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Overpopulation Myths

Updated: 7 days ago

This is a great interview that dispels some of the most common overpopulation myths:

Overpopulation Is Still a Huge Problem: An Interview with Jane O’Sullivan

Richard: Fertility rates are declining sharply in OECD countries, and China’s population is now dropping rapidly. Is world population growth in the rear-view mirror, a problem we no longer have to worry about?

Jane: “Declining sharply” and “dropping rapidly” are emotive terms that exaggerate the trends and distract from the far more rapid growth elsewhere. Globally we increase by somewhere between 70 million and 90 million annually, and that pace has been unrelenting for more than 40 years. We don’t have hard evidence that the curve has started to bend, let alone that it is on track to peak any time soon. So, the problem hasn’t gone away, and the impacts of the human population get more serious and intractable every year.

Richard: How can nations use population decline to their advantage?

Jane: They don’t have to do anything to reap the benefits of population decline, other than stop resisting it. It means not having to build so much infrastructure every year just to keep pace with growth. It means more affordable housing and less household debt. It means we can retreat from the most ecologically valuable or fragile places, and see them restored and rewilded.

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Population chart below from

Below is a World Population Day Presentation and Panel Discussion: What is a sustainable population? Why, when and what should we do about it?

Dr Jane O'Sullivan was the fourth speaker, via a recording made earlier in Australia, at this high level discussion involving top scientists discussing what is a 'scientifically defensible, sustainable human population size for the long term' as called for in the World Scientists Warning to Humanity - A Second Notice issued in 2017 by over 15,000 scientists. Once we know the sustainable population size then how should we get there and when? The 2017 warning also called for 'rallying nations and leaders to support that vital goal’ in terms of population size.


Thankfully, people are starting again to talk about our overpopulation issue.

Here's another article on the climate change / overpopulation subject from The Guardian:

‘I am starting to panic about my child’s future’: climate scientists wary of starting families

I had the hormonal urges,” said Prof Camille Parmesan, a leading climate scientist based in France. “Oh my gosh, it was very strong. But it was: ‘Do I really want to bring a child into this world that we’re creating?’ Even 30 years ago, it was very clear the world was going to hell in a handbasket. I’m 62 now and I’m actually really glad I did not have children.” ... Prof Regina Rodrigues, an oceanographer at the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil, who also chose not to have children, was influenced by the environmental destruction she saw in the fast-expanding coastal town near São Paulo where she grew up. “The fact of the limitation of resources was really clear to me from a young age,” she said. “Then I learned about climate change and it was even more clear to me. I’m totally satisfied in teaching and passing what I know to people – it doesn’t need to be my blood. [My husband and I] don’t regret a moment. We both work on climate and we are fighting.”



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