Review: Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

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Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot, a recently published book, is a jaw-dropping exposé which challenges the very essence of sustainable development.

Mixing quotes from renowned world figures, facts, and photos of Earth’s resources being plundered to quench our thirst for economic growth, this book is yet a sobering reminder that humans can’t handle rapid population growth while seeking unlimited economic growth within our planet’s capacity.

Image credit via Population Media Center/Carney & Associates

Consider, in 1987, the Earth’s population was at 5 billion. In 1999, it reached 6 billion, and then in 2011, 7 billion. By 2025, the book estimates 8 billion will inhabit this planet, and 9.6 billion by 2050. Humans have exhausted 150% of planet Earth’s renewable capacity yearly, while needing two planets by 2030 to keep up our livelihoods, according to this book.

Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot’s brutal, no holds barred honesty is its biggest asset in grabbing the reader’s attention. It pulls no punches on what needs to happen to avert a disaster suggested by many environmentalists: limiting population growth and consumption, not relying on technological solutions. By planned parenting, contraceptives, and empowering women in developing nations, William Ryerson, founder and president of the Population Media Center, suggests global population can stabilize to 8.3 billion by 2050, and eventually level off to 6.7 billion by 2100 (which is based on low-end UN low-variant demographic predictions).

If the message of limiting population and consumption does not get you, then taking a trip through haunting photos of our footprint on Earth will, with quotes from Robert F. Kennedy, Naomi Klein, and others adding deeper context beyond these photos in the book:

“Black Friday” Shoppers: “We will find neither national purpose nor personal satisfaction in a mere continuation of economic progress, in an endless amassing of worldly goods.” —Robert F. Kennedy Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA; © Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman.
Fire: “Public infrastructure around the world is facing unprecedented stress, with hurricanes, cyclones, floods and forest fires all increasing in frequency and intensity. it’s easy to imagine a future in which growing numbers of cities have their frail and long-neglected infrastructures knocked out by disasters and then are left to rot, their core services never repaired or rehabilitated.” —Naomi Klein More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet; © R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post.
Computer Dump: “Even as a waste disposal site, the world is finite.” —William R. Catton Jr. Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana; © Peter Essick.
Trash Wave: “Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.” —Jacques-Yves Cousteau Indonesian surfer Dede Surinaya catches a wave in a remote but garbage-covered bay on Java, Indonesia, the world’s most populated island; © Zak Noyle.

Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot is the An Inconvenient Truth for the deep ecology crowd. It does for deep green photo books what An Inconvenient Truth did with regards to global warming and Our Choice did for the green technology crowd.

While some cleantech advocates and environmental economists disagree (including myself) with some of the ideas here (namely, on handling economic growth), this book does what it does best: it puts a broken mirror in front of all of us, and challenges us to look at the bigger picture on our planet in how we manage our natural resources.

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Adam Johnston

is expected to complete the Professional Development Certificate in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto by December 2017. Adam recently completed his Social Media Certificate from Algonquin College Continuing & Online Learning. Adam also graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications in 2011. Adam owns a part-time tax preparation business. He also recently started up Salay Consulting and Social Media services, a part-time business which provides cleantech writing, analysis, and social media services. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or check out his business

Adam Johnston has 305 posts and counting. See all posts by Adam Johnston

64 thoughts on “Review: Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

  • How does the book suggest we keep the population down in uneducated, poor, religious sectors of our planet? Like in the USA. 🙂

    • USA! USA! USA!

      • I think I did read someplace : if all people on this planet would want to live the US population we would need about 6 planets, if like Europeans 3 planets.
        To be able to live sustainable on this planet as the human race, we need negative ‘growth’ instead of positive.
        At least that is my opinion.

        • The world has a negative growth trend. Read what the professionals say.
          and USA! USA! USA!

        • We need to peak the maximum population size as soon and as low as possible. And get number turned negative.

          Drop the world’s population by 50% of what it now is (by lowering birth rate, not killing off people) and the quality of life for most would improve. We could quit trying to scrape a basic living out of marginal areas and take the strain off our enviroment.

          That’s a “100 year” program, but getting global population growth stopped is something we could do in a couple of generations. Or less.

          • All we need to do is send women to college.

          • That is very true.

          • You really don’t understand?

            Or is this your designated troll day?

          • Talk to Ivor, he will explain. Also do some reading of expert views on population trends.

          • Take a look at population growth and where it is happening. Look at the countries that have the highest growth rates in 2013.

            Then sort the first two columns by country and look at the countries that have their growth heading in the right direction (downward).


            Saying that all we need to do is to send women to college ignores the fact that many of the problematic countries do not have highly enough economies to provide jobs for highly educated women.

            To say nothing of the cultural problems of women getting high level jobs.

          • So you are agreeing with me.

          • No, I am not agreeing with you. Global population growth is still positive. And sending large numbers of women to college in a very underdeveloped country is not a workable solution.

          • “Send women to college” is shorthand. Apparently it takes sophisticates like Ivor and me to understand. Good day sir.

          • Sorry, a 13 minute video eats up too much of my 10 GB monthly ISP allowance.

            I hope we’ve passed peak child. But that does not mean that population growth is due only to people living longer. Like peak CO2 emission, peak child means only that we have quit making the problem worse by continuing to grow the input.

            Now, for both children and CO2, we have to lower (emission) rates to zero and then go below zero.

            De quicka, de betta…

          • Secondary school does the trick.

          • If you believe we should be able to reduce the population by having even fewer children, think about this: if we somehow imposed 1 child per family on the entire world, then the population will still rise for about 30 years, and then over the next 60 years, the population will drop down to about 4 billion. But 90 years is way too long to wait to merely cut our footprint in half, as if cutting the population in half would even do that.

            The reason the population is growing now is NOT because we are having more children. Everyone, even the poorest, are actually having fewer children, but more are surviving. The population is still growing because more children are able to grow up and live longer than their parents.

          • We are reducing population levels in some countries by having fewer children. Japan, for example, has a shrinking population. There are over 100 countries with fertility rates lower than what is needed to replace the population.

            (Some are holding steady/growing due to immigration. Attribute that to countries that have much higher fertility rates.)

            Globally fertility rates are slowing, but slowing slowly.

            I see three choices.

            1) Do nothing and let the world’s population soar to 9 or 10 billion before it peaks and starts falling.

            2) Do something to lower fertility rates in those countries where fertility is the highest. Bring the peak earlier and at a lower number which will mean much less stress on resources.

            3) Engage in an active “life-shortening” strategy.

            I certainly cannot support the third option.

          • As death rates decline, fertility rates typically decline later. This demographic lag causes population growth, until the births and deaths balance each other again. Yes we can decrease the lag further, but because the children who are *already* born will grow up and have their own children, the population will *still* grow.

            Meanwhile, if we try to reduce our footprint by focusing on the population, we will have missed almost the entire environmental problem, which is caused by a relatively small fraction of the population. We need to *eliminate*, not just reduce, our non-sustainable practices. And we can convert to 100% renewable energy and 100% recycling much much faster than we can reduce the population by any significant amount.

          • I’ve seen no one suggest working on environmental/climate problems by only dealing with population growth. Don’t set up a straw man.

            The present generation of children growing to the age of fruitfulness will have their children. If we make economic changes where the poorest live then we may end up with this generation having a few less children but we stand a very good chance of dropping birthrates significantly for the following generation.

          • My point is that some people are focusing on population way more than it deserves. Which is harder and takes longer, reducing the environmental footprint in half, or reducing the population in half? Sounds like you believe reducing the population is easier, but it turns out to be much harder and takes much longer.

            Consider this extreme example. Even if we were to suddenly have zero children starting now, given the world-wide average lifespan of about 60 years, that would mean that after about 50 years, half the population would still be alive, and no longer able to reproduce.

            Also consider this less extreme example. We could eliminate close to 100% of our fossil fuel burning within 30 years, faster if we really wanted to, thus eliminating one of the largest contributors to our environmental footprint.

            We can’t really do much about the population, and nor do we need to do much more than we already are, because growth has *already* been slowing for 30 years, and the places where it is still growing are the same places where they have almost zero footprint.

            But we *can* do a lot to significantly reduce our footprint, and much more quickly, and we need to do that anyway.

          • I suspect that we could stop population growth in about 40 years and at a much lower peak that what is now projected.

            I believe that we can essentially stop using fossil fuels by 2050, if not sooner.

            We can do both, simultaneously. Slowing population growth, peaking sooner, would make it easier to move off fossil fuels.

          • I agree with what you say here. But the emphasis is still too much on population. We can slow population growth faster than we are, and we should try. But what little we can do there won’t make nearly as much difference as eliminating fossil fuel burning entirely, which is analogous to eliminating the entire population, if you equate population to footprint.

            We are doing so many things completely contrary to how we should be doing them that it is difficult for people to imagine a better way. We can actually grow all the food we need in ways that *improve* the environment the more food we grow. We can actually avoid creating all the pollution we assume must be a side effect of our industrial civilization, and actually save money in the process. And we have available to us 1000s of times more renewable energy than all the energy we currently use.

            So we can actually reduce our ecological footprint very close to zero on average, and we can get there in a very few decades if we work at it. But then we will need to go further and do a lot of extra work to clean up the huge mess we have created over the last couple centuries, so that means we will actually have a negative footprint on average. And then, here’s the mind blower: multiplying a negative average footprint by more people will make the total even more negative. More people can actually be part of the *solution* rather than the problem.

        • We need to negate the unsustainable parts of our growth, not all growth equally. Economic activity that cleans up the environment also contributes to the GDP.

        • I agree that we need negative growth, but only negative growth of the non-sustainable parts of our economy. We need enormous positive growth of the truly sustainable parts, based on renewable energy, recycling, sustainable agriculture, etc.

          We need to reduce the footprint of the developed world, which is about 5 times what it should be, to as close to zero as we can get it, while helping the developing world stay as close to the zero footprint as they *already* have while becoming developed.

          People who continue to focus on population are essentially defending the status quo, the exploitation of most of the world by the wealthiest fraction of the world. They don’t understand or believe that we can instead reduce our environmental footprint to very close to zero, and we can go further as we clean up and restore centuries of environmental destruction, thus crossing into negative footprint territory.

          • I think we need to slow and reverse population growth. The larger we grow our population the more renewable energy and sustainable whatever we need to produce. Population size control is one way of limiting climate change, along with efficiency and renewable generation.

            Plus, there’s a quality of life issue. I turned 71 last week. When I was in high school there were about 180 million people in the US. Now we’re at 320 million, closing in on double the number.

            When I was in high school, college and grad school you could throw your stuff in your car and take off to a national park and go backpacking or camp for the night in places like Yosemite. Now you need reservations and will likely spend little time out of sight of other people. We thought nothing about driving up to Cades Cove in the Smokies on a Sunday and spending a leisurely day sitting under a tree and reading the paper. Now it’s bumper to bumper and you pretty much have to stay on established paths. Our cities have become massively crowded and our suburbs stretch on for mile after mile outside the cities.

            I’d rather live in a world with half as many people. Or even fewer than half. I’d like to go see one of the world’s interesting places and not have to buy a ticket for a specific hour and then get hurried through in a large herd of people.

            Since I first visited the Louvre they have cut the number of items displayed by a huge factor. Apparently to create more walking space and speed up the passage of “too many people”.

            Smaller was a lot better.

      • The planet, The environment! The earth! Humanity!

    • This may not be true in all cases, but personal observation of local fundamentalists sees the ones that follow the quiver full doctrine (go out and fill the world with more little bible thumpers) are also pretty ardent antivaxxers (refusing to vaccinate children because of supposed side effects or because it is a gubamint conspiracy).
      So in the long term the religious right may end up with a self culling process similar to what the whole population suffered with a couple of hundred years ago.
      Even in the US it is really just a problem of education, with the cuts in budgets for public education even more of these cults are allowed to set up their own schools with the primary policies being based on the doctrine of a 3,000 year old manuscript.
      In some places it has become obvious how poorly prepared these children are to deal with life in the real world. And fortunately there is the beginning of a nationalized standard for education requirements. But it is going to take time and money to get the educational standards more on par with the other countries of the developed world. I just hope that it is soon enough and the constant bleating by the political right for even more tax cuts doesn’t sabotage this effort.

      • You’re pretty well disinformed. Doctors and pharmacists ARE the news priests in which we believe and trust with our lives.
        They are playing sorcerer apprentices with new molecules. Vaccines can have devastating side effects and weaken our immune system, but marketing let us believe they are the best for our health. We are naturally fit to best survive.
        The bottom line is only to make more big money with excessive and unnecssary vaccines, and if they make us sick, big pharma will make even more money.
        Simple cold business logic : the more we are sick, the more they make profits..
        And thier P.R. marketing kill off any news about side effects.

        • “. Vaccines can have devastating side effects and weaken our immune system, ”

          Oh, please. Take that level of stupidity out of here. Spend your time fashioning new tinfoil hats.

          • Open your mind buddy

          • Thanks for the help Bob, just had a chance to check back in and when starting to read that one thought it was going to be necessary to write out a lesson on statistical odds that they should have learned back in sixth grade math class.
            Guess their comment does go to prove my opinion on how our educational system has deteriorated though.

        • Here is the solution right here. With this mentality we can easily send our civilization back to the dark ages killing off millions from preventable diseases thus solving the population crises. Not exactly a solution deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize but a solution none the less.

  • As incredible as it might seem, the United States is embracing population growth. And not through births. Our birthrate has been at replacement level since 1976, save a year or two. Our growth is through immigration and its compounding. We plan to grow by 100 million people in the next 50 years. Around a 33% increase and one larger than what will take place in the world. What will very likely throw a big wrench in our plans, is a lack of fossil fuels. All three appear to have been over-estimated or maybe more correctly put – amateurishly estimated – and in danger of peaking within the next decade, particularly natural gas and oil. The peaking of production of one may not be sufficient, but when two peak it is very likely that population growth, currently seen as part of our solution, will instead be looked at as part of the problem. However, given the long period of romanticization and establishment as a sacred cow in order to protect something so beneficial to the elite, international economic migration may not end until all three fossil fuels peak in production.

  • Low birth rate appears to be the long term problem in most places. The big exception is Africa.
    Once women are educated and given choices, birth rates falls below replacement.

    • I suspect changes in China are going to help with population growth in Africa.

      As China’s workforce ages and China moves to being more of a service based economy low skilled labor manufacturing is going to start looking for replacement labor resources. Lots of the jobs that move are going to be in garment factories and manufacturing assembly, jobs which are generally are filled by women.

      A woman who brings hard cash into the family has more value as a wage owner than as a mother of large numbers of children.

      • Yes the higher educated people are the lower the population growth to the point that a number of places/counties have negative population growth ( if you can call it that).

        • There’s at least one study out that finds that working women tend to spend more on educating their children than do working men. I’m guessing that the route out of poverty and high birth rates is through employing ‘first generation’ women in low skilled jobs which will bring some money into the local economy and boost the educational level of the next generation.

          If we had a functioning Congress I would think we might want to consider some sort of economic support to help create manufacturing zones in some of the countries with highest birth rates.

          • Perfect example, the wife of a former worker of mine is doing janitorial work, has her oldest daughter helping her and the daughter says” I do not want to do that for the rest of my life” and goes and studies some more for a better job. (Canada, BC)

          • In the least developed countries families often don’t have the very few dollars it takes to send a child to school. If there is money for only some of the children then boys tend to be educated rather than girls. Boys have a better chance of earning money for the family later.

            If jobs for women are created (yes, those crummy sewing machine jobs) there will now be money for school and girls start to see another option for their lives.

            I wish the anti-immigrant, racists among us would realize that the best way to cut the number of people who want to migrate to more developed countries is to create development where those people live. They could help economic development. Do good with lousy motivation…. ;o)

          • Ah, there you go again, asking that people be rational.

            But I’ve also never understood how they (your last paragraph) miss the connection between good birth control and fewer abortions.

    • I think they are wrong in theorizing education is the driver of lower birth rates. I believe it is wealth. When you have more things you can do due to a higher standard of living, then having fewer kids makes it easier for you to do them. Much harder to go on a vacation to New York City with 6 kids than with 2.

      • There are a number of factors that help reduce birthrates.

        Urbanization. In an agrarian lifestyle children are assets. You can put them to work at a very young age and have only to feed and minimally clothe them. In an urban lifestyle children tend to be liabilities. There are few jobs they can do that help with the family economy, you have to feed, clothe and educated them.

        “Value” of females. If women have jobs, produce income, then there’s a tendency to have fewer children so that income streams are not disrupted. Also women have more power if they have an income. They have a larger say in reproduction.

        Good health care. That leads to better survival of offspring and one doesn’t need as many in order to insure assistance in one’s later years.
        Social safety nets. Old age pensions tend to cut the number of children. See the above reason.

        Access to birth control materials. Lots of families would like to have fewer children but, you know, stuff happens.

        • Micro loans help as well. Those go to people (often women) in poor countries and they create jobs and sometimes are paid off rather fast.

        • Children are never liabilities. They are not that expensive either. What are the expenses? Got 3 boys for now. Clothes are passed down, they eat little and if there is no space they can sleep in one room.

          I wouldn’t trade them for all the unnecessary consumption people seem to favour instead of having more children.

          • The average cost of raising a child born in 2013 up until age 18 for a middle-income family in the U.S. is approximately $245,340 (or$304,480, adjusted for projected inflation), according to the latest annual “Cost of Raising A Child” report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


            (If you read your comment you’ll find yourself saying that it’s possible to raise children for less than the average cost and that you are willing to pay what it costs.)

          • I am saying that children are never a liability.
            In fact they can even be a source of income where I live.
            You get 1000€/month or 80%of your last income in the first year, 160€/month child support until 25 (~20€ more per child if you have more than 1), additional 25€ if one parent is working. You can get rent support if you have a low income, support for heating, school pays all additional things like skiing week if need be.

            I’d say it depends on where you live and how you like to account for lost income or living space (comes at no extra cost in my case)

            We could declare other thing a liability though. The need to own a car. A car will set you back 5-7k/a easily. Unnecessary consumption (I never get those teenagers with mobile dept. It,s 15€ for 3000MB/3000sms/3000min and an open, used smartphone can be bought for almost nothing…).
            People take dept for holidays and buy kitchens for 10-40k€ without having the money.
            Overconsumption is the main driver behind everything we dread.
            What’s the addinal footprint of a poor child compared to one born in the US or any other country plaged by overconsumption.

            Overconsumption and unnecessary economic growth are the real liabilities. The carrying capacity of the world would be much higher in a perfectly designed sustainable system. Population density could be much higher yet the system would be much more sustainable.

            The growth models of the IIASA are much more realistic compared to UN projections IMHO. They use 13 different socioeconomic region models with hundreds of data points. Reproduction rate seems to be rather low now (if not negative). Older people are getting much more though till the end of the century with Afrika 20% over 80years like Europe today (45% over 80 by then and 10% over 90years!)
            Population numbers should start falling by 2075.

            Bottom line…There will never be “overpopulation” only overconsumption.

          • Jenny, unless you’ve found a way to hire out your children for more than it costs to raise them then they are a liability.

            If you’ve got a government program that helps you pay the cost then all that is happening is that your liability is being partially paid by taxpayers/others.

          • Au contraire Bob. Children are never a liability, they are an asset to society. They are the only reason we care about our planet in the first place.
            Thus the cost is rightly to be spread among society.

            We do have everything and enough of everything today. We only need to distribute everything more equally.
            There would still be unnecessary overconsumption.

          • The discussion is about cost to the family.

            Children can be an asset to society. If there is a need for more people. They can also be a liability if birthrate is too high.

  • See and see the population
    He was a World Health Org stat guy. While woman education is important in bring down birth rate. More important is child mortality, the main driver of life span. If most your kids die before age 10, you have a lot more. He has a nice tool for putting a lot of data into a understandable graphic. He has several that can change your world view.

  • What can’t keep growing for ever is material consumption, but that’s a declining share of GDP. The weight of GDP has been falling for decades in several OECD countries (Germany, Japan) and is flat in the USA. Fifty years ago young men lusted for 100kg motorbikes; now they lust for 128gm iPhones. There is no ecological limit on growth in services.

    • Well as for population growth, in some place young men are no longer/only sometimes interested in young women (real ones).
      Too much stuff on the web etc.
      In one way that is a good thing, reducing population.;)

    • There is no ecological limit on truly sustainable economic growth that is based on 100% renewable energy and 100% recycling of all resources, both of which are absolutely possible and we are headed in that direction now.

      • Your statement is vague and meaningless. You describe a perpetual motion machine.

        Go live in a sealed biosphere and see how long you last. It’s been tried – unsuccessfully.

        Our earth is just one great big sealed biosphere.

        • So wait.. you must be saying that it is impossible to live on earth, a great big sealed biosphere, because that would require a perpetual motion machine.

          OK, I was about to edit my comment to say “virtually no ecological limit” because we would be limited by the amount of energy streaming in to the earth, which happens to be 1000s of times more than all the energy we currently need. And then if we want more, we could move out to the nearby space around the earth and start collecting even more energy. Etc.

          The key is to keep cleaning up our messes with 100% recycling, powered by all the extra 100% renewable energy we could possibly need. Nothing vague about that. Perfectly meaningful, unless you have a built-in conflict with actually living sustainably.

  • I saw a tv program with Prof. Hans Rosling that seemed to suggest the population growth from new babies is already at stable population numbers. It’s the people not dying that is the problem. If we all decide to refuse medical treatment for ailments after our 70th birthday we might be ok! I suspect there wouldn’t be many takers!
    I think any Developed country that is on a positive population trend may be in a better future position as they will have more young people to look after the huge number of aged people, and do all the other things a functioning economy needs.

    • The world is not at replacement level birth rates at the present time.

      • But most of the world now is at replacement level for birth rate. Don’t forget to include the death rate as well.

        The growth rate has been declining for 30 years and will reach zero in another 60 years. It will be disruptive to slow growth much faster than it already is.

        We can reverse the unsustainable parts of our economic growth much faster than we can reduce the population enough to make a significant difference.

        • I don’t agree. Look at the countries with very high birth rates. Why would countries such a Mali, Nigeria, Burundi, and Somalia with fertility rates over 6.0 be hurt by dropping down closer to replacement rate? Or any of the 81 countries with rates higher than the global average of 2.5?

          We could probably bring those fertility rates down by at least 50% in two generations and hit peak population much sooner than 60 years from now.
          And at the same time greatly improve the quality of life in many of those countries.

          • I’m not sure what you are disagreeing with. Reducing growth even faster in a few places, which we can do, of course, won’t have much impact on world averages. And it is mostly the poorest of the poor countries where population is expected to grow the most. But we have to understand the real reasons why it is growing.

            Population growth is births minus deaths. While we can control births, it is more difficult to control or predict deaths, except in large average numbers. Places with higher birth rates still have higher death rates as well, balancing out to close to 2 surviving children per family. How does any particular family know how many of their children are likely to survive? They don’t, so they are likely to have more than 2 just in case.

            But the overriding reason the population is still growing now is mostly because more children who are *already* alive will live longer than their parents. That means that even if we reach 2 births per family everywhere now, the population will still grow before it eventually stabilizes. Worse, even if we imposed 1 child per family now, the population will still grow for about 30 years before it declines.

            Population is an enormous hurricane-force steam roller. We should do what we can, but what we need to do most, to address both population as well as most of the rest of our problems, is switch over to 100% sustainable practices and help the developing world do the same. We can do that, and we have to do it anyway, so what’s keeping us from doing it as soon as possible, as fast as feasible?

          • The reason populations are growing is that we are birthing faster than we are dying.

            I think we should do something about that.

        • The baseline projection for the world population has been moving out the last decade. At one point you saw 2060-ish numbers. Now, the expectation is that it will not have peaked by even 2100.

          One great benefit we would see if the United States and other countries preached population control, would be that they would stop their own population growth via international economic migration. Some people naively think that is just a movement of people, not realizing how much more resources are consumed by people in the developed world versus the developing world.

          I don’t see slowing population growth, or stopping it, or reversing it as any more disruptive than continuing it. Nothing disrupts things from the way they are more than increasing the amount of people living in an area. All kinds of changes have to take place to accomodate them.

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