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On Infertile GroundPopulation Control and Women's Rights in the Era of Climate Change$
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Jade S. Sasser

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479873432

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479873432.001.0001

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How Population Became an Environmental Problem

How Population Became an Environmental Problem

(p.49) 2 How Population Became an Environmental Problem
On Infertile Ground

Jade S. Sasser

NYU Press

Chapter 2 explores the history of how population came to be known as an environmental problem, emerging through debates about eugenics, war, geopolitical stability, and land use. I begin the chapter by exploring how population was first identified as a central problem of state-making and security, and its role in the evolution of ecological sciences. Next, I trace the ways the environmental sciences and population politics have entwined and overlapped in subsequent decades. Throughout, I analyze the ways knowledge production linking population to environmental problems moved between political advocacy motivated by concerns about war and geopolitical security, concerns about planetary limits, and a site of scientific knowledge development and struggle.

Keywords:   History, Malthus, Eugenics, Modernization, Carrying capacity, Planetary limits, Population control, Race

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