Episode 38: "Overpopulation Denial: Time to Get Over It"

Episode 38: Overpopulation Denial: Time to Get Over It

Do a few instances of ugly motives or methods of addressing overpopulation in the past mean overpopulation is not a problem? Or do they mean it’s a problem we dare not attempt to solve? Do they mean there aren’t loving, equitable and ethical ways of reversing population growth?

Whether the excuse for avoiding the overpopulation issue is the existence of economic inequality, unequal distribution of resources, or the belief that discussing or addressing overpopulation perpetuates toxic cycles of racism, sexism, and colonialist agendas, it’s still ‘Overpopulation Denial’. In this episode, we share classic, textbook examples of overpopulation denial, and proceed to debunk them.

A recent episode of TRT World’s Roundtable program provided an overpopulation denial opportunity to two guests, Professor of Epidemiology Ray Deonandan from the University of Ottawa, and Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Rajani Bhatia from the University of Albany. Our intention in debunking their statements is not to pick a fight. We’re simply treating this as an opportunity to improve overpopulation literacy with an open conversation, to correct misassumptions, and to find common ground that will ensure a brighter future for all.

WPB staffer Carolyn VandenDolder says it well in this episode: “I think that we’re trying to create a new narrative around the topic – a more constructive one and one that does take into account social justice and the fact that we have, in the United States, far and away contributed to the mess more than anyone else.”

We also hear from two enlightened guests on that same Roundtable program, Alistair Currie, head of campaigns and communications at Population Matters, and attorney Karin Kuhlemann, population ethicist at University College London. Roundtable is hosted by veteran journalist David Foster.

Also in this episode, brief mention and dismissal of overpopulation denial at ReasonTV, and at Resilience.org – very disappointing. And an update on the One Planet, One Child Billboard Campaign. The staff at World Population Balance thanks YOU for your continuing support, and for making the One Planet, One Child Billboard Campaign possible. We share the pain of illness and death, and economic hardship brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope everyone is doing their part to stay in. It’s a good opportunity to catch up on past episodes of The Overpopulation Podcast. You should get college credit, because going through these episodes is like getting an advanced degree in the subject!

This episode was published April 1,2020.