CIE Seminar Series 2022: Overpopulation is a major cause of biodiversity loss and conservationists need to advocate for smaller human populations to preserve what is left

SPEAKER: Prof Philip Cafaro, Colorado State University and senior researcher with The Overpopulation Project.

DATE & TIME: Friday 11th November 2022 @ 12pm.

LOCATION: Via Zoom – click HERE to connect (Meeting ID: 812 5556 2274, Password: 89428618).


Global biodiversity decline is caused by too many people consuming too much and displacing other species.

This talk briefly reviews some evidence for how excessive human numbers destroy and degrade habitats for other species and how human population decrease opens possibilities for ecological restoration.

It asks when judgements of human overpopulation are justified and makes the case that conservationists should advocate explicitly for smaller populations.

Finally, it solicits ideas for how conservation biologists and conservationists generally can more effectively address the fundamental drivers of biodiversity loss and other global environmental problems: economic and demographic growth.


I’m a philosophy professor at Colorado State University living in Fort Collins, Colorado with my wife Kris.

My scholarly work centers on environmental ethics, population policy and the preservation of wild nature. I’m the author of Thoreau’s Living Ethics: Walden and the Pursuit of Virtue and How Many Is Too Many? The Progressive Argument for Reducing Immigration into the United States.

I am an affiliated faculty member of CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability and past president of the International Society for Environmental Ethics. More on Philip and his research HERE.

As a courtesy, we request that when connecting to the seminar that you mute your microphone unless you are required to speak, this would ensure that the sound from the speaker to the audience is not disrupted by feedback from your microphone.

Thanking you in advance!