Episode 22: "The Uncomfortable Truth: Overpopulation"

A spate of op-eds have appeared in major news publications around the world suggesting human population is going to peak in just a few decades, and we should be concerned not about population growth, but population decline. It’s an impressive publicity campaign for a new book with the same premise. But not so fast! We unpack this interesting development.

Are you reluctant to bring up the subject of human overpopulation because it might make someone uncomfortable? What if you’re an environmental journalist? Don’t you have an obligation to cover the root cause of our most urgent environmental crises? The Overpopulation Podcast team picks another bone with David Roberts at Vox and provides an update on an essay at Resilience.org suggesting the sustainability problem is just overconsumption, not overpopulation.

Plus: Educating women is great, but it’s not enough to solve world overpopulation.

Also, the late science writer Isaac Asimov on our pronatal society, an update on U.S. population and trends, and an exciting forum in Washington DC on April 9.

This episode was published March 10, 2019.


Our response to the Resilience.org piece by Chris Smaje:

Yes, (Over) Population is a Problem 
On our website
At Millennium Alliance for Humanity and Biosphere

U.S. Census Data

U.S. Census Population Clock

The Vox piece we took exception to:

I’m an environmental journalist, but I never write about overpopulation. Here’s why. by David Roberts at Vox

Population Matters' response to new book, Empty Planet, (and the op-eds discussed in this episode): Will the World Run Out of People? 

2017 Guttmacher Institute Study - estimating 23 million fewer births in developing regions if contraceptive needs were met 

2011 study in Science - estimating 1 billion fewer people in 2050 if we 'fast-track' girls' education

NBC piece discussed in this episode:
6 Ways Ordinary People Can Prevent Climate Change 

Project Drawdown CO2 Solutions

Climate Change Needs Behavior Change (30 behaviors report)

BBC Minute: I’m Not Having Children to Help Fight Climate Change

NY Times survey

Sustainable Population Meetup

April 9, 2019 Forum: Tackling the Population Taboo

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