Too Many People?: Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis
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Too Many People? provides a clear, well-documented, and popularly written refutation of the idea that "overpopulation" is a major cause of environmental destruction, arguing that a focus on human numbers not only misunderstands the causes of the crisis, it dangerously weakens the movement for real solutions.
No other book challenges modern overpopulation theory so clearly and comprehensively, providing invaluable insights for the layperson and environmental scholars alike.
Ian Angus is editor of the ecosocialist journal Climate and Capitalism, and Simon Butler is co-editor of Green Left Weekly.
increase,” fell from 15.5 to 8.6.16 You might think that the Ehrlichs would have analyzed and corrected their mistakes, but you’d be wrong. During the 1970s they published two more editions of The Population Bomb, each time pushing the dates for the predicted food catastrophe further into the future but never revising their underlying assumptions. As late as 1990, in The Population Explosion, they wrote as though they had been fully vindicated:In 1968, The Population Bomb warned of impending
for International Cooperation in Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), which issued its final report in January 2011.30 The Agrimonde team set out specifically to determine (a) whether the world can produce sufficient food for the nine billion people expected to be on the earth in 2050 and (b) whether they can be fed if the world’s agricultural systems are converted to ecologically sustainable methods and technologies by 2050. The researchers compared two scenarios:• Agrimonde GO, the
and ecological problems, one that treats some of the world’s poorest and most powerless people as the biggest problem. As Asoka Bandarage has pointed out, population programs reinforce the political status quo because they are carried out as an alternative to the far-reaching social and economic changes that are needed to overcome poverty and environmental decay. “The goal of the population control establishment is not socioeconomic development, but the achievement of [low population growth]
no such problem. The incomes and wealth of the rich minority soared during the same years, pushing inequality to extremes not seen since the 1920s. This table, based on US Congressional Budget Office figures, shows the contrast between how the rich and the rest of us fared in the last three decades of the twentieth century. The trend toward greater inequality—the rich getting much richer while everyone else loses ground—accelerated in the 2000s. According to US tax data, in 2007 the average
Conservation Foundation, “Population and Demographic Change,” 4. 3: Dissecting Those “Overpopulation” Numbers 1 Gould, The Mismeasure of Man, 106. 2 McDougall, “Too Many People.” 3 Global Population Speak Out, “Talking Points.” 4 Ryerson, Population, 1. 5 All Party Parliamentary Group, Return of the Population, 18. 6 Gould, The Mismeasure of Man, 272. 7 Steffen et al., Executive Summary: Global Change, 18. 8 Marx, Grundrisse, 100. 9 Satterthwaite, “The Implications of Population