The “Seven Billion” Strategy, and Why We Need a New One

April 23, 2012 • Daily Email Recap

The following are remarks given by Ms. Katie McKay Bryson of PopDev. PopDev believes that population advocacy is inherently misguided. You may find their rationales quite interesting. See:

The “Seven Billion” Strategy, and Why We Need a New One [sic]

I have the honor and pleasure of working with Betsy Hartmann and Courtney Hooks at the Population and Development program here at Hampshire, and of walking in the footsteps of former PopDev staff — several of whom are here this morning, all of whom I look up to.

For 26 years, PopDev has worked at an intersection of environment, development, anti-militarism, and reproductive freedom. (It’s a busy intersection.) But at the center of our work is the commitment to challenge the conventional belief that population growth is a main force behind social problems, from famine and violent conflict, to ecosystem degradation and even climate change. We strive to bring those conversations back to the structures of global inequality, colonization, and over-consumption that actually drive them.

These are very hard conversations to have. For many folks, this is about our bodies, or the bodies of people we love. For others, it challenges a fundamental understanding of the world to suggest that there are not actually too many people on the planet — but instead an unsustainable, industrially demanding level of consumption by a minority of those people.

A student asked me recently what the number seven billion means — that is, what the global population reaching seven billion means.

My answer was that, while that number may have a lot of meaning for some people, may mean something scary or overwhelming to them personally, it has no inherent meaning itself.

To read the full article, please click here:

Current World Population


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