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Population Expert Says British Advisor Wrong to Suggest Two Children Limit

Steven Ertelt,

Washington, DC ( — A population expert who has chronicled the underpopulation crisis threatening the globe says a British environmental advisor is relying on faulty logic in his call for families there to be limited to two children. John Porritt, chair of the a governmental commission, says any more than two children is "irresponsible."

But Barry McLerran, producer of the acclaimed documentary "Demographic Winter" said Porrit’s advice is "based on faulty logic of the 1960s population-control movement."

While Porritt claims Britain is undergoing a massive population influx that could cause environmental problems, McLerran says the nation actually has too few people.

In an email to, McLerran notes that the U.K. birth rate is 1.87 children per woman — well below the replacement level of 2.11, and down from the 2.93 figure the country saw in 1964.

McLerran predicts a vastly different future for the European nation.
"Even without Porritt’s proposed aggressive government intervention to promote population control, absent mass immigration, sometime in this century, Britain will begin losing people," McLerran noted.

That will lead to problems worse than Porritt foresees.

"Who will pay the pensions of retirees or support Britain’s costly National Health Service? How will the U.K. remain competitive in the global economy with a rapidly aging population?" McLerran asked.

"There has never been an example of rising living standards coupled with declining birth rates. But, when living standards fall, so does concern for the environment," he said.

McLerran said the call for population control in England is part of a larger movement among abortion advocates that is based on faulty overpopulation assumptions and a negative view of people.

"Like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when she suggested that funding contraception should be part of the economic stimulus package, Porritt views people as a problem — degrading the environment through energy consumption," he tells "Instead, they are an irreplaceable asset."

"As the working-age population – and the tax base – declines, where will Britain find the funding for environmental initiatives?" he asked.

McLerran also points out the irony that environmental and abortion activists want to eliminate the very people who could find a solution for the so-called problems they see.

"If global warming is a problem, it’s people who will find a solution. But population decline means an ever-shrinking pool of innovative thinkers," he said.

"Demographic Winter: the decline of the human family" is the first documentary on the worldwide decline in birthrates – more than 50% in the past 30 years.