The Overpopulation Project (TOP) is a small organization, consisting of just a few individuals, but with strong motivations and much experience (see ‘About us’). We are independent researchers, not bound to any political or ideological agenda. Conducting research and outreach on overpopulation and its tragic consequences, and explaining solutions to this problem, are our main aims. Read what we achieved during 2020, our third productive year. You may well find a topic that fits your special interests.
High-quality research is one basis for knowledge, and needed for informed action. During 2020, the TOP team published four papers in good scientific journals. In these papers we:
- revealed how research in food science over the past 50 years increasingly avoided discussing population growth as a driver of hunger, malnutrition and greater agricultural demand (From Population to Production: 50 Years of Scientific Literature on How to Feed the World).
- explored how ecological economists could improve their work by taking population growth and overpopulation into account (The Social and Environmental Influences of Population Growth Rate and Demographic Pressure Deserve Greater Attention in Ecological Economics).
- analyzed the causes of changing fertility rates across the globe, showing how strongly high fertility is correlated with religiosity (Human Fertility in Relation to Education, Economy, Religion, Contraception, and Family Planning Programs).
- published a thorough literature review on the relationships between population growth and efforts to mitigate and adapt to global climate change (Population Growth and Climate Change: Addressing the Overlooked Threat Multiplier).
Climate disruption is in the media almost daily – but certainly not the role of overpopulation in driving the problem. So we continue to explore this connection, last week releasing a new Working Paper describing the shortcomings of national climate plans and how they can be improved (Population Growth and Family Planning in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) made under the Paris Climate Agreement).
In the future, climate disruption will become a serious problem, but the “climate bandwagon” in the media tends to hide worse problems, often linked to growing populations, such as biodiversity loss. A few years ago, a report examining global threats to native species ranked climate change as threat number eight. The major threats were related to habitat destruction (logging, agriculture, hunting, housing) and obviously to overpopulation and overconsumption. Given this situation, it is not surprising that our most popular blog ever is Solutions to overpopulation. During 2021 we plan to revise and extend this text, so look out for more information on this important topic.
Much work at TOP consists in organizing, writing, inviting, and improving our blog texts. In 2020 we produced 39 blogs, many detailed ones with references for those who want to learn more about a topic. Here you can find the subjects that the media normally don’t discuss, such as population linkages to the Covid-19 pandemic, discussed by Phil Cafaro and Kelvin Thomson. Violations of human rights are often dealt with in the media through the influential Human Rights Watch, but unlike this website we explain how rights for people and other species demand that we end population growth and create ecologically sustainable societies.
If you love wildlife and think it would be great to bring it back to areas where it has been displaced, consider reading about how rewilding is helped along by smaller populations in Germany and Poland, Portugal, Croatia, and Romania and Ukraine. You can also find reviews of new books, novels, and films. Explore all the population-related material on our website by using the “Search on our website” box that appears under TOP’s characteristic “Lake and Mountain” photo on our website landing page.
We wish to thank all people who wrote excellent blog texts for TOP, or contributed by re-publication of valuable texts: Malte Andersson, Pete Bailey, N.R. Baker, Michael Bayliss, Joe Bish, Richard Grossman, Robin Maynard, Ayaka Paul, Francesco Ricciardi, Susann Roth, David Skribna, Alon Tal, Kelvin Thomson and Gary Wockner.
This year also, Stefano Maida kindly translated much of TOP’s English website into Italian (try the flag, if you’re Italian). Thank you! The previous year (2019) Renato Whitaker provided a Portugese translation (see flag), thanks to Renato, too! We also have Hungarian and Swedish TOP websites (see flags), with the Swedish one containing much translated material and many Swedish Op-Ed’s and other texts. We welcome help with translation into other languages.
A special gratitude to our assisting researcher in 2020, Pernilla Hansson, who contributed blog texts about rewilding in Europe and several other texts, including book review and conservation analyses. Thank you, Pernilla, for skilled work with the TOP website, publication of blogs, fixing errors, and more!
TOP welcomes comments that can help improve our work – for instance, new ideas regarding website, research, and outreach. We also welcome donations to support our work. We are very grateful for a recent donation from the GAIA Initiative for Earth-Human-Balance, that will cover our research assistant’s salary through April 2021—and welcome any further support to continue our work.