Is our planet overpopulated? We ask the expert

Is our planet overpopulated? We ask the expert

Global development lecturer Heather Alberro on whether rising birth rates are really to blame for the climate crisis

Whether it’s Meghan and Harry limiting themselves to two children, or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez discussing the “legitimate” concern of parenting through climate catastrophe, the ethical question of whether to add more people to the planet has touched society. But is the world overpopulated in the way we think? I asked Heather Alberro, lecturer in global sustainable development at Nottingham Trent University.

Where did the idea of overpopulation come from?
It started with 19th-century economist Thomas Malthus, who argued that population growth would always outstrip available resources. That’s known as a “Malthusian argument”.

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