Suzanne Petroni has an interesting paper in the latest issue of Population and Environment that explores some big questions about population and climate warming:
(1) [D]oes the right of the community to live on a healthy planet trump the right of the individual to decide for him or herself, without external pressure, their own desired level of fertility?
(2) Does the United States, which emits a hugely disproportionate amount of greenhouse gases, have a right to suggest that other countries reduce their rates of population growth in order to somehow compensate for our profligate and consumptive lifestyles?
(3) How can we best balance a duty to future generations with the values of individual freedom and equality among the planet’s current occupants?
(4) And, while coercive means of population control have been widely condemned in most parts of the world, does making the ‘‘population-climate change connection’’ run the risk of countries seeing population control as an ‘‘easy fix’’ to the environmental challenges we face?
Read more on the latest blog post.