The first year in The Overpopulation Project ends after much activity and with clever work by all team members – We now look forward to 2019!

by Philip Cafaro and Frank Götmark

2018 has been an exciting year at The Overpopulation Project (TOP). Highlights included our overpopulation conference in Stockholm in June, the many blog texts showing that much good research and outreach exist on population matters, the publication of “Aging Human Populations: Good for Us, Good for the Earth” in October, and the Working Paper on current and future EU populations in December. As the year winds to a close, we would like to express our gratitude to those who have made this work possible.

First of all, special thanks to our two assisting researchers, Patrícia Dérer and Jenna Dodson, for their sharp intellects and good ideas, strong work ethics, and for fertilizing our old brains with their new ideas and perspectives. In addition, without them, we would not have had such a good TOP website – many people have commented that they appreciate that such a website now exists (and such a project, of course).

Thanks to our senior mentors Karl-Erik Norrman, Carl Wahren and Robert Gillespie, for project guidance informed by their long years of work on population issues; to TOP associated researchers Jane O’Sullivan and Karin Kuhlemann, for their collegiality and valuable contributions to the project; and to Masters students Addison Phillips and Ann-Marie Ljungberg for writing timely and excellent population-focused Masters theses under our direction.

A special thank for the generous financial support from the Global Challenges Foundation which has made TOP’s work possible; and to our home institutions, Colorado State University and the University of Gothenburg, for ongoing support.

Thanks, too, to TOP’s guest bloggers for their excellent and informative contributions over the past year: Rob Harding, Alisha Graves, Trevor Hedberg, Peter Matanle, Richard Grossman, Jane O’Sullivan and Jan van Weeren.

We are inspired by the land that we live on, the wildlife and the wonderful creatures we share the land with, not least the birds, for unfailing inspiration and for reminding us why our work is so important – given the present fate of wildlife, as humanity expands too much.

Finally, thanks to you, our readers – and all people who have expressed support and sent valuable comments. We are grateful for your attention to TOP’s work and for sharing your views with us in so many thoughtful communications over the past year. To some of you we will come back to – time has not allowed feedback to all. We wish you best of luck in the New Year, in your own lives and work! Stay in touch, and respond to us whenever you feel it is motivated.

Finally, a note on generations, to remind our readers and scientists in the field:

Aging population is not a problem – it has meant a longer, more healthy life for many people, is linked to falling fertility in many countries, and potentially less crowded countries in the future.

Happy old

But in our experience, most people with good insights about overpopulation are old. New students and young researchers are needed. We are grateful for having recruited, and for working with our young assisting researchers in The Overpopulation Project, Patrícia Dérer and Jenna Dodson (below). More such young researchers are needed – more grants, more supervision, and more encouragement to young people interested in overpopulation research and outreach!

Do you want to learn more about the solutions for overpopulation and actions towards sustainability? What actions we need to take on individual, community, national and global level? Check out the Overpopulation Project’s list of solutions!

3 thoughts on “The first year in The Overpopulation Project ends after much activity and with clever work by all team members – We now look forward to 2019!

  1. I argue that an important (perhaps the most important) driver for population growth is the ambition of the local politicians to get a growing city/community. There seems to exist little information of the more detailed character and possible contra-measures on that. I know that you do not want to include that aspect, but I wonder if you can advice the most relevant literature available on the web? I may do more studies and interactions of my own city (Umeå) http://downto2100.blogspot.com/ where I can observe in detail and talk to some players how it works.

  2. Regarding Dag Lindgren’s comment, “I argue that an important (perhaps the most important) driver for population growth is the ambition of the local politicians to get a growing city/community;’ In 2006, during the Q & A session of a presentation promoting my book, “The Population Fix,” an attendee introduced himself as “a municipal consultant throughout the US Pacific Northwest”. He then said, “I have never met a mayor of a small town who didn’t want to be mayor of a large town, the mayor of a large town who didn’t want to be mayor of a small city, or the mayor of a small city who didn’t want to be mayor of a large city.” That certainly seems to support Dag’s argument. As for what can be done about it? Possibly shine more light on it–LOTS more light. And the same for the business always wanting more customers and media always wanting more readers, listeners, and viewers. Let’s shine more light on their interests conflicting with the greater good. Edward C. Hartman

    1. You write about local politicians as a driving force for population growth: “what can be done about it? Possibly shine more light on it–LOTS more light.”. Question: Can you give references after 2006 which try? Are there now studies in spite of the great needs you point at? Am I really a pioneer? Cant “overpopulation project” stimulate studies which shine more light on the issue?

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