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August 24, 2016
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On the brink

When I was in high school in the late ‘60s, I wore a white button emblazoned with the black letters, ZPG, the acronym for Zero Population Growth. The idea was that every procreating couple would have at most two children so the world’s population would stabilize. The idea did not catch on. The world’s population is exponentially increasing from the current seven billion to a projected 11 billion by 2050 according to Population, the current incarnation of ZPG. That’s a lot of manure.

The implications of such an increase include a scarcity of potable water, food shortages, continued urban sprawl, deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction, all amid the now irreversible climate change.

Religious and cultural biases sometimes preclude any rational discussion of population planning. But zero population growth may be our only hope out of our current crisis.