Continuing a dialogue on immigration, population growth and the environment

Two weeks ago The Overpopulation Project researchers published an opinion piece in Svenska Dagbladet titled “Environmental concerns call for reduced immigration”. In it we discussed the demographic implications of Swedish immigration policy and considered the potential environmental impacts of future population growth.


Our essay called forth numerous thoughtful responses, including a joint reply by 41 colleagues here at Gothenburg University and around Sweden, published in ETC Göteborg, titled “Incorrect and unethical reasoning about migration”.

This reply raised a number of important questions. Among the most important: what is the best ethical framework within which to discuss proper immigration policy? Our initial, brief response to this question, a letter to colleagues, can be found here, and a published response in ETC Göteborg can be found here. We believe one key is balancing our ethical responsibilities as citizens of particular nations with our responsibilities as citizens of the world.

What do you think is the proper ethical framework for making immigration policy and other governmental policy choices? We welcome your comments.

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3 thoughts on “Continuing a dialogue on immigration, population growth and the environment

  1. Thank you for sharing these in English. Your colleagues’ (a long list though I suppose it is only a small percentage of all Gothenburg staff) first paragraph was splenetic. Their final 4 paragraphs were better though in the last they forgot to include population growth among the causes in source countries. Your reply is thoughtful and wise.

  2. Overpopulation and its drivers and the hostile reactions or no reaction efforts to discuss it meets are very important and significant. You get no international discussion (exept McKeown) and a Swedish discussion following the SvD which was triggered by moral rather than scientific feeling.
    I tried to engage in what I thought I could do but not so successful in giving support. Even the comments did not work. Maybe I try more in the autumn.
    I have a long time worried for the survival of human as a species and thought your project gave a hope that would slightly increase Mans chances but after the short peak of optimism I am back to the degree of pessimism I had before.

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