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“Climate change is a feminist issue”

2009

Mary Fitzgerald in The Guardian

“Granting women control over their own reproduction would combat overpopulation and reduce carbon emissions”

When it emerged earlier this year that Obama’s science tsar John Holdren had once, back in 1977, co-authored a textbook discussing possible methods of population control, among them sterilisation, America’s rightwing fury machine triumphantly seized upon it, dubbing him Obama’s “science fiction tsar”.

Yet with the climate change conference in Copenhagen approaching, how fictitious is the need for population control? As Alex Renton noted in November’s Prospect magazine, if the world’s population continues to grow at present rate, by 2050 the globe will need the resources of a second Earth to sustain it. And if you throw in the projected effects of a warming planet, the problem starts to look as apocalyptic as it did to Holdren, and many others, back in the 1970s.

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