Some time in the 1980s, the combined environmental effects of our species began to exceed the ability of the planet to sustain us all. So to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization, which we might say is the prime directive of the human race, we either have to learn to reduce our environmental impacts or our population, and probably both.
Whatever one’s view of population control, it seems inevitable that we must stop increasing our population at some point. Predictions are population may level off at nine billion by mid-century. Perhaps nine billion of us could get a handle on our consumption of everything and limit our environmental footprint, but no matter how carefully we live, could the world handle 12 or 15 billion of us, or more?
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