Former KIE fellows Colin Hickey and Jake Earl joined the Overpopulation Podcast this week to discuss a recent paper they co-authored with former KIE postdoctoral fellow Travis Rieder. The show posits that overpopulation is the main driver of resource depletion, dire poverty, climate change, and species extinction, but that it is a humanely solvable problem through dramatically reducing birthrates.
The group’s paper, Population Engineering and the Fight Against Climate Change, asks if there are ethical and moral ways for governments to accelerate the move to smaller families – in order to contract population? In the paper, the group espouses a “small-family ethic” which takes seriously the colossal carbon-load implications of having children and suggests that bringing down global fertility by just half a child per woman would drastically affect how demographic change is impacting global carbon emissions.
KIE scholar Rebecca Kukla followed up with a response to the paper. In her response, Kukla challenges methods offered by the group for incentivizing small families, particularly a proposal that richer nations do away with tax breaks for having children and actually penalize new parents.
Both papers were shared on popular podcast All Things Considered and aired nationally at a prime 4pm slot. Check out the Overpopulation Podcast below for the latest development in the debate.