Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 18, 2013

Marie I. George
Pages 71-90

Environmentalism and Population Control: Distinguishing Pro-Life and Anti-Life Motives

Environmentalists commonly offer three motives for why human populations need to be reduced or stabilized. One group maintains that human numbers threaten natural goods that should be preserved: biodiversity and ecosystems. A more extreme group maintains that we are taking up more than our fair share of the planet, eliminating species that have just as much right to be here. A third group advocates controlling human populations in order to prevent the environment from being degraded to the point that it harms people. I intend to examine in light of Catholic social teaching whether these proposed motives for controlling population are always anti-life.