Our population policy has been released at last. Having been involved with its development through the complicated Green policy-making process, I’m pretty proud of it.
The best thing about it, I think, is that it comes from an ecological footprint perspective, and it makes very clear that the most immediate threat to our planet is consumption in the “developed” world, rather than conception in the “under-developed” world. This isn’t to say that we don’t have to worry hugely about how many people there are and will be in the world, especially as regards food production and distribution, but from the point of view of climate change, almost all of that threatening carbon is being emitted either by, or for, us, the privileged.
Other things I really like about the policy – we have recognised the research that shows that education and choices for women are the key to a replacement or below replacement birthrate, and also that parents and would-be parents are the best people to make decisions about how many children they will have. Somehow, according to TV3 News, National has equated that to a China “one child” policy, but I really don’t know how. I look forward to reading their press release.
I like too that we are looking far enough ahead to recognize that there might be quite a few kiwis heading for home as times and climates get tougher, and that we need to save space for them, but also for wilderness, mountains, clean rivers and unpolluted oceans.
I’m sure there will be plenty of people from other parties that have put a population policy in the “too hard” basket, who will find plenty of nits to pick, but I challenge them to read the policy themselves, then come up with a better and more respectful one.