Worst Threat to Earth? Way Too Many People
Rate of human growth and consumption may destroy civilization
By Dustin Lushing, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2008 11:35 AM CDT
"It is clear that only widespread changes in norms can give humanity a chance of attaining a sustainable and reasonably conflict-free society," two Stanford academics write.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – With the number of humans on Earth expected to reach 9.5 billion by the second half of the 21st century, policymakers and environmentalists should turn their attention to the grave dangers of overpopulation and overconsumption, Paul Ehrlich—author of 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb—and wife Anne write in Yale Environment 360. Population growth, above all other ecological hazards, may lead to the collapse of our civilization.

Political and science leaders "are under the delusion that such a disastrous end to the modern human enterprise can be avoided by technological fixes," the Ehrlichs point out. But while adopting fuel-efficient cars and increasing recycling might prove beneficial in the short term, "there is no technological change we can make that will permit growth in either human numbers or material affluence to continue to expand."

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Apr 19, 2010 8:28 AM CDT
Re: the comment of all the people the world could fit in the state of Texas, it is absurd. The CIA says that we have less than 10% of the land of the earth that is arable. Each person on earth has about 1/2 acre of arable land. On this land he will probably build a house, farm for the food, graze any cattle needed, and have the force necessary to convert CO2 to oxygen. Any thinking person can see that more people contribute to global warming, which more than 95% of the scientists specializing in the field believe in. To say without any evidence that there is no global warming, in spite of the rising of the cities, the increased carbon dioxide uptake by the oceans, the melting of the polar ice caps, and the temperature measurements from thousands of stations on Earth and by satellites -- -- is absurd. It may be nice to hope that there is no global warming -- -- but hope has nothing to do with truth. Suggest you read the free e-book series at http://andgulliverreturns.info