N. R. Baker – “10:59” (2020)

As a fiction book that tackles the issue of overpopulation, 10:59 centers around Louis Crawford, a teenager who early in is his life realizes the problems that come with an ever growing human population. When he finds himself working for an organization intent on saving the world, he has to choose how far he is willing to go to save humanity and the planet. 10:59 is a gripping book that explores the personal effects of overpopulation while not shying away from the larger problems surrounding it. Especially valuable is the short chapter at the end of the story, the Author’s notes, which further explains the reasoning behind the book and ensures the reader understands that while the story is a work of fiction, overpopulation is not.

Christopher Tucker – “A Planet of 3 Billion: Mapping Humanity’s Long History of Ecological Destruction and Finding Our Way to a Resilient Future. A Global Citizen’s Guide to Saving the Planet” (2019)

Picture1In this valuable book, Tucker attempts to estimate a sustainable future human population size through focusing on an optimum human population which would allow for human well-being alongside a healthy ecosystem, as compared to many other attempts that often instead aim to calculate Earth’s carrying capacity. Despite certain sections warranting a further discussion than what is granted in the book, Tucker manages to, in a commendable way, present population as a central part of our environmental challenges and criticizes the current political focus on continuous growth. A more detailed review of the book can be found here.


Stephen G. Warren – “Population numbers and global demography” in Companion to Environmental Studies (2018)

In this book chapter, Stephen Warren provide concise, authoritative and easy-to-use summary of the importance of population in environmental problems, of exponential growth, recent population history and debates about population projections. The author gives a good, short, not technical overview on these topics, including fertility control and abortion.


Alon Tal – “The Land Is Full: Addressing Overpopulation in Israel” (2016)

This is an excellent book about problems that follow from strong encouragement of fertility and population growth, resulting in today’s densily populated Isreal. The book is very balanced, also giving many valuable references. Even better, it suggests how Israel can – and must – overcome these problems, to achieve sustainability, and to flourish. Excellent treatment of the scientific human crowding literature, and excellent treatment of the scientific literature on family allowances (”perverse incentives”, in many cases). Some parts of the text describe details of Israel’s history that probably mostly are of interest to specialists.


Sarah Conly – “One Child  – Do we have a right to more?” (2016)

Clearly written and carefully thought through, One Child represents a rare attempt to explore population ethics and population policy in a philosophically rigorous and ecologically informed manner. Sarah Conly argues that both the right to start a family and the right to control one’s own body support a right to have a child. However, in the crowded world humanity has created, the need to balance all our rights, and our rights with our moral responsibilities, argues against a right to have more than one.  Conly concludes that “we need to realize that having children is just not a private matter anymore” and “protecting privacy in the long run will require recognizing the limits of privacy at present.


Tom Butler et al. – “Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot” (2015)

Along with several eloquent essays, this book contains powerful and evocative images showing the ecological and social tragedies of humanity’s ballooning numbers and consumption. Available for free download or viewing online, Over Over Over is a useful tool for teachers who want to include population matters in their environmental science and environmental humanities classes.


Dave Foreman – “Man Swarm: How Overpopulation is Killing the Wild World” (2015)

Dave Foreman lays out the overpopulation crisis in the United States and worldwide, showing how overpopulation is the main driver of the extinction of wildlife and wildlands, and of excessive pollution, including destructive greenhouse gases. He challenges those who don’t believe that the overpopulation crisis is real and provides tangible ways we can all be part of the solution.


Philip Cafaro – “How Many Is Too Many? The Progressive Argument for Reducing Immigration into the United States” (2015)

The USA can’t continue to add millions more people, as they did in the past. Philip Cafaro roots his argument in human rights, equality, economic security and environmental sustainability. He shows us the undeniable realities of mass migration to which we have turned a blind eye: how it has stalled America’s economic maturity by keeping its citizens ever-focused on increasing consumption and growth; how it has caused US cities and suburbs to sprawl far and wide: destroying natural habitats, driving other species from the landscape, and cutting people off from nature. With a foreword by Anne and Paul Ehrlich.


Alan Weisman – “Countdown – Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?” (2013)

A powerful investigation into the chances for humanity’s future from an American author, professor, and journalist. Weisman visits an extraordinary range of the world’s cultures, religions, nationalities, tribes, and political systems to learn what in their beliefs, histories, liturgies, or current circumstances might suggest that sometimes it’s in their own best interest to limit their growth.


Philip Cafaro and Eileen Crist -“Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation”(2012) lifeonthebrink

25 contributors honestly explore difficult moral and political issues including abortion, immigration and limits to growth, arguing that we must humanely reduce human numbers in order to preserve wild nature and build a vibrant human future. Contributors include Lester Brown, Dave Foreman, Stephanie Mills and Captain Paul Watson.


Robert Engelman – “More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want” (2008)

Engelman shows that the three-way dance between population, women’s autonomy, and the natural world is as old as humanity itself. He traces pivotal developments in our history that set population on its current trajectory. The book explores how population growth has shaped modern civilization—and humanity as we know it. The book explores how population growth has shaped modern civilization and humanity as we know it, and why their flourishing now demands an end to such growth.


Partha Dasgupta – “Economics: A Very Short Introduction” (2007)5116Wvtbr9L._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_

A solid introduction to basic economical concepts, including efficiency, equity, sustainability, dynamic equilibrium, property rights, markets, and public goods. Dasgupta covers enduring issues such as population growth, the environment, and poverty. He explores how the world’s looming population problems affect us at the local, national, and international level.



Jeffrey K. McKee – “Sparing Nature: The Conflict Between Human Population Growth and Earth’s Biodiversity” (2005)sparin nature

This book demonstrates that nature cannot accommodate both a richly diverse living world and a rapidly expanding number of people. McKee probes the past to find that humans and their ancestors have had negative impacts on species biodiversity for nearly two million years, and that extinction rates have accelerated since the origins of agriculture. Today entire ecosystems are in peril due to the relentless growth of the human population. Very helpful for biodiversity advocates who want to understand the role population stabilization can play in preserving wild nature.


Jared Diamond – “Collapse – How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” (2005)

Diamond seeks to understand the fates of past societies that collapsed for ecological reasons, combining the most important policy debate of this generation with the romance and mystery of lost worlds.




Paul and Anne Ehrlich – “One with Nineveh – Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future” (2004)Ehrlichs

A synthesis of the major issues of our time that remains relevant nearly fifteen years after publication. The Ehrlichs’ book spotlights the three elephants in our global living room: rising consumption, still-growing world population, and unchecked political and economic inequity. These problems increasingly shaping today’s politics and threaten humankind’s future.



Garrett Hardin – ”Living within limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos” (1993)

Garrett Hardin was a previous generation’s greatest thinker about how to grapple successfully with limits. This book collects some of his best latter writings on this subject,, discussing the wide range of economic and ecological illusions we use to support our unworkable theories of sustainable population growth and resource consumption. For those who want to think honestly about these matters, Hardin’s writings are an invaluable starting point.