Population and environment: The impossible, the impermissible, and the imperative

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Human population growth, along with technological development and levels of consumption, is a key driver of our devastating impact on the environment. This must be acknowledged as a matter of urgency. Otherwise, we risk bequeathing future generations a tragic choice between introducing explicitly impermissible coercive population policies, becoming incapable of securing even basic human rights, and worsening climate change and other environmental damage. However, this chapter warns against approaching questions of population from too narrow an environmental ethics viewpoint. If this debate is conducted in isolation from considerations of global justice, there is a real danger of advocating policies that are plausible on the surface but impermissible when assessed in terms of their implicit impact on individual human lives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Environmental Ethics
EditorsStephen M. Gardiner, Allen Thompson
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780199941339, 9780190933388
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2016

Publication series

NameOxford Handbooks
PublisherOxford University Press

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • population
  • environmental ethics
  • global justice
  • circumstances of justice
  • population-tied policies
  • procreative rights
  • ecological footprint
  • IPAT
  • equation


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