Society  &  Nature, Vol. 3, No. 1


Human Population Growth and the Environment: A Debate Among Deep Ecologists, Social Ecologists and Ecofeminists

 Catherine Pal

Abstract In this essay, I examine the debate on human population growth between deep ecologist Dave Foreman, social ecologist Murray Bookchjn, and ecofeininists Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva. My question is whether human population growth per se, social dominauon or capitalist patriarchal relations is the ecological problem causing damage to the environment. I attempt to answer this question by arguing with Mies and Shiva that human overpopulation is not the major ecological probIem; rather, it is deep-seated capitalist patriarchal relations. The solution to the ecological crisis, the population growth accompanying it and women ‘s oppression is seen as a “new ecology of reproduction” com­bined with giving people rights and access to resources to generate sustainable livelihood.