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It's the great taboo of environmentalism: the size and growth of the human population. It has a profound impact on all life on Earth, yet for decades it has been conspicuously absent from public debate.


 environment taboo overpopulation sustainability
More humanity with fewer humans. ... The Club of Ten Million wishes slowly but with certainty to return to Ten Million inhabitants in the Netherlands.
 overpopulation Netherlands taboo
Any discussion of the challenge of overpopulation has come to be considered such a political "hot potato" that the question of how to discuss it merits consideration in the light of well-developed ability to handle radioactive hazards and biohazards. The argument here focuses on how issues deemed politically hazardous can be discussed without endangering the discussants. The approach taken is to use the handling of hazardous...


 overpopulation avoidance forbidden taboo hazardous
In a welfare state, how shall we deal with the family, the religion, the race, or the class (or indeed any distinguishable and cohesive group) that adopts over breeding as a policy to secure its own aggrandizement? To couple the concept of freedom to breed with the belief that everyone born has an equal right to the commons is to lock the world into a tragic course of action.


 overpopulation taboo
The implication for international negotiation is clear: when a value becomes sacred, the rules change—offering money hurts instead of helps. Conflicts may be best resolved when both sides consider compromising something they hold dear.


 taboo sacred value belief superstition religion