Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Climate change, ill health, and conflict

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 05 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1819

Rapid Response:

Overpopulation is the main driver of climate change, ill health and conflict.

Why did the authors miss an opportunity to discuss the one, easy ,
cheap thing which the medical profession can do yet continually refuses to

We must break the taboo on discussing responsible reproduction.
There are 1 million more humans on the planet every 5 days yet only a few
of us will dare to suggest that having more than 2 children per couple,
provided that that couple has access to education and contraception, is
increasingly irresponsible and unfair.

Watch Sir David Attenborough's speech to the RSA

We do not hesitate to promote other aspects of healthy living yet it
is obvious that lack of resources and the resultant conflicts is about to
have massive health impacts for all of us. I believe that GPs,
obstetricians, midwives and health visitors have a duty to discuss family
size at every relevant opportunity.

Competing interests: Trustee of Population Matters

27 April 2011
Pip Hayes
Population Matters