Too Many People?

Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis

Too Many People? provides a clear, well-documented, and popularly written refutation of the idea that “overpopulation” is a major cause of environmental destruction, arguing that a focus on human numbers not only misunderstands the causes of the crisis, it dangerously weakens the movement for real solutions. No other book challenges modern overpopulation theory so clearly and comprehensively, providing invaluable insights for activists and environmental scholars alike.

Click to Listen to Ian Angus Speak About the Book

About the author

Ian Angus is editor of Climate and Capitalism, an online journal focusing on capitalism, climate change, and the ecosocialist alternative. His previous books include Canadian Bolsheviks and The Global Fight for Climate Justice.

Simon Butler, a climate justice activist based in Sydney, Australia, is coeditor of Green Left Weekly, the country’s leading source of anticapitalist news, analysis, discussion, and debate.

Reviews

Too Many People? is a clear and convincing challenge to the idea of population control as political necessity.

Angus and Butler … suggest an action plan to move the world in a more environmentally respectful direction: cease all military operations at home and abroad; begin phasing out fossil fuels and biofuels and replace them with wind, geothermal, wave and solar power; … and ensure that women everywhere have access to birth control and abortion.”
Truthout

“This excellent book is steadfast in its refutations of the flabby, misogynist and sometimes racist thinking that population growth catastrophists use to peddle their claims. It’s just the thing to send populationists scurrying back to their bunkers.”
—Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved

“Ian Angus and Simon Butler are not ordinary environmentalists and Too Many People? is not an ordinary book on population and the environment. They demonstrate that by demolishing the notion that too many people (and too many consumers) are the source of our environmental ills we can get at the real problem: the system of accumulation and waste commonly known as capitalism.”
—John Bellamy Foster, coauthor (with Fred Magdoff) of What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism

“Sadly the population myth has been used to distract attention from the roots of ecological crisis in a destructive economic system and to shift the blame for problems such as climate change on to the poor. This splendid book is an essential read for all those of us concerned with creating an ecologically sustainable and just future. Buy it, read it and spread the word!”
—Derek Wall, author of The Rise of the Green Left

"Ian Angus and Simon Butler’s superb book challenges the “common sense” idea that there are too many people. Clearly and concisely they blame a system that puts profit before people and planet, refuting the arguments of the later day Malthusians. It is a book that should be read by every environmental campaigner, trade unionist and political activist."
— Martin Empson, author of Marxism and Ecology: Capitalism, Socialism and the Future of the Planet

“Angus and Butler have written a comprehensive dissection of the arguments surrounding over-population, It’s a vital and insightful socialist response to the debate and highly recommended to anyone interested in fighting for a better world and avoiding the pitfalls of false solutions.”
—Chris Williams, author of Ecology and Socialism

“With clear prose and careful, cogent analysis, Angus and Butler provide the tools necessary to dismantle the myth of overpopulation step by step … [and] show the way to a more hopeful, justice-centered environmental and reproductive politics.”
—Betsy Hartmann, author of Reproductive Rights and Wrongs: The Global Politics of Population Control

“This is an essential subject, and we are in Angus and Butler’s debt for treating it with such clarity and rigor.”
—Joel Kovel, author of The Enemy of Nature

"As the global population passes the seven billion mark, this book is a timely intervention in a recurring and important debate in the environmental movement. Written from an eco-socialist perspective, the authors make a compelling that what's ailing the planet is not too many humans, but too much capitalism"
—Derrick O'Keefe, co-writer with Afghan politician Malalai Joya, of A Woman Among Warlords

"Ian Angus and Simon Butler’s book ‘Too Many People?’ provides a great service to the workers’ movement by systematically demolishing a key argument of the Right … Socialists before have made all of Angus and Butler’s points but never in such a systematic, clear and concise way. This book should be on the shelf of every active socialist, as well as anyone serious about tackling climate change."
—Stephen Jolly, Socialist Party of Australia

“Ian Angus and Simon Butler ’s new book about population control, or “populationism” in the widest sense, is invaluable for people concerned about climate change, climate justice, environmental racism, and system change. Angus and Butler are clear about the urgency of drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and that there is simply not time for the detours, deflections, and damage caused by “population bomb” theories.”
—Judy Deutsch, Canadian Dimension

“The clarity of the authors’ arguments, their unassailable reasoning, their thorough research, the full transparency of their worldview, and the readability of their writing, make this one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read. If you care about both the environment and reproductive justice, this book is a must-read."
—Laura Kaminker, wmtc blog