America Produces as Much Garbage as 1.3 Billion Indians

Many blame overpopulation for the climate and garbage crisis. This is false and is meant to misdirect blame to countries with high populations, namely developing nations like China, India and Nigeria. In many cases this narrative is a misunderstanding, but in others it's simply a racist, imperialist view meant to retain American global economic and military dominance.

Overpopulation is not to blame for the climate and garbage crisis because of the uneven distribution of resource utilization across the globe. Developed nations disproportionately use up the world resources, produce CO2 and create garbage.

For instance, America produces about as much garbage as India, a country with roughly 4x the US population (see chart below).


Turning to greenhouse gases, the richest 16% of the world population produces 38% of global CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, the poorest 58% of the world is only responsible for 14.5% of global CO2 emissions.

It is clear that the small population of the developed world is responsible for the vast majority of environmental damage to the planet.

Worse yet, the data in the charts above and below only represent the current point in time and don't account for the history of pollution and environmental damage caused by first world nations since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. When you include the world history of pollution, the accumulated environmental debt owed by developed nations to the planet is many multiples of that of owed by the developing world.

So the next time someone says the answer to climate change is population control in developing nations, remind them that it is the first world that created this problem.



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