.S. lead, other countries and the United Nations might expand their international family-planning assistance.

As they say, read the whole thing.