Abstract and Keywords
This chapter considers the relationship between population growth and environmental sustainability. This is presented as both an objective, material issue of demographic change and environmental resources and a normative one regarding the quality of life. The discussion begins with Maltuhusian arguments popular in the mid-twentieth century limits to growth discourses, continues with an overview of the 1970s opposition to this discourse, and concludes with an assessment of the challenges that both a growing population and a legacy of racist and misogynist discourse advocating limits to population pose for contemporary efforts to achieve sustainable development. While the chapter is sympathetic to the environmentalist claim that any ecological problem is harder to solve with more people, it finds few signs that any politically or ethically acceptable framework exists that would allow current environmental theorists to advocate population stabilization strategies.
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