We don't need another billion people

Here are four ways to cut greenhouse gases, from the most unlikely to the most plausible…

Last, however, if we can’t control consumption, we can control the number of consumers. This is technology we already have, and it’s cheap. Every woman, everywhere, could have contraception.

Most of us would find coercive government limits on child bearing abhorrent. But giving women access to contraception and to education makes draconian edicts unnecessary. An educated woman has an interesting and useful contribution to make to her family and her society. Since she can’t easily do that with seven children hanging on her skirts, most women who get through secondary school want two children or fewer. Providing access to contraception and educating women may be the fastest path to giving our planet a break. …

Population management can’t do it all; we need a full-court press on all fronts. But if we want a secure future, we need to start with the fastest, most affordable way we know to limit carbon emissions: by bringing fewer emitters into the world.