If you care about the environment (at least according to Bill Maher) you’ve got to be thinking about population growth. The best way to level off population growth (at least according to world history) is to give women power to choose if they want to have babies or not. Perhaps the best way to empower women is to literally give them power by giving them the means to earn money. And investing in small-scale farming is often the most effective way to lift people — especially women — out of poverty.
You can keep looking for the next link in this chain of argument — but it’s so much easier, and more rewarding, just to take 10 minutes and watch this film. There, you will see how a rural Indian teen’s rooftop garden can quietly erode the patriarchal force pushing her toward early marriage and a big family.
It’s true that I’m a sucker both for kickass women and for creative farmers, so I may by prejudiced, but I’m now a fan.