torsdag 23 mars 2017

Books I've read (February-March)

I read the three books below just about a year ago, in February and March 2016. All three books concern really tough global questions such as poverty, population and the environment. They are all also more or less gloomy. The asterisks below represent the number of quotes from the each book (see further below) and here's the previous blog post about books I have read.

*********************** Mike Davis (Wikipedia) is a scholar and I have had his book, "Planet of slums" (2006), on my radar for quite some time. This is one of those book I heard about and wanted to read, but that barely made it into my reading list after I managed to match it with a few other related books (below). This book fits right into the struggle where some pundits (e.g. Johan Norberg or Hans Rosling in a Swedish context) argue that things have and are getting better all the time, while other pundits points out that things are instead going in the wrong direction. This is a "wrong direction" book. Davis describes the explosive growth of slums (including various euphemisms such as "informal settlements") over the last decades primarily, but not exclusively in the global South. As people move into cities (voluntarily or involuntarily), many are stuck in dead-end areas with few opportunities for making a decent living and yet smaller opportunities for getting out of that situation. Some of the quotes (further below) are pretty shocking. From the back cover:

"According to the United Nations, more than one billion people now live in the slums of the cities of the South. In this [book,] Davies explores the future of a radically unequal and explosively unstable urban world. From the sprawling barricadas of Lima to the garbage hills of Manila ... Davis portrays a vast humanity warehoused in shantytowns and exiled from the formal world economy."

************** Jeffrey Sachs (Wikipedia) is a superstar academic economist and his book "Common wealth: Economics for a crowded planet" (2008) weighs in in the "things-have-gotten-better-but-we-now-face-challenges" camp. Or, that is at least the intended purpose of the book. There are many examples of Sachs writing that "these developments are troubling, but we can solve this by...", but reading this book the better part of decade after it was published, it is clear that almost nothing of what he proposed or hoped for has happened. So where does that leave the reader? Should I be impressed by his for the most part sunny outlook or depressed about the fact that most of the things he writes about get worse rather than better since he wrote the book? I keep wondering how Sachs himself copes with the reality of having the things he hopes for repeatedly not happening? Still, there is no chance for positive change if you give up all hope so Sachs should perhaps instead be commended for at least trying? From the back cover:

"Jeffrey Sachs is one of the world's leading thinkers and activists in economic development. In this inspiring new book he sets out a realistic, practical plan for solving the most severe crises our world faces - population growth, climate change, extreme poverty - in a way that will ultimately benefit all of us. By harnessing new technology and a new ethic of global co-operation, he shows we can find common ground in our crowded world, leaving a healthy, healed planet for future generations."

********************************************************* "Life on the brink: Environmentalists confront overpopulation" (2012) is a really interesting book that is edited by philosopher Philip Cafaro and sociologist Eileen Crist. It does something I have seldom seen before and that is to thoroughly discuss the effects of (over)population on the environment. The issues that are raised in the book are so politically sensitive (or "incorrect") on so many levels and that is also why the book is so interesting (note the 57 quotes from the book below).

This book brings forth ideas and arguments I haven't heard elsewhere, or at least have not seen in such a distilled form elsewhere. The book of course discusses overconsumption in the global North, but also high nativity in (selected parts) of the global South. Others have discussed such issues before, although the second issue is pretty contentious. The book in fact goes a lot further though and also singles our people in affluent countries (e.g. the US) having many children as especially problematic (not a popular platform). It also discusses the environmental effect of immigration to the US and construes this as deeply problematic from an environmental/sustainability point of view. The US overconsumes and anyone who moves to the US instantly becomes and overconsumer. The conclusion is that the US should, for environmental reasons, be much more restrictive about immigration and the same argument could of course also be made about Sweden. This makes for strange bedfellows and the authors take great pains at distancing themselves from people they don't want to be lumped together with but who might have reached similar conclusions based on other criteria (e.g. racism).

I have more or less talked about the book as a unified whole, but this is an edited book that consists of 24 texts of various authors (most unknown to me). The book was really stimulating and challenging to read and I can very much recommend it as it forces you to think about issues that are seldom discussed. In fact, even some of book chapters are potentially provocative with titles such as "Overpopulation versus biodiversity: How a plethora of people produces a paucity of wildlife", "Colossus versus liberty: A bloated humanity's assault on freedom" and "The environmental argument for reducing immigration into the United States". From the back cover:

"Some of the leading voices in the American environmental movement restate the case that population growth is a major force behind many of our most serious ecological problems, including global climate change, habitat loss and species extinctions, air and water pollution, and food and water scarcity. As we surpass seven billion world inhabitants, contributors argue that ending population growth worldwide and in the United States is a morel imperative that deserves renewed commitment.... In defense of nature and of a vibrant human future, contributors confront hard issues regarding contraception, abortion, immigration and limits to growth that many environmentalists have become too timid or politically correct to address in recent years."

I notice that Cafaro has since had another book published by the prestigious University of Chicago Press, "How many is too many? The progressive argument for reducing immigration into the United States" (2015). Here's an interesting point-by-point retelling of a debate with someone who violently opposes Cafaro's views: "Debating Phil Cafaro: To the anti-humanists, prosperity causes global warming, and therefore is bad".


----- On us now being an global urban species -----
"The earth has urbanized even faster than originally predicted by the Club of Rome in its notoriously Malthusian 1972 report *Limits of Growth*. In 1950 there were 86 cities in the world with a population of more than one million; today there are 400, and by 2015 there will be at least 550. Cities, indeed, have absorbed nearly two-thirds of the global population explosion since 1950, and are currently growing by a million babies and migrants each week. ... cities will account for virtually all future world population growth, which is expected to peak at about 10 billion in 2050."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.1-2.

----- On 'megacities' and 'hyptercities' -----
"The scale and velocity of Third World urbanization ... utterly dwarfs that of Victorian Europe. London in 1910 was seven times larger than it had been in 1800, but Dhaka, Kinshasa, and Lagos today are each approximately *forty* times larger than they were in 1950. China ... added more city-dwellers in the 1980s than did all of Europe (including Russia) in the entire nineteenth century! The most celebrated phenomenon, of course, is the burgeoning of new megacities with populations in excess of 8 million and, even more spectacularly, hypercities with more than 20 million inhabitants - the estimated urban population of the world at the time of the French Revolution. ... The Far Eastern Economic Review estimates that by 2025 ... Mumbai (Bombay) ... is projected to attain a population of 33 million although no one knows whether such gigantic concentrations of poverty are biologically or ecologically sustainable."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.3-5.

----- On capital-intensive countrysides and deindustrializing cities -----
"Rather than the classical stereotype of the labor-intensive countryside and the capital-intensive industrial metropolis, the Third World now contains many examples of capital-intensive countrysides and labor-intensive deindustrialized cities. "Overurbanization," in other words, is driven by the reproduction of poverty, not by the supply of jobs. This is one of the unexpected tracks down which a neoliberal world order is shunting the future. ... classical social theory believed that the great cities of the future would follow in the industrializing footsteps of Manchester, Berlin, and Chicago [but] Kinshasa, Luanda, Khartoum, Dar-es-Salaam, Guayaquil and Lima continue to grow prodigiously despite ruined import-substitution industries, shrunken public sectors, and downwardly mobile middle classes. The global forces "pushing" people from the countryside ... seem to sustain urbanization even when the "pull" of the city is drastically weakened by debt and economic depression.""
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.16-17.

----- On the bright future for squalor and slums -----
"By 2015 Black Africa will have 332 million slum-dwellers, a number that will continue to double every fifteen years. Thus, the cities of the future, rather than being made out of glass and steel as envisioned by earlier generations of urbanists, are instead largely constructed out of crude brick, straw, recycled plastic, cement blocks, and scrap wood. Instead of cities of light soaring toward heaven, much of the twenty-first-century urban world squats in squalor, surrounded by pollution, excrement, and decay. Indeed, the one billion city-dwellers who inhabit postmodern slums might well look back with envy at the ruins of the sturdy mud homes ... erected at the very dawn of city life nine thousand years ago."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.19.

----- On the history of slums in the great cities of the world -----
"what is a "slum"? The first published definition reportedly occurs in ... 1812 ... where it is synonymous with "racket" or "criminal trade." By the cholera years of the 1830s and 1840s, however, the poor were living in slums rather than practicing them. ... By mid-century slums were identified in France, America, and India ... Connoisseurs ... debated where human degradation was most awful ... In a 1885 survey of the "poor in the great cities," *Scribner's Magazine* voted Naples's *fondaci* as "the most ghastly human dwellings of the face of the earth," but Gorky was certain that Moscow's notorious Khitrov district was actually the "lower depths," while Kipling laughed and took his readers "deeper and deeper still" to Colootollah, the "lowest sink of all" in Calcutta's "city of dreadful night.""
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.21-22.

----- On the global capitals of slum-dwelling -----
"Resident of slums, while only 6 percent of the city population of the developed countries, constitute a staggering 78.2 percent of urbanites in the least-developed countries; this equals fully a third of the global urban population. According to UN-HABITAT, the world's highest percentages of slum-dwellers are in Ethiopia (an astonishing 99.4 percent of the urban population), Chad (also 99.4 percent), Afghanistan (98.3 percent), and Nepal (92 percent). Bombay, with 10 to 12 million squatters and tenement-dwellers, is the global capital of slum-dwelling, followed by Mexico city and Dhaka (9 to 10 million each), and then Lagos, Cairo, Karachi, Kinshasa-Brazzaville, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Delhi (6 to 8 million each). The fastest-growing slums are in the Russian Federation (especially ex-"socialist company towns" dependant on a single, now-closed industry) and the former Soviet republics, where urban dereliction has been bred at the same stomach-churning velocity as economic inequality and civic disinvestment."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.23-24.

----- On high-end and low-end slums -----
"Large peripheral slums, especially i Africa, are usually complex quiltworks of kin networks, tenure systems, and tenant relationships. Diana Lee-Smith ... has closely studied Korogocho, a huge slum on the eastern edge of [Nairobi]. Korogocho includes seven villages offering a menu of different housing and rental types. The most wretched village, Grogan, consists of one-room cardboard shacks and is largely populated by female-headed households evicted from an older shantytown near the city center. Barracks-like Githaa, on the other hand, "is an entirely speculative village, built by entrepreneurs for rent," despite the fact that the land is publicly owned. ... Lee-Smith emphasizes that petty landlordship and subletting are major wealth strategies of the poor, and ... homeowners quickly become exploiters of even more impoverished people. Despite the persistent heroic image of the squatter as self-builder and owner-occupier, the reality in Korogocho and other Nairobi slums is the irresistible increase in tenancy and petty exploitation."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.44.

----- On Colombia's civil war feeding the slums -----
"The unending civil wars in Colombia ... have added more than 400,000 IDPs [internally displaced people] to Bogotá's urban poverty belt ... Without urban skills and frequently without access to schools, these young peasants and their children are ideal recruits for street gangs and paramilitaries. Local businessmen vandalized by urchins, in turn, form *grupos de limipeza* with links to rightwing death squads, and the bodies of murdered children are dumped at the edge of town. The same nightmare prevails on the outskirts of Cali, where anthropologist Michael Taussig invokes Dante's *Inferno* to describe the struggle for survival in two "stupendously dangerous" peripheral slums. Navarro is a notorious "garbage mountain" where hungry women and children pick through waste while youthful gunmen (*malo de malo*) are either hired or exterminated by local rightwing paramilitaries"
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.49.

----- On slums existing outside the normal obligations of the nation state -----
"In the rest of the Third World [with the exception of China], the idea of an interventionist state strongly committed to social housing and job development seems either a hallucination or a bad joke, because governments long ago abdicated any serious effort to combat slums and redress urban marginality. In too many poor cities, citizens' relationship to their government is similar to what a Nairobi slum-dweller recently described to a *Guardian* reporter: "The state does nothing here. It provides no water, no schools, no sanitation, no roads, no hospitals." Indeed, the journalist found out that residents bought water from private dealers and relied on vigilante groups for security - the police visited only to collect bribes."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.62.

----- On unequal land use in Third World cities -----
""The gulf between rich and poor in Nairobi, one of the world's most unequal cities," writes journalist Jeevan Vasagar in the *Guardian*, "is starkly illustrated by its neighborhoods. In the leafy suburb of Karen there are fewer than 360 inhabitants per square kilometer, according to the 1999 census; parts of Kibera have more than 80,000 people in the same sized area." But Nairobi is scarcely unique in forcing the poor to live in slums of anthill-like density while the wealthy enjoy their gardens and open spaces. ... Bombay, according to some urban geographers, may be the extreme: "While the rich have 90 percent of the land and live in comfort with many open areas, the poor live crushed together on 10 percent of the land.""
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.95-96.

----- On international events as the bane of the poor -----
"In the urban third World, poor people dread high-profile international events - conferences, dignitary visits, sporting events, beauty contests, and international festivals - that prompt authorities to launch crusades to clean up the city: slum-dwellers know that they are the "dirt" or "blight" that their governments prefer the world not to see. ... These days governments are ... likely to improve the view by razing the slums and driving the residents out of the city."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.104.

----- On risk as product of hazard, assets and fragility -----
"poverty magnifies local geological and climatic hazards. Urban environmental vulnerabilities, or *risk*, is sometimes calculated as the product of *hazard* (frequency and magnitude of natural event) times *assets* (population and shelter exposed to hazard) times *fragility* (physical characteristics of built environment): risk = hazard * assets * fragility. Informal urbanization has everywhere multiplied - sometimes by a decimal order of magnitude or more - the inherent natural hazards of urban environments. A textbook example was the August 1988 rainstorms and Nile flood that displaced 800,000 poor residents of Khartoum: scientists point out that while the flood highwater mark was lower than the 1946 peak, it did *ten times* as much damage, largely due to the increased sprawl of slums without drainage"
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.124.

----- Slums are the world's premier fire ecology -----
"Slums, not Mediterranean brush or Australian eucalypti as claimed by some textbooks, are the world's premier fire ecology. Their mixture of inflammable dwellings, extraordinary density, and dependence upon open fires for heat and cooking is a superlative recipe for spontaneous combustion. A simple accident with cooking gas or kerosene can quickly become a mega-fire that destroys hundreds or even thousands of dwellings. Fire spreads through shanties at extraordinary velocity, and fire-fighting vehicles, if they respond, are often unable to negotiate narrow slum lanes. Slum fires, however, are often anything but accidents: rather than bear the expense of court procedures or endure the wait for an official demolition order, landlords and developers frequently prefer the simplicity of arson. Manila has an especially notorious reputation for suspicious slum fires."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.127.

----- On the mass pauperization of the former (communistic) "second world" -----
"The biggest event of the 1990s ... was the conversion of much of the former "Second World" - European and Asian state socialism - into a new third world. In the early 1990s those considered to be living in extreme poverty in the former "transitional countries," as the UN calls them, rocketed from 14 million to 168 million: an almost instantaneous mass pauperization without precedent in history. Poverty, of course, did exist in the fomer USSR in an unacknowledged form, but according to World Bank researchers, the rate did not exceed 6 to 10 percent. Now, according to Alexey Krasheninnokov, in his report to UN-HABITAT, 60 percent of Russian families live in poverty, and the rest of the population "can only be categorized as middle class by a considerable stretch." ("Middle-class" Russians, for example, spend 40 percent of their income on food as compared to a global middle-income standard of less than one-third.) Although the worst "transitional poverty" is hidden from view in derelict regions of the ex-Soviet countryside, the cities display shocking new extremes of overnight wealth and equally sudden misery."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.166.

----- On slums as dumping ground for the unskilled "surplus population" of the third world's -----
"As the authors of *The Challenge of Slums* conclude: "Instead of being a focus for growth and prosperity, the cities have become a dumping ground for a surplus population working in unskilled, unprotected and low-wage informal service industries and trade." ... This informal working class, without legal recognition or rights, has important historical antecedents. In modern European history Naples, even more than Dublin or London's East End, was the exemplar of an urban informal economy. In this "most shocking city of the nineteenth century," as Frank Snowden calls it in his brilliant study, a "chronic super-abundance of labour" survived by miracles of economic improvisation and the constant subdivision of subsistence niches. A structural dearth of formal jobs - permanent unemployment was estimated at 40 percent - was transformed into an overwhelming spectacle of informal competition. The street scene in *risorgimiento* Naples ... was a colorful but tragic anticipation of contemporary Lima or Kinshasa."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.174-175.

----- On slum-dwellers working in "the informal sector" being the fastest growing "social class" on earth -----
"Altogether, the global informal working class (overlapping with but non-identical to the slum population) is about one billion strong, making it the fastest-growing, and most unprecedented, social class on earth. ... a huge literature has wrestled with the formidable theoretical and empirical problems involved in studying the survival strategies of the new urban poor."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.178.

----- On the connection between dwindling opportunities and racial, ethnic or religious conflicts -----
"Those engaged in informal-sector competition under conditions of infinite labor supply usually stop short of a total war or all against all; conflict, instead, is usually transmuted into ethnoreligious or racial violence. ... Politically, the informal sector, in the absence of enforced labor rights, is a semifeudal realm of kickbacks, bribes, tribal loyalties, and ethnic exclusion. Urban space is never free. A place on the pavement, the rental of a rickshaw, a day's labor on a construction site, or a domestic's reference to a new employer: all of these require patronage or membership in some closed network, often an ethnic militia or street gang. Whereas traditional formal industries such as textiles in India or oil in the Middle Est tended to foster interethnic solidarity through unions and radical political parties, the rise of the unprotected informal sector has too frequently gone hand in hand with exacerbated ethnoreligious differentiation and sectarian violence."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.185.

----- On Kinshasa (Congo) as the worst city in the world to live in -----
"how far can the elastic fabric of informalization be stretched to provide shelter and livelihood for the new urban poor? One great city ... struggles for bare subsistence amidst the ghosts of its betrayed dreams. Kinshasa is the capital of a naturally rich and artificially poor country where, as President Mobutu himself once put it, "everything is for sale and everything can be bought." Of the world's megacities, only Dhaka is as poor, and Kinshasa surpasses all in its desperate reliance upon informal survival strategies. As an anthropologist observes with some awe, it is the simultaneous "miracle and nightmare" of a vast city where the formal economy and state institutions, apart from the repressive apparatus, have utterly collapsed.""
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.191.

----- On the "child witches" of Congo -----
"because there is no functioning child welfare system in Kinshasa, the family expulsion of accused witches is not just rationalization for abandonment, but also "a chance to place [a child] in a religious community, where they will receive some sort of education and food to live on, or to get them into one of the centres run by an international NGO." But most child witches, especially the sick and HIV-positive kids, simply end up in the street, become part of the urban army, at least 30,000 strong, composed of "runaways, child abuse victims, children displaced by war, child soldiers who have deserted, orphans and unmarried." The child witches of Kinshasa, like the organ-exporting slums of India and Egypt, seem to take us to an existential ground zero beyond which there are only death camps, famine, and Kurtzian horror."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.198.

----- On the precariat of the global South as the real crisis in world capitalism -----
"The late-capitalist triage of humanity, then, has already taken place. As Jan Bremab, writing of India, has warned: "A point of no return is reached when a reserve army waiting to be incorporated into the labour process becomes stigamtized as a permanently redundant mass, an excessive burden that cannot be included now or in the future, in economy and society. This metamorphosis is, in my opinion at least, the real crisis of world capitalism." Alternatively, as the CIA grimly noted in 2002: "By the late 1990s a staggering one billion workers representing one-third of the world's labor force, most of them in the South, were either unemployed or underemployed." ... there is no official scenario for the reincorporation of this vast mass of surplus labor into the mainstream of the world economy. The contrast with the 1960s is dramatic: forty years ago ideological warfare between the two great Cold War blocs generated competing visions of abolishing world poverty and rehousing slum-dwellers."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.199-200.

----- On slums as the last stop for surplus humans -----
"With a literal "great wall" of high-tech border enforcement blocking large-scale migration to the rich countries, only the slum remains as a fully franchised solution to the problem of warehousing this century's surplus humanity. Slum populations, according to UN-HABITAT, are currently growing by a staggering 25 million per year. ... Indeed, *peri-urban poverty* - a grim human world largely cut off from the subsistence solidarities of the countryside as well as disconnected from the cultural and political life of the traditional city - is the radical new face of inequality. The urban edge is a zone of exile, a new Babylon; it was reported, for example, that some of the young terrorists - born and raised in Casablanca's peripheral *bidonvilles* - who attacked luxury hotels and foreign restaurants in May 2003 had never been downtown before and were amazed at the affluence of the *medina*."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.200-201.

----- On the implications of a world of cities without jobs -----
"It should not be surprising that some poor youth on the outskirts of Istanbul, Cairo, Casablanca, or Paris embrace the religious nihilism of al Salafia Jihadia and rejoice in the destruction of an alien modernity's most overweening symbols. Or that millions of others turn to the urban subsistence economies operated by street gangs, *narcotraficantes*, militias, and sectarian political organizations. ... As the Third World middle classes increasingly bunker themselves in their suburban themeparks and electrified "security villages," they lose moral and cultural insight into the urban badlands they have left behind. The rulers' imagination, moreover, seems to falter before the obvious implications of a world of cities without jobs. ... most of the deep thinkers at the big American and European policy think tanks and international relations institutes have yet to wrap their minds around the geopolitical implications of a "planet of slums." More successful - probably because they don't have to reconcile neoliberal dogma to neoliberal reality - have been the strategists and tactical planners at the Air Force Academy, the Army's RADN Arroyo Center, and the Marines' Quantico (Virginia) Warfighting Laboratory."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.202.

----- On the fight between Orwellian technologies vs. the gods of chaos -----
"the Pentagon's best minds have dared to venture where most United Nations, World Bank or Department of State types fear to go: down the road that logically follows from the abdication of urban reform. ... the unemployed teenage fighters of the 'Mahdi Army' in Baghdad's Sadr City - one of the world's largest slums - taunt American occupiers with the promise that their main boulevard is "Vietnam Street." But the war planners don't blench. With coldblooded lucidity, they now assert that the "feral, failed cities" of the Third World - especially their slum outskirts - will be the distinctive battlespace of the twenty-first century. Pentagon doctrine is being reshaped accordingly to support a low-intensity world war of unlimited duration against criminalized segments of the urban poor. This is the true "clash of civilzations." ... the highest stage of Orientalism ... [it] "works by separating the 'civilised world' - the 'homeland' cities which must be 'defended' - from the 'dark forces,' the 'axis of evil,' and the 'terrorist nests' of Islamic cities, which are alleged to sustain the 'evildoers' which threaten the health, prosperity, and democracy of the whole of the 'free' world." ... Night after night, hornetlike helicopter gunships stalk enigmatic enemies in the narrow streets of the slum districts, pouring hellfire into shanties or fleeing cars. Every morning the slums reply with suicide bombers and eloquent explosions. If the empire can deploy Orwellian technologies of repression, its outcasts have the gods of chaos on their side."
Davies, M. (2006). Planet of slums. Verso, p.205-206.

----- On the 21st century challenges of sustainable development -----
"The challenges of sustainable development - protecting the environment, stabilizing the world's population, narrowing the gaps between rich and poor, and ending extreme poverty - will take center stage. Global cooperation will have to come to the fore. The very idea of competing nation-states that scramble for markets, power, and resources will become passé. The idea that the United States can bully or attack its way to security has proved to be misguided and self-defeating. the world has become much too crowded and dangerous for more "great games" in the Middle East or anywhere else. The defining challenge of the twenty-first century will  be to face the reality that humanity shares a *common fate on a crowded planet*. That common fate will require new forms of global cooperation, a fundamental point of blinding simplicity that many world leaders have yet to understand or embrace."
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p.3.

----- On business-as-usual leading to ecological catastrophe -----
"we can restate the environmental conundrum as follows: The world's population is on a business-as-usual track to rise by roughly 40 percent by 2050, and the world's income per person is on a business-as-usual track to rise perhaps fourfold. Thus ... total world income, is on track to rise roughly sixfold. The human impact on the environment ... with an unchanged set of technologies, would also therefore be sixfold"
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p.30.

----- On the "poverty trap" -----
"In 1820, the richest country in the world, the United Kingdom, had an average income per person that was roughly three times greater than that of the poorest region, sub-Saharan Africa. By 2005, the richest country in the world, the United States, had a per capita income that was roughly twenty times larger than that of the poorest region, still sub-Saharan Africa. For the past generation, sub-Saharan Africa has failed to achieve a rise in income per person. The growing gap is dangerous in countless ways. .... The poorest countries are the most unstable politically, and the most prone to violence and conflict, often to conflicts that spill over national and regional borders, thereby involving the rest of the world. And the poor, in their desperation to stay alive, are often contributing to massive local environmental degradation by depleting soils of nutrients, overfishing lakes and rivers, and clearing forests to make way for new farmland to absorb a rising population. The poverty trap is self-reinforcing, not self-correcting."
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p.31.

----- On having many children as exploitation of sorts -----
"Controlling population growth on our planet is the second great challenge of sustainable development. However, there is also a tyranny of the present when it comes to population growth. Parents often have many children in order to ensure the parents' old-age security, a decision that may well come at the expense of the children's own well-being. After all, an impoverished family cannot really provide for the nutritional, health, and educational needs of six or seven children, yet impoverished parents may have that many children for their own benefit, a subtle form of exploitation of future generations by today's generation."
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p.41.

----- On extreme poverty as a hard nut to crack -----
"The world has seen an astounding reduction in extreme poverty since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Before 1800, perhaps 85 percent of the world's population lived in what we would consider today to be extreme poverty. By 1950, this had reached the 50 percent mark ... Since then, extreme poverty has continued to decline to below 25 percent in 1992 and to just 15 percent today. The challenge now is that extreme poverty is concentrated in the toughest places: landlocked, tropical, drought-prone, malaria-ridden, and off the world's main trade routes. It is not an accident that today's poorest places have been the last to catch the wave of globalization. They have the most difficulty in getting on the ladder of development.""
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p.50.

----- On human use of freshwater and on upstream/downstream conflicts -----
"Humans have dramatically interfered in the hydrological cycle, mainly to ensure adequate water for human food production. ... up to 60 percent of accessible river runoff is now appropriated for human use through dams, irrigation systems, and other water diversion activities. The commandeering of the freshwater flow is now so high that many of the world's great rivers - including the Ganges in India, the Yellow in China, and the Rio Grande between the United States and Mexico - no longer reach the sea. Moreover, further damming of rivers will often create a zero-sum struggle in which greater upstream users deprive both humans and natural ecosystems located downstream of the water that they need for survival."
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p.70.

----- On reliable water as a predictor of wealth? -----
"The adequacy of water supply is determined not only by the average amount of water available in a year but also by the variability and predictability of the rainfall. The African savanna, and even more the African Sahel, is characterized not only by low levels of rainfall ... but also by extreme variability of rainfall. ... the variability of water availability is strongly and negatively related to per capita income. Countries with high rainfall variability tend to be poorer, and low variability (higher predictability) is associated with greater economic prosperity."
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p.120.

----- On immigration -----
"A low-skilled immigrant arriving in a rich country experiences an immediate jump in income that can be a factor of ten or more. The migrant's employment tends to be in areas that are largely complementary with the host-country labor force, for example, in low-cost labor-intensive services ... While the low-skilled migrant might compete with low-skilled host-country workers, and lower their wages as a result, that effect tends to be small. ... At the political and sociological level, however, the issues are decidedly more complicated. Low-skilled migrants very often do not assimilate with the local population - or are not allowed to do so - as they are relentlessly separated by economic class, legal status, residential neighborhoods, language, religion, and culture. Legal and illegal migrants arrive without families, leaving behind wives and children who suffer the pangs of separation. The migrants are inevitably in legal flux, without property rights and highly fearful of judicial processes, especially forced deportation. Children, when they are present, may have only a tenuous connection with the schools and public health system. Separation, discrimination, and mutual fear can be flashpoint of violence, as has been the case reportedly in the United States and Europe for years. Nor can migration and remittances alone solve the development problems back home."
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p.237.

----- On Afghanistan's insolvable situation -----
"Afghanistan's crisis had simmered for decades before exploding. Its hardships were and remain extreme. Afghanistan faces severe ecological difficulties from aridity, desertification, overgrazing, soil erosion and degradation, and deforestation. The country is landlocked and located in mountainous Central Asia, resulting in isolation,. The population has tripled from eight million to twenty-five million since 1950. A remarkable two thirds of the population is under the age of twenty-five, and the total fertility rate is 7. Afghanistan exemplifies the end of the line for desperately poor countries when poverty, overpopulation, and environmental degradation are allowed to continue unchecked for decades. Solutions that were once at hand can be lost for decades because the land simply can no longer sustain the population, except perhaps by reliance on poppy production and other desperate stratagems."
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p.247-248.

----- On the worst-off countries in the world -----
"The greatest swath of instability today comprises the group of dryland countries from Africa through the Middle East and Central Asia that relies on pastoralism as a principal livelihood. The group includes the Sahel (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad), the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Sudan), East Africa (northern Uganda, northeast Kenya), the Middle East (Yemen), and Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, among other). All of these countries are besieged by problems that no military can solve: remarkably rapid population growth, a youth bulge, deeply degraded environments, and a lack of economic alternatives. The poverty trap, and instability, deepen as the world delays a sensible response."
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p.248.

----- On a problem that might be on the rise in Sweden? -----
"There are ... important questions regarding the transferability of the social-welfare model. There is probably little room for doubt that Nordic ethnic homogeneity has been an important enabling social factor in the success of the social-welfare state. In a wonderful series of articles, Alberto Alesina and colleagues have shown that social spending tends to be highest where social and racial cleavages are the smallest. This is true across U.S. states and apparently across countries as well. White Americans living in states with higher proportions of African Americans, for example, seem to be much less likely to support high levels of social spending. The authors summarize matters as follows:
"Racial discord plays a critical role in determining beliefs about the poor. Since minorities are highly over-represented amongst the poorest Americans, any income-based redistribution measures will redistribute particularly to minorities. The opponents of redistribution have regularly used race based rhetoric to fight left-wing policies. ... America's troubled race relations are clearly a major reason for the absence of an American welfare state."
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p.265.

----- On the link between poverty, inequality, racism and intolerance -----
"In the end, the social-welfare model relies on a form of trust. It seems people are more willing to withstand high rates of taxation if they know that their taxes are paying for programs that help people like them. Because poor people in the social-welfare states are of the same cultural and ethnic background as the rest of the population, it is politically easier to promote programs that support the poor. The social-welfare model underlines how important it is for the success of the welfare stat that citizens identify with the beneficiaries of government programs. They are less likely to do so if socioeconomic divisions coincide with racial or ethnic division. ... In order to combat poverty and inequality in those radically divided societies, it is also essential to combat racism and intolerance."
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p. 265-266.

----- On the extractive industries as the worst environmental ruffians -----
"The worst abusers have come - and continue to come - from the extractive industries, especially hydrocarbons (oil and gas, precious gems, gold, and other sectors where it is easy for companies to make a fortune by extracting high-value resources at a rapid rate without care for local communities or the physical environment. ... The most important global initiative to address the often egregious practices in this sector is the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The basis of the initiative is "to support improved governance in resource-rich countries through the verification and full publication of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining.""
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p.324.

----- On EU as a harbinger for regional integration (not) -----
"Intergovernmental processes must also change in fundamental ways. The European Union is surely the harbinger of further regional integration. As our problems have become global, old nation-state boundaries have become too small to provide many of the public goods required at a transnational scale. The EU not only makes war unthinkable among its member states but also provides critical Europe-wide investments in environmental management, physical infrastructure, and governance "software" such as monetary policy, food safety, and financial market regulation. Other regions in the world, notably Africa, will follow Europe's lead in forging a much stronger transnational organization."
Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth. Penguin, p.333.

----- On the unmentionable twin elephants -----
"The press is full of stories about problems, most of which are caused at least in part by the conjoined but unmentionable twin elephants of population growth and overconsumption. But spiking food and energy prices, growing water shortages, increasingly severe weather, melting ice caps, dying coral reefs, intersex alligators, disappearing polar bears, collapsing infrastructures, terrorism, and novel epidemics are almost never connected to the elephants. While obviously there are limits to sustainable human numbers and to humanity's aggregate consumption, those limits are almost never mentioned, let alone discussed."
Ehrlich, P. & Ehrlich, A. (2012). Foreword, p.xii. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the growthmaniacs -----
"Every additional person now, on average, must be fed from more marginal land, supplied with water from sources more distant or difficult to purify, use minerals won from ever-poorer ones, and do without the company and services of many populations of fascinating and useful plants, animals, and microorganisms. This nonlinearity, that results are no longer proportional to effort, has been recognized by scientists since the early 1970s but is unknown to the vast majority of our leaders. ... Why don't the growthmaniacs stop asserting how many billion more people we could care for and focus first on stopping population growth and giving decent lives to all the people already here? And spare us that old bromide about how the next kid may turn out to be the Einstein who saves us; considering the rich-poor gap, he's more likely to be an Osama Bin Laden bent on destroying us."
Ehrlich, P. & Ehrlich, A. (2012). Foreword, p.xiii. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the different environmental impacts of the rich and of the poor -----
"we have ... tended to regard the ecological impacts of "population" and "consumption" as virtually independent factors. Conventional environmental wisdom would have it that overconsumption is the failing of the affluent, as if their numbers were negligible; while overpopulation has been regarded as the plight of the poor, as if they did not consume in ecologically unsustainable ways. ... The ecological crisis is the consequence of the consumption patterns of a huge and growing human population. Yet the leftist cadre of the environmental movement has contended that overconsumption in the global North is disproportionately responsible for the biosphere's degradation, leaving the global South, where population is growing most rapidly, largely off the hook. ... little attention has been given to the fact that the rich and the poor often have different *kinds* of environmental impacts. The destructive reach of the affluent is global - the most glaring case being  climate change ... But the destructive reach of the poor tends to be more local or regional, involving, for example, deforestation for subsistence agriculture and fuel, rampant killing of animals for subsistence or markets, overfishing, desertification, and sewage and chemical pollution of fresh waters and coastlines."
Crist, E. & Cafaro, P. (2012). Human population growth as if the rest of life mattered, p.5-6. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On overconsumption and overpopulation as a seamless whole -----
"While rich nations with their powerful financial, corporate, and military institutions have wielded enormous influence in the spread of globalization, developing nations (for the most part) are eager to participate in the global economy. Consumer lifestyles have become the hegemonic model, enjoyed by a portion of the world and coveted by the rest. In a globalized world, where "the end of poverty" has  become largely synonymous with the dissemination of a modern high-consumption standard of living, overconsumption and overpopulation are a seamless whole. ... By some accounts, during the last fifty years, human beings have consumed as many natural resources as all previous generations put together. That "achievement" came from the wedding of twentieth-century capitalist industrial production and the human population swell, and from their offspring: a mass consumer culture in which ever more people consumed ever more stuff."
Crist, E. & Cafaro, P. (2012). Human population growth as if the rest of life mattered, p.7. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On population growth as a multiplier -----
"In a paper wryly titled "Population Growth Seems to Affect Everything But Is Seldom Held Responsible for Anything," anthropologist Kenneth Smail proposes that we "imagine any early twenty-first century problem - whether political, economic, environmental, social, or moral - and ask whether its solution would be made easier or more difficult by a rapidly growing population" (1997, 231). Well, let's ask. Sky-high numbers of unemployed youth in the developing and developed worlds? Global climate change? Saving the oceans? Saving the rainforests? Stemming anthropogenic extinction? Providing a quality education to children everywhere? Securing adequate food for the poor? ... Admittedly, a world with fewer people will (for an interim period) provide challenges of its own, such as how to support ballooning numbers of retirees with fewer workers. But these pale in comparison with the global ecological unraveling involved in accommodating, say, ten billion people, all consuming at ever-higher levels."
Crist, E. & Cafaro, P. (2012). Human population growth as if the rest of life mattered, p.13-14. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the real footprint of humans -----
"Shortly after the end of the Second World War, a Swiss-born energy expert ... published this formula relating the size of animals to their basal metabolism:
m = W^3/4 * 70 kcal where m = metabolic rate (kcal/day) and W = weight in kilograms.
When the average weight of an animal is known, the formula can be applied to calculate ... that animal's daily caloric sustenance requirement. But going the other way, if we know an animal's total daily energy use, we can solve for its apparent size (in kilograms). I applied this formula to estimates of total human energy use - by our bodies and our technological apparatus combined - in the different historic eras. ... our hunting-gathering ancestors were the energy-using equivalents of common dolphins. But Americans today are each equivalent ... to an adult sperm whale, a much larger species. ... Alternatively, since we don't spend most of our time swimming in an ocean and since palaeontologist have come to regard dinosaurs as possibly having been warm-blooded, ... An American today is, on average, equivalent in energy use to a forty-one-metric-ton dinosaur. The dinosaur derived energy for its muscular activity from what it ate; we derive the energy we use for our bodies, and for the mechanical extensions by which we do many marvellous things today"
Catton, W. (2012). Destructive momentum, p.21-22. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On us, being homo colossus -----
"Our use of fossil fuels makes us a race of giants - giving us colossal per capita resource appetites and making our per capita environmental impacts also colossal. ... By becoming *Homo colossus* we reverted to being foragers - dependent upon *finding* vast quantities of resources we have come to need. We are subject once again to the provision of needed resources by nature's processes not under our control. Substances we have come to depend on (in ever-increasing quantities during the last two centuries) were deposited underground long ago ... Foraging by *Homo colossus* has become truly ravenous, and we have already extracted and used up the most accessible portions of Earth's carboniferous legacy."
Catton, W. (2012). Destructive momentum, p.24. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On monetary and ecological budget deficits -----
"Sadly, we continue to get more agitated about monetary deficits in national budgets than about the much more fundamental and devastating carrying capacity deficit in humanity's ecological budget. As the years go by, we modern people keep recklessly enlarging that deficit. We also obscure reality by talking merely of "developed" and "developing" countries, not recognizing the ominous significance of the fact that we have become two kinds of people: those equipped with a resource-hungry technological apparatus and those not so equipped (who are speedily in the process of becoming thus equipped). The planet is now being called upon to feed not only huge numbers of people but also their vast array of machines."
Catton, W. (2012). Destructive momentum, p.24-25. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On explosive population growth -----
"By 2050 ... Afghanistan [is projected to grow] from 29 to 73 million. ... In 1950 Pakistan had a total population of 41 million; today it is 185 million and projected to grow to 334 million by 2050. The implications for water needs in this largely arid country ... are a serious concern. In 1900 Ethiopia had 5 million people, in 1950 it had 18.4 million, and in 2000 it had 65.5 million., By 2010 Ethiopia had a population of 85 million, and it is projected to reach 173 million by 2050 - nearly a tenfold increase in one century. This rapid population growth has played a major role in the decimation of nearly all of Ethiopia's forest and consequently in its climate change."
Campbell, M. (2012). Why the silence on population?, p.41. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the driving forces of population growth -----
"The rapid population growth over the past 200 years has been driven by increased survival, and not by higher fertility. More babies, children, as well as adults have survived because of improved nutrition, cleaner water, better hygiene, and vaccination. Improved nutrition included new forms of transportation, mainly trains, which could carry farm produce to where people lived. Canals and railroads were important for reducing local famines. Improved hygiene was driven by new knowledge about bacteria and disease. Looking at the driving forces of population growth, on the whole, what occurred during this 200-year period was the arrival of new and welcome technologies, as well as information for improving health and increasing survival."
Campbell, M. (2012). Why the silence on population?, p.42. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the difficulty of consuming less vs having fewer children -----
"Population is the multiplier of everything we do and everything we consume. While we need to consume less, it is actually easier to change family size around the world than it is to change patterns of consumption. There is a large unmet need for family planning today, while it is likely to take a long time for people to *want* to reduce their consumption. The trend is moving in the opposite direction: people everywhere aspire to consumer lifestyles, and the global consumer class is on the rise."
Campbell, M. (2012). Why the silence on population?, p.45. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the lack of access to contraceptives -----
"strong advocacy for family planning is driven by the desire to avert catastrophic events like famine, disease, and conflict that are exacerbated, or made more probable, by population growth. In all of the fast-growing countries there is a well-documented need for family planning, which is often difficult for many women to obtain. Two hundred and fifteen million women around the world do not want another child either ever or in the next two years but are not using modern contraception. ... Childbirth has been dangerous since time immemorial, and maternal mortality rates are extremely high in low-resource settings. It is logical to believe that virtually all women would like to have some control over their own childbearing."
Campbell, M. (2012). Why the silence on population?, p.46, 50. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On population growth and ecological woes -----
"In today's world, population growth is overlooked as the mainspring of ecological and social woes. ... In the fall of 2005 there was much ado about starvation in Niger. Left unsaid about this forlorn land was that according to the United Nations, it has the highest birthrate in the world. The beaten-down souls highlighted in the news all seemed to have nine kids more or less. Could this have anything to do with why Niger was a heartbreaking, hopeless wreck? It didn't seem as though any of the reporters were asking. Likewise, environmentalist in the United States lambaste suburban and exurban sprawl, as they should. But do they acknowledge that over half of sprawl is driven by population growth, that the United States is the only big, wealthy land with third-world growth rates, and that our growth is mostly goosed along by immigration? Not that I've heard lately."
Foreman, D. (2012). The Great Backtrack, p.57. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On population growth and the Catholic Church's hostility to contraceptives and abortion -----
"With the [US] Supreme court ... in 1973 making abortion lawful, the Catholic Church heaped up wrath about "baby killing" to their spurning of family planning. ... Bill Ryerson writes, "Recognizing that concern with population growth was one of the reasons many people supported legalized abortion, the Right to Life movement evolved a strategy to cast doubt on the existence of a population problem." It was their hold on Ronald Reagan that led him to end the international leadership of the United States on population stabilization at the 1984 UN population conference in Mexico City. The old men of the Catholic hierarchy swore that those worried about overpopulation were anti-Catholic.""
Foreman, D. (2012). The Great Backtrack, p.61. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On family planning/population control vs women's rights -----
"Kolankiewicz and Beck write, "Now centered in a feminist rather than environmental mission, many population, family planning, and women's groups would support no talk of stopping growth or reducing average family size because that implied restriction on what they considered a universal right of women to choose their number of children entirely free of the merest hint of official or informal pressure". In this, what had been the family planning/population movement showed itself to be blind to limits to growth ... To say that women have the right to have as many children as they want is the same as saying that men have the right to as many gas-guzzlng, land-ripping SUVs as they want. ... Either way, it says that it is okay for anyone to act on selfish whims that ransack wild things. As in so many things, we scramble right with irresponsibility."
Foreman, D. (2012). The Great Backtrack, p.62-63. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On what it means to user 1.4 Earths per year -----
"We humans now use the equivalent of about 1.4 Earths. But how is it even possible to use more than one Earth at any one time? Only by using up vast stores of fossil fuels, which were created over tens of millions of years. In effect, temporarily, we have at our disposal more than one planet, or what Catton refers to as the "ghost acreage" or "phantom carrying capacity". Our biodiversity-besieging population and economic explosion have been ignited by a on-time jolt of "ancient sunshine". ... we gargantuan Americans are living beyond our ecological means, boosting our vaunted living standards and nonnegotiable lifestyles only by drawing down biocapacity and degrading irreplaceable biodiversity across the planet. We may be able to preserve remnants of nature here, but by importing carrying capacity we are exporting nature destruction around the world. The only way out of this conundrum without risking economic unravelling or collapse .. is by transitioning to a steady-state economy and sharply increasing the efficiency with which we consume energy and resources."
Kolankiewicz, L. (2012). Overpopulation versis Biodiversity, p.85. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On biocapacity for humans and for non-humans -----
"Our species is unique, because here and now only we have the ability to destroy, or to save, biodiversity. Only we have the ability to care one way or the other. The destiny of all wild living things is in our hands. Will we crush them or let them be wild and free? Limiting human population will not guarantee success, but not doing so means certain failure."
Kolankiewicz, L. (2012). Overpopulation versis Biodiversity, p.88. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On population growth in the US -----
"within sixty years or so, at current population growth rates, there will be twice as many Americans. If we can't do what's needed now with the consumption demands generated by three hundred million American, how will we succeed with six hundred million? ... While world population growth gets some attention, growth in the United States often goes unconsidered, under the myth that population is solely a problem of developing countries. Yet America is growing faster than any other large industrialized nation and faster than many developing countries. ... Most important, from a planetary perspective, growth here is what really contents; American are by far the biggest consumers of the Earth's resources. Furthermore, population growth in the United States is something about which we citizens in the United States can actually do something. ... Recognizing all this, it seems imperative to address population growth in the United States."
Palmer, T. (2012). Beyond Futility, p.100-101. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the connection between US population growth and immigration -----
"Net legal and illegal immigration into the United States has totaled about 1.2 million per year in recent years. This puts many of us in a difficult spot. We do not want to deny the opportunity of immigration to other people. But we don't want to deny other opportunities, either, such as the opportunity for our children and grandchildren to have a healthy environment, or the opportunity for other species to live and thrive ... Indeed, now that immigration drives growth, it has become difficult to discuss the issue, because it is entwined with race and ethnicity. It just so happens that most of the current growth comes from Mexico, Central and South America, and Asia. Our history of immoral racism rightly makes us cautious about repeating past mistakes. But accusations of racism, even when false, are one of the most effective conversation stoppers in our culture. Yet discussions about the numbers are needed, no matter where people come from."
Palmer, T. (2012). Beyond Futility, p.103-104. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On US population growth being worse than population growth elsewhere -----
"Rather than letting immigration run its course, I believe our obligation is to help the people of the world to make the changes they need, in their own countries, for all of their residents ... Effort of this type have the potential to be far more effective and sustainable than allowing a tiny fraction of the world's needy to become American consumers by immigrating into the United States. ... Immigrants who come to America don't come to be poor; they reasonably aspire to the American "standard of living." That means becoming American consumers, which increases energy use, carbon emissions, and other problems for the Earth. Americans, eventually including the new ones, consume resources at forty times the rate of people in India, so the *global* ecological effects of U.S. population increases are far grater than increases in India or in most other countries."
Palmer, T. (2012). Beyond Futility, p.105-106. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On rising-sea refugees -----
"The movement of millions of rising-sea refugees to higher elevations in the interior of their countries will create two real estate markets - one in coastal regions, where prices will fall, and another in the higher elevations, where they will rise. Property insurance rates are already rising in storm-and flood-proine places like Florida. River deltas contain some of the largest, most vulnerable populations. These include the deltas of the Mekong, Irrawaddy, Niger, Nile, Mississippi, Ganges-Brahmaputra, and Yangtze Rivers. ... The London-based Environmental Justice Foundation reports that "a one meter ... sea-level rise would affect up to 70 percent of Nigeria's coastline affecting over 2.7 million hectares. Egypt would lose at least 2 million hectares in the fertile Nile Delta, displacing 8 to 10 million people, including nearly the entire population of Alexandria".
Brown, L (2012). Environmental refugees: The Rising Tide, p.109. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On exactly when a low-lying country officially ceases to exist due to rising sea -----
"following the 2004 tsunami that so memorably devastated Indonesia, the government of the Maldives decided to organize a "staged retreat" by moving people from the lower-lying islands, some two hundred in total, to a dozen or so slightly higher island. But even the highest of these is only about eight feet above sea level. ... Aside from the social upheaval and the personal devastation of people losing their country to the rising sea, there are also legal issues to be resolved. When does a country cease to exist legally, for example? Is it when there is no longer a functioning government? Or when it has disappeared beneath the waves? And at what point does a country lose its vote in the United Nations?"
Brown, L (2012). Environmental refugees: The Rising Tide, p.110. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On permanent water shortages and ex-cities -----
"Thus far the evacuations resulting from water shortages have been confined to villages, but eventually whole cities might have to be relocated, such as Sana'a, the capital of Yemen ... Sana'a, a fast-growing city of more than two million people, is literally running out of water. Wells that are thirteen hundred feet deep are beginning to go dry. In this "race to the bottom" in the Sana'a valley, oil-drilling equipment is being used to dig even deeper wells. Some are now over half a mile deep. The situation is bleak because trying to import water into this mountain valley from other provinces would generate tribal conflicts. Desalting sea water on the coast would be expensive because of the cost of the process itself, the distance the water would have to be pumped, and the city's altitude of seven thousand feet. Sana'a may soon be a ghost city."
Brown, L (2012). Environmental refugees: The Rising Tide, p.113. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the run up to the Syrian protests (first half of 2011) -----
"Two other semiarid Middle Eastern countries that are suffering from water shortages are Syria and Iraq. Both are beginning to reap the consequences of overpumping their aquifers, namely irrigation wells going dry. In Syria, these trends have forced the abandonment of 160 villages. Hundreds of thousands of farmers and herders have left the land and pitched tents on the outskirts of cities, hoping to find work. A UN report estimates that more than a hundred thousand people in northern Iraq have been uprooted because of water shortages."
Brown, L (2012). Environmental refugees: The Rising Tide, p.113-114. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On mounting environmental stresses and larger flows of migrants -----
"Separating out the geneses of today's refugees is not always easy. Often the environmental and economic stresses that drive migration are closely intertwined. But whatever the reason for leaving home, people are taking increasingly desperate measures. ... In the end, the question is whether governments are strong enough to withstand the political and economic stress of extensive migration flow, both internal and external. Some of the largest flows will be across national boarder and are likely to be illegal. ... In the face of mounting environmental stresses, will the migration of people be limited and organized or will it be massive and chaotic?"
Brown, L (2012). Environmental refugees: The Rising Tide, p.115-116. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On Spaceship Earth its crew and its passengers -----
"The Earth, or more accurately the Ocean, is a planet, but ... it may also be metaphorically describes as a spaceship. The living entities that crew this spaceship are millions of species working with diverse ecological niches to maintain the complex life-support system of the ship. The foundation for this life-support system is made up of the species that most human beings regard as the lowest life forms: bacteria, insects, plankton, plants, invertebrates, and fish. We could call them the custodians of the working crew of Spaceship Earth. The spaceship in reality belongs to them, not us. They run it. We so-called higher forms of life are merely the passengers. The custodians do not need us, but we need the custodians. We humans suffer under the delusion that we own this planet. We do not. We never have and never will. We have not been here long, and we will not be here much longer if we continue to operate in contempt of the rules of ecology and in total disrespect of the ship's crew."
Watson, P. (2012). The Laws of Ecology and Human Population Growth, p.130. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On our species' shortsightedness -----
"I am a ship's captain. If I were to descent into the engine room of my ship below the waterline and discover my engineers gleefully popping rivets out of the ship's hull, I would be shocked and angry. "What the hell are you doing?" I would ask. They would look up at me with a smile and say: "Well, Captain, we get a buck apiece for these rivets when we get back to port, and we have families to feed and we need the money." An irresponsible captain would reply: "Really, well cut me in for some of that loot, boys." ...

Every species on the planet is a living rivet in the living hull of the biosphere. If we lose one rivet too many, our life-support system will crash, and we will become victims of our own engineered mass extinction event. The captains of the ships of state could intervene, but governments for the most part are made up of leaders who have been funded by river-poppers, elected by rivet-poppers, or are powerful rivet-poopers themselves who simply seized control."
Watson, P. (2012). The Laws of Ecology and Human Population Growth, p.132. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On real and fantasy problems (video games) -----
"The problem is that we are addicted. Oil is a drug. We need it, we want it, we crave it, and we all use it. So not only do we have a problem of a growing population, but we also have a growing population of a dangerous substance-addicted species. This is not promising for an enlightened future. And the biggest problem is that people for the most part don't care. ... Consider that the video game World of Warcraft has over eleven million subscribers, and there is not a single environmental or conservation organization in the world that can equal that number of supporters. Millions of people are living in these fantasy worlds, ignoring the reality of the world in which they actually live."
Watson, P. (2012). The Laws of Ecology and Human Population Growth, p.133. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the growing proportion (?) of eco-idiocrats -----
"Ecologically intelligent men and women refraining from reproduction leave the world in the hands of the ecologically ignorant and the anthropocentrically arrogant. If the biocentrically oriented refrain from having children, while the ecologically ignorant reproduce, the self-sacrificing people would act like cuckoo birds, paying taxes to raise the children of people who will do little to solve our problems. The population will grow even larger, with a higher proportion in the eco-idocracy."
Watson, P. (2012). The Laws of Ecology and Human Population Growth, p.134. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On immigration to rich(er) countries as an ecological problem -----
"Mexicans and Pakistanis continue to have too many children, fueling further population growth. And since rich countries consume many times more resources per capital than poor countries, immigrants moving from poor nations to rich nations increase their consumption enormously, making global ecological problems even worse. Social justice advocates will be angered by this, but the reality is that the laws of ecology are unconcerned with how humans treat each other. Alleviating poverty, promoting socialism or democracy, and empowering minorities are noble endeavors but irrelevant to the basic fact that resources are finite and there are limits to growth. Rich nations should be striving to lower their consumption rates, but instead poorer nations are being encouraged to increase theirs."
Watson, P. (2012). The Laws of Ecology and Human Population Growth, p.134-135. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On difficult, ethically problematic choices -----
"Any solution to too many people will most likely be ethically problematic, but that is all the more reason to act now, while we still have relatively good options, rather than waiting until we are forced to act in even more unappealing ways by dire necessity. As populations increase and carrying capacity is reduced, the costs of food and commodities will continue to rise. The present policy of subsidizing production costs is likely to cease, and poverty will increase considerably. Societies will also not be able to keep up the charade of "sustainability," a word that has been used to mask the destruction of resources. Before we are faced with potential collapse, especially when fossil fuel resources are diminished and overall global carrying capacity is reduced, concerted attempts should be made to lower our populations. Rather than endure genocide, war, famine, or pestilence, societies may choose to implement a more humane answer, although one that is in opposition to what is often falsely seen as a fundamental human right: the right to unlimited procreating."
Watson, P. (2012). The Laws of Ecology and Human Population Growth, p.135. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the human appropriation of the biosphere's biocapacity -----
"food production will have to roughly double by midcentury in order to meet rising demand. ... Therefore, providing "an adequate diet for all" will inevitably be achieved (if it *can* be achieved) through the ongoing displacement and extermination of nonhumans that human food procurement, production, and transportations entail. ... What must be added to the picture is the present-day trend well beyond the provision of an adequate diet for people: namely, the heavy footprint of the global consumer class - which has been growing by hundreds of millions of people in recent decades - coupled with the social objective that the standard of living of the world's poor be raised."
Crist, E. (2012). Abundant Earth and the Population Question, p.141. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the genocide of Earth's wild non-humans -----
"The concomitant of Earth's human zoning (and receiving virtually no mention in mainstream media or the leftist and social justice literature) is the genocide of Earth's wild non-humans. I use the world *genocide* here in its literal sense: the mass violence against and extermination of non-human nations, negating not only their own existence but also their roles in Life's interconnected nexus and their future evolutionary unfolding. This planet-wide holocaust is marching on virtually unabated, despite its extensive and decades-long documentation, driven by the lifeways of *both* the world's rich and poor, and most especially by their Faustian economic partnerships. The ongoing and escalating genocide of nonhumans is shrouded in silence, a silence signifying disregard for the vanquished. Silence is how power talks down to the subjugated."
Crist, E. (2012). Abundant Earth and the Population Question, p.142. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the dark side of anthropocentrism -----
"Anthropocentrism can be described as a worldview rather than an ideology; because human-centeredness is far more encompassing and consensual than a set of ideas that serve some dominant group. Identifying this particular culprit, however, has not turned out to be medicine for curing humanity's rampage. Given the ubiquity of anthropocentrism, it has been impossible to find the Archimedean point - the place outside the dominant normative order - from which to launch a critique that can actually touch, let along move, the whole. ... The foundational pillar of human supremacy is the belief that human beings are the superior life form of the planet and Earth's entitled owners. From the foundation of this lived, widespread belief flow the ruling conceptions of and actions toward the greater-than-human world. Human supremacy fuels the top-down conceptualization of Nature as a resource base, a domain to be used for our ends."
Crist, E. (2012). Abundant Earth and the Population Question, p.142-143. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the concept of resources inscribing human totalitarianism upon the biosphere -----
"The assumption embedded in the concept of resources is that the natural world always is graspable in terms of its disposability to human ends ... The concept of resources ... pretends to point at real things, but it points at nothing except back at the pointer ... Fisheries, livestock, freshwater - they are all for the taking, and our ability to take them is testimony to our superior nature, and our superior nature entitles us to the taking, and the rightfulness of the talking is ciphered to be reflected back to us in our very words. ... the concept of resources inscribes human totalitarianism upon the biosphere."
Crist, E. (2012). Abundant Earth and the Population Question, p.144-145. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On how many people can live on Earth vs questions *not* asked -----
"It is within this resource-saturated collective mindset that "the population question" gets framed: How many people can Earth support? This is the ruling question. Implicitly in the question, and explicitly in most quarters in which it is posed, is the quandary: What is the maximal number of people for who Earth can provide resources without severely degrading those resources for future people. This question menaces Earth. The question we should be asking instead is, How many people, and at what level of consumption, can live on Earth without turning Earth into a human colony founded on the genocide of its nonhuman indigenes? The latter is rarely posed because the genocide of nonhumans is something about which the mainstream culture, including the political Left, observes silence. ... Instead, the standard query we encounter is, How many people can Earth support? and its spinoffs. For example: How many people can Earth feed? Can Earth support nine billion people? Ten billion people? More?"
Crist, E. (2012). Abundant Earth and the Population Question, p.145-146. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the concrete barriers to having fewer children -----
"Wherever modern family planning is made available and barriers to access are lifted, women and their partners almost universally choose to have far fewer children. ... This trend is so striking that leading-edge population analysts ... propose that women are, by nature, mostly disinclined to have many children but are rather intent on successfully raising the child or children they already have. ... The implications are profound: the most important dimension of addressing population growth is simply to make resources for the control of fertility a political, economic, social, and cultural top priority, while also acting to remove or preempt financial, informational, cultural, and normative barriers to access. ... Iran is perhaps the most striking case of the results of a successful population policy: from an average of 5.5 children per woman in 1988, fertility declined to 1.7 in 2009. The catalyst of this transition was the reinstitution of Iran's family planning program in 1989, coupled with an educational, cultural, and healthcare crusade to encourage and enable the choice of smaller families."
Crist, E. (2012). Abundant Earth and the Population Question, p.146-147. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On immigration to the U.S. vs the environment -----
"This essay argues that a serious commitment to environmentalism entails ending America's population growth and hence a more restrictive immigration policy. The need to limit immigration necessarily follows when we combine a clear statement of our main environmental goals - living sustainably and sharing the lanscape generously with other species - with uncontroversial accounts of our current demographic trajectory and of the negative environmental effects of U.S. population growth, nationally and globally. At the current level of about 1.5 million immigrants per year, American's population of 300 million is set to increase to over 700 million people by 2100. ... Given the many issues with which environmentalists must deal and the contentious nature of immigration debates, it is understandable that many of us would prefer to avoid them [but] Sprawl development destroys 2.2. million acres of wildlands and agricultural lands each year ... we haven't figure out how to create a sustainable society with three hundred million inhabitants. It is not plausible to think we will be able to do so with two or three times as many people."
Cafaro, P. and Staples, W. (2012). The Environmental Argument for Reducing Immigration in the United States, p.172-173. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On The environmental argument for reducing immigration into the U.S. -----
"The environmental argument for reducing immigration into the United States is relatively straightforward:
(1) Immigration levels are at a historic high, and immigration is now the main driver of U.S. population growth.
(2) Population growth contributes significantly to a host of environmental problems within our borders.
(2) A growing population increases America's large environmental footprint beyond our borders and our disproportionate role in stressing global environmental systems.
(4) In order to seriously address environmental problems at home and become a good global environmental citizens, we must stop U.S. population growth.
(5) We are morally obligated to address our environmental problems and become good global environmental citizens.
(6) Therefore, we should limit immigration into the United States to the extent needed to stop U.S. population growth.
This ... is not the consensus position among American environmentalists. Some environmentalists support continued high levels of immigration, while most are uncomfortable with the topic and avoid discussion it.
Cafaro, P. and Staples, W. (2012). The Environmental Argument for Reducing Immigration in the United States, p.173. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On BAU immigration numbers doubling or tripling the U.S. population by 2100 -----
"in 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau released the population projections shown in table 15.1. Each of the three projections or "series" holds fertility rates steady while varying immigration levels, so annual immigration rates make the main difference between them. Under the zero immigration projection, the U.S. population continues to grow throughout the twenty-first century, adding over hundred million people by 2100. Under the middle projection, with immigration a little less than one million annually, we instead add nearly three hundred million people and almost double our population by 2100. And under the highest scenario, with annual immigration over two million, our population nearly triples, by 2100, adding almost six hundred million more people by the end of the century. Obviously ... immigration makes a *huge* difference to future U.S. population numbers."
Cafaro, P. and Staples, W. (2012). The Environmental Argument for Reducing Immigration in the United States, p.176. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On U.S. per capita vs. total emissions in 1990 and 2003 -----
"In order to cut greenhouse emissions 80 percent in the next half century, we will have to cut emissions by an average of 80 percent per person *at our current population*. But if we double our population, as we are on track to do over roughly the same period, we will have to decrease per capita emissions *90 percent* in order to reduce emissions sufficiently. Such reductions will be more expensive and demand greater sacrifice from Americans. They are thus less likely to happen. ... Between 1990 and 2003, U.S. *per capita* CO2 emissions increased by 3.2 percent, while *total* U.S. CO2 emissions increased 20.2 percent. Why the discrepancy? During that same period, America's population increased 16.1 percent. More people drove more cars, built more houses, and so on. Population growth greatly increased total emissions, and it is *total* emissions, not *per capita* emissions, that quantify our full contribution to global warming."
Cafaro, P. and Staples, W. (2012). The Environmental Argument for Reducing Immigration in the United States, p.180-181. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On possible and impossible environmental goals -----
"As we move beyond *changing* consumption patterns in ways that perhaps more efficiently provide the benefits people want, and instead ask people to *reduce* consumption of goods and services that they desire or enjoy, sustainability becomes a much harder sell. Even environmentalist tend to fade to a lighter shade of green, when consuming less would decrease what we consider our quality of life. ... we can imagine Americans consuming at the levels of western European or Japanese citizens. We see this as a goal worth striving for politically. We cannot imagine Americans (or western Europeans or Japanese, for that matter) voluntarily living and consuming at the levels of the average citizen from Mexico, much less the average Nigerian or Bangladeshi. Barring universal enlightenment or dire catastrophe, these aren't live political options, and it is pointless to pretend otherwise. Nevertheless, it is urgent that the United States move toward creating a sustainable society. That means consuming less *and locking in the environmental gains made possible by less consumption*, not negating them through increased population."
Cafaro, P. and Staples, W. (2012). The Environmental Argument for Reducing Immigration in the United States, p.182-183. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On a population-centric US foreign policy -----
"in our foreign policy, the United States should act as follows:
- Increase funding for international family planning efforts, to help secure safe, affordable, contraception in other countries.
- Vigorously support women's reproductive rights (including abortion rights) and girls' equal rights to primary and secondary education, worldwide.
- Deny all foreign aid and any immigration slots to nations that fail to commit to stabilizing their populations or sharing wealth fairly among their citizens.
Such policies would make a strong statement that the age of endless growth is over and that the United States will no longer act as a "safety valve" for failed or unjust societies that cannot or will not provide decent opportunities for their own citizens. It will spread the message that people who want to create good lives for themselves and their families need to do so where they are, and that those nations that fail to keep their populations from ballooning will themselves have to suffer the consequences."
Cafaro, P. and Staples, W. (2012). The Environmental Argument for Reducing Immigration in the United States, p.184-185. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On consumer aspirations as universals -----
"it is a safe assumption that the majority of new American, whether native born or immigrant, will, in the foreseeable future, follow the ecologically destructive consumer patterns of today's Americans. It does not bode well for the U.S. environment, or Earth's, that there will be significantly more Americans in the twenty-first century if current population growth continues."
Bish, J. (2012). Towards a new armada, p.193. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On population stabilization as exercising role modelship -----
"Not only is America's immigration policy a violation of role-modeling principles (Why should Americans care about international population growth and support efforts to end it, if the growth of their own population is dismissed as irrelevant to environmental issues? Why should any other nation take population stabilization seriously, if Americans support continued population growth in their own country?). Support for rapid domestic population growth is also an abrogation of our duties to future generations, to other species, and to wild ecosystems at home and abroad, which will suffer great harm as global ecological degradation increase"
Bish, J. (2012). Towards a new armada, p.197-198. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On men deciding too much -----
"Throughout history, men have often been anxious to produce a multitude of future heirs, soldiers, laborers, farmers, and followers, while women have tended to be strategically concerned with the survival and well-being of each of their children. In most cultures, men's preferences hold sway."
Engelman, R. (2012). Trusting women to end population growth, p.236. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On religiosity and fatalism -----
"A 1992 paper ... emphasizes one of the factors that affect the decisions of many women and men - fatalism. Many people simply have not reached the realization that reproductive decision are a matter of conscious choice. Many who did not particularly want another pregnancy in the near future still reasoned that their deity had determined since the beginning of the universe how many children they would have, and that it did not matter what they thought or whether they might use a contraceptive, because they could not oppose God's will."
Ryeson, W. (2012). How do we solve the population problem, p.241. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On contraceptive prevalence rates vs small families -----
"Many population planners measure progress on the basis of contraceptive prevalence rates. Use of effective family planning methods is critical but will not result in population stabilization if desired family size if five, six, or seven children. Similarly, delaying the first pregnancy and spacing children is important to the health of women and children - and to slowing population growth rates. But spacing seven children will still lead to a high growth rate."
Ryeson, W. (2012). How do we solve the population problem, p.244. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the transformative powers of television -----
"One of the benefits of entertainment-education via the mass media [e.g. pedagogical soap opera TV shows] as a strategy for addressing social norms is that it operates in a human rights context. The programs are not imported from outside the country, but instead they are locally managed, written, and acted in and are based on the policies of the host country. ... Such programs have been successful in changing attitudes and practice with regard to the practice of female genital mutilation, unassisted labor, the dowry system, the right of women to work in the workplace outside the home, the right of women to choose their own spouse, the right of women to play a role in determining how many children to have, and the right of girls to have equal educational opportunities with boys."
Ryeson, W. (2012). How do we solve the population problem, p.250. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On population stabilization as an effect of improving women's lives -----
"Brazil, Iran, Japan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are all examples of countries that have achieved replacement fertility levels in a matter of a decade or so after strong government-backed communication campaigns were combined with readily accessible and affordable family planning services. ... Indeed, the whole effort to improve women's lives and achieve sustainable population levels is part of a campaign to bring about a higher quality of life for people worldwide."
Ryeson, W. (2012). How do we solve the population problem, p.251. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the strange alliance between the feminist/social justice movement and the Vatican/conservative religious forces -----
"[At] the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPC) at Cairo in 1994 ... a politically astute feminist and social justice lobby successfully undermined the old-guard populationists by rendering "population control" politically incorrect. ... Thus, representatives from the feminist and social justice movement became strange bedfellows of the Vatican and other conservative religious advocates."
Weeden, D. & Palomba, C. (2012). A post-Cairo paradigm, p.255-257. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- 20 years and 2 billion persons later -----
"In the decade and a half following [the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in] Cairo, the pervasive silence on the population issue extended to ... key players, including development institutions, donors, country health programs, and universities. ... Among the politically correct left, "anything remotely resembling demographic [concerns and objectives] was racist, anti-woman, anti-poor, and flirting with eugenics"."
Weeden, D. & Palomba, C. (2012). A post-Cairo paradigm, p.257. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On poor countries being virtuous as long as they remain poor -----
"the "population naysayers," ... believe that demographic arguments represent a false, quick fix to our environmental problems. From their perspective, the primary solution include reducing consumption in developed countries and countering environmental degradation at the hands of corporations. Those who espouse this view essentially deny the connection between population and environmental degradation and therefore reject the need for family planning for ecological reasons. ... the myopic focus ... on the high rates of consumption in the west as the culprit in climate change and other environmental concerns essentially implies that those in countries with low per capital consumption are virtuous as long as they remain poor."
Weeden, D. & Palomba, C. (2012). A post-Cairo paradigm, p.258-259. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On the connection between population and sustainability among the world's poor (yes, there is one) -----
"population growth in developing countries does have considerable local and regional environmental impact. ... increasing populations exert ... pressures ... such as water scarcity, overfishing, deforestation, wildlife hunting and poaching ("bushmeat"), desertification due to overgrazing, farmland erosion, river siltation, and biodiversity destruction. ... Virtually every review of biodiversity loss lists population growth as one of the primary root causes behind on-the-ground direct causes such as habitat disturbance and fragmentation, pollution and overhunting."
Weeden, D. & Palomba, C. (2012). A post-Cairo paradigm, p.263. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On population, immigration, Spaceship Earth, the global village, the tragedy of the commons -----
WARNING: A quote from an academic text almost can't get more controversial than this! You have been warned!

"Many population advocates believe that the primary responsibility to deal with population issues falls at individual countries and their citizens ... From their perspective, immigration typically needs to be limited, primarily to avoid undermining efforts by receiving countries to stabilize their populations, but also to pressure high emigration countries to face their responsibilities to reduce their own population growth. However, social justice advocates reject this logic. ... One author ... writes that "blaming immigrants fails to address the root causes of complex problems", referring to the global drivers of migration that, from a social justice perspective, never seem to include people having too many children. ... Apparently, the long-time environmental adage, "think globally, at locally," does not apply to population growth! But surely, treating the entire planet as a global village, or one open commons, is a formula for inaction and failure."
Weeden, D. & Palomba, C. (2012). A post-Cairo paradigm, p.267. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On science and technology vs hard limits -----
"Science and technology may delay but cannot help us avoid the consequences of finiteness; in fact, the science and technology that many point to as our salvation could be part of the problem. They certainly have instilled in us a deep hubris that all human problems are solvable from within current thinking and behavioral patterns."
Lamm, R. (2012). Confronting finitude, p.275. 
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

----- On economy and economists as our secular priests -----
"Economists - the secular priests of the current age - have developed an elaborate theology in which perpetual growth is necessary, good, and inevitable, and those who acknowledge limits to growth are deemed pessimists who oppose human progress. They have developed a metaphysics in which everything that is "not us" has value exclusively as a resource *for* us."
Cafaro, P. (2012). Epilogue, p.314.
In Cafaro, P., & Crist, E. (Eds.), "Life on the brink." University of Georgia Press.

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