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Carbon as a Symptom by trialballoon

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This proposal was moved here from Public Attitudes and Behaviors Workspace 2016


A "carbon" problem? No, we have a population problem. If proposed solutions don't scale with population growth, they will ultimately fail.



While carbon emissions are not solely the result of human activity, the human portion is greatly affected by population growth. The least technically complex tool in reducing carbon emissions would be population reduction. Since there are few reasons to promote continued population growth, an increased push to limit or reverse population growth would go far in limiting climate change. Unfortunately, we do not attempt to foster a global awareness of population issues.

Any plans for carbon emission reduction that do not factor in a rising population and its pressure on emissions will be doomed to failure.

A two-pronged approach should be implemented, emissions and population. The population effort should investigate a sustainable footprint for global population and research barriers to population issue promotion.

Is this proposal for a practice or a project?


What actions do you propose?

A global consortium of interested parties and governments should research a sustainable global footprint for population and barriers to population issue promotion.

All emission reduction proposals should include effects of global population growth on projected results.

One key research area should be the development of economic models that do not rely on continued population growth for growth in economies.

Who will take these actions?

A global consortium should be created by interested parties and governments to research population effects on emission reduction plans and barriers to population issue promotion.

Where will these actions be taken?

A global consortium should be created to do research. However, any locality could also do research and apply population issues to proposed emission reduction efforts.

In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.

No country selected

Country 2

No country selected

Country 3

No country selected

Country 4

No country selected

Country 5

No country selected


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

Obviously population could be reduced below levels where emission levels no longer affect the climate, however such a solution is not politically supportable at this time. Climate change itself may eventually put such a solution into effect.

What are other key benefits?

Population issues are a key element to survival of the human species. We might best get this issue under our belt at this time for this problem rather than wait for a more severe existential threat.


What are the proposal’s projected costs?

Substantial research in this area is currently available and ongoing but co-ordination is lacking. Consortium funding would be from consortium members and/or grants.


If barriers to population issues can be removed, this approach can be implemented in a single generation. It is unclear how fast the barriers can be removed. Research on this is needed.

About the author(s)

The author is a retired from a career as a computer programmer and systems analyst in government and the private sector.

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