The Warning, published in 1992, started with a declaration that I have since seen repeated many times: “Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course.” It had a major section focused on population, which started out with this unflinching message:
The earth is finite. Its ability to absorb wastes and destructive effluent is finite. Its ability to provide food and energy is finite. Its ability to provide for growing numbers of people is finite. And we are fast approaching many of the earth’s limits. Current economic practices which damage the environment, in both developed and underdeveloped nations, cannot be continued without the risk that vital global systems will be damaged beyond repair.
“Veteran population campaigners like me have long lamented the fact that at both the national and international scales, the environmental establishment (Big Green) and climate activists alike have for decades either avoided or disparaged the population issue out of some combination of cowardice, calculation, apathy, ignorance, inconvenience, ideology, political expedience, or hypocrisy.”