David Johnson presents: Too Much Consumption, Too Many People. Why environmentalists must change their approach to population.


When practicing law in the UK, Hong Kong, Ireland and South Africa, David’s work focussed on securing planning permission for large infrastructure projects and their environmental issues.  He was always fascinated by some of the less obvious impacts of the developments he worked on. 


In June 2012 he closed his successful Cape Town legal practice and began research on the project he launched in April 2013: Too Much Too Many.

Human population and consumption growth are having profound and dramatic impacts on South African people, landscapes, wildlife and culture, but the topic is largely taboo.  This need not be the case, if only we’d change the way we discuss it. Environmentalists need to change what they say and do - fast.

David says, "Population writing is often divided between those who think we should worry most about population growth (generally in poor countries), and those who think consumption growth in the wealthy nations is a bigger concern.  Through using diverse example impacts from across the nation, I hope to set out a new way of looking at this controversial topic and how we need to update our thinking.  From elephant contraception in the Waterberg to agriculture in the Cape, mining in Mapungubwe, rape in rural Venda and the rubbish dump where the human scavengers all have iPhones, I hope to convince you of why this topic needs to be looked at afresh".