It is Halloween 2011, and this is the day that the world's population reaches 7 billion people. That large number has some people asking if the entire world should adopt China's controversial one child per family policy.
Over the next 89 years, the world's population is expected to top 10 billion, and many are worried that the earth does not have the resources to sustain such a huge population. Because of that, there is talk of limiting population growth by refusing to allow people to have more than one child.
Even though the world has reached 7 billion people today, the Chinese government has limited its citizens to just 1 child since 1979, and it has curbed their population growth. The problem is, it seems to have set up certain undesirable children up for what can only be called abuse. Boy children are desirable, and some women are forced into abortions or sterilization, which is terrible.
The Population Council's vice president John Bongaarts said of the one child policy, "I don't think that's a good idea, frankly. First of all, nobody's going to accept it. There's been a massive outcry over the one-child policy in China as coercive, and there's not a single person that I know that would support it. Plus, you don't really want the fertility to decline to one child per woman, because you end up in the same problems as Japan has now, and nobody wants that."
While being socially responsible and only having one child seems like the smart thing to do, having it forced on people is no way to do it. This policy would be incredibly tough to start in the U.S. where people enjoy freedoms including the choice of when to have children and how many to have. Things would have to be unbelievably desperate for the one child policy to be a reality here.
Now that the world has reached the benchmark of 7 billion people, it is important to create strategies to help control the population, but limiting people to one child is too much. In fact, in the end it could damage the population. Right now most people think that increased availability to contraception and education could help slow the population down just slightly.
What do you think? Perhaps this is something to consider as you take your kids out trick or treating on Halloween night.
Like this article? See more by Kate James at Gather.com