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Environmentalist Chris Packham urges people to consider having fewer children

Environmentalist Chris Packham urges people to consider having fewer children because rising population and consumption is damaging the planet

  • Chris Packham warned consumption is putting increasing pressure on planet 
  • He tackles the topic in his new documentary 7.7billion people and counting 
  • Told Good Morning Britain viewers to consider the size of their families 

Environmentalist Chris Packham is urging people to consider having fewer children because rising population and consumption is damaging the planet.

He raised his concerns on Good Morning Britain yesterday as he appeared to discuss his new documentary 7.7billion People and Counting.

‘Our mission is to get people to think about the impact of our human population,’ he told the show.

Pictured: Chris Packham in his new documentary ‘7.7billion People and Counting’ in which he warns of the impact human consumption is having on the planet 

‘We are just asking a very important question – “what effect is this enormous burgeoning population having on the world?” In my lifetime that population has doubled – in Sir David Attenborough’s it’s trebled.’

He warned that consumption is ‘putting increasing pressure on the environment’ as he praised climate Greta Thunberg who spoke at Davos yesterday.  

Mr Packham told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid that he was not telling people to stop having children, but wanted people to consider the size of their families.

His words divided viewers on social media, with some saying he is delusional and others coming out in support of him.

Twitter user @gracelaurent_ wrote: ‘Chris Packham on #GMB about stop having children to save the planet. Have to say I actually agree with him about this. Couldn’t dream bringing a child into this world currently when there’s so much hate across the world not to mention constant climate emergencies #UnpopularOpinion.’

Nicholas Salter tweeted: ‘#GMB Chris Packham is right. We also need to allow euthanasia for those who feel bad about, and wish to lower, their carbon footprint and no longer have significant social or economic value #ClimateCrisis.’

Ami Jepson said: ‘Stop having kids to save the planet… these people are deluded #GMB.’

Journalist Ella Whelan also appeared on the show and said population control would affect black people disproportionately.

‘Firstly birth rates in the west are dropping – population growth isn’t an issue in the UK,’ she said. ‘In the west it’s dropping. In places like South Sudan, Chad and Niger it’s very high.

‘The uncomfortable background to all of the discussion people like Chris Packham are having is that they want to stop certain people to stop having children and more often than not it’s black people.’

Packham said: ‘I think I have to be really clear here Piers and Susanna. I know we like a bit of controversy, but there’s not a racist cell in my body and I am not asking anyone in the world, whether it’s in Sub-Saharan Africa or in the United States, to not have children. I’m not asking or suggesting anything that isn’t voluntary.

‘The key thing that we have here, which we’ve pointed out, is levels of consumption. If everyone in the world consumed the same as we do in the UK, at this point in time, we would need two extra planets. If everyone consumed the same as they do in the United States we would need four extra planets.

‘Sub-Saharan African populations are beginning to grow, so are their aspirations in a justified sense, and as a consequence of that their consumption will grow too. We’re not talking about black people, white people, Christians or Muslims – we’re talking about organisms and their capacity to consume resources that are no longer on our planet.’

Whelan also expressed concerns that – instead of focusing on energy infrastructure and other measures that could help the environment – women were being asked to shoulder the responsibility in a potentially sexist fashion. Packham retorted that he didn’t have a misogynist cell in his body. 


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