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Fred Pearce tells Hay Festival over-population is 'dangerous nonsense'

3rd June 2010

Environmental activist and author Fred Pearce claims that over-population is not likely to be a major problem.

Speaking at the Guardian Hay Festival, Pearce, whose books include Confessions of an Eco Sinner and When the Rivers Run Dry, claimed that the spread of feminism and improved women's rights in poor countries was helping to defuse the global population 'timebomb'.

He argued that over-population 'doomsayers' such as Sir David Attenborough, Jonathon Porritt and Jeremy Irons were scaremongering and had not understood the implications of global fertility patterns.

'I believe they are talking dangerous nonsense. The population timebomb is being defused, fast,' Pearce was reported by the Guardian as saying.

However, Pearce warned there were other risks, highlighting the 'consumption boom' as a potential threat.

He claimed that environmentalists need to stop tackling the non-existent over-population issue and focus on reducing the western world's addiction to consumption.

Pearce is currently the environmental consultant for New Scientist magazine.

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