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?