Despitethere being evidence that shows how population growth is an obstacle tosustainable development, it is important to look at other factors that may behaving an impact on achieving it.
Ehrlich and Holdren (1971) stated “populationcontrol is obviously not a panacea – it is necessary but not along sufficientto see us through the crisis” (pp.1212), showing how that alongside populationgrowth, intervention is needed with other factors. One of these factors is notthe rate at which population grows, but the views held by the population.Capitalism “is an economic system where private entities own the factors ofproduction” (Amadeo, K., 2017), and has been argued to exploit “people and theenvironment”, creating “inequality and environmental damage” (Cock and Hopwood,1996; cited by Hopwood, Mellor and O’Brien, 2005, pp.46). Capitalism has led toincreased production of material goods (Giddings, Hopwood, O’Brien, 2002), andthrough this, has damaged the environment further.
This creates the argument that capitalism mayimpede the achievement of sustainable development, therefore suggesting it isthe views and attitudes of the population that need to be tackled, not the sizeof it. Along with societies views, views of individuals themselves areimportant. Kals and Maes (2002) found that individuals emotional views towardscreating sustainable development are “the most powerful predictors forsustainable behaviour”, and that “the neglected emotional perspective onsustainable behaviour needs to be included…on the practical level ofintervention programmes” (pp.97).
Changing people’s perspectives on sustainabledevelopment could therefore have a large impact on achieving it, and this meanschanging “behaviours at a private as well as political level” (pp.98). Thisevidence demonstrates how the populations views may have a larger influenceover whether sustainable development is achieved or not, not the size of thepopulation.