Individual Paper: The "populations bomb" and the degrowth project
As pointed out by H. Daly, the so-called "population bomb" problem is actually a "populations problem" concerning not only the number of humans on Earth, but also of all those artifacts -exosomatic organs in Lotka's terms- produced to support human life. In other words, as populations grows, more resources are required - low entropy resources later discarded in the environment as high entropy wastes encountering the natural pollution and depletion limits -in order to provide for the essential needs of humanity (food, clothing, shelter, etc..). Thus, population is a multiplier also in the IPAT formula describing the equation to reach a sustainable balance on this planet.
Supporters of the degrowth movement (for ex. Latouche) often avoid any reference to measures to control population, especially because such measures would focus on developing countries, which are the ones consuming the less of the Earth resources. However, this approach doesn't take into account how overpopulation will make it increasingly difficult to improve the living conditions just for the poorest in these countries.
The present paper, therefore, addresses the issue of population control proposing some social and legislative measures to be applied mainly in the developing countries. In particular, it is underlined how the biggest barrier to reducing birth rate in the South of the world is nowadays gender inequality.
On the other hand, it is highlighted that, in the richest countries, it is the growth imperative - considering indefinite quantitative economic and population expansion as always necessary and desirable for the human well-being- to impose a population growth through natural increase and immigration. In this regard, in the last section of the article it is pointed out how the human species needs to adapt to changing conditions and it is proposed a qualitative notion of human growth embracing the acceptance of our finitude and limits.
Start time: 14:30
Room: ABF (209)
Track: Degrowth in the Age of Migrations