“Human Overpopulation: The Elephant in the Greenhouse”

Tiffin, Helen | from Multimedia Library Collection:

Tiffin, Helen. “Human Overpopulation: The Elephant in the Greenhouse.” Springs: The Rachel Carson Center Review, no. 3 (May 2023).

Human overpopulation has been repeatedly dismissed as a fundamental cause of climate change in favour of other issues, particularly overconsumption in the Global North, leading to land, water, and air pollution, biodiversity loss, and accelerated extinctions of other species. Population growth has been ignored in favour of blaming the pursuit of prosperity: the acquisition of wealth and goods, the myth of unending resources, the shibboleths of “development” and “progress,” technology-driven accumulation, and the capitalist orthodoxy of relentless economic “improvement.” Rampant individualism and the increased privatisation of local or national “commons” continue to catalyse overconsumption, which is, of course, also a major driver of climate change. (From the article)

This article was originally published in Springs: The Rachel Carson Center Review. The journal is an online publication featuring peer-reviewed articles, creative nonfiction, and artistic contributions that showcase the work of the Rachel Carson Center and its community across the world.

2023 Helen Tiffin

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