Global Population Speak Out explores connections between the size and growth of the human population and key sustainability issues. Urgent issues like biodiversity loss, carbon emissions, human-rights and human-health are explored from the perspective of grassroots population advocacy. Importantly, population size and growth are not framed as intractable problems, but rather global population stabilization — achieved through pursuit and realization of a progressive human rights agenda — is shown to be a powerful contributor to solving today’s most pressing ecological and social challenges.
In the 21st century, working on the population issue means working against oppressive cultural practices such as the low status of women around the world, gender-based violence, genital mutilation, forced prostitution, slavery, and child marriage. After all, these are important factors that significantly contribute to high fertility and population growth: because they rob women of social power, self-determination and true choice in how many children to have, and when. By weakening and eliminating these scourges — along with expanding access to family planning information and services — global population will stabilize and start a gradual decline sooner rather than later. No doubt the natural world will applaud this, as will the individuals around the world benefiting from strengthened human health and rights. Learn more about the solutions.
Human population is, literally, the foundation of every social relationship imaginable. Likewise, the human relationship with the natural world is basically a function of our population dynamics (size, density and change), combined with our social behaviors. Interestingly, attitudes about human population size and growth often serve as telling proxies for attitudes about humanity’s place in nature. There are many ideological and vested interests who are either agnostic on the population issue, or even worse, simply don’t care about the rights of other species to exist. Some think endless population growth is both desirable and possible, others think the problem will solve itself. They are wrong.
Human population stabilization and subsequent consolidations are fundamental steps in the global human behavior change required for a sustainable future. They are not “silver bullets” able to guarantee sustainability on their own, but they impact all other sustainability issues and accepting the need for population stabilization and subsequent decline is a crucial mental turning point — wherein a person moves from allegiance to human-exceptionalism and human-entitlement to a more humble and self-modest conception of humanity’s place within the planetary whole. The primary driver of thinking is no longer centered only on humans and our needs and wants, but rather is conscious of the entire eco-sphere and the rights of other species to exist. For more on these ideas, see Eileen Crist’s Afterword essay in Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot.
Global Population Speak Out is a planet-spanning activist-organizing platform, where both experienced population advocates and new learners can access tools to enhance their voices as they Speak Out for a sustainable future. It is important that more humans come to understand, and in turn, learn how to convincingly point out the need and desirability of near term global population stabilization and subsequent gradual declines.