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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

What affect would a 1 year, 5 year, 10 year moratorium on human procreation have on the planet?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (29041 points ) June 29th, 2011

Aside from the obvious ethical battle against it, would a limited moratorium on procreation have a positive or negative affect on the planet?

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10 Answers

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

If people actually complied, I think the biggest problem would be a lack of income earners 20 years down the track to pay taxes when the older generations start retiring. Considering the average life expectancy keeps increasing, as do aged care costs, we either need to make people work until they are somewhat older, or have a larger population of young people.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I think it would be positive, mostly. The environment would obviously benefit. However, better yet would be to go the way of China and have one child per woman/couple. It is much less drastic than a complete halt in procreation.

flutherother's avatar

I am in favour of limiting population growth, but I think there are better ways of doing it.

AdamF's avatar

You’d cause a baby boom prior to and at the end of the moratorium. If you were possibly considering having kids, and some totalitarian state was capable of enforcing such a rule, you’d breed before. And if you didn’t have a chance before, and thought they could enforce another moratorium after, then you’d breed as soon as you could when the moratorium ended. The longer the moratorium, the bigger the incentive to breed while you can.

Which would cause a concentrated increase in resource requirements associated with both the before moratorium and after moratorium baby boom, which would carry on through the subsequent decades as these generations aged.

You’d be introducing a problematic pulse in population to the problem of population, and most likely not making any real dent in population growth….oh and adding a whole bunch of other additional problems to society (enforcement?, infanticide, etc…).

GracieT's avatar

Actually, @athenagriffin, I agreed with China at first with the one child per family policy. But then after thinking it through I I realized that it would have the problems that are now plaguing it. They now are seeing what happens. There is a shortage of woman because many female fetuses are being aborted, they are having a generation of spoiled male kids. One child per family has backfired. I realize that I really can’t make generalizations across the board, but it is happening.

incendiary_dan's avatar

For the record, I think the best plan for ethical and gradual population decline to sustainable levels is to empower women to be able to make their own family planning choices and to be able to discuss it openly with other women in their community.

The effect would be the almost total collapse of the diaper and squishy rubber toy industries. They’d barely survive, only because of adult diapers and doggy toys.

athenasgriffin's avatar

@GracieT I believe that the problems in china have more to do with the nature of their society than the one child policy. In other countries with no controls on the number of children, the practice of preference for male fetuses is also common. If society was less sexist, than that would never be a problem.

GracieT's avatar

@athenasgriffin, I do agree on the problem being endemic to the society, but the problems still exists due to the removal of girls in China. I think that our disagreement is mainly semantic, since the cultural issues result in the lesser numbers of females from society. The lower number of girls results from the cultural problems in their society, and the one child per family will still be an problem until the cultural beliefs shift.

mattbrowne's avatar

The effect would be a worsening of demographic change in developed countries.

Ron_C's avatar

Anytime people speak about limiting population growth, the conservatives accuse them of eugenics. Especially if they suggest the best way to limit famines in Africa is to encourage birth control. Even Mother Teresa argued against birth control in India which I would consider a crime against humanity.

Unfortunately the only way to limit population without getting into battles about being politically correct are war and famine. It seems that the instinct to breed is part of our reaction to both situations.

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