On Monday, former Vice President Al Gore talked about climate change and pollution control at the Games for Change convention in New York City. The big surprise is that Al stuck his toe into “empowering girls and women” to use what he called “fertility management” (birth control) to help curb pollution and save the environment.
Gore, a father of four children wants us to have smaller families. This is not a new concept – China has had a one child ruling for a long time with very mixed results. And some countries, such as Japan are having trouble replacing themselves as women there are slow to marry and are not as interested in having children as their government would like!
Gore wants couples to learn how to “feel comfortable having small families” so that pollution can be curbed. When asked how we should go about this he said:
“One of the things we could do about it is to change the technologies, to put out less of this pollution, to stabilize the population, and one of the principle ways of doing that is to empower and educate girls and women. You have to have ubiquitous availability of fertility management so women can choose how many children have, the spacing of the children.
You have to lift child survival rates so that parents feel comfortable having small families and most important — you have to educate girls and empower women. And that’s the most powerful leveraging factor, and when that happens, then the population begins to stabilize and societies begin to make better choices and more balanced choices.”
Personally, I don’t feel like bashing Gore for having four kids and then telling us to have one or two. That’s too easy – what I would have liked him to speak to is how his message fits with the fact that Planned Parenthood is under attack by our government. To simply say that we have to empower girls and women to use “fertility management” and feel secure about the health care our babies will get so that they will survive without talking about how this is going to happen simply feels like whistling in the wind.