When I was writing my environment column for Truthout, I often looked to George Monbiot at the Guardian as a writer who embraced integrated, big-picture thinking and was not afraid of solutions that might appear "radical" or "socialist." I have admired much of his work. But in a recent column on population growth, he displays quite a shallow view of the population problem and even sees fit to insult those who are concerned with it. That's a shame. I expected better from him. Here is my response from the comments section:
Dear George Monbiot,
The frustration you feel at the "old white men" who always bring up population growth is an interesting contrast to the frustration I (a middle-aged white woman) feel when people like you, who are often white men, refuse to focus on population growth as a key issue.
The fact is, population growth is not something "natural." White men such as yourself often have trouble acknowledging the current and historical impact of the pro-natalist policies of patriarchal empires. Women are not free. My contention is that if women were free to make their reproductive choices, we would reach a stable population much sooner. You seem to think this will automatically happen when population reaches 9 billion. However, 9 billion is a very damaging level of population for the planet to support at any level of consumption. I believe we can and must make every effort to stabilize population at a lower level than that. That means addressing it head on. Addressing it head on means we need to talk about it, which is difficult when otherwise progressive thinkers such as yourself try to slam the door every time the topic comes up.