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The way we talk of overpopulation being the primary driver for climate crisis is, frankly, racist bullshit that smacks of colonialism. (1/)
Niger, Angola, Mali, and Chad have the four highest birth rates in the world, each over 43 per 1000 population. In comparison, Japan’s is 7.5, Canada’s is 10.2, Chinas is 12.1, and the US’s is 12.4. (2/)
Okay. So Niger’s birth rate is over three times that of the USA! that’s so much more. (3/)
But each person in Niger has a carbon footprint of only 0.1 tons annually. Compare that to the US, where the per capita annual carbon footprint is 16.5 tons.(4/)
Each person born in the USA has a carbon footprint 165 times that of someone from Niger. Niger would have to have an impossible birth rate of 2045 per 1000 people for its new births to have the same impact as those in the US. (5/)
And what even this is missing is that it’s not about births! Consumer patterns in the US aren’t the reason our per capita carbon footprint is so huge! (6/)
While yes, if every American stopped eating red meat or driving, a difference would be made, it’s largely corporations that drive up the collective carbon footprint. We’ve all seen the study showing that 100 companies are responsible for 71% of carbon emissions. (7/)
Telling Black & brown people from the Global South “have less babies” instead of focusing on Americans’ far more consequential carbon footprint or corporations causing huge emissions is reverting to the ways the Global North has talked about & to the GS for centuries.(8/)
I’m not saying that increased population doesn’t put a strain on the planets limited resources, and exacerbates the crisis we’re heading for any minute now. I’m saying that the way we address population growth in the Global South reflects attitudes we’ve internalized. (9/)
That our ways of life- 1.5 kids, 2 SUVs, a manicured lawn guzzling water, and an air conditioner that’s on 24/7 are better and more sustainable than any other. (10/)
That we have the right to talk to mothers and fathers and parents in Niger scared that their children will die (about 85 of every 1000 births die before they turn 5) when their contribution to the crisis is tiny compared to ours. (11/)
That the solution to overcrowded cities and slums is not human services and compassion, but spite and commands to close one’s legs. (12/)
That the reason for these nations lack of development and industrialization isn’t their exploitation by colonialist powers. (13/)
That colonial powers, including the US, haven’t built their riches- and gotten their license to pollute and fuck over the earth- at the expense of these nations.(14/)
Overpopulation is an issue. But when you raise it before the issues, people, and corporations having a much larger effect, it’s time to reflect on why. (15/)
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