She explains that if every female born now only had one child the Earth's population would drop to 5.5 billion by 2050. We would be down to 3.43 billion human by 2075. And the world would be... a much better place?
Here are a few highlights from her article:
The "inconvenient truth" overhanging the UN's Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world.
A planetary law, such as China's one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days.
Ironically, China, despite its dirty coal plants, is the world's leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation, thanks to its one-child-only edict.
China has proven that birth restriction is smart policy. Its middle class grows, all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food, and the one out of five human beings who live there are not overpopulating the planet.
So we should follow China's lead and we'll all be okay? That advice is... interesting.
Let's see how things are going a short distance from China, in Taiwan. According to Ms. Francis' standards Taiwan is doing great. They now have the lowest birth rate in the world. Are they celebrating this development? Let's see:
"'This is a tragic society,' Taiwan's Health Minister Yaung Chih-liang proclaimed in a Nov. 28 speech at the National Science and Technology Museum. He warned that if the island continues on this track, the population would experience a future labor shortage, and that the next generation of children would have significant difficulty covering the health costs of their aging parents. That intense financial pressure, he said, could raise the future suicide rate. The Education Minister, in a separate statement, predicted that one-third of Taiwan's colleges will close in just 12 years if the trend continues.
In a society where the cost of living is high, the notion that kids are an unwelcome burden - taboo in many cultures - has become an accepted idea. Take the title of a recent panel discussion put on by Taiwan's Human Social Sciences Foundation: 'Having Children! Does It Hurt That Much?' "The hurt," explains the foundation's president, Professor Liu Pei-yi, "refers to financial loss." In a research poll administered by Kun Shan University in 2007, students interviewed 100 residents of Taiwan between the ages of 20 and 40 about their own family plans. One-third didn't plan to have any children for fear of losing two precious things: money and freedom."
"I like reading and, well, you can't read if there are children wailing... I think our generation is more selfish. When you have children, you have to sacrifice a lot, and I don't want to do that."
It's true that having children does help some parents grow up and leave behind the ego centric years of youth (although the article I linked to is a great example of parents in my generation who just won't grow up).
In case you're wondering (or like me, are too young to remember) the population doomsayers are not new. Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich was saying the same thing back in 1968 (and look we're still here! The sky hasn't fallen!). He predicted disaster unless population growth was reduced to zero in America and suggested compulsory methods.
Unfortunately this sort of craziness doesn't seem to have a shelf life.
Thankfully most politicians have, up until this point, recognized that trying to enforce this sort of policy would be political suicide (if they bought into the shaky science in the first place). Let's hope that holds.