Cross-posted from Policy Innovations. As human numbers approach 7 billion, the question is, "Where do we go from here?" The U.N. recently published new population projections, which envision a range of possibilities for the 21st century. In the U.N.'s low projection, our numbers peak at 8 billion by mid-century, then decline to 6 billion by 2100. By contrast, the medium and high projections envision continued growth for the foreseeable future. According to the medium projection, the world's population would reach 10 billion by 2100; according to the high projection, nearly 16 billion. Now, I don't believe there is an optimal …
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Laurie Mazur is a writer and advocate on population, environment, and reproductive health and rights issues. She edited A Pivotal Moment: Population, Justice & the Environmental Challenge, and Beyond the Numbers: A Reader on Population, Consumption and the Environment. She founded the Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health and Rights.