Population Explosion Adds to Planet’s Pressure Cooker
The world’s surging population is a big driver of environmental woes but the issue is complex and solutions are few, said experts at the Planet Under Pressure conference. Answers lie with educating women in poorer countries and widening access to contraception but also with reforming consumption patterns in rich economies, they say.
Scientists taking part in the panel pinpointed population growth as a major if indirect contributor to global warming, depletion of resources, pollution and species loss. But they also mark it as an issue that has disappeared almost completely off political radar screens. This is partly because of religious sensitivities but also because of traumatic memories of coercive fertility controls in poorer countries in the 1970s that no-one wants to repeat.