Disarming the population bomb

Scott Victor Valentine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper argues for a renewed international focus on managed population reduction as a key enabler of sustainable development. The paper presents development data that demonstrate why population reduction should be elevated to share top priority with poverty alleviation, as the two over-arching goals of international development strategy. The critical analysis put forth in this paper argues that the current 'unsustainable' approach to sustainable development stems from (1) 'empty world' economic growth theory applied to a 'full world', which is (2) supported and driven by socioeconomic incentives to expand population, (3) justified through flawed interpretation of demographic transition theory, (4) bolstered by the exaggerated efficacy of environmental economic theory applied in a resource-constrained world, (5) insulated from challenge by limitations of scientific knowledge and (6) perpetuated by herd behavior. This paper concludes that failure to reduce global population will inhibit attainment of poverty alleviation and worsen environmental degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-132
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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