World Population Clock, live, here.

There is always an “elephant in the room”, and when we talk about climate change solutions this is that elephant. Nobody wants to talk about global population.

The fact is, the population is today is over 7.3 billion, and the growth rate is about 1.3% per year. When something grows by a certain percentage each year then by definition it is exponential growth. Clearly, on a finite planet with finite resources, it is absolute MADNESS to allow the population to continue to grow like this.

So what do we do?

Essentially, we have two scenarios.

a) Population remains the elephant, and continues to grow unchecked. Perhaps abrupt climate change is arrested and we make it to 2030 without global famine and the population reaches 8 billion, than 9 billion by 2050 or so. Then the system crashes, and we plummet downwards through 5 billion, 4 billion, …., 1 billion…

b) We recognize the limitation of the Earth, we arrest abrupt climate change, and we stabilize the population at 7.5 billion and taper it down to a more sustainable 5 billion or less over the longer term.

Many people ask me; How is it moral to consider limiting population to 7.5 billion or some number close to today’s value?

I ask these people; How is it moral to allow population to rise upwards past 8 billion to 9 billion and then have billions of people starve and the population then plummets?


6 Responses to Population

  1. I agree completely, so much so that I wrote a book on the topic. Too Many by Justin Ferguson and Mary Jane Engh. I was in a hurry to publish so at this point it is only available on amazon. In a very real sense global warming is a symptom of human overpopulation. We humans are in a bad situation and I doubt we can survive but we gotta try. Thanks for the website and good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No comment on population is complete without Albert Bartlett’s lecture

    [Dear Robert, excellent! Thank you! dk]


  3. Joanne bratt says:


    If I’d known how bad the situation was with enviroment, I wouldn’t have choose to procreate.

    I think a lot more public discussion on this would be beneficial as the vast majority of people don’t understand the predicament our plant is in.


  4. Petra says:

    The answer to population growth is women’s empowerment. Politically enfranchised, educated women always have fewer children. Dismantling the assumption that women are to be dominated and controlled — quite literally their life force (fertility) — is an integral part of the problem that is ideologically commensurate with the domination and control of nature. It is derived from the same paradigm. On this matter see this beautiful reading by Lierre Keith ‘the girls and the grasses’ — two untapped solutions to climate change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E12_MgsxTI4


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