By Hilary White

LONDON, February 2, 2009 ( – While demographers continue to warn of an onrushing, and virtually irreversible, demographic collapse in Europe because of the aging of the European population, a top British government advisor has called for more abortion and contraception to “save the environment.” The chairman of Britain’s Sustainable Development Commission said this weekend that couples who have more than two children are “irresponsible.”

According to Jonathan Porritt abortion and contraception are the preferred solutions to the world’s environmental problems. Porritt, who had been Tony Blair’s adviser on the environment, said, “I think we will work our way towards a position that says that having more than two children is irresponsible. It is the ghost at the table. We have all these big issues that everybody is looking at and then you don’t really hear anyone say the ‘p’ word.”

The former Green Party politician told the Sunday Times, “I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate.” He decried Britain’s high rate of teenage pregnancy, and the fact that the country still has “relatively high levels of pregnancies going to birth.”

A report by the commission, to be published next month, will say that governments must reduce population growth through better “family planning,” (which means abortion and contraception) even if it means reducing funding for curing illness. Porritt said that a focus of his work will be to urge environmentalist groups to make population control a part of their lobbying efforts.

The Times also quoted the Optimum Population Trust, a pro-abortion radical environmentalist organisation of which Porritt is a patron, who says that each baby born in Britain will, during his or her lifetime, burn carbon roughly equivalent to 2½ acres of old-growth oak woodland.

The equation made by the population control movement, whose major tools are abortion, sterilisation and contraception, between environmentalist doctrine and the reduction of human population is long established. In June this year, the Optimum Population Trust said that a “voluntary population policy” should be imposed in British law. In 2007, the Trust, reacting to news of a slight increase in the British birth rate, said that the government must institute a two-child policy, similar to that of the People’s Republic of China.

In his book “Towards a Theology of the Environment”, Fr. Paul Haffner, an author and professor of theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, said this kind of anti-human thinking is typical of what he calls the materialist “ecologism” ideology that values “the earth” or the environment more than human life.

Fr. Haffner points to the fact that the population control movement particularly aims at reducing the birth rate and population of developing countries.

“These ideological manipulations have an egoistic philosophy at their roots, which, in reality, seeks to make life ever more pleasurable for rich countries while ignoring underdeveloped areas.”

Ironically, he wrote that the result of imposing the population reduction doctrine on developing countries is often the opposite of the stated goal: “In some of the poorest countries,” he wrote, “birth control often deprives cities of the manpower necessary for the development and care of the environment.”

Speaking to, Fr. Haffner said, “The environmentalist movement is riddled with contradictions from beginning to end. They on the one hand are saying that they’re against a so-called consumerist mentality but they’re just as materialist as the consumerists they condemn.”

Reaction to Porritt’s comments in the British press has not been positive. Bruno Waterfield, Brussels correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, wrote that Porritt’s equation of environmental sustainability with human self-extinction is commonplace on the left.

Calling it “the anti-human essence and prejudice behind environmentalism,” Waterfield wrote, “Environmentalists see birth as pollution. For most of us a new child means new life. For the greens it means yet more dirty destruction.”

Melanie Philips, a columnist for the Daily Mail and the Spectator, asked, “Why do Green zealots think they can dictate how many children we are allowed to have?” Philips wrote that Porritt is “not so much a friend of the earth as an enemy of the human race.”

“What kind of sinister and dehumanised mindset is this? It is no coincidence that the country which comes nearest to Jonathon’s ideal society is Communist China, which imposed a murderously cruel policy of restricting families to one child apiece.

“For the desire to reduce the number of children that parents produce is innately totalitarian.”

Read related coverage:

No Such thing as a Right to Have Babies: Population Trust

Government Must Institute Two-Child Policy says Leading UK Population Control Group