Billboards Placed to Raise Awareness of Overpopulation
A bold, new billboard campaign has launched to increase public awareness and knowledge about overpopulation and offer a model for a broader global campaign encouraging faster progress toward a “small family norm” and sustainable world population. High-profile billboards along heavily traveled freeways in Minneapolis and Denver feature happy families with the headline, “We Chose One!” or “We Chose Childfree!”
Nonprofit World Population Balance crowdfunded the first month of the campaign. The non-profit’s executive director, Dave Gardner, notes, “A surprising number of journalists, elected officials, and members of the public are unaware the world is overpopulated or uncomfortable talking about it. Many are unaware the solution to overpopulation – and the environmental destruction it causes – is simply to accelerate the existing trend toward freely chosen smaller families.” Birth rates are less than half what they were sixty years ago; more young women and couples today are choosing to delay or skip parenthood. The campaign seeks to celebrate and support these informed, considered decisions.
The One Planet, One Child website lists scientific reports documenting the damage human activity is inflicting on life-supporting ecosystems. World Population Balance maintains that reducing human numbers plays an essential role in addressing climate change, deforestation, species extinction, freshwater crises and depletion of fertile soil.
Putting up billboards about overpopulation is a bold move because the topic is considered controversial by some, and subject to misassumptions, so it’s frequently avoided. “But that’s exactly why this campaign is needed – to debunk the myths and correct the misassumptions,” asserts Gardner. “This is a beautiful and positive campaign. We hope to help couples around the world make their own informed and considered decisions about family size. We’re not dictating anyone’s choice. We’re celebrating and thanking people for small-family decisions.”
The campaign is running in the U.S. because, the campaign website notes, “overpopulation…is a very real problem in the industrialized world where each new person added has an over-sized impact on the environment. Even though birth rates are already low in the ‘overdeveloped world,’ they need to be even lower in order to speed contraction back to a sustainable population level.”
The website also states that while addressing overpopulation is essential, it’s not the only contributor to environmental crises. Overconsumption must also be addressed, but if the population doesn’t contract, living at the poverty-level would be necessary to get humankind back into a sustainable balance with nature.
The One Planet, One Child campaign will foster more conversation about a subject often avoided in the past. More discussion will allow for better information – such as addressing the belief that more people are needed for the sake of constant economic growth. “We don’t need to make more people to stoke economic growth; an economy’s size needs only to match the population, just big enough to meet our needs,” notes the organization’s Erika Arias, who co-hosts The Overpopulation Podcast.
Arias concludes, “The small-family solution to overpopulation is compassionate, voluntary, and ethical. It’s the most loving thing we can do for the children of the world. Small families are helping to create a healthy planet, better lives and a promising future.”
World Population Balance works to alert and educate that overpopulation is the root cause of resource depletion, species extinction, poverty, and climate change. The nonprofit’s mission is to chart a path for the human civilization that – rather than causing greater misery – enables good lives on a healthy planet. The organization advocates and supports a smaller, truly sustainable human population – through a dramatic and voluntary reduction in birth rates.
CONTACT: Dave Gardner 719-331-1856
SOURCE World Population Balance