Forget Malthus: upside of population growth

Once again population growth is being discussed worldwide as a major factor behind environmental destruction. But watching Indian villages trying to survive in their degraded environment, we have an interesting question to ask: Could this be an optimum level of demographic pressure to promote community-based environmental management?

Few social scientists have tried to understand what societal responses are emerging at the grassroots to growing population and increasing pressures on natural resources. In India, for instance, population densities have nearly doubled in 40 years. This is unprecedented in India’s history. Should we assume that people are not going to respond rationally but just breed themselves to a mass societal death? Surely not.

The 1980s saw, in India, numerous micro-experiments to organise communities to manage their natural resources. Some of these experiments have had dramatic success in ecological regeneration and have led to equally dramatic improvement in the local economy.

Can we simply dismiss all this work as the result of a few dedicated social activists or is this a sign of a nascent societal response?

— source | Anil Agarwal | 02 Jan 2022

Nullius in verba

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