top of page

The Overpopulation Myth

One of the most common widely believed myths about climate justice is that the growing world's population is one of the biggest causes behind large-scale ecological breakdown. We have been taught from the very beginning that the world's finite resources cannot infinitely sustain an exponentially growing population. Thus, overpopulation must be tackled to ensure the sustainability of the earth's ecosystems. However, behind the popularisation of this widespread fallacy is a violent history of racism, white supremacy, and eco-fascism.


It is a dangerous belief that places the liability of the climate crisis mostly on ‘Most Affected Peoples and Areas’ (MAPA) communities of colour who contribute the least towards climate change. It also removes accountability from large-scale corporations and polluters with the greatest carbon footprint.


Further, there is a popular narrative that ‘humans are the virus’ and the human population itself is responsible for ecological breakdown. However, indigenous communities and societies have been living in harmony with the environment for centuries. Only with the rise of British colonialism and the industrial revolution that led to the eradication of indigenous societies, had man tipped the ecological balance off and started what we now experience as the climate crisis.


Even worse, the myth of overpopulation has justified historically violent and coercive population control policies that have seen the forced sterilization of marginalised women of color and the death of millions of people from MAPA communities.


Historical context:

The early 18th Century scientist, Thomas Malthus popularized the theory that food production will not be able to keep up with the growth in human population resulting in disease, famine, war, and calamity. However, this was an idea that has been proven false and was simply untrue. Currently, the world population has grown to about 7 billion, yet excess food is being produced to feed roughly 10 billion people. Hunger and poverty today are caused not because of insufficient food production, but by inefficient supply chains and inequity in food distribution.

The idea of overpopulation was further taken up by the 1960s book called ‘The Population Bomb’ by Paul Elrich which also warned about the problems that would arise from allowing the human population to grow.


These theories mostly targeted marginalised communities of color in post-colonial countries in the so-called Global South and led to the establishment of inhumane and coercive population control policies. These were established on the tenets of white supremacy and blamed poor marginalised communities of color for ecological collapse.


The Overpopulation theory has also been associated with the advent of the racist ideology of Eugenics which suggests selectively mating people with “desirable” traits to “enhance” human nature


Holding the right people accountable:

This theory fails to take into account the fact that not all humans on earth have the same energy usage and carbon footprint. Most of the population of the world living in MAPA communities have a minimal carbon footprint and energy usage compared to the richest 1 percent who are responsible for most of the historical emissions due to their luxurious, unsustainable lifestyles and overconsumption. According to an Oxfam report, the richest 1 percent of the world contributes double the carbon dioxide emissions than the poorest 50 percent. Further, roughly 100 companies are responsible for more than 70 percent of global carbon emissions.


The overpopulation debate fails to consider the larger crisis of poverty caused by wealth inequality and resource hoarding by the richest 1 percent.


Conclusion:

The myth of overpopulation has led to the adoption of severe coercive policies which has led to the death of millions in MAPA communities. China’s population control one-child policy also led to the violent and forced sterilization of women and an increase in the female infanticide rate. Even today, countries like India are moving towards adopting similar brutal population control policies which target marginalised women of color.


Further, millions of indigenous people whose societies have been organised around protecting the environment are targeted under the idea of overpopulation. Ironically, it is in fact our societies that should be organised in a regenerative manner similar to their lifestyles to tackle climate change.


Unfortunately, this ecofascist myth of overpopulation is still held widely in environmental justice circles and must be tackled to hold the right people accountable for climate breakdown.



Bibliography:

Greenpeace - Overpopulation and Environmentalism

Green is the New Black- The overpopulation myth is an example of ecofascism

USCB- The Myth of Overpopulation and the Folks who brought it to you

Investopedia- Thomas Malthus

History- Eugenics

The Guardian- World's richest 1% cause double CO2 emissions of poorest 50%

The Guardian- Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions


150 views5 comments

5 Comments


Whether or not youe thrilled for the Nationwide Invitational Match, or searching for solace the moment looking at your staff bounced out upon the bubble, it period in direction of dive into the thorough NIT bracket for 2022. There are constantly relocating in the direction of be debates regarding who is the major snub of the NCAA Match, yet it extensively approved that Texas AM have been robbed by way of the decision committee. The Aggies went 23-12 this time, working all the route towards the SEC Championship ahead of squandering towards Tennessee. Fail to remember recency bias, this feels the contrary as participating in the championship match upon Sunday appeared in direction of unquestionably problems Texas AM inside of…


Like

Delighted Holidaysfrom the finish Streaking the Garden employees! We designed it!Upon the previous working day of 2021, I get hold of the apparent honor of crafting my complete most loved short article of the calendar year. The just one wherever we consider all of the https://www.vcprostore.com/Chris_McGahren_Jerseyrevenue wee gained around the 12 months in opposition to marketing money and associate funds, and we donate it in the direction of a charity of focus towards the neighborhood UVA and Charlottesville communities.Within just the spirit of the holiday seasons, Streaking the Yard includes designed a donation towards the Kid Physical fitness Marriage.Kid Physical fitness Connection functions with households toward establish nurturing residence environments, marketing the fitness and very well-getting of youngsters within just…


Like

The USC Trojans are getting upon the Utah Utes within just 7 days 3 of the Pac-12 soccer year. 7 days 3 sees the Trojans at 2-0 nonetheless the Utes sitting down easily at 0-0, not taking in performed a recreation however since of a COVID-19 outbreak that noticed them drop beneath the demanded 53 scholarship pupil-athletes toward engage in their past 2 scheduled online games. Wee discovered it period and year in advance of in just this 2020 soccer year, not specifically within the Pac-12, nonetheless in all places: Once oneself are actively playing your very first recreation immediately after a wild collection of coronavirus checks, protocols, make contact with tracing, and so forth. , your personnel struggles. Blend…


Like

Texas Tech is touring in the direction of Waco these days with a possibility toward knock off the Baylor Bears. Baylor with a acquire consists of the possibility in the direction of attain into the Huge 12 Championship.Baylor is coming off a highway acquire at Kansas Place despite the fact that Tech is coming off a blowout 23-0 at property in the direction of Oklahoma Nation.Baylor will come within at 9-2 with losses towards Oklahoma Nation and TCU. The decline in direction of TCU exhibits that despite the fact that they are an elite staff, they are beatable.Tech is sitting down at 6-5 and an offense prepared toward demonstrate a thing once a awful reduction at property. Sonny Cumbie is…


Like

Kyrie Irving mentioned he hoped he didn listen racist reviews after his Brooklyn Nets shift upon the street toward deal with the Boston Celtics for Match 3 of their 1st spherical collection within the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Irving performed 2 seasons within just Boston, and remaining as a no cost consultant in the direction of indication with the Nets inside of the summer season of 2019. t not my 1st season getting an opponent inside Boston, Irving explained. specifically wanting in advance toward competing with my teammates. Ideally we can continue to keep it strictly basketball, there no belligerence or any racism moving upon, refined racism and folks yelling shit in opposition to the group. Nonetheless even if it is,…


Like
bottom of page