Dr. Catherine Pakaluk, assistant professor of social research and economic thought at the Catholic University of America, told CNA in March that having children is a sign of optimism and that climate concerns should take a backseat to other factors.
"I think it takes a lot of courage to have a child, in any time," Pakaluk said. "Having children in general seems to require a lot of courage and optimism."
Pakaluk, whose primary research area is in demographics and families, told CNA that having a child is an intimidating task, but one that is made easier with what she called "spiritual resources."
Pakaluk also said rhetoric about overpopulation should be tempered by experience, and that while many believe vital resources are becoming more scarce, the opposite is often true.
"As the world population has grown, together with research, industry, and innovation, in fact, most of those scarce resources have actually become less scarce," she said.
The professor noted that while the world's population had typically ebbed and flowed before steadily rising over the last century, the "golden age" of sustained population growth is coming to an end.
Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical on ecology, "Laudato Si," paragraph 50 states that despite calls for population control as a solution to poverty, "demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development".
"To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues," the encyclical states of population growth as a false answer to climate change.
Developed countries may propose population control as a means by which to continue consuming resources at an unsustainable rate, while burdening developing countries with abortion, contraception, and sterilizations as well as effects of climate change, the encyclical said.
"It is an attempt to legitimize the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized, since the planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption," the encyclical states.
Tuesday's report was authored by William J. Ripple, professor of ecology at Oregon State University (OSU), and OSU associate research professor Christopher Wolf. It was signed by more than 11,000 scientists, ranging in disciplines and experience from biology professors to chemists, animal behaviorists, PhD candidates, research fellows, and heads of think tanks.
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