Skip to main content

Why Population Control May Not Help Curb Climate Change

 In this Nov. 15, 2016, file photo morning rush hour traffic moves along the ...

Photo by Richard Vogel / AP

Above: In this Nov. 15, 2016, file photo morning rush hour traffic moves along the southbound lanes along US 101 near downtown Los Angeles.

KPBS Midday Edition Segments podcast branding

Author, Jade Sasser, joined Midday Edition to talk about why she feels population control is ineffective at reducing greenhouse emissions or saving resources.

Aired: September 16, 2019 | Transcript

When it comes to addressing climate change, one controversial solution that has been raised is population control.

The idea is that slowing population growth could help curb greenhouse gas emissions and prevent or reverse the effects of climate change. But not everyone thinks it will make a difference.

“The countries that are producing the most greenhouse gases are the countries with the lowest birth rates. This is why trying to address population growth in order to address climate change, it just doesn’t work. It’s not the number of people on the planet that is causing the problem. What’s causing the problem of climate change is the way we structure our economies around fossil fuels,” said Jade Sasser, assistant professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Riverside.

RELATED: Join KPBS For A Week-Long Look At San Diego’s Climate Crisis

Sasser has spent more than a decade studying the topic and put her findings in her book, “On Infertile Ground.” She joined Midday Edition Monday to discuss what she's learned about why population control may not be the most effective strategy to slow climate change.

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.