In between international holidays and shopping we expend a lot of hot air on the Kyoto targets for CO2 emissions but so far it has been politically incorrect to talk about the bleeding obvious corollary: Population.
The UK is overpopulated. The only mammals more prevalent than humans in the UK are rats and mice! The UK population has grown from about 41 million in 1900 to around 62 million today yet, despite BREXIT, many of our leaders think the UK needs continued mass immigration to please business and to increase diversity. Diversity? Pah! We are building congested homogeneous urban environments dominated by a selfish consumerist group-think where the only diversity is that the residents just happen to come from all over the world. Think I’m exagerating? The organiser of London’s New Year Day parade claims he got the idea when he planned kids fun day out in London on 1st January only to find, museums, theatres, cinemas, restaurants and most of the shops closed – He couldn’t live for one day without retail!
House prices are sky high, transport is congested and the health service under strain yet still many urban politicians are obsessed with their false version of “diversity” over all other considerations.
Today we heard that 14 new “garden villages” are to be built to provide 200,000 homes. They building over the fields and country lanes of my childhood but even this is not enough! If each home housed 4 people that will still only cater for under 2 and a half year’s worth of immigration to the UK!
Over population is not just a British problem. Population is ballooning all over the world and people are flocking to super-cities. Shanghai 24 billion, Karachi 23 million, Lagos 16 million. As much as I love cities I prize REAL DIVERSITY. Urban and rural. Town and country. An urban environment where one can get away to the country. A modern vibrant multicultural city and a traditional slower quieter countryside. I don’t want London to balloon to 24 million people just because Emily Thornberry fancies a different Pizza topping or Sadiq Khan is planning another “festival of culture” with “ethnic” food supplied by the same corporate caterers and events coordinators as did the American Football festival in Regent Street.
Globally humans now outnumber other primates by 2238 to 1 and the world wildlife populations has halved in the past 40 years. It seems to me that if the world’s population had not ballooned from around 1.6 billion to 7 billion over the past 100 years we wouldn’t need to worry about which side of the escalator we stand on and we wouldn’t live in tiny apartments; we wouldn’t have to give up our cars for driverless plastic robo-pods or give up meat for insect farming or drink recycled sewage water or any of the other efficiency “improvements” being planned by our leaders (Just read The Economist). And we wouldn’t be about to bulldoze more British wildlife to build dormitory accommodation for cheap labour demanded by big corporations. Further, would not be forced to consider ourselves massive hypocrites for wiping out any gains we make from recycling by holidaying in Bhutan because Thailand is “too touristy”.
On a recent ramble in the South Downs I heard of a charity called Population Matters which addresses population size and environmental sustainability. They believe population growth contributes to environmental degradation, resource depletion and other problems. They conduct research, inform the public and advocate improved family planning and sex education, women’s empowerment, smaller families and moderate consumption. They were founded in 1991 and Sir David Attenborough is one of their patrons.
The New Year resolution for Population Matters is to shatter the silence around discussing population. Please help them by speaking out!