COMMENT: Burying Malthus to save Malthusianism [Brendan O’Neill]

In recent years, a few environmentalist thinkers have started to criticise the narrow Malthusianism of their fellow contemporary greens. Peoplequake by Fred Pearce is the latest attack by a greenie on the Reverend Thomas Malthus, the original population scaremonger, and his slavish followers in today’s population-control lobby. With its quips about the weird, harelipped reverend’s hatred of poor people, its critique of the deeply misanthropic eugenics movement, and its challenge to the idea that Africa is overpopulated, Pearce’s book might even look to some like a refreshing defence of rational thinking against the hysteria of the human-hating, womb-fearing lobby. It is no such thing. Pearce, like other influential green thinkers, is burying Malthus only to save Malthusianism.



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