The Ecological Citizen

A free-to-access publication confronting human supremacy in defence of the Earth


Long article

How should ecological citizens think about immigration?

Phil Cafaro , Jane O'Sullivan

The Ecological Citizen Vol 3 No 1 2019: 85–92

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First published: 1 July 2019  |  Permanent URL  |  Download citation in RIS format


Respect for nature demands sharing landscapes and resources fairly with other species, which cannot be achieved without limiting human populations. So ecological citizens, the authors argue, should support measures to decrease fertility rates and limit immigration, both of which are necessary to reduce currently excessive populations. Global population growth will only end when enough individual nations embrace their own populations' peak and decline; hence, setting immigration levels that allow for national population contraction is needed. While migration at low levels may be sustainable, high immigration undermines both national and global population stabilization and does not solve the problems which drive emigration. Combined with reduced per capita consumption, smaller populations will help developed nations to quit hogging a disproportionate share of the global ecological commons, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and open up new opportunities for ecological restoration and rewilding.



Limits, Overpopulation, Rewilding