“The single best thing you can do to save the world is to have one child.” That’s how Jack opened DEA 422, environmental design class. The amount of resources an american consumes is just enormous–10x or more compared to someone in the third world. With 6.5 billion people on the planet, we’re going to run out of resources, and we’re going to run out of environmental buffering capacity–and soon. To willingly increase the population, especially in a hyperdeveloped nation, is ethically wrong. The argument “we’re rich, we can afford it” is completely false–it’s backward.
Recently France and South Korea have instituted policies to encourage families to have more children. This is a stupid idea mired in nationalism and ethnocentrism. For the biosphere to last, there need to be fewer people overall. If the population increases at the rate we’re going, humanity will be lucky to last another 100 years. So if the population of France is declining, welcome the immigrants, don’t have more children!
This advice applies to you too. If you’re thinking about reproducing, one is enough. Plenty of scientific studies have demonstrated that only children are as well developed as children with siblings, the old wives’ tale about only children growing up spoiled is just that.
Global NPG is really the only solution.