So a couple of month’s ago I signed up for the Global Population Speak Out, which (you are better off to follow the link) is a simple project intended to draw attention to the problem posed by the world’s growing human population. My obligation is pretty small, fortunately, in that I was asked only to at least mention the issue in some way, some where.
I say “fortunately” because it has turned out to be a hard thing to write about for me.
It is clear that current population growth is unsustainable, and I would suspect that the current population as it stands now is itself unsustainable. The environmental damage that we as a species cause is pretty clear, as is the unsustainability of our consumption of resources and ecosystem services. But what is not clear is what to do about it.
What is the right path when the choices are between the immoral and the impossible? It is hard to feel comfortable with child quotas, mandatory sterilization or any other similar policy that visits that kind of governmental control on such a personal and private aspect of everyone’s life. But it is ludicrous to simply hope that humanity suddenly comes to its senses and collectively decides to have no more than one child each until the planet and our presence is in balance.
But isn’t the alternative to proactively addressing the issue unrestrained growth until we hit uncontrollable collapse?
I really have no idea what we should do about it.