The Fellowship of Life
World Population Conference 1974
WHATEVER your cause it's a LOST cause unless we LIMIT POPULATION.
This is World Population Year. It OUGHT to be a momentous year in the history of the human race - the year in which mankind took far-reaching steps to control the increase of the earth's teeming millions. In view of the effect of over-population on every aspect of life, including the welfare and future of the world's animals, we asked our Patron, Dr. John A. Loraine, who is Chairman of the Doctors and Overpopulation Group, if he would send us a message for our members. He wrote as follows:
"Nineteen seventy four has been designated World Population Year, and its culmination will be the World Population Conference in Bucharest in August. This will be a historic occasion because, for the first time in human history, Governments will be given the opportunity of providing their views on the dominant issue of the last third of the 20th century.
Up till now politicians in all countries and of all ideological persuasions have feared population control as an electoral issue. For example, in the recent British General Election of February 1974 the topic was not raised at the hustings. The time has now come for politicians to grasp the population nettle, to permit free dialogue on this subject and to perceive the global malady of over-population as one of the great watersheds of human history. Let us hope that in Bucharest politicians will awaken to their responsibilities and that we shall see the first faltering steps towards a global population policy."
I share Dr. Loraine's concern that population control was not an issue in the recent Election campaign and fervently support his hope that world politicians meeting in Bucharest later this year WILL awaken to their responsibilities. To try to deal with the many problems resulting from over-population WITHOUT tackling the source problem is like closing the stable door after the horse has gone.
It was after the seemingly everlasting round of broadcast pre-election speeches that by chance I heard on the radio reference to the fact that with the present population of the United Kingdom at around 55 million we have to import considerably more than 50 per cent of our food, much of this from countries which will not be able to supply anything like this quantity for long because of their own needs due to the population increase and understandable desire for higher living standards. The inescapable inference from this is that Britain (now densely over-populated), to be self-supporting needs to have only 25 million people. Yet we are losing something like 40,000 acres of agricultural land EACH YEAR to build new cities roughly the size of Southampton!
We are eating up the world's resources fast because of over-population, hence the shortages already to be seen in the shops and felt in the pocket through the price increases which will, whatever anyone may say to the contrary, continue to spiral upwards as food and raw materials become scarcer still throughout the world. Thinking people knew years ago just what we were heading for, yet family allowances were introduced at a time when we should have been taking an opposite course to discourage the birthrate. If politicians had had the good sense and the courage to introduce family penalties (for those who exceed more than a certain number of children) or alternatively family rewards (for those who showed restraint), we might not now be faced with the desperate situation which will require drastic and unpopular remedies. I understand that the Japanese have made a start by making it 'unpatriotic' to have large families.
It is estimated by the United Nations that at our present rate of increase by the year 2,000 another 6 million people will be added to Britain's population. World-wide, the population has already reached 3.8 thousand millions, and is expected to reach 6.5 thousand millions within 27 years!
MORE PEOPLE require more food, world resources of all kinds, including energy resources for fuel, industry and transport.
MORE PEOPLE take up more of the agricultural land and 'natural' places for more roads, railroads, towns and industry.
MORE PEOPLE make more congestion, pollution and noise.
MORE PEOPLE make everybody more prone to bad temper, tension, argument, strife and war because they have to live closer together, compete for the available space, food, housing, services and resources.
MORE PEOPLE mean a WORSE OUTLOOK than ever for the remainder of the world's animals.
This problem MUST concern us all whatever our age. We have a duty to let the Government know our concern and our desire to see Britain participating boldly and fearlessly in the world attempts to grapple with the problem,
President of the Crusade Against All Cruelty to Animals
From The Living World Vol.1. No.9., 1974.
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