Phoebe Barnard is a biologist, global change scientist, and policy analyst with decades of experience confronting some of the most pressing problems of our time, bridging the gap between academia and government. She’s also CEO of the Stable Planet Alliance, a coalition of scientific, legal, social, health, media, policy, leadership, faith, culture, and grassroots organizations tackling the overpopulation and hyperconsumption problem.
Phoebe joins me to discuss overpopulation—its effects, our trajectory, and the difficult decisions we face as a species. She argues we must reduce our population to 3 billion in the next century if planet earth is to survive, and us along with it, warning that population reduction policies may be forced on citizens in the future if we do not choose for ourselves now.
We discuss the morality and politics of overpopulation, addressing the West’s all-too-recent history of eugenics and ethnic cleansing. We then explore population reduction as an intergenerational right: There may be less of us in the future, but those future people may be better off for it.
Planet: Critical investigates why the world is in crisis—and what to do about it.