Barry Commoner: Radical Father of ModernEnvironmentalismhttp://climateandcapitalism.com/2017/05/31/barry-commoner-radical-father-of-modern-environmentalism/
Publisher: Dreier, Peter
Date Written: 31/05/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21002
Biography of Barry Commoner, a scientist who laid the groundwork for what later become known as the environmental justice movement.
In the 1970s Commoner spoke out against the view that overpopulation, particularly in the Third World, was responsible for the increasing depletion of the word's natural resources and the deepening ecological problems. The thesis was popularized by Paul Ehrlich (in his book The Population Bomb) and other scientists, but Commoner challenged those who echoed the ideas of the nineteenth-century British thinker Thomas Robert Malthus.
As Commoner argued, it is rich nations that consume a disproportionate share of the world's resources. And it was their systems of colonialism and imperialism that led to the exploitation of the Third World's natural resources for consumption in the wealthy nations, making the poor even poorer. Without the financial resources to improve their living conditions, people in developing countries relied more heavily upon increased birthrates as a form of social security than did people in wealthier nations.