‘Female Empowerment,’ ‘Greater Equality’ Critical To Reducing Humans’ Environmental Impacts
Vox: I’m an environmental journalist, but I never write about overpopulation. Here’s why.
David Roberts, journalist at Vox
“…The first way to look at population is as a pure numbers game. More people means more consumers and more emitters, so the thing to do is slow the rise of population. Specifically, since most of the new people are going to come from poor or developing countries, the question is specifically how to slow population growth there. Luckily, we know the answer. It is family planning that enables women to have only children they want and choose, and education of girls, giving them access to income opportunities outside the home. … Those are the two most powerful levers to bend the population curve. … If your concern is the creation of new consumers and emitters, your gaze should be drawn to those who will consume and emit the most, i.e., the wealthy. … Shifting wealth within populations — reducing the number of very wealthy and the number in poverty — can have as much carbon impact as reducing overall population. … [F]emale empowerment and greater equality are a) goals shared by powerful preexisting coalitions, b) replete with ancillary benefits beyond the environmental, and c) unquestionably righteous…” (9/26).