I’ve looked over all of the comments on both population-related posts and I’ll end with a few final observations:

1. A lot of this argument is one of semantics and logic. Many of the population-is-the-problem folks posit the issue like this:

A. Humans are doing destructive things

B. There are lots of humans

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

C. There is therefore lots of destruction


D. We should dramatically reduce the number of humans 

2. I find this logic self-defeating for two reasons:

A. There isn’t much we can do at this point to get less than 9 billion people by 2050 (which is down from much higher estimates decades ago) so complaining that 9 billion is too much is like shouting at the wind

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

B. I am convinced that if we focus on A (above)- stopping humans from doing the most destructive behaviors- the Earth can support 9 billion people.

3. There is actually a lot of agreement on what we need to do even if we are on opposite sides of this issue:

A. Do everything we can to improve the lives of women

B. End our dependence on fossil fuels

C. Stop the over-exploitation of the forests and world’s fisheries

D. Stop subsidizing bad activities

and the list goes on.