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This ... is ...

This ... is ... madness! No. This is ...

2009. The Times Online describes what one of Gordon Brown's leading Green advisers recommends: a reduction in Britain's population to 30 million. That is half the estimated 61 million people who now live there. How are they going to do it?

JONATHON PORRITT, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society.

Porritt’s call will come at this week’s annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), of which he is patron.

The trust will release research suggesting UK population must be cut to 30m if the country wants to feed itself sustainably.

One commenter at the Times site writes, "No politician in a democracy is going to address population control - it's political suicide. All we'll get is a load of airy rhetoric. But Porritt is right - a British baby will generate thousands of times more CO2 in her lifetime than an African baby. We really should begin at home." Would the commenter like to begin at home?

Well, of course not. Things have to managed better than that. That decision has to be left to the responsible authorities. Another commenter, realizing this, writes "Just in case no one noticed, the article did not say that 'slowing growth' was necessary. It said that 'cutting the population' was the necessity. So I ask this: Who goes and who decides? Is emigration an option, or is a more permanent solution to be recommended?"

Head-scratcher that one.