Author Archive

Our Overcrowded Planet: Failure of Family Planning

Yale Environment 360: Until just a couple weeks ago, the great global food challenge was how to feed 9 billion people in 2050. But no longer -- the number of mid-century mouths just jumped. Now it’s projected to be 9.6 billion, closing in on double-digit billions. And forget about expectations that world population will stabilize this century: By 2100, according to the latest projections, the number of people on the planet will hit 10.9 billion -- and will still be growing by 10 million a year. These hundreds of millions...

Revisiting Population Growth: The Impact of Ecological Limits

Yale Environment 360: The hard part about predicting the future, someone once said, is that it hasn’t happened yet. So it’s a bit curious that so few experts question the received demographic wisdom that the Earth will be home to roughly 9 billion people in 2050 and a stable 10 billion at the century’s end. Demographers seem comfortable projecting that life expectancy will keep rising while birth rates drift steadily downward, until human numbers hold steady with 3 billion more people than are alive today. What’s odd...