Discussing the Silence and Denial around Population Growth and Its Environmental Impact. How Do We Find Ways Forward?

Haydn Washington, Helen Kopnina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Academia and government often ignore or deny the impact of population growth on the environment. However, key scientific institutions and reports confirm that population growth is a major driver of climate disruption and other environmental crises. We review the environmental science of population growth. Issues that block dialogue are discussed, such as growthism, anthropocentrism, denial, religious and cultural taboos, fear of being called a racist, the issue of rights claims, seeking political power through numbers, the framing of social justice issues, and sophistical claims regarding ‘racism’. We examine examples of denial about population in academia and government. We explore ways forward to gain dialogue, and we also consider success stories. We conclude that population growth, like overconsumption, must be foregrounded to create ecologocally sustainable economies and a sustainable future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1027
Number of pages19
JournalWorld
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2022

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