What in the World do Condoms Have to do With Climate Change?

1 144

green divas condom / climate change imageThanks to our friends at EcoWatch and for contributing this post (written by John Deike)!

Turns out, a condom a day can keep climate change at bay

A solution to easing the effects of global climate change may be one that is not often discussed—voluntary family planning.

At a recent talk on “Condoms and Climate” given at the Commonwealth Club of California, leading author Alan Weisman and University of California, Berkeley Dr. Malcom Potts advocated for family planning as a means of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, reports Population Growth.

Weisman noted every 4.5 days a million people are added to the planet, saying “there is no question humans have become more numerous than nature intended.”

image of single condomIn Potts’ opinion, family planning is the most cost-effective way to reduce carbon and that voluntary family planning services are in demand.

There are 222 million women around the world who want to plan their families, but have an unmet need for modern contraception, he said. Making it available to women and men is estimated to cost $8 billion a year—about a billion dollars more than what Americans spent on Halloween in 2013.

Potts said “when you respect women and give them choices, fertility goes down” and that the world has been “blind and stupid” about not offering family planning to those who want it. 

He pointed to Thailand’s success in lowering its total fertility rate in the 1970s. One such effort to reduce it was the innovative Cabbages and Condoms restaurant in Bangkok, started by a man who believed birth control should be as easy as buying cabbage from the market. The restaurant also promotes safe-sex education.

Weisman, who brought the discussion back toward climate change and population growth, stated the problem is simply that we have more people demanding more stuff, resulting in more carbon dioxide. 

Last year, carbon dioxide levels hit 400 parts per million. “There hasn’t been this much carbon in the atmosphere in 3 million years,” he said. And with projections that world population will be 9.6 billion by 2050, with more middle and upper class people consuming more stuff, temperatures and carbon levels will continue to rise, according to Population Growth.

Potts believes by heavily investing in family planning, the population could decline to 6 billion by 2099

In the meantime, addressing the needs of the planet’s 7 billion-plus is a daunting task, especially in terms of food. And even though Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution averted mass famine in the 1970’s, people can’t solely rely on technology to rectify the problem. In fact, Weisman said Borlaug warned this would only buy humanity a little time and that it would have to eventually confront burgeoning population growth. 

Weisman, saying a warming world is only going to exacerbate food security, cited a National Academy of Science report statistic that for every one degree of Celsius warming, crop yields drop 10 percent.

Reducing consumption also proves critical, according to Weisman, as he called out the global meat industry for 51 percent of worldwide greenhouse emissions.

Some of the best solutions, said Potts, are universal family planning, investing in girls’ education, raising the age of marriage and ending child marriage. 

These are the comprehensive steps that can lower carbon footprints and result in healthier lives and a cleaner, more stable environment, he said.

About EcoWatch

EcoWatch LogoEcoWatch is a cutting-edge news service promoting the work of more than 1,000 grassroots environmental organizations and activists worldwide, and showcasing the insights of world-renowned environmental leaders. EcoWatch focuses on the issues of water, air, food, energy and biodiversity, and promotes ongoing environmental campaigns including climate change, fracking, mountaintop removal, factory farming, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. News is provided on a global and local scale. EcoWatch unites the voices of the grassroots environmental movement and mobilize millions of people to engage in democracy in pursuit of a sustainable future. Connect with them on Facebook and twitter @EcoWatch.

condom image via shutterstock

About the author / 

Green Diva Lynn

Lynn Hasselberger is co-founder of GDGD Radio, Managing Editor of The Green Divas blog and Producer of the Green Divas Radio Show. She's also a mom, writer and award-winning cat-herder who lives in Chicagoland. Sunrises, running, yoga, chocolate and comedy are just a few of her fave things. In her rare moments of spare time, she blogs at myEARTH360.com and LynnHasselberger.com. She hopes to make the world a better place, have more fun, re-develop her math skills and overcome her fear of public speaking.

Related Posts

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GDGD Radio App banner
GDGD Radio banner link
green divas radio show on iheart radio
green divas myearth360 report on iheart radio
green divas foodie-philes on iheart radio
green divas green dudes on iheart radio
GVK by green divas on iheart radio
green divas on stitcher
GDGD Radio App banner



MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected
Contact Us link

don't miss a GD thing!

Get all the latest GD news . . .

  • Green Divas myEARTH360 Reports
  • Green Divas Foodie-Phile Recipes
  • Green Divas DIY Tutorials
  • Green Dude Stuff
  • . . .
  • your email is safe with us!