A number of years ago I read an interview in the New Scientist titled ‘the greening of hate’ with Betsy Hartmann, a leading feminist and academic.
In this interview, Hartmann warned that environmentalists should tread carefully in debates about population size because they can quickly turn sinister – falling into the hands of anti-immigration and racist politics. At the time I was quite thrown by the argument – but the more I have been exposed to ‘population explosion’ debates, the more convinced I am about Hartmann’s stance.
As it turned out, this article played a small but significant part in the theoretical frame of my PhD and I have continued to follow her work.
As debates about Australia’s population size continue, the position taken by Hartmann is more important than ever before. It was this that motivated an article that I wrote for Newmatilda.com title Greening Xenophobia.
It is not meant to point the finger at anyone – simply to raise the concerns of Hartmann in an Australian context. These are hard debates to have and my aim is to present an alternative perspective as well as sounding some alarm bells, so we can be better informed about the decisions we make.
As always, your thoughts and feedback is welcomed