Don't Panic About Population Reaching 8 billion

omething about global population trends seems to send otherwise sensible people over the edge. According to the United Nations, the planet’s population is due to reach 8bn on November 15th. Alarm bells are clanging. Population pessimists have long predicted mass famine. Now they add prophecies of environmental disaster as a result of too many people. Others worry about the opposite problem: “population collapse due to low birth rates”, tweeted Elon Musk, the self-proclaimed “chief Twit”, “is a much bigger risk to civilisation than global warming.” In fact, looking at population change during the past decade suggests neither of these mutually contradictory divinations of doom will prove correct.


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