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.
farmland and green space.”14 An article in the Optimum Population Trust Journal, cowritten by the journal’s editor, argues that all industrialized countries need to reduce immigration. Citing a table that shows immigration as the main cause of rising population in the UK, Italy, the United States, Canada, and Australia, the authors write:The degree to which net immigration is preventing the developed nations from achieving a much needed reduction in population is apparent from the table. In all
we should instead compare the number of cars to the number of households, or families. Did the growth in new households after World War II increase the number of cars? What cars-per-household figures show is that “the percentage of households with one car actually declines from 62.1 percent to 50.3 percent . . . . [but] the percentage with two or more cars rose from 13.9 percent to 29.3 percent.” So the increase in cars was caused not by more people or more families, but by some families buying
word North as shorthand for the industrialized nations of Europe, Canada, the United States, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, and South for the so-called underdeveloped countries, sometimes called the third world. We refer to all greenhouse gases as carbon dioxide or CO2. We know that in some cases a term such as carbon dioxide equivalent or CO2e would be more accurate, but the distinction is not critical for this book. Introduction If ever there was a measure of the green movement’s
broadest possible unity is essential. 11: Too Many Consumers? The world with its billions does not have too many people, but it does have too many in their thousands who think that they are worth a million others. —Daniel Dorling1 Closely related to the claim that “too many people” are destroying the world is the assertion that the problem is “too much consumption.” That concept is embedded in the IPAT equation—the Ehrlichs themselves tell us that “‘consumption’ is in some ways a
give back to the environment, what use they make of land, trees, and water, and what impact their commerce and industry have on their social and ecological systems that are crucial.3 3. Populationism promises easy solutions that don’t require social change. “Part of the reason that worldwide attention is increasingly focused on the population issue,” writes demographer George Martine, “stems from its painless simplicity. Attacking environmental issues from a demographic standpoint seems