The Environmental Impact of Overpopulation: Author Meets Critics

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The School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) Seminar Series and Center for Ethics and Human Values present an author-meet-critics session on CEHV/College of Pharmacy Postdoctoral Researcher Trevor Hedberg’s new book, The Environmental Impact of Overpopulation: The Ethics of Procreation.

Dr. Hedberg will be joined in conversation by Ramona Ilea (Professor of Philosophy, Pacific University Oregon) and Don Hubin (Emeritus CEHV Director and Professor of Philosophy, Ohio State University).

In his book, Hedberg argues that, in light of climate change and the biodiversity crisis, humanity has a collective moral duty to halt population growth to prevent environmental harms from escalating. His book assesses a variety of policies that could help us meet this moral duty, confronts the conflict between protecting the welfare of future people and upholding procreative freedom, evaluates the ethical dimensions of individual procreative decisions, and sketches the implications of population growth for issues like abortion and immigration. It is not a book of tidy solutions: Hedberg highlights some scenarios where nothing we can do will enable us to avoid treating some people unjustly. In such scenarios, the overall objective is to determine which of our available options will minimize the injustice that occurs (adapted from publisher’s summary).