All-Consuming Question: Is Population or Human Behavior the Problem?

October 4, 2008 • News

Talking to reporters and others about my new book, More: Population, Nature, and What Women, I’m sometimes asked where consumption fits into the population picture. A review in the intriguingly named magazine Bitch, for example, criticized the book for “failing to adequately distinguish between the individuals who are overpopulating the world and the individuals who are responsible for the type of overconsumption that causes environmental deterioration.”

Well, the book actually doesn’t identify any individuals who are “overpopulating the world.” I explain on the book’s second page why I don’t like the word overpopulation. And for many years I chaired the board of the Center for a New American Dream, which works to make North American consumption a sustainable model for the world. I see More as being in one sense all about consumption, because it is through what we use, consume, and discard that human beings affect the environment.

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