'19 Kids and Counting' Mom Michelle Duggar Dismisses Overpopulation Fears (Video)

The star of the TLC reality series said the world's population could fit inside a single, medium-sized city.

Michelle Duggar says her 19 children are a force for good in the world, not a drain on its resources. Speaking to CBN, the mother from TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting was asked about the environmental impact of her large family.

"The idea of overpopulation is not accurate," Duggar said, dismissing the question. "The entire population of the world, if they were stood shoulder to shoulder, could fit inside the city of limits Jacksonville.”

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Environmentalists say that from a strictly carbon footprint point of view, having a child is one of the most environmentally damaging things one can do, because of the resources that child will use during his or her lifetime.

However, the 21-member Duggar family also does things the conservation-minded might praise, such as buying used items.

“Our motto is we buy used and we save the difference,” Duggar said. “The things most people would discard—we go to the thriftier and we reuse them.”

Scientists estimate the world’s population—now seven billion—will grow to nine or 10 billion by 2050. If that happens, they predict a major strain on the planet’s ability to produce enough food for the population. 

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But Duggar paraphrased Mother Teresa to answer those who worry about overpopulation.

“To say that there are too many children is like saying there are too many flowers,” she said. “Our world needs more joy.”