Journal of Population and Sustainability <p>The Journal of Population and Sustainability (JP&amp;S) is an open access interdisciplinary journal exploring all aspects of the relationship between human numbers and environmental issues. The journal publishes both peer reviewed and invited material. It is an interdisciplinary hub inviting contributions from the social sciences, humanities, environmental and natural sciences including those concerned with family planning and reproductive health. The journal includes original research papers, reviews of already published research, commentary, opinion pieces, book reviews and <em>praxis </em>articles outlining practical interventions in the field.</p> en-US (Journal of Population and Sustainability) (James Rice) Tue, 01 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 OJS 60 Editorial introduction David Samways Copyright (c) 2020 David Samways Wed, 30 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0200 The fractal biology of plague and the future of civilization <p>At the time of writing, the CoViD-19 pandemic was in its second wave with infections doubling every several days to two weeks in many parts of the world. Such geometric (or exponential) expansion is the hallmark of unconstrained population growth in all species ranging from submicroscopic viral particles through bacteria to whales and humans; this suggests a kind of ‘fractal geometry’ in bio-reproductive patterns. In nature, population outbreaks are invariably reversed by the onset of both endogenous and exogenous negative feedback – reduced fecundity, resource shortages, spatial competition, disease, etc., serve to restore the reference population to below carrying capacity, sometimes by dramatic collapse. H. sapiens is no exception – our species is nearing the peak of a fossil-fueled ~200 year plague-like population outbreak that is beginning to trigger serious manifestations of negative feedback, including climate change and CoViD-19 itself. The human population will decline dramatically; theoretically, we can choose between a chaotic collapse imposed by nature or international cooperation to plan a managed, equitable contraction of the human enterprise.</p> William Rees Copyright (c) 2020 William Rees Tue, 01 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 Humanity’s environmental problems can only be fixed by changing the system. The coronavirus offers a chance. <p>Societies need to introduce much more radical emissions reductions targets than those agreed in Paris if they are to successfully slow the pace of change. Covid-19 makes this possible. By forcing aviation and other transportation businesses to downsize emissions have started to fall. By paying people to stay at home governments have shown that they can support them during a transition. Societies should grasp this unique chance for radical social and economic reform.</p> Graeme Maxton Copyright (c) 2020 Graeme Maxton Tue, 01 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 We know how many people the earth can support <p>A quarter century after Joel Cohen asked the essential question “How Many People can the Earth Support?”, this article offers an answer, based on new science and geographical analysis, and asserts that we have long ago exceeded our planet’s long term ecological carrying capacity that optimistically can only support 3 billion modern industrialized humans. While agreeing that strategies based on reducing consumption are sorely needed to live within our planet’s carrying capacity, the impending explosion of the global middle class promises to render consumption-only strategies inadequate, in the face of runaway population growth and the accumulation of massive ecological debt. Noting recent studies that project global population to begin to decrease in 2064 after peaking at 9.7B, it is asked why we don’t act now to accelerate this already inevitable trend with enhanced investment in women’s empowerment, education, and access to family planning technologies. This paper calls for a goal of achieving 1.5 total fertility rate (TFR) by 2030 to bend the global population curve, begin relieving the ecological burden humanity has foisted on our planet, and to decrease human population as we approach 2100 to something closer to the long term ecological carrying capacity of our planet.</p> Christopher Tucker Copyright (c) 2020 Christopher Tucker Tue, 01 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 Marx, population and freedom <p>Marxists have long moved beyond a perception of Marx as a Promethean ecological vandal. Yet those disputing his environmental credentials are generally united in deploring the unhappy history of population control. They implicitly accept the idea of currently forecast future population levels as consistent with a Marxist view of human emancipation. This assumption should be challenged, on the basis of what resources a truly unalienated future may require in order to achieve real freedom for each future individual.</p> Julian Roche Copyright (c) 2020 Julian Roche Tue, 01 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 Population effects of increase in world energy use and CO2 emissions: 1990–2019 <p>This paper analyses population effects of increase in world energy use and CO2 emissions between 1990–2019 following a decomposition framework with interaction effects. The analysis has also been carried out for the 44 countries which accounted for most of the increase in world energy use and CO2 emissions during 1990–2019. Population growth was found to have a significant effect on both the increase in energy use and CO2 emissions at the global level, although the contribution of population growth to these increases has varied widely across countries. There is a need for integrating population factors in the sustainable development processes, particularly efforts directed towards environmental sustainability.</p> Aalok Chaurasia Copyright (c) 2020 Aalok Chaurasia Tue, 01 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 Achieving a post-growth green economy <p>A transformation in human values in a ‘post-materialist’ direction by middle-class youth around the world may be setting the stage for a new reality of near-zero economic growth and a sustainable and healthy global biosphere. Evidence from the World Values Survey suggests that a global expansion of post-material values and experiences leads to (1) a reduction in consumption-oriented activities, (2) a shift to more environmentally friendly forms of life that include living at higher, more energy efficient urban densities, and (3) active political support for environmental improvement. Such behavioral shifts provide a foundation for a turn to a slow-growth or even no-growth economy in comparatively affluent countries to the benefit of a healthier global biosphere. To set the stage for a ‘post-growth green economy’ that features climate stability and a substantially reduced ecological footprint, the timing is right for a ‘Green New Deal’ that focuses on de-carbonizing the global economy and has the side-benefit of fostering an economic recovery from the Covid-19 global recession currently underway. The financing of global decarbonization by the world’s wealthiest countries is affordable and could stimulate much needed economic improvements in developing countries by creating within them modern, efficient clean energy systems that can serve as a basis for increased economic prosperity. Such prosperity will in turn accelerate declines in population fertility and result ultimately in reduced global population growth.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> Douglas Booth Copyright (c) 2020 Douglas Booth Tue, 01 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100