It's the Unholy Trinity - climate change, over-consumption and overpopulation. Any of those three is capable of bringing human civilization crashing down. Together, they make it a certainty. We either succeed at solving them all or we must certainly fail at fixing any of them. Which brings me to an item from Foreign Policy on the crisis almost no one wants to address - overpopulation.
While countries across Europe and East Asia are grappling with declining birthrates and aging populations, societies across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia are experiencing youth booms of staggering proportions: More than half of Egypt’s labor force is younger than age 30. Half of Nigeria’s population of 167 million isbetween the ages of 15 and 34. In Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, East Timor, Niger, Somalia, and Uganda, more than two-thirds of the population is under the age of 25.
The author of the article, Kristen Lord, is the president and CEO of an international development and education NGO. She sees this reproductive bomb as an opportunity - for development and growth. She completely overlooks the impacts of both climate change (and other forms of environmental degradation) and our already massively excessive dependence on the Earth's resources, renewable and non. When we have already exceeded the planet's ecological carrying capacity by a factor of 1.7 and we're racing ever faster to deplete nature's reserves, another 2-billion + mouths to feed and clothe and employ can only worsen the situation in those nations already "most ill-equipped to grapple with their needs." The resources these next baby-boomers will need just to survive much less thrive are already over-subscribed. Where does she imagine more, much more, shall be found?