At this point, uncontrolled fertility is likely to have worse consequences than the false cry of “fire!” Even having two children — the replacement value for the population — as the new Chinese policy allows is likely to be too many children. Due to what specialists call “demographic momentum,” the population will continue to grow for quite some time even if we all cut back now to two children. By the time the birthrate stabilizes, the global population will be at an unsustainable level.
So, we don’t have a right to have so many children. We can live happy, fulfilled lives with just one child, and one child per couple will keep the human race going until we get to that point when we do reach a sustainable population and can go back to allowing ourselves to reproduce at replacement value — two children per two parents…
It seems clear that an economy based on perpetual growth, located on a finite planet, is bound to fail eventually. Our economy only works as well as it does now because we are borrowing from the future, using up resources at an unsustainable rate. An economic system based on growth, where growth means more people using more resources, will eventually face a crisis. Changing it now, before the crunch, will be less painful than trying to do that when our backs are against the wall.
The moral arguments, too, have answers. Does the right to religious freedom mean we have a right to do whatever our religious doctrines dictate? Of course not.