The UK government’s national security strategy recognises many of the new environmental symptoms of global insecurity but ignores their root cause, the Optimum Population Trust said on March 19, 2008.
David Nicholson-Lord, OPT research associate, said: “Talking about threats to national security without highlighting the growth in human numbers is a bit like staging Hamlet without the prince. Population growth is one of the major forces behind global environmental insecurity, whether it’s the direct effect on issues such as climate change and food, water and energy shortages, or the creation of large cohorts of discontented young people in developing countries, which provide fertile breeding grounds for terrorism.
“The Government’s explicit recognition that environmental instability can be a potent source of conflict is welcome and long overdue. But while the strategy recognises some of the symptoms of this, such as climate change and competition for natural resources, it seriously downplays a root cause. It’s an extraordinary omission, but unfortunately all too typical of the population myopia which currently affects much mainstream political thinking about the environment.”
The concern expressed by the Optimum Population Trust is that a growing population makes Britain increasingly vulnerable to resource problems and reduces the country’s future security.
Optimum Population Trust (2008)