By Hilary White

  LONDON, July 12, 2007 ( – One of the UK’s leading population control lobbyists, the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), has issued a warning of environmental disaster if British couples do not restrict themselves to a two-child maximum.

  A report issued by OPT titled, “Youthquake,” calls on the British government to institute a public campaign to convince couples to “stop at two children” or “have one child less.” It says, “Each new UK birth, through the inevitable resource consumption and pollution that UK affluence generates, is responsible for about 160 times as much climate-related environmental damage as a new birth in Ethiopia, or 35 times as much as a new birth in Bangladesh.”

  The OPT is particularly alarmed that the world’s population is growing younger and blames the NHS for closing “family planning clinics”, citing Britain’s high levels of teenage pregnancy. “Youthquake” flies in the face of most other studies, however, that show nearly all European countries, including Britain, are facing a massive demographic collapse and disastrously aging populations.

  The Guardian quotes John Guillebaud, head of OPT and professor of family planning and reproductive health at University College, who wrote, “UK population has grown by 20 per cent since 1950 – in less than a lifetime. There are more than 60 million people now living in the UK, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and our numbers are rising faster than ever before. UK population is growing by the equivalent of a city larger than Cardiff every year.”

  The population of Britain, however, has largely increased not due to increased fertility, but immigration. While the fertility rate, at 1.66 children born per woman, is well below replacement level, immigrants have flooded the country from all over the world. In 2005, net immigration into Britain was 185,000 which, on a population of 60 million, is 0.31 per cent. Between 1995 and 2004 there was a net inflow of 880,000 international immigrants to London alone.

  The theory that human population growth and economic prosperity are harbingers of environmental doom is foundational to the international population control movement. The OPT issued a report in May that said bluntly, “the best carbon-offset strategy” to address global warming was to reduce the number of human beings.

“Population limitation should therefore be seen as the most cost-effective carbon offsetting strategy available to individuals and nations,” the group’s previous report said.

  Paul Tully, General Secretary of Britain’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, told that a strong reaction from government to OPT’s report is unlikely. “We’re still below replacement,” Tully said. “There have been comments from a few quarters but generally environmental overpopulation mantra has died out or died down in the media in the last few years. I think they’re just miffed they are not getting as much of the media limelight as they used to. “
  Tully said, however, that the British government is already thoroughly committed to population control measures, especially linked to its foreign development policy.

“Our government last year set up a global fund to support UNFPA and IPPF to replace the funding [US] President Bush has withdrawn. Our government has really been working overtime to promote the population control agenda.”

  A brief debate in the House of Lords on July 9, illustrates. The Lords minister for overseas development, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, made the comment that when it comes to “family planning” in Africa, “that policy should be driven not by moral ideology, but by a firm evidence base.”

  Baroness Royall of Blaisdon said the British government “ha[s] some problems” with the US development policies that outlaw funding for abortion groups. When asked if she really meant that abortion policy should not be driven by moral concerns, Baroness Royall replied, “My Lords, where issues such as abortion are concerned, yes, I did mean it very firmly.”

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