Are there really too many people? – An interview with Betsy Hartmann

Looking over the shoulder of a woman as she walks onto a busy urban street crossing

In this episode of Spoken Earth, Adam Weymouth discusses overpopulation with Betsy Hartmann, who argues that blaming the planet’s problems on overpopulation is not only a fallacy, but a racist one that plays into the hands of the far right.


Betsy Hartmann is professor emerita of development studies at Hampshire College in the US. She is the author of The America Syndrome: Apocalypse, War and Our Call to Greatness and the feminist classic Reproductive Rights and Wrongs: The Global Politics of Population Control, as well as two political thrillers about the far right. She has long worked at the intersections of population, migration, environment, and security, and has spent much of her career attempting to debunk arguments that use overpopulation to explain climate change, poverty, the loss of biodiversity, and much else besides. In this wide ranging conversation we explore reproductive rights, migration, racism, and America’s vision of the coming Apocalypse.

Find the full story here and listen on SoundCloud here.

Podcast by Lacuna Magazine

Interviewer: Adam Weymouth
Producer and musician: Ulli Mattsson

Further reading:

This is the latest in our Spoken Earth podcast. Find more interviews and episodes here.

Main image by Christopher Burns.