Population Links


It is an inconvenient truth that all proposals or efforts to slow global warming or to move toward sustainability are serious intellectual frauds if they do not advocate reducing populations to sustainable levels at the local, national and global scales. — Albert Allen Bartlett, Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Colorado


The ultimate crimes against the environment, crimes that also threaten the human enterprise, are fecundity and exploitive economic growth, both encouraged by the homocentric [anthropocentric] philosophy. — Stan Rowe


World War III: The 12-bomb Equation, exploding Population times Accelerating Demand minus Scarce Commodities equals Resources Wars Everywhere by Paul B. Farrell 6/26/10 - So what's the biggest time-bomb for Obama, America, capitalism, the world? No, not global warming. Not poverty. Not even peak oil. What is the absolute biggest? One like the trigger mechanism on a nuclear bomb. One that'll throw a wrench in global economic growth, ending capitalism, even destroying modern civilization. The one that - if not solved soon - renders all efforts to solve all the other problems in the world, irrelevant, futile and virtually impossible. Yes, that one. Overpopulation say the billionaires. Too many people! Yes, over-population is theworld's #1 problem.

Bottleneck by William Catton - A Review by George Mobus 11/24/09 - An ecological bottleneck (also called a population bottleneck) is where radical changes in the environment of a species causes a die-off of all but the most hardy of the population; hardy, that is, in terms of the selection pressures arising from change. Of course there may be no sufficiently hardy individuals left or the ones that manage to survive cannot reproduce sufficiently to produce a new population. In that case the species goes extinct. It is the rate of change that matters as much as the degree or magnitude of change when it comes to shocking a population. We are changing the world in ways unfavorable to human survivability more rapidly than we can either adapt or mitigate. And we have already passed the point of no return.

We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction by Chris Hedges 3/8/09 - All measures to thwart the degradation and destruction of our ecosystem will be useless if we do not cut population growth. By 2050, if we continue to reproduce at the current rate, the planet will have between 8 billion and 10 billion people, according to a recent U.N. forecast. This is a 50 percent increase. And yet government-commissioned reviews, such as the Stern report in Britain, do not mention the word population.

Peak Oil And The Century Of Famine by Peter Goodchild 1/5/09 - Around the beginning of the twenty-first century, there began a clash of two gigantic forces: overpopulation and oil depletion. The event went unnoticed by all but a few people, but it was quite real. As a result of that clash, the number of human beings on Earth must one day decline in order to match the decline in oil production. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to get those two giant forces into equilibrium in any gentle fashion, because in every year that has gone by for the last few thousand years — and every year that will arrive — the human population of Earth is automatically adjusted so that it is roughly equal to the planet’s carrying capacity. Like so many other animals, human beings always push themselves to the limits of that carrying capacity. The Age of Petroleum made us no wiser in that respect, and in fact dependence on fossil fuels has led us to a crisis far greater than any in the past.

As Population Grows We Fail To Protect Our Children by John James 11/19/08
 - Two trends are crashing against one another. Both are well-known. They are that world population is getting larger while food and water is getting less. The cause of the first is out-of-control fertility producing a flood of babies. The second is rampant consumption that makes the pollution that causes warming, which is reducing the earth's capacity to grow more food.

Overpopulation—Talk About It by Chuck Burr 10/29/08 - We don’t talk about overpopulation because mother or father culture has been whispering in our ear since the day we were born—”man has dominion over the earth, be fruitful and multiply, its just not polite, the economy needs to grow.” Our Taker cultural story is told to us through media, education, social behavior, traditions, stories, and religion. They tells us that the world is here for humanity—we can do what ever we want with it regardless of the impact on the other species sharing this beautiful planet with us. Before we started using oil at the turn of the last century there were only one billion people on the planet. Today with the easy-to-recover half of the oil gone there are about 6.8 billion. Peak oil is going to take away the carrying capacity supporting 5.8 billion of today’s global population—oil is going away this century.

Population, Nature, and What Women Want by John T. Wertime 9/08 - A review and lessons from Robert Engelman’s More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want. The matter of women and population growth could be our most urgent task to deal with as a species and civilization.

Sustainable Living – True Conservation by Errol Pietersen 8/08 - Rapidly declining biodiversity on a regional, national or international scale is not as a result of growing elephant populations, or any other animal population for that matter, but as a direct result of the exponential increase in the human population putting unprecedented strain on all the natural systems of our planet which directly influences the survival of all other species, including our own, but yet it goes unchecked and ignored as if it does not exist.

Could sustainability lead to an authoritarian future? by Kurt Cobb 7/13/08 - Those who are selling us the bright green sustainable industrial future must tell us how they plan to regulate the behavior of humans – particularly reproductive behavior - in this future. It is either that or give up any pretense that what they are selling is, in fact, sustainable.

Return of the population timebomb  by John Feeney  5/5/08  - It has become taboo over recent years, but population, not consumption, really is the key to managing our use of the world's resources.

Confronting the inevitable: Population reduction, voluntary and otherwise  by J. Kenneth Smail  5/4/08  - The limitation of human population size, and subsequently confronting the numerous problems that will be engendered by its eventual and inevitable contraction, should occupy a central position within the “modern problematique,” and as such should be dealt with much more forthrightly, and much more promptly, than has been the case.

The Elephant In The Room  by Norman. J. Church  3/6/08

Impeding ecological sustainability through selective moral disengagement  by Albert Bandura  2/18/08  - We must make it difficult to disengage moral sanctions from ecologically destructive practices. A sustainable future is not achievable while disregarding the key contributors to ecological degradation: population growth and high consumptive lifestyles.

Unsustainable Soil Mining: Past, Present and Future  by Peter Salonius  2/17/08  - Humanity must understand that, in the absence of effective natural or cultural controls on its numbers, population limits should be established by mutual social consent to avoid the overshoot of long-term carrying capacity. Homo sapiens, the species with the large brain, and the capacity to foresee future consequences, has not collectively understood the need for the control of its fecundity.

Intensive Crop Culture For High Population Is Unsustainable  by Peter Salonius   2/10/08

Abortion and the Earth  by Kelpie Wilson  1/29/08 - The moral arguments about abortion rarely consider the physical limits of the planet, but if they did, and if abortion were put into the context of the long history of human attempts to avoid starvation by regulating population growth, we might come to a different conclusion about what "pro-life" really means.

The third rail of world politics  by Kurt Cobb 12/24/07

Population, consumption drive global climate change and environmental degradation  by Energy Bulletin Staff  12/24/07

Driving the Human Ecological Footprint  by Thomas Dietz, Eugene A. Rosa, and Richard York

Who Knew?  Audio interview with Al Bartlett on population  12/14/07  1 hr. 16 min.

Humanity is the greatest challenge  by John Feeney 11/5/07

Six steps to “getting” the global ecological crisis  by John Feeney 10/31/07



Re-Framing the Population Discussion  by Paul Chefurka  11/07

Population Decline - Red Herrings and Hope  by Paul Chefurka  7/07

What's Your Consumption Factor?    By Jared Diamond  1/2/07

The Numbers Game  by David Nicholson-Lord  9/22/06
On population and consumption

Scientific American and the Silent Lie  by Albert Bartlett 12/06 - On climate change and population

A Manifesto for Earth  by Ted Mosquin and J. Stan Rowe  1/2004
A trusting attachment to the Ecosphere, an aesthetic empathy with surrounding Nature, a feeling of awe for the miracle of the Living Earth and its mysterious harmonies, is humanity's largely unrecognized heritage. Affectionately realized again, our connections with the natural world will begin to fill the gap in lives lived in the industrialized world. Important ecological purposes that civilization and urbanization have obscured will re-emerge. The goal is restoration of Earth's diversity and beauty, with our prodigal species once again a cooperative, responsible, ethical member.

The Problem of Denial by William R. Catton, Jr. - This 1995 article, resurrected by Culture Change in mid-2009, remains one of the best on the psychology of denial. This is Catton’s abstract, lightly edited: Abundant evidence suggests industrial civilization must be "downsized" to curb damage to the ecosphere by the "technosphere." Trends behind this prospect include prodigious population growth, urbanization, cultural dependence upon ravenous use of fossil fuels and other nonrenewable resources, consequent air pollution, and global climate change. Although these trends have been well publicized, eminent writers persist in denying that human carrying capacity (Earth's maximum sustainable human load) has now been or ever will be exceeded. Denials of ecological limits resemble anosognosia (inability of stroke patients to recognize their paralysis). Some denial literature resembles their confabulations (elaborately unreal stories concocted as rationalizations). Denial by opponents of human ecology seems to be a way of coping with an insufferable contradiction between past convictions and present circumstances, a defense against the cognitive dissonance created by intolerable anomalous information. (Includes an extensive literature review up to 1995.)

Population Institute of Canada - Our mission is to raise awareness of the social, economic and environmental consequences of excessive population growth through educational and activist programmes. We believe there is a need to halt and eventually reverse this growth consistent with a healthy environment. We regard relentless population increases as incompatible with the development aspirations of a majority of people worldwide, to their quality of life and to the future health of the planet. We encourage non-coercive family planning in Canada and abroad and endorse population policies rationally based upon a country's carrying capacity.

Population Media Center: Soap Operas for Behavioral and Social Change - Population Media Center (PMC) strives to improve the health and wellbeing of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. In each country in which it works, PMC builds a collaborative process between radio and/or television broadcasters, appropriate governmental ministries, and nongovernmental organizations to design and implement a comprehensive media strategy for addressing family and reproductive health issues.

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement: VHEMT (pronounced vehement) is a movement advanced by people who care about life on planet Earth. We're not just a bunch of misanthropes and anti-social, Malthusian misfits, taking morbid delight whenever disaster strikes humans. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Voluntary human extinction is the humanitarian alternative to human disasters.  Reducing human numbers by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth's biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense.

World Clock



The Stork - 3 min - Little bundles of joy delivered by the mythical stork, with natural consequences.

"Fertco" - 3 min - Fertility treatments with big box economy.

The Wit and Wisdom of Cancer - 4:30 min - What would cancer cells say if they progressed to humanity's advanced level of consciousness?

Daniel Quinn on Facts of World Hunger and Population - 4:19 min - Ishmael author Daniel Quinn discusses the misconceptions of agriculture and its relationship with human population growth.

Earth 2100 - (June 2008) In an unprecedented television and internet event, ABC News is asking you to help answer the most important question of our time — What will our world be like over the next one hundred years if we don’t act now to save our troubled planet?  The world’s brightest minds agree that the “perfect storm” of population growth, resource depletion and climate change could converge with catastrophic results.  We need you to bring this story to life — to use your imagination to create short videos about what it would be like to live through the next century if we stay on our current path. Using predictions from top experts, we will feed you detailed briefings from the years 2015, 2050, 2070 and 2100 — and you will report back about the dangers that are unfolding before your eyes. Your videos will be combined with the projections of top scientists, historians, and economists to form a powerful web–based narrative about the perils of our future. We will also select the most compelling reports to form the backbone of our two–hour primetime ABC News broadcast: Earth 2100.




Cassandra © Grace Roselli


© 2010 Suzanne Duarte