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Blackthorn is the nom de plume of an American living in Europe. Ph.D. in social science; author of peer-reviewed publications; experienced in international organizations and fieldwork in emergency relief and development; carer of the eponymous tree and many others; writing about urgent issues of the day (with only the occasional conspiracy theory)

Population: the concern that dare not speak its name

In recent years, growth in absolute terms has been about 80 million people per year. That’s a whole new country the size of Germany, whose people will need food, water, shelter, energy, education, health care, jobs, and a social setting, and all the materials that will have to go into all that. Next year, another…

Population vs. consumption: it’s not either/or, and for both, less is more

Population easing has manifold benefits even apart from climate, biodiversity and resources; women’s rights and empowerment, for starters.  And unwinding the mindset that consumption equals quality of life speaks for itself – less work and running around, more time for relationships and cultural richness.  Both come down to quality of life; and in both cases,…

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