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Letters to The Editor

Britain's Jonathon Porritt Openly Calls for 50% Reduction in British Population
March 25, 2009

Britain's Jonathon Porritt Openly Calls for 50% Reduction in British Population (Mar. 25, 2009)

From: Keith H
To: Editor
Subject: Genocide/population reduction.
Date: Mar 25, 2009 2:31 AM

Hi Ken,

Genocidal-Luciferian JONATHON PORRITT, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population from 61 million to 30 million if it is to build a sustainable society.

No problema! Now where did all those H5N1 contaminated flu vaccines from Baxter International Inc.'s go? And hey, how about terminator seeds from Monsanto (French for "my satan"?) It ain’t the seeds they’ll be terminating! Henry Kissinger, 1974, “food as a weapon”. I've got an idea for good ol boy Johnny! Why not run off a cliff like a lemming and show us the way! Come on Johhny boy, put up or shut up, I mean bugger-off.


UK population must fall to 30m, says Porritt

From The Sunday Times
March 22, 2009
By Jonathan Leake and Brendan Montague

JONATHON PORRITT, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society.

Porritt’s call will come at this week’s annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), of which he is patron.

The trust will release research suggesting UK population must be cut to 30m if the country wants to feed itself sustainably.

Porritt said: “Population growth, plus economic growth, is putting the world under terrible pressure.
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“Each person in Britain has far more impact on the environment than those in developing countries so cutting our population is one way to reduce that impact.”

Population growth is one of the most politically sensitive environmental problems. The issues it raises, including religion, culture and immigration policy, have proved too toxic for most green groups.

However, Porritt is winning scientific backing. Professor Chris Rapley, director of the Science Museum, will use the OPT conference, to be held at the Royal Statistical Society, to warn that population growth could help derail attempts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Rapley, who formerly ran the British Antarctic Survey, said humanity was emitting the equivalent of 50 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.

“We have to cut this by 80%, and population growth is going to make that much harder,” he said.

Such views on population have split the green movement. George Monbiot, a prominent writer on green issues, has criticised population campaigners, arguing that “relentless” economic growth is a greater threat.

Many experts believe that, since Europeans and Americans have such a lopsided impact on the environment, the world would benefit more from reducing their populations than by making cuts in developing countries.

This is part of the thinking behind the OPT’s call for Britain to cut population to 30m — roughly what it was in late Victorian times.

Britain’s population is expected to grow from 61m now to 71m by 2031. Some politicians support a reduction.

Phil Woolas, the immigration minister, said: “You can’t have sustainability with an increase in population.”

The Tory leader, David Cameron, has also suggested Britain needs a “coherent strategy” on population growth.

Despite these comments, however, government and Conservative spokesmen this weekend both distanced themselves from any population policy. ”

Reader Comments

* Have your say

The world has truly gone mad! I'm relieved to see there are a few people left with some common sense. Why is everyone so quick to believe the media and politicians? Do your own research. Will those in favour volunteer their own families and themselves for "downsizing"? Brainwashed by statistics!

Katie, London,

whats the point of creating new jobs if there are no people to fill them Britta? This is a very disturbing statement, it just seems that we are slipping into a policed state, and that the goverment has forgotten that its job is to serve the people, not to get rid of 30m of us.

liam o'sullivan, wrexham, uk

The population has grown at the same rate as life expectancy, both are roughly twice what they were in mid-Victorian times.

We continue to spend NHS billions to help people live longer.

If we reduced birth rates, what kind of economy would we have? The majority would be old and retired

Richard, Sutton Coldfield, UK

If the pop must be reduced, those who call for it should set us an example. This would especially include scientists who justify the aims of the elite. If we don't wake up soon there will be only enough of us to serve the masters, and so controlled that anything else is unthinkable.

Mike, Mshfld, US

Spot on. The UK has a carbon footprint of 5.3 hectares, but a biocapacity of only 1.6, so it consumes over 3 times the resources it produces (source WWF). So we're selfishly taking from our neigbours (poor countries) as well as from our future direct descendants.

ben keeley, nice, france

The time is coming to protect yourself!

Anyone still think the NWO is a bunch of hoo-har?

Dave, leicester, uk

Obviously the world can' t support unlimited population growth. Should we wait until its too late or do something now? It may be a difficult decision, but it has to happen sometime. The best way to go green is to not produce more consumers.

Dan, Washington, DC, USA

Population reduction? Sounds rather scandalous. Why not practice efficiency and putting clean technologies into use instead. There are too many variables tied to this problem and drastic reduction of life is not the most sensible solution.

Steve, San Diego, CA, US

Brilliant. First open the borders to massive immigration that threatens to overwhelm the indigenous population of the UK. Then tell that very indigenous population (because they are surely the only ones who will listen) that they must reduce their growth. Result ...

Peter, Birmingham, UK

Thomas Malthus gave the same warnings about unsustainable population growth in 1798. We seem not only to have survived these last 200 years but to have improved our quality of life considerably. To choose to limit poplution growth would be a very difficult & inuhuman decision on an individual scale

Kevin, Southampton, UK

Well there it is – the official limit of humans that can be successfully managed within a feudal oligarchy.

All who agree with Mr. Porritt should move to Greenland and fight it out in a Darwinian free-for-all. This is the kind of controlled experiment the WWF eugenicists would love to conduct…

Gottfried Liebniz, Leipzig,

Saw this coming right off! It was just a matter of time. Global Warming is just a bunch of foo-roo and any one with a brain can search and find it out.... wake up people, this is a control issue. It is about ridding the population of unwanteds and those who oppose THEIR way of thought-- watch 1984!

roman, columbus, usa

Back in the 70's concerns of over-population were raised. So now after 2 generations of white Anglo-Saxons limiting their family size to less than two offspring, there is now a "labor shortage" in the United States and must now "import" laborers from countries that did not discourage large families

Dyan, Herndon, VA,

this smacks worryingly of the 'deep ecology' agenda of mandatory population reduction.
It is glaringly obvious that we'd all be better off with fewer people but we are stuck with 6.5 billion.
How do we halve that in one go?
Well I'm afraid we all know where that kind of thinking leads

Denis, cardiff,

Cut the British population to 30m?! Let's see, cut Britain's pop by 30m, cut Russia's pop 200m, China's by 750m, cut India's pop by 500m, cut all of South America's pop by 1bn, cut European Union's pop by 500m, cut America's pop by 150m and cut Africa's pop by 500m that equals 3.6 billion souls?!

Clayton Jones, albuquerque,

Cambodia anyone? Jonathan PolPot is just pushing the message the Greends have always had. Its nice to see they have 'allowed' more people into it than they had in the 80's. Back then it was only 4 million. Pick a number. Strange how everyone thinks it will not be them in the killing fields.

Wat Tyler, Watford, England

Like all nature we will rejoin the great fight for life, we assumed that we had lifted ourselves out of it permanently but we're only out on a break. Once the population gets out of hand survival of the fittest will rule supreme again and as a result it is certain that humanity will emerge stronger

John D, London, UK

Someone mentioned Holland. They have a lot fewer teenage pregnancies, I believe. They put it down, partly, to better sex education. What happened to the benchmarking which was done a few years back?
Giving a lot of publicity and support to families who reproduce every 13 years is not helping!

Susan, Harrow, UK

How much money did it cost to come up with -

more people= more consumption = more environmental impact. ?

We spend millions on 'scientific' research that tells us to spend more money on more research.

We have incentivised the prophets of doom and they are taking full advantage.

Dan, London, UK

Some people cannot see further than their noses! Fossil fuels, viable agricultural land, & living space, fish stocks, other species, minerals, rain forest, IS being depleted at an INCREASING rate, A rapidly dwindling set of resources set against a rapidly increasing population what happens then?.

Peter East, Grays, United Kingdom

Couldn't agree more with Mr Porritt. The population will need to be less than 30million, if we are to survive in any meaningful and pleasant way.

I'm confused, what convinced Nu-Labour that importing, possibly 8 million foreigners into this crowded little country was in any way 'A good thing'?

doris, London, UK

If the planet is to become a reasonably pleasant place to live with good quality of life and comfortable standard of living then the world population should also shrink to max. 2bn by 2100. This was the population 50 years ago!

A.Saviolakis, Newcastle upon Tyne,

This would ruin online dating services, we are undone.

Brian, Denver, USA

Thus does the "green" movement finally show its true fascist colors. De-population in the name of the environment (or any other fradulent reason) is pure insanity and stupidity and rightfully discredits the leaders of the movement. There is no problem that the mind and spirit of man cannot solve.

Mathew T, Seattle, USA

Mr. Porritt may be an acknowledged expert on the environment, but his knowledge of demography could use some work. 30m might be an optimum number in environmental models, but modern demographic models disagree. Rather irresponsible of him to go spouting off "facts" while ignoring entire disciplines.

Elenita, New York, NY, United States

Does this mean will we be copying Chinas one child only poilcy?

Jane, oxford,

I suppose there is some benefit to reducing population to "ideal" levels. But what are the details? So many 1 yr old, so many 50 yrs old? Nature has established its own imperatives. Nature also gives us bugs that kill one third of populations from time to time. Medicine isn't keeping up with bugs'

Robert C. Brenzel, Louisville, USA

Will I get to decide how many 72 yr olds are the appropriate number? Must Einstein be the only old man?

Robert C. Brenzel, Louisville, USA

How do you exactly plan to reduce the population by 30 million Mr Porritt, might I ask?. All sounds a bit sinister to me and in any case if CO2 is such a problem maybe no animals should be alive at all. Basic facts we breathe out CO2. Plants absorb CO2, without it none of us would be hear dear boy!!

Paul Barlow, Wilmslow, Cheshire

I agree. All but me and mine must go.

Aaron, Lehighton, USA

Cut CO2 ?! Nothing has done more to "GREEN" the planet in the last 100 years than elevated levels of CO2, together with sun-driven warming, which is now coming to an end. Read the IPCC reports. CO2's Global Warming Potential (google: GWP) is a fraction of other atmospheric trace gases.

John A. Jauregui, Garden Valley, USA

co2! More for the plants to breath! How does that person? How does he think this will happen?{ It shouldnt}. Dalecks and cybermen? Watch his eyes light up!

mike, eden, USA

Science giveth life, science taketh life away.

Sean, Detroit, USA

The authors do disservice to the population question as originally enuncited by Malthus. All Western European countries including the UK have been in a negative population growth for some time. To somehow ascribe popullation growth to greenhouse impact is a "Twitter moment" Please do better

Steve Naylor, Bloomingrton, USA

Even if you don't believe in global warming you should believe that creating renewable energy resources is extremely important to stop the constant wars over oil, to create new jobs, and to help sustain healthier breathing air and water!

Britta, Arlington, TX, USA

Does anyone else find this to be a rather disturbing statement to come from an officer of a government that controls your health care?

Bruce, Novi, USA

For once I agree with something a Green has to say!
It's obvious to me that the world cannot support and ever increasing population; yet all our ecomomies seem to rely on it.
We really need different thinking, and stop criticising the country that has tried to limit population - China!

Mags, Oxon, UK

Sarah from Dubai: so when are you going to repatriate from Dubai?

Samuel , London, UK

Porritt is right to start the conversation. Overpopulation is a serious issue that takes years of planning to deal with. Citizens of the UK would be wise to join in on the conversation.

Cam , Amsterdam, Netherlands

The number of people needs to balance with the amount of resources available "simples". All the benefits were set up to repopulate after WW2. They really are not needed now. Two and stop that is all the OPT is suggesting.. and becoming as environmentally sensible as we can be.

Greg, Purley, UK

This is incompatable with human dignity. The human person is good and is an end in his/her self. We are not statistics or numbers to be manipulated. Instead of reducing the number of Brits because they are wasteful, why not work on reducing British wastefulness?

J.D., Dallas, US

A rational stance from a responsible and courageous official indeed - finally!

May reason and wisdom prevail!


The Netherlands.

Adam Izak-Sunna, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Where in the article did it consider the devastation to a host of birth-rate dependent constituencies? Namely, how will Inland Revenue sustain national defense, NHS, BT, the BBC and other public funded works, much less the road taxes, rate boards, education and public housing? Logan's Run, anyone?

Tony, Dallas, Texas, USA

You can't cut the population, the British people aren't cattle.

M.Gibbons, London,

Why does the UK have huge immigration if the population is too big?

bob, edmonton, canada

Why not move all of the people who advocate a lower UK population to the developing countries where they won't be able to add to the CO2 burden.

Of course, all of these advocates wish to be the ones remaining in the UK.

John, Adelaide, Australia

There is no you can cut an population from 60 million to 30 million is to starting killing people. I suggest that people who believe in having large or any families starta packin'

Shauna Francis, Oakland, Ca, U.S.

Hmmm. Great idea but how to put into practice?

Could always devolve Scotland and Wales, then the population of the 'UK' would be non-existent. I worked in the NHS for years and that was generally how we tackled 'troublesome statistics'. Reshuffle, rename, no one's the wiser...

Sarah, Cumbria,

Finally someone comes out and says it. There are too many of us. There needs to be many fewer - no other options.

The question is, "how ?"

Steve, Cramlington, UK

Quite frankly Porrit is right (in essence), but the ostrich mentality will win through. Only something like plague will see to this (worldwide). Here in the uk, Don't treat chlamydia, stop all IVF etc, and give Expats a decent pension so they DON't come back here i.e. don't freeze their serps etc.

andy smith, st albans, Britain

Great idea! The only problem is that we would have to employ some "unfashionable" ideas....such as the involuntary euthanasia ordered by Hitler for cripples etc.

Once that little issue is solved can Porritt explain to us how we can apply that magic trick to the rest of the world?

tony, London, UK

We need to have fewer experts on population, and green economy and global warming. Then we would be much better off without all of these Chicken Littles telling us the world is going to end unless we do what they say. Total rubbish.


I thought we were saving the world by turning our lights off for an hour this week?
Never thought I'd say it, but finally someone in this government says something almost sensible.

Paul, Singapore,

The birth rate statistics for native europeans already show that they have either forgotten how, have become too lazy to bother, or don't think they are worthy of reproducing and carrying forward their cultures.

The last thing you need is another excuse to destroy yourselves.

Frank, New Jersey, USA

1. Who determines whom is to be eliminated?
2 Who gets placed on that elite elimination board?
3.It is obvious you are not talking about relocation, that would not decrease the over-population.
4.Been here before...who now becomes the undesirables,
handicapped; non-whites; whites, etc.

Rebecca Thompson, San Diego, Ca, U.S

My Dad used to say we need a good war every 50 years to keep the population down.... I don't think even a WW1 style would could do that! We are all doomed because a capitalist society needs growth which means more people. Maybe someone could invent a nasty virus with no cure...oh they tried that!

Bondy, dartmouth, uk

Well, you know, if the population is aging, get rid of them at a certain age. wouldn't that help the younger folk? By the way I say ths tongue in cheek, as I am an active nearly 70 year old.

Jill Turner, Humpty doo, Australia

The obvious answer is to develop the capacity for deep space travel and to begin moving off this planet to begin colonization of other planets. We need to immediately begin increasing production of electrical and other usable forms of energy from nuclear power sources.
Onwards and Upwards!

Donal B., Dacula, USA

Well if the UK does decide to dramatically reduce its numbers and empty out the place - I guess 20 years on would be a good time to pick up some prime real estate in Southern England no?

To each his own - but I prefer to enjoy my 5 children - and look to a long life.

Christian, Centreville, VA, USA

Can somebody tell me how much CO2 was in the air when Greenland was green during the years 1000-1350 A.D. and Vikings could raise dairy cows, wheat and barley? How high was the sea level at that time? Where was the coastline?

Rick, Delray Beach, USA

As ever with the Green Lobby, good at rhetoric, bad at specifics. A couple of problems: how will we pay for the retired and infirm if our working population is shrinking? How will we make up the chronic shortfall in tax receipts? Moreover, UK acting in isolation would have no benefit, we're to small

Alan Marks, London, UK

Ok...where are the extra 31Million people in the UK going to go ? This population issue is world wide and will become more and more of an issue as global warming (or whatever you want to call this cycle we are in with worsening weather conditions) takes hold.

Kevin M., Perth, Australia

Perhaps Mr Porritt would like to set an example by leaving the country?

Peter, London,

I can't believe the number of clueless replies here, especially relating land area to population & food. Not all land is arable; soils are poor, rainfall too low, disease too high.

Pop growth is exponential – at what point do we say enough – 20 billion? 40? When everyone is starving?

Basset, London,

But a smaller population will reduce house prices even further! That can't be good, can it?!?!

tom, london,

Ge 1:28 -God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Oops, I forgot, God kind of crashes the humanist party. What was I thinking?

Kevin, Owosso MI, USA

So will Britain have a lottery and throw the 30 million losers into the North Sea? Or will Mr. Porritt be the first to take a flight to an underpoplulated county?

Gary, Nashville, US

The Pope has a lot to answer for what with his policy of banning contraceptives.

Edward , Colchester, England

Did he offer any suggestions on how we should go about cutting population?

bobby, Boston, USA

Come on folks, surely a smaller population would be beneficial to all, radical thinking is required if we're going to start addressing the issues that face us in the future.

stephen, neal, UK

Pure logic indicates that world population cannot go on growing as it is. The problem is that it is a political hot potato and no politician will address it until the horse has bolted and we have real energy and food supply shortages.

John Metherell, Plymouth, Devon

Introducing NHS in present form seems to be the first step forward

Richard, Szczecin, Poland

Maybe Mr. Porritt should start the population reduction with himself--then we would know he is really committed.

John, Ann Arbor, USA

You can either solve the problem or solve the number of people causing the problem. Since apparently the mentality of the people here does not allow the first option to happen, option two is the way to go then. Other developped countries are successfully reducing their environmental footprint...

Roger, London,

And how does Porritt propose to "cut" the population?

Louise, Liverpool,

I agree, all illegals should immediately be deported to France as they have much more space per person there.

Chris, Bournemouth,

Well they can start reducing by making this "expert" leave the country..1

mickey, Detroit, USA

Excellent article. First thing the government should do is to cut all funding to medical centres aiming for increased breeding. No more artificially-induced babies - if you can't have them naturally, tough.

david, Ligneyrac, France

Funny how Americans always get on the defensive about green issues and look to God and quasi-science in order to justify thier arguments. Its idiotic how preference is given to humans over the natural world, yet there'd be no humans without the natural world; something has to give somewhere.

Toby, London, UK

This is not about culling people it's about reducing the population through dispersal. Reduction in immigration and encouragement of non-indigenous to their homelands and incentives to reduce the birthrate to smaller levels. Not killing people!

Sarah, Dubai, UAE

Perhaps people from the USA do not realize they are already running out of water and energy. The USA is now importing oil.
And in case you haven't noticed the USA is and has been at war over energy. The only way to not be constantly at war is to
live within our means.

Anne, Doncaster, UK

Well. This seems to fly in the face of an aging population, with fewer & fewer young people to provide for them. On top of which it was only 30 years ago that "experts" were telling us that the UK population was unlikely to increase sigifincantly in the future! Same in another 30 years?

AtB, Exeter , UK

if the government only paid for the first 2 children, then there would be a stop to the poor families having 8 or more kids and living off the state!
The state benefit system MUST change to be able to stop the increase in population. Stopping payments for the 3rd plus child will stop the growth!

Elizabeth, London,

The solution will be reached more quickly through improved technology, new energy sources and lifestyle changes than through depopulation of first-world countries.

Michael, Los Angeles, US

I would say then that Jonathon Porritt should offer himself up first. These people who put the "environment" ahead of other people never seem to think they are as disposable as their neighbors.

kenth, blairsville ga, USA

At last we're confronting the issue that environmentalists and politicians fear to deal with.

Having children causes more CO2 emissions than travelling abroad on holiday and owning a large car.

It's inconvenient, but it's the truth.

Paul, London,

How about stopping immigration, FULL STOP.

Perhaps that will help? Just an idea.

Simon, London,

If you don't think the population should be managed then take the extreme example...wxhen is enough?? 200 miilion in the UK for exmaple??
Neverending population growth has been pushed by governments not wanting to change the pensionable age, businesses who want cheap/slave labour, and the PC lobby

Rob, Paris, France

Anson, 50 billion tons is 0.001% of the atmosphere, which weighs about 5 quadrillion tons, or 1.7% of the current CO2 levels.

Andy, London, UK

Shall he be the first to go?

Jacob, Fort Worth, USA

Well done, Jonathon Porritt for raising the issue. The basic point that we need a sustainable way of living is correct. And that means less people on the planet.

There are 2 ways to have less people: 1. Have less children; 2. Die sooner.

I would rather have less children.

Giordano Bennetti, Swindon,

No problem! I will happily contribute! I am English through and through; being able to trace back six generations and yet I am making plans to leave. This country is an embarassment.

Ben, London, UK

I am amazed that anyone in a government would make a statement on halving populations for any reason and not be run out of town on a rail.
It will be shockingly amazing when they actually put the plan into action because.....they weren't run out of town on a rail when he first brought it up.

Drider, Miami, USA

Just read a few more of the comments and a few people seem to be missing the point.. Porritt is not talking about reducing the UK's population by emigration - that does not help cure the problem at all. Nor is he in favour of killing people over a certain age. He's on about a long-term plan.

Giordano Bennetti, Swindon,

Imogen has clearly missed the point by suggesting that 'Immigration is irrelevant'. A person living in the developed world has a greater impact on world resources. Therefore each person who immigrates to the UK will eventually also have a greater impact than if they stayed in the developing world.

Jason, London, UK

Porritt is absolutely spot on.

nina, London, UK

The geologic history of our planet over the last million years shows regular cycles of ice ages and interglacial warming periods. The next ice age (and it IS coming) should get rid of at least 80% of the human population.

Bill Wolf, Rochester NY, US

Tibet was a peaceful agricultural society. Poland was a peaceful agricultural society. Both had neighbors that were growing industrial societies.

Brian, Cleveland, USA

How would one propose to cut a country's population in half?? I'm sure all the arguments for a lower population are scientifically valid but realistically its impractical. You are better off spending trillions on terrascaping Mars and sending half the brits there.

K, shanghai, china

Why should we breed for economic reasons? I never got that logic.

Sandra, Paris, France

why dont they do what the goverment did in china and make it a law that familys should stick to one or 2 children and no more. im a mother of 1 i would like one more baby but these people who have 12, 13,14 children should take more responsibility,they put the strain on the economy and tax payers.

rebecca, driffield,

Finally people are starting to get it. The greatest source of environmental problems is from the activities of people. Fewer people equals less environmental impact. The world cannot support an unlimited population. Although China's approach seems harsh it makes sense.

Lou, Kirkland, WA, USA

Read 'America Alone' by Mark Styne... the first chapter deals with this lie... about western population growth... . Replacement population rate is aproximatley 2.2. The birthrate of whites in the USA, about 1.8, Italy and Spain FAR below that and most Western countries are the same, including Japan.

KF, Aspen, USA

Have any of these "Academics" figured out that Britain and most of Europe's birth rates are below (2) per woman on average? For Britain, 1.8 to be exact. Ugh... I'm not a Scientist by trade but that shows a 'declining' population. The only ones to be left in the future will be the immigrants.

Dazona, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Why does it always seem that the population needs to be reduced in the West? Ever notice how all these experts simply make gratuitous assertions without a shred of evidence to support any claim? Have we arrived at the point in time where we should start shouting these people down?

Eileen Dover, Columbia,

What, exactly, does this Jonathon Porritt suggest that we do to reduce the population of Britain and the United States? I didn't quite see that in the article. Is he simply proposing a reduction in the rate of growth? Or, is he proposing a reduction in the existing population?

Michael, Seattle, USA

Many have popped up and said the population needs to drop off or that (basically) a percentage of people need to die. I have one thing to say to those people: you first! Stand behind what you say and have the courage to back up what you say. You first, or stop trying to convince us of your opinion.

Dan, Phoenix, USA

Englad should try recycling like in Germany and the rest of Europe, which reduces impact on the enviroment

Jane K, London, UK

People who are suggesting that 30M people should be killed are being deliberately silly. We just need to encourage people to have fewer babies. Encourage, not force. Immigration is irrelevant because it is world population that counts.

Imogen, Northampton, UK

Science has created it's own vicious circle of junk, now human life is expected to adjust accordingly? Life does not need computers, iphones, cars, etc. to thrive. But yet we're willing to adjust our population to keep these things? Leave life 'as-is', cut out the is good.

Sean P Conlon, New Hudson, USA

What a terribly practical solution. And just how exactly does he propose to drop the population to 30M?

JA, Richmond, England

Staggering number of misinformed (and just plain stupid) comments to this article. Porritt is absolutely correct. Globally high levels of population growth are putting real pressure on the worlds food, fuel and biodiversity. While the pope talks about the evil of condoms people are starving.

Paul, Durham, UK

One bucket of instant sunshine on London should do it then?

Bry Barnes, Somerset, UK

I shouldn't worry too much. The World population will drop drasically, either naturally (starvation) or man made(war) soon enough. We are quickly running out recources. I give it 200-300 years on the outside. Until then I say party like it's 1999.

Mike, Pensacola, USA

Putting the world population all in Texas shows real ignorance. Are you forgetting the rivers for water, the land for growing crops to feed these people, the hospitals, grocery stores, gas stations, and all the polluted factory air? Plus carbon monoxide, cattle methane, public utilities?

Carol Jones, St. Louis, USA

It`s Malthus again. Holland has one of the highest population densities in the world, yet it`s a civilized, peaceful country. The idea of the `lebensraum`is back again in a green package.. Environmental extremists just want to control others to create another inhuman utopia disguised as progress.

I.Hegedus, Toronto, Canada

I cant believe that people actually agree with this although idealistically plausible, it is utterly scary. How is this suppose to be done anyway? Regarding immigration if you stop it altogether would you force all brits around the world to come back 2 as surely they won't be welcomed anywhere else?

IK, London,

Deport immigrants? Ok, but let's start with chavs who have 3 kids by the time they are 20 and who will never work in their lives.

I wonder if the Times passes the comment on...

Alex Tim, London,

The Chinese poulation since the implementation of the 'One Child' policy has grown from approx. 1 billion to approx 1.4 billion.

To halve a population as is being recommended, simply limiting how many children you can have is very unlikely to work.

Andrew Whitehead, London, UK

What an interesting concept. It says nothing about the most populated countries on the planet, simply the most developed. It is the evolution of our social conscience on how to redistribute the global wealth. The question remains who will decide who the 30 million to be eliminated from society are?

Larry Stone, Agate, United States

Water covers 71% of the earth, and is constantly evaporating into the atmosphere, so the belief that we will run out of drinking water is foolish, to answer David. The USA has 1.9 billion acres, excluding Alaska. We could fit 3+ people per acre in the US and use the rest for farming, etc.

John , Rapid City, USA

and how is halving the population to be achieved ?

Dr Kevin Law, Sheppey, UK

There's no escaping a population reduction and it has nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with Peak Oil. Oil has fueled food production and population growth and a decline in production will do the opposite.

Paul Davis, London,

50 billion tonnes CO2 is 0.001 % of the atmosphere (current level is 0.04%). so humans are adding significantly to global warming, just by breathing.

Jonathon Porritt is right to raise the issue, but I don't think he's suggesting killing people to get the numbers down.

Helen, Wrexham, Wales

Hello! Planet Earth here. Just like to say, thanks for thinking about me but all I want to do is go around the Sun. When you say ‘Save the Planet’ you are being selfish again and mean save yourself. Thanks and all but I’ve off to do a bit more orbiting.

Derek Smith, Brighton, UK

I recently returned to Canada after spending almost 3 years in England, it is very refreshing to have a lot of open space and a much lighter population density again, the UK is too crowded and should have a smaller population to make it more liveable.

john w, hamilton , canada

No politician in a democracy is going to address population control - it's political suicide. All we'll get is a load of airy rhetoric. But Porritt is right - a British baby will generate thousands of times more CO2 in her lifetime than an African baby. We really should begin at home.

Nullius, london, uk

Sounds like eugenics to me; something I am not an advocate of.

Alex, London,

"The Tory leader, David Cameron, has also suggested Britain needs a “coherent strategy” on population growth."

I would love to hear Camerons 'strategy'. hasnt that been practiced somewhere before?....

Alex, windsor,

Just in case no one noticed, the article did not say that "slowing growth" was necessary. It said that "cutting the population" was the necessity. So I ask this: Who goes and who decides? Is emigration an option, or is a more permanent solution to be recommended?

Bill, San Francisco, USA

Using this logic you could argue that not only should the population of developed countries be cut, but we also must keep those people in lesser developed countries poor since they will use more resources as they become richer. Both arguments are silly.

Mike Ross, Dallas, Texas, USA

If the change proposed is as fundamental as reducing birth-rates, contingent matters such as pensions and so on are irrelevant. A new system can always be devised; since when are social arrangements such as the pension system set in stone?

Jimmy, London,

Far greater crop density is possible using GM tech; water can be synthesised; we are starting to learn how to be more energy savvy. We are the most innovative species on the planet, & despite centuries of forecasts of doom we are healthier than ever all thanks to innovation. Long may it continue.

Anthony, Swindon,

Why won't any of these green 'experts' engage in a public debate against people who disagree with their point of view? I would imagine if things are so dire, the green 'experts' would debate anyone and everyone at every chance.

London, Windermere, FL, USA

The government cannot let the population dwindle !

If a country is not reproducing sufficiently to at least maintain the existing population level then there are not enough workers in the future to pay the taxes to subsidize pensions, health, welfare requirements, etc. Hence immigration.

J Keohane, london ,

You need pupulation growth or at least status quo to subsidize the future pensions, welfare, health requirements. This will always be the gov't priority over green issues. This is why countries like Italy are incentivising couples/partners to have children.

J Keohane, london ,

This is hilarious. This Chicken Little mentality has been espoused for years. Simply look to the writings and legacy of Paul Ehrlich to see how wrong these people are.

Dave R, Gainesville, USA

So when you quit having babies, and for the most part you already have, who will be left to go to work and fill your tax coffers? Do you plan to import your tax payers? Well, that's certainly worked out well so far.

Carolyn, Ruskin FL, USA

"No, 50 bn tonnes is about 0.01% of the total weight of the atmosphere. "

The estimated weight of the atmosphere is 5,500,000,000,000,000 (55 quadrillion tons). 50b tons is something like one part in a million. A tiny fraction of total mass.

Dr Robert Laundon, London, UK

Porritt is not right in principle nor will he ever be. John are you serious? You want to have a 1-child (boy) policy like China's?

Shawn, Nebraska, USA

It baffles me, how so many of the commentors here have bought into the elites plan to control society.
Are you being whipped into a frenzy and groomed to accept more control of your lives?
Did you accept that the Banks were given bail outs of tax money, when they aren't owned by us?

Ask WHY?

James Heilbronn, Wolverhamtpon, UK

So that's the plan of the government, then: just keep doing what Britain has done to lose all of it's colonies (aka the shopkeeper mentality), and eventually enough of it's own people will emigrate!

Marcus, Tampa, USA

Population control should be regulated like every other drain on resources. It seems pretty obvious. It will have to be at some stage anyway, so why not start now. The Western World is the bit doing the consuming, not the Third World. For our own sake we should probably cut back a bit.

Mike, Chester,

Most of Europe is well on the way to becoming a vast cemetery while Asia, with a growing population, outpaces it in brains, productivity and numbers.

The west has naively swallowed the green koolaid that is wiping it out.

Patrick, Frankfurt, Germany

FACT: The entire population of the world could live in Texas, USA. 4 people to a house, each home 1200 SQ Ft on a 60X80FT lot. If you live in a densely populated area, I suppose you could think there was overpopulation. Get out of the city! Look! 1000's of miles of undisturbed nature! Really!

wozerd, Medway, USA

Poor old Porritt, surely mis-reported to some degree. A bit like saying if Britain is to prevent car accident deaths we must reduce the speed limit to 3mph. Fairly obvious really but wildly idealistic and controlling.

Pete, Lancashire, UK

Stop immigration.

Ragnarb, Ringwood, USA

The populations of Western Europe, Italy, Japan and North America are shrinking. In developed countries women naturally control the size of populations by having fewer children. No government plan needed. In the undeveloped world, women produce many children.

Bill Sardi, San Dimas, USA

I'm disappointed that no one has (apparently) yet screamed 'racist' or 'neocon'. I thought the desparate desire to build on every conceivable green space to house the poor and hungry from all over the world and create the largest council estate ever, was at the heart of our great liberal democracy.

Mark, Berkhamsted,

If everyone turns vegan, there will be more than enough food, water and clean air for everyone. Right now, all the food is being served to animals, so that we kill them and eat them.

PK, London,

The population question was always the weak point in hard Green Politics. So now we know the Green Party is fundamentally illogical and a lot less Green, in a true sense, than the right of the Conservative party and the BNP.

martin, peterborough,

Close the borders to new unskilled immigration, Deport all foreign non productive individuals & criminals. Deport failed asylum seekers, NOW!

Andy, London, England

Appears that the herd needs to be thinned.

Melvin, Jacksonville, US

So Japan is heading in the right direction - declining birth rate will mean greater self-sufficiency in energy and food - and no immigration needed.

Chie, Tokyo, Japan

Sometimes I wonder if Osama Bin laden should just donate to the green lefties..... Do you think for a second that our Islamic brothers will cut population growth.???

mark simon, hong kong , hong kong

I moved from UK to NZ. Same size land area. 55 million less people in it!
You have no idea how much better life is once you get rid of some population pressure. Empty roads, smaller towns, smaller queues etc etc.
Max of 2 children per family ASAP. Tax bonuses for having none.

Freddo, Wellington, NZ

USA citizens use 24% of the worlds resources now. If you keep on allowing population increase and then need to go to war again over oil quite frankly my dears talk to the hand. The ears won't be listening.

Danielle, Peterborough, UK

There should be a maximum of 2 or 3 children per family. Any more and you don't get benefits for them.

Sasch, London,

I would disagree about the third world not needing population control. If there is not enough food and people are born stunted because their Mothers are treated like brood mares there will be few healthy people. Healthy people can solve problems for themselves..People migrate from dire poverty.

Ian, Cambridge, UK

2 good books

The Limits to Growth; the 30 Year Update

Overshoot by WR Catton jnr

industrial agriculture runs on OIL

unfortunately we have already burnt almost half the oil on the planet
the other half will be much more expensive
crude oil production 70 mbpd approx.

debbie glover, berrigan, australia

Projections of over 9 Billion people by 2050.
Projections of vastly reduce oil & gas supplies by 2050.
Projections of climate change affecting food & water supplies by 2050.

Result = Within 40 years major geopolitical conflicts around the globe, ie WWIII or we do something about it NOW!

Rick, Worthing, UK

And pray tell where are the 30 million people supposed to go to? Population across the World needs to be reduced but just remember we need the young to work to provide for the old - otherwise no more gold-plated pensions. Can't see MPs voting for that.

Ian , Bristol,

Jenn The Chinese have a huge problem and it beggars belief
that it was not forseen. Most of the countries in South East Asia
are missing women. 100 million are missing worldwide. A lot of blokes need to discover celibacy,polyandry, or their inner gay self.Or we are going to be at war, a lot.

Lisa, Oxford, UK

50 billions tons of CO2?!?!?
Why, that's almost 0.00000000000001% of the atmosphere!!

No, 50 bn tonnes is about 0.01% of the total weight of the atmosphere. There really isn't very much atmosphere there to mess with. Climb a mountain and you soon run out if it. It is a very, very thin layer.

Nigel, Esher, UK

Thomas Malthus, 'Principle of Population', written two hundred years ago....still , what did he know?.

Richard cairncross, bournemouth, ENGLAND

"I would be looking for a population small enough to be fed by our farmers. And let Britain be a peacful agricultural society."

Ah you mean roll back the industrial revolution and all live as peasants and die from our dentition aged 28?

James Edward, London, UK

Now were beginning to see the real agenda of the elite. I have researched this subject deeply and make no mistake about it, mass genocide is on the cards beginning with mass sterilisation leading to 50 year olds being asked to attend farewell centres. Porritt and people of his ilk are dangerous.

Robert, Aberdeen, UK

Some not very bright people on here!,Who on earth is talking about a cull of people. Population reduction is done over a period of many years.Its simple have less children .
Less children = more food around +less pollution+more countryside +less overcrowded hospitals,public transport ,roads,etc.etc

Lee, Middlesbrough, UK

remember the dinosaurs... One tiny island reducing its population and eventually going extinct will not make a difference. Only thing Britains Greens will acheive is to make Britains viewpoint even more irrelevant! Wake up guys! You can still be a world power-just sack your political advisors

jay, goa , india

The world can sustain a much bigger population; what it cannot sustain is domination of food production by huge greedy corporations and the complete disregard for intelligent farming methods in the hunt for profit. Beware of OPT PR fronts for other agendas.

Paul, Johannesburg, South Africa

We don't to cull, merely control immigration and change our child subsidy policy. A child allowance for the first child, another for the second, minus one for the third and back to zero for four or more. If you can afford them, have them, if you can't, don't expect us all to pay for them.

John, Kingston upon Thames, UK

June of Denver-The agricultural revolution was certainly the product of intellect and ingenuity in harnessing tremendous quantities of energy to enhance food production. An order of magnitude greater intellect and ingenuity will be needed to feed double the current population on half the energy

john, high wycombe, UK

Here we go again. Nothing new in attempting to curb a population explosion by stopping immigration. Everyone other than politicians will see the logic of such an essential step. Where is our Enoch Powell now?

David hanson, Wanneroo,

About time somebody realised we are in this mess because of over population..........What a joke when say we need more houses, no we don't, we need less people, we are a blight, a parasite, a virus on this unfortunate planet and the creatures on it that don't want for anything other than to survive.

Ian Nicholson, Builth Wells, Powys

Gee, who is going to keep up all the social programs with so little population? the trouble with Japan and Europe is that they are NOT reproducing (or at least people will to work and pay taxes) enough and the countries can no longer (or soon) support their social structure; they are dying off.

jenn, danville, USA

Hey Andrew,
Nature didn't give us doctors or medicine either. Besides the planet was doing fine before the naked ape got up on his hind legs and it will be doing fine after we join the dinosaurs so quit the egotistical nonsense about "save the planet.

Hank Vreeland, Libby, USA

China now has a male under 30 population who are aggressive, sometimes violent, marriageless because of so few women, rapes, and violent crime is up, causing a huge but underlying problem in China (although it tries to suppress that info).

Jenn, danville, USA

Over population is at the root of nearly all the World's ills. Too many people, too few resources. Our relentless quest to preserve and extend life will be our downfall. The global population needs to fall - and it will - one way or the other.

David, Hong Kong,

World population growth must be reversed. There are too many people on this planet right now. The soil is being
depleted and fresh water supply is not able to keep up with
For starters, England and America must stop ALL immigration. Here in America, we have over 305 million

Dan O'Connor, West Harrison, USA

Malthus 'predicted' that as population increased geometrically food production would only increase arithmatically creating a food shortage. Then the agriculture revolution happened. Homo sapiens = intelect and ingenuity. Beware of science used to justify who procreates and who does not.

June, Denver , USA

I can't believe the things that are being said and being planned over something that is a lie. That lie is global warming. There are hundreds of scientists with scientific fact to contradict everything that is being touted by these alarmists. Why won't they debate some of these scientist

Cecil, Mullins,

Wow. Global Warming sure is a crazy religion.

David, Seattle, WA

The ISSUE about Population growth is not the Oxygen consumed or the human emissions but is the amount of WATER that each Human needs to sustain life. The resource that is the most depleted in the World is fresh water,the icecaps may well in future years be lost by being used for fresh water supply.

David Batten, EastFalmouth, U S A

Guess what? Plant life is pumping out TRILLIONS of tons of Oxygen, a deadly chemical that causes fires, every year Brits, keep doing your bit to turn it back into harmless CO2. The excess carbon is trapped in dead plants and eventually turns into coal, safely buried below ground. How amazing.

bai pon kee, Dallas, Texas, USA

We have to think long and hard. The human race has over populated the planet, clearly. We are now a threat to the whole planet as it unfortunately cannot cope in a natural way to our unnatural things such as science and industry. Why should we be able to drive cars - nature didn't give us cars.

Andrew, London, UK

Some global warming predictions forecast an attrition in world population within thirty years of between three to four billion. That should solve our CO2 emissions. Better to plan on how humanity can survive in a world we can't keep from changing

Hank Vreeland, Libby, USA

50 billions tons of CO2?!?!?
Why, that's almost 0.00000000000001% of the atmosphere!!
Everyone has to stop having babies immediately!!!

Anson, Honolulu, USA

Wow, this guy probably wouldn't appreciate me and my five children.

Howard, Colorado Springs, USA

Sadly, without 30 years of mass immigration our pops. WOULD have been decreasing quite naturally. But we have been told again & again on the basis of highly dubious economics (i.e. "bigger pop. = better economy") that a decrease was a bad thing and that therefore we need immigrants to replace us.

bertram, london,

Never thought I'd ever agree with China, but in this sense I do. It is completely irresponsible for anyone in today's society to reproduce themselves more than once. We aren't rabbits; supposedly we have the ability think and reason. Not genocide, but birth control and self control!

Gloria, Tulsa, USA

All those in support of this cut in population; can I assume that you will all be the first volunteers to step forward to be culled?

And will Mr Porrit be at the front of the queue... probably not.

MM, Malvern, UK

Unrealistic Unethical Immoral!
Family planning, for big or small, is a personal choice, not the choice of any govt. I shudder to think of the numerous ways the govt can find to "reduce" the population. (AIDS, H5N1?) Here in the USA we are over 300mil. Think "The Stand" "there is no Capt Trips"

Paula Revere, Bedford VA, USA

The Chinese saw that curbing their population was essential so they implemented restrictions. Now China is on the right road to prosperity, this is not about Left wing or Right wing policies but simple common sense, we cannot go on with the massive uncontrolled immigration we have now.

Toby, Bree, Belgium

I can't believe people are supporting this. Am I losing my mind or is this advocating slaughter on a mass scale, mass genocide by a group of crazy eugenicists who run our world, and who are now using the whole environment, climate change scam to remove eventually 80% of the World's population!

scott, teesside,

I find it funny that over 50 years ago Britain was called 'this crowded little island' and yet now we are talking 70 million? It is a sad fact that if too many people jump on the life boat, it sinks, which is already evident in this country, and culture and society go down with it.

Josh, Sheffield, England

Truth is, if it weren't for immigration, most counties in the 'developed' world were not maintaining population. ie population growth has been due to immigration, not excessive breeding!

Dave Evans, Peterlee, England

Formerly a rare disease, one worst-case scenario predicts that BSE-infected meat will push the incidence of CJD in humans to claim 10,000 British lives by the year 2000, and a further 10 million by the year 2010. Another predicts that half the British people, some 30 million, will be left brain-dead

george o., manchester,

Whats the point in have massive populations if there is not enough food to feed everyone. Already with todays population there are millions of people malnourished and dying from famine. They are not "anti-human" as some people say,but advocate a sustainable human population!

Brad, Fredericton, Canada

And the lemmings go to their own slaughter. Good luck in your brave new world, you will need it.

Damian Balthaser, Grafenwohr, Germany

The only reason Britain's' population is increasing is due to immigration (birthrate is 1.7 births/woman which is 0.4lower than required to maintain steady population). Is he suggesting stopping all immigration?

Jason Nichols, Newport, US

I would say Porritt needs to look at other ways the UK could survive in a sustainable manner rather than just cutting the population in half. Like ensuring most food is grown locally rather than imported and encouraging people to grow their own food for a start.

Jen, sydn, Australia

While it makes sense to at least sustain the population at the current level or to reduce it a bit, achieving what Porritt recommends would require measures such as euthanising all people over 65 and is at its core totally anti-human. Adopting a less wasteful lifestyle is preferable.

Charles, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

There has never been a culture that has been a success in the face of a falling population. This is an idea that is dumb beyond belief.

Mike, Minneapolis, USA

Population control is an absolute must to avoid long term (i.e 50-200 year) issues becoming the next world wars etc.
Something has to be done now other wise any later 'controls' will be horrendous. Small supportive VOLUNTARY family planning control changes now will benefit the generations to come.

Gene, Heathfield, East Sussex

So the BNP is right after all? No wonder some members of the other parties at local levels especially the disaster one in power are joining the BNP.

BJ Deller, Marbella, Spain

Porritt is right but we all know that it is not going to happen as a result of government (any government) policy. However the laws of physics are made of sterner stuff and famine, war, disease and environmental degradation will do the job very nicely, thankyou.

Anthony Back, Wellington, Telford, England

Ah yes. Population control.

Forced abortions. Food rationing at starvation levels. Widespread use of the death penalty.

The things of which collectivist dreams are made.

Edward, Las Vegas, USA

Well at least they are finally being honest with their motive now, which has been all along to be able to get rid of humans (whoever they decide that should be) in the name of the environment. These folks are over the edge and that they have an audience is despicable.

Colleen, Seattle, USA

I wonder if Mr. Porritt is willing to start with himself? I'm guessing not. It's always about "you other people" and never "I need to change".

I feel sorry for you Brits. But we will be joining you soon, I'm sure of it.

Derek, Eagan, MN

Interesting. Assuming both governments today could remove all illegal immigrants, what would they propose as a plan to remove the remaining millions of their own citizens that would need to be downsized?

Pamela, Lake Ozark, USA

Why stop at 30M? Cut to 15M! But wait! Let's cut it to 7.5M! Really why stop there, after all it's for Mother Earth! Everyone must go! Please line up in a single file line, drink a cup of Kool-Aid & lay down in the nice hole you dug for yourself. Lib's & global warming nuts get to go 1st.

Jason, Phoenix, USA

And just which Ministry will manage the inevitable cull?

Western Gael, Colorado Springs, US

This is what Greens believe. We've seen this in our own country as well. Eventually, the whole thing boils down to population. This is why they're against everything we do no matter how hard we work to avoid harming the environment. The radical core of the environmental movement is anti-human.

William Rogers, Los Angeles, USA

The obvious answer to them: You go first.

Stephanie, Missoula, USA

To achieve this we need to stop all immigration.But our current MP`s say immigration is a benefit.
So more of us look to the Right .Not racism - pragmatism. Lib/Lab/Con `s won`t halt EU expansion -it`s coming soon.
Population of Turkey again?
Tons of room. Breathe in.No worries- vote as before.

Tom F, Caister-on-Sea, England

How can these people talk like this,they handed over power on immigration to the E.U who in turn let hundreds of thousands flood our country and then they have the cheek to say some has to be done to lower the population.To start with lets send all the hundreds of thousand of illegals home.

Stuart, Kettering,

Can JonathonPorritt explain why he believes CO2 is a cause of global warming when CO2 is a result of warming rather than a cause of warming. There is much of the con-trick in this argument and governments use it as a handy tax generator. The information is out there, just research it.

Ray, UK,

Makes perfect sense. Shame no-one will listen to him.

Gary, Romford,

I would be looking for a population small enough to be fed by our farmers.
And let Britain be a peacful agricultural society.

John, RAK, UAE

Government keeps advocating economic growth but if the rate of growth is lower than the rate of increase in population, then individually, we are actually worse off! China has had a population policy for over two decades. The sooner UK develops such a policy the less painful it will be to implement.

John, london, uk

Porritt is right in principle though the number is unlikely to be achievable, even if we can agree that it is an appropriate level. Government needs to recognise that they can't increase one sector of the economy (aviation) without increasing stresses on other sectors ie energy, transport & housing.

John, london, uk

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All information posted on this web site is the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer of your choice for medical care and advice.