Time to abandon the ‘population’ frame in favor of women’s empowerment and sustainable development
One last thing on the American Prospect environment package: Adam Werbach’s piece on population is brilliant, and by that I mean it expresses my own position.
The basic point is that the "population movement" is a bad idea. Not only is the notion that the world’s problems come down to a matter of raw numbers wrong on the merits, but it’s terrible framing and terrible politics. It attracts unsavory folks whose opposition to immigration has as much to do with xenophobia and racism as with ecological concern. It comes off as misanthropic, Malthusian, and insensitive to the plight of the poverty-stricken, activating all the worst stereotypes about environmentalism. Population activists are, says Werbach, "fighting a losing battle against history, language, and commonly understood mythologies that attract the wrong types of allies."
The solution? Reframe the movement as "a women’s empowerment and sustainable-development movement."
If we reject the population-control frame in favor of the goals of women’s emancipation and sustainable development, we may achieve a healthier and more stable population, without inviting the unwelcome embrace of ugly exclusionists.
That’s exactly right.