Population Stalling

This task force gives students the responsibility of trying to create a policy that will support the future retiring population if the birth rate drops to 0.

Task Force: Population Stalling


The birth rate in your country has dropped to 0. People have stopped having children due to climate change. People are becoming increasingly aware of the consequences of raising a child in modern times. The impacts of climate change on the environment have left communities afraid of what may happen in the next few years. You’ve been tasked with coming up with a policy that will support the future retiring population.

Why Are We Doing This?:

Climate change has had an incredibly disastrous impact on environments throughout the world. Around 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree that humans are causing climate change. We can see evidence of it by observing the global temperature rise, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, and ocean acidification. Here we ask you to assume that people have stopped reproducing due to fears associated with raising a child given the worsening impacts of climate change.


  1. Come up with policies that you think will help support the retiring population.
    1. What are the costs of your policy? Who would incur them?
    2. What are the benefits of your policy? Who would get those?
    3. Will anyone benefit who doesn’t incur cost?
    4. Will anyone incur costs who doesn’t benefit?
    5. Will your policy support everyone or a portion of it? How do you choose who to support?
    6. Is your policy sustainable in the long-term? Will the solution only work for this next generation or for generations to come?
  2. Think through the possible objections about your policy that someone could have and how you would answer them.
  3. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that they should support your policy.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • You do not have to come up with one policy to solve all the problems above. Things are pretty bad.
  • The point is rather to focus on how you would justify any one policy to your constituents.
  • Policies you come up with could focus on increasing the birth rate, improving retirement saving rates, changing labor policies, decreasing prices, etc.