New NPG Forum doc wants less insults and more attention to overcrowding

Negative Population Growth, Inc. has published new work in its Forum article series. Titled The Verdict Is In: To Be Anti-Growth Is to Be Pro-Human, and written by Dr. Karen I. Shragg, this article seeks to free population activists from the constant rhetoric that they are unjust and racist. Addressing years of experience and witnessing various accusations, Shragg sheds light on just how damaging this attitude can be, noting, “At best, our meager degrowth and overpopulation activists are told that we don’t care. than trees and wildlife to the detriment of human rights. At worst, we are labeled racist and downright anti-human. It’s a quick way to end a much-needed conversation, sidestep the truth and any hope of solving what’s behind our burgeoning environmental crisis. It’s lazy talk at best and environmentally damaging at worst.

Shragg summarizes the purpose of his article by sharing, “This NPG Forum paper is a plea for the need to create a safe space for discussion for those who have deep knowledge and concern about what our anthropological views and the unrelated growth of the human enterprise do to the very possibility of having a future on a planet we are systematically destroying.” She goes on to say, “Too many people hear about overpopulation and immediately jump to the conclusion that it will become an excuse science to destroy people, especially those who are already marginalized…Overpopulation can and does happen to all species and humans are no exception.Humans are consumers par excellence and when their numbers are excessive their damage is also excessive.

Heading straight to the dangers and pitfalls of cancel culture, Shragg offers a bold truth: “If we were truly anti-human and racist, our best approach to this problem would be to remain silent and simply want the continued collapse of all that is dear to us. Collapse will always find the marginalized first. They live in the valleys that will become more flooded and have the least economic resilience. She argues that fuzzy math and exponential growth are here to stay and that overpopulation cannot be reversed by pointing the finger at elite overconsumption. Reviewing the dangers of canceling environmental activists who openly discuss overpopulation issues, Shragg shares, “Without ecologically and morally justifiable laws in place to keep us balanced with the resources needed to survive, we will continue to achieve a population size so outrageous that conservation efforts will become increasingly ridiculous. We continue to tell the public to be sure to wash their peanut butter jars and shop with reusable bags, as we add approximately 200,000 new customers to the Mother Earth Limited Store every day.

Basically, fighting overpopulation is an act of social justice. Shragg maintains this position by focusing on two specific platforms: the burden of living in big cities and the prioritization of the terrestrial biosphere. Supplemented by data from the Knight Foundation and the Journal of Future Studies, Shragg argues that the critical needs of community members cannot be met in ever-growing populations. She also reminds readers: “The role of mass immigration in contributing to growth from the developing to the developed world is well documented. She shares, “Many developed countries would stabilize their growth rate had it not been for immigration. If sustainability is really the goal, then it needs to be addressed in every country because that’s where the laws are made. Climate change is already straining every country on the planet and overpopulation, and its continued growth only adds fuel to this game-changing fire.

In conclusion, Shragg implores those who are crying foul and quashing overpopulation activists to stop throwing spears. She also continues in her role as guardian of the environment by reiterating salient data and encouraging a broader reach when examining the work of activists, sharing: “Growth is cultivated by high fertility rates and lack of women’s empowerment, immigration policies and oligarchic capitalism… If a better world is truly desired, it’s time to end the rhetoric and see that joining forces is the best strategy to move forward. ‘before. Adding: “Demeaning and diminishing those who work on overpopulation as racists or ecofascists is contrary to the goals of all of us, to make the world a better, more livable and more humane place in which to live.”

Founded in 1972, NPG is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the American public and political leaders about the harmful effects of population growth. We believe that our country is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-term carrying capacity of its resources and environment. NPG is advocating for the adoption of its proposed National Population Policy, with the goal of eventually stabilizing the US population at a sustainable level – well below that of today. We don’t just identify problems, we provide solutions. For more information, visit our website at, follow us on Facebook @NegativePopulationGrowth or follow us on Twitter @npg_org.

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Melvin B. Baillie