chapter  2
9 Pages

Population and the Environmental Crisis

WithRodney R. White

Most public debate on the subject of population and the environmental crisis is highly conditioned by the incompatible sets of assumptions held by the opposing sides of the argument. Population may continue to grow, with a radically different lifestyle from the one currently enjoyed by the rich countries of the North, or population may begin to decline, either with a crash or in an oscillating mode. Every scenario-builder will produce their own set of elements that could provide a more environmentally benign future. The global agreement to reduce greenhouse gases lies in the hands of representatives of national governments. The CFC problem is easier to resolve than the problem posed by greenhouse gases, as the number of suppliers is small and substitutes have been developed, so progress on this issue is a key indicator for the global environmental crisis as whole.