It’s the great taboo of environmentalism: the size and growth of the human population.
It has a profound impact on all life on Earth, yet for decades it has been conspicuously absent from public debate.
Most natural scientists agree our growing numbers and our unchecked impact on the natural environment move us inexorably toward global calamities of unthinkable severity.
Malthus was right.
If x is the number of people, and r is the resources each requires, xr is our formula for our environmental impact.
Thus if r decreases, but x increases, not only are no gains made — but more resources could be needed. And when the others see everyone else breeding out of control, they’re going to feel zero compulsion to limit themselves.
Our problem isn’t first world people driving SUVs. It’s global population exploding. A half-billion people is a good carrying capacity that lets us avoid ecocide; seven billion is reckless and our next stop is nine billion human beings.