many within the environmentalist movement naively attribute much of
the climate change crisis to over-population. A few even claim too
many people is the biggest problem.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) specialist, Jeffrey
Bates, explained, “One misconception is
that more people automatically equals more emissions...Higher
population is usually assumed to mean more eating and drinking, more
driving or more energy use - all of which under our current model
cause major greenhouse gas emissions. Yet emissions are not equally
distributed across the world's population, any more than the
consumption of food or cars, or the use of air conditioning,"
Bates told Al Jazeera, drawing attention to vast inequality between -
and within - countries. The
UNFPA spokesperson said, "Right now, only 2.5 billion people
make enough money - more than $10 per day - to consume enough to
contribute to emissions." He continued. "And
among this group, a small minority is responsible for an overwhelming
share of the damage. The data on
population and emissions show that slowing population growth, even
rapidly, is not a shortcut to preventing climate change."