From the safety of the political sidelines, former Vice President Al Gore is venturing into a touchy topic, presenting his holistic view of how to curb the buildup of greenhouse gases warming the planet. Besides improving technology to reduce fossil fuel emissions, he is advocating “educating and empowering girls and women.”
“That’s the most powerful leveraging factor,” Gore said in a speech Monday in New York. “When that happens, then the population begins to stabilize and societies begin to make better choices.”
Although not entirely spelled out in the speech, Gore’s thinking goes this way: If women are confident their children will survive, and if they have access to “fertility management,” and if they have the power to decide how many children they want and when to have them, the result would be stabilization of the global population.
As it stands now, demographers at the United Nations forecast that the world’s population will hit 7 billion later this year, march past 9 billion in 2045 and exceed 10 billion by the end of the century. Nearly all of the growth is expected to come in poor nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Though I think most of us can guess what “educating and empowering” really means, it looks like Gore’s daughter didn’t get the memo (she has three kids).