My interest in world population issues recently led me to John Taves. He runs Pacific Northwest Software and PickATime.com, but he’s also consumed with solving the world’s population problem. He is an example of the famous Margaret Mead quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; …indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” He is passionate about his cause, and has created a website, StopAtTwo.org. I recently interviewed him about his site and goals.
What led you to create StopAtTwo.org?
When I was eight years old, I remember telling my mom that I wanted to have a family just like hers, with two boys and two girls. She told me it takes two to make a baby, so each person is replaced if they have two biological children. But if each person has more than two children, the population will grow. I argued that my children will eventually die so the population increase won’t stay forever, but she pointed out that they will have children before they die. I recognized that if we all have more than two, the population will grow to the limit of what the planet can handle and so it was wrong for me to have more than two. I remember thinking that everyone needs to know this.
Recently, I read about how the inhabitants of Easter Island chopped down trees faster than they grew, and when they ran out of trees to build boats for fishing, the population crashed from above 20,000 to below 2000. I realized that today we are consuming resources, like oil, and uranium, faster than they renew and thus are headed for the same crash. That’s when I realized I had to do something, and I started StopAtTwo.org.
Why do you say there is a “horrible state of ignorance” regarding the StopAtTwo facts?
One only needs to search for “overpopulation” on the internet and drill into the forums and discussions to discover there’s lots of confusion. Some say it’s ok to have as many kids as you want as long as you can afford them. Some say that all 7 billion humans could fit in Texas, implying that the world can handle a lot more. Even when you dig into technical journals from population experts, you discover that ignorance is rampant. Not to mention religions and belief systems that promote having lots of children, without realizing the consequences.
What is the goal of StopAtTwo?
StopAtTwo has three main concepts, and we want to build a movement so that everyone becomes aware of them. There will be plenty of public debate, but ultimately the facts and logic are unavoidable. We want StopAtTwo’s facts and logic to replace flawed logic and inaccurate beliefs that are out there today.
Thanks, John~Check out the StopAtTwo campaign and join the population conversation and solutions. If every person had an ounce of John’s fervor and commitment to taking action on world problems, the world would surely be a better place–and have less of a population problem!
How do you weigh in on the world’s growing population?