Episode 93: An Eye-Opening Discussion On Practical Solutions To Human Overpopulation

Note: This interview was recorded before the Supreme court decision to overturn Roe v Wade. Nonetheless, Nandita and Carter present a deep look into the driving cultural and political forces behind it.

About

nandita bajajNandita Bajaj, Executive Director, Population Balance

A Humane Educator and a passionate advocate for planetary health, Nandita’s area of interest is on the intimate links between pronatalism, anthropocentrism and overpopulation and their impacts on human rights, animal protection, and environmental preservation. As faculty with the Institute for Humane Education at Antioch University, Nandita teaches two courses – Human Rights as well as Pronatalism and Overpopulation, a first-of-its-kind open online course that she designed to explore the impacts of the pervasive and oppressive pressures on women to have children and the resulting impacts on them, other humans, animals, as well as the planet. (See full bio)

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Carter Dillard, Policy Director and Board of Directors, Fair Start Movement

Carter, author of Justice as a Fair Start in Life, began his career as an Honors Program appointee to the U.S. Department of Justice. He later served as a legal adviser to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in the national security law division. He wrote his thesis reformulating the right to have children under Jeremy Waldron.

Topics
  • Overpopulation and pronatalism
  • The role of humane education in turning the tide on human population issues
  • The effects of overpopulation on people, wildlife, and wild places
  • Simple, practical, humane solutions to the population crisis
Extra Credit

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Show Transcript

Transcript: Episode 93: An Eye-Opening Discussion On Practical Solutions To Human Overpopulation

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Philip smart - July 18, 2022

I can’t believe you had a discussion about overpopulation! People are going to believe you!
WE DO NOT HAVE AN OVERPOPULATION PROBLEM, WE HAVE A DISTRIBUTION PROBLEM AND WE HAVE A PROFIT MOTIVE THAT CAUSES ALMOST ALL HUMAN NEGATIVES ON THE PLANET……YES I’M SHOUTING, THE FALSEHOOD REALLY MAKES ME ANGRY…..START TELLING TRUTHS!

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    Jack Humphrey - July 19, 2022

    Quite an emotional response to a well-presented and thoughtful talk based on irrefutable facts. The distribution problem is a favorite argument of growthists, quite like the other shallow, unsupported social media arguments we meant to avoid here today. There are a lot of problems in the world and they all stem from one root cause. This is just a physics problem. You’re welcome to bring back some data showing the laws of physics have changed. But the time for yelling roundly debunked myths at people trying to do something about the problem is long gone.

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      Jack Humphrey - July 19, 2022

      “Overpopulation creates the economic and social havoc in which those detestable people flourish. You’ve got it all back to front.” Martin Tye

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    Jeff Hoffman - September 24, 2022

    There are so many people on Earth that the other species have nowhere to live. Overpopulation is not an issue about whether all people have enough food or anything else; it’s an issue of sharing the planet with other species and living in proper ecological balance with the Earth and its ecosystems. If you’re a human supremacist, then you don’t care about these things, but a human supremacist is as bad or worse than any other type of supremacist.

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Lee Badger - July 19, 2022

The attempt to embed rights of nature into another right, the right of freedom. We could also point toward another right, the right to life – not just human life, but all life. Sad that we can take an obvious harm – the destruction of the natural world – and have to concoct an esoteric reason why it’s wrong. The philosophical foundations of morality are deep. I guess it’s too simplistic to just say, “We’re killing the earth” and we know that killing is wrong.

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Jack Humphrey - July 19, 2022

Compelling rebuke of the “overconsumption of the rich” argument as the only problem: https://rewilding.org/overconsumption

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    Jeff Hoffman - September 24, 2022

    The two physical root causes of ALL environmental and ecological problems are overpopulation and overconsumption, the latter including consuming things we shouldn’t be, like fossil fuels, trees, and beef (actually all farmed meat, but giving up agriculture is a very long-term goal that will take thousands of years to accomplish). Overpopulation is a bigger and more fundamental problem, but if we don’t fix both problems, we won’t stop destroying the natural environment. This isn’t either-or, it’s both. We have to live a lot more simply in a lot smaller numbers, simple as that.

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David Johns - July 19, 2022

There are no large-scale egalitarian societies. Inequality and hierarchy emerge when population numbers push humans into agriculture. That’s the unhappy reality.

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    Jeff Hoffman - September 24, 2022

    I agree that overpopulation prevents societies from being egalitarian or making decisions that are representative of the society as a whole, but I think you have it backward (although there’s no proof one way or the other). However, it’s fantastical to think that humans were able to discover agriculture just because their population swelled beyond the natural carrying capacity of the planet. Far more likely is that the use of agriculture caused the human population to explode, just like that of the microbes in the Petri dish in the high school biology experiment once you add more food. Give animals more food, and you get more animals, humans included.

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L H - July 22, 2022

I have never for one second regretted being childless by choice, why should I? I have a brother on his third marriage who is estranged from all three of his children. My niece is raising six kids (four are her own), she is trapped in her second marriage with a verbally abusive husband and is absolutely miserable. Her step-brother, my nephew is on his third marriage and has wrestled with separation anxiety ever since his parent’s divorce. As for me, I write a wildlife column in a local magazine to help prevent human-wildlife conflict and educate the public to promote a better understanding of why we NEED ALL species collectively within our ‘web of life’. I especially love to educate children about animals and nature. I did not marry until I turned 50. It is blissful knowing that I will not burden this planet when I die, but have instead dedicated my retired life to animal advocacy campaigns and wildlife education. It is a peaceful and deeply gratifying endeavor. Meanwhile, I would wager my very life that only two of my sibbling’s Grandchildren will grow up to live a functional, stable, well-adjusted, happy and productive life. The rest will be a burden on society. Some will no doubt spend their time and money on alcohol, street drugs, anti-depressants and counseling in an attempt to find happiness amidst their failed marriages and the deeply troubled lives of their own step-children.

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Monte - July 27, 2022

Who made you God ? Jack? How do you know the “right” population of humans on God’s Green Earth?

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    Jack Humphrey - July 28, 2022

    Scientists don’t know the exact “right” population of humans, but we do know that 7.9 billion ain’t it. Funny you wrote this on the day humans passed Earth’s carrying capacity for the year. We are now using 1.8 Earths worth of resources every year. So, the current and future population predictions are the wrong number without question. I’d say we’d be doing much better around 2 billion. Regarding God, put it this way: If you were to walk into God’s house (it’s all white carpet, of course) and drop your chocolate ice cream cone on the floor, would you wait for him/her/they to come back and clean up your mess? Or would you be on your hands and knees scrubbing before they got back? “God” is obviously not in charge of human population issues. It’s our mess to clean up.

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      Jeff Hoffman - September 24, 2022

      In his book Countdown, Alan Weisman proposes 2-3 billion as the goal for global human population, with a western European lifestyle. He admits that this would still cause extinctions, but he supports it nevertheless.

      My point is that 2 billion is still way too many people. All we know is that global human population was 5-10 million before the use of agriculture, and any more than that is probably too many.

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    Jeff Hoffman - September 24, 2022

    The only evidence of the ecologically “proper” global human population is that before humans started using agriculture, there were 5-10 million people on Earth. Agriculture is unnatural and very ecologically destructive, so 5-10 million is the only “proper” number anyone can point to. Furthermore, humans had been around for 95% of our existence by the time we started using agriculture, and if the Earth could naturally support more than 5-10 million people, it would have done so by that point.

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