What a loon

The co-host of the BBC\’s Springwatch programme said that everyone must do their bit for the environment. \”If I didn\’t recycle and shop locally, I couldn\’t see the point of being human,\” he told the Radio Times.

That\’s Chris Packham.

Art, religion, the beauty of a summer\’s day. love, no, all are worth less than bloody recycling.

Setting out his radical approach, Packham said: \”There\’s no point bleating about the future of pandas, polar bears and tigers when we\’re not addressing the one single factor that\’s putting more pressure on the ecosystem than any other – namely the ever-increasing size of the world\’s population.

\”I wouldn\’t actually penalise people for having too many children, as I think the carrot always works better than the stick. But I would offer them tax breaks for having small families – say, 10 per cent off your tax bill if you decide to stick with just one child. And an even bigger financial incentive if you choose not to have a family at all.

\”I read the other day that, by 2020, there are going to be 70 million people in Britain. Let\’s face it, that\’s too many.

And he doesn\’t seem to realise that that ever expanding population thing is already being solved. As the world gets rich people are having fewer children. We just don\’t need to do anything more than simple economic growth.

12 thoughts on “What a loon”

  1. Surely that doesn’t mean the world’s population is getting smaller, though?

    [his arguments are nonsense, of course, and slightly strange for a man who made his ‘fame’ from children’s TV]

  2. The population is still growing but at slower and slower rates as countries get richer. It’s already being noticed in India that family size is getting smaller.

  3. Matthew,

    The worlds population is now expected to peak at around 11 billion (of the top of my head so might be out by a bit) and the gradually start to decrease. The whale curve strikes again… (I do think that the whale curve is one of the more interesting phenomenas in development of basically anything – from innovations to population, to economic growth)

  4. So it’s not getting smaller for quite a long time then? What’s the current population, 7 billion?

    Tim adds: Current UN estimate is 7 billion now, rising to 9 billion around 2050, then decline back to 7 billion in 2100.

    Actually, there are several UN estimates, but that’s one of them and that’s the one that is used by the IPCC in their A1 family of scenarios. And the A1 family is the one which assumes increasde globalisation, a market based economy and economic growth this coming century like economic growth of the last. Essentially, it’s the straight line projection.

  5. Actually, according to Wikipedia it’s not 11 mn but 9 mn

    “In 2006, the United Nations stated that the rate of population growth is diminishing due to the demographic transition. If this trend continues, the rate of growth may diminish to zero, concurrent with a world population plateau of 9.2 billion, in 2050.[65] However, this is only one of many estimates published by the UN. In 2009, UN projections for 2050 range from about 8 billion to 10.5 billion.[66]”

    I would recommend that you read Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist if you think this number is too high

  6. I wonder what Mr Packham thinks about the demographic disaster which would happen if people actually paid attention to his lunacy.

  7. I agree with him. However the best way to reduce the population in Britian would be to stop paying people to have children.
    I know people who are pro single mums – if that was not a career path anymore it would help reduce the numbers in the UK.

  8. “I wouldn’t actually penalise people for having too many children, as I think the carrot always works better than the stick. But I would offer them tax breaks for having small families – say, 10 per cent off your tax bill if you decide to stick with just one child. And an even bigger financial incentive if you choose not to have a family at all.”

    An easier way of doing this would be to remove child benefit, and redistribute the benefits evenly as a reduction in tax. I wish him luck with that one……

    OTOH, I do think recycling is worth more than talking to sky pixies. 🙂

  9. What scares me is that ultiately all these greenie loons seem to end up arguing for a more or less forced reduction in the human population. Presumably the reducing not being enforced on themselves or any of their chums.

  10. “I read the other day that, by 2020, there are going to be 70 million people in Britain. Let’s face it, that’s too many.”

    What’s the “right” number then?

  11. ‘What’s the right number then?’

    Me, the wife, the barman at the Dog & Duck, my turf accountant, and … Hang on, I’m still thinking.

  12. Bernie,

    If we’re talking about Packham, the answer is undoubtedly something along these lines:

    Myself, the wife and the sprogs, obviously. Then there’s all our chums at the tennis club. Tarquin, Grizelda and their kids. That awfully nice couple we met in Tuscany last year. Oh and I suppose we’d better have a handful of proles as well otherwise we might have to run the ciabatta bakery and Waitrose ourselves. Can’t have that.

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