Does Earth Really Have Too Many People?
Will overpopulation break the planet? Panicked discussions of the climate crisis on this stressed planet are often bolstered by background debate on how fast the Earth’s population is growing, and questions of how many people the planet can support. To be sure, a sevenfold increase of the world population over two centuries has stressed the planet to its breaking point. But the problem isn’t strictly the number of people. It’s how people are behaving. A close look at the data reveals a clear path to survival: decrease resource consumption in wealthy countries.
This story is published as part of YES! Magazine’s partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.
Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz is the former creative director at YES!, where she directed artistic and visual components of YES! Magazine, and drove branding across the organization for nearly 15 years. She specializes in infographic research and design, and currently works with The Nation, in addition to YES! She previously worked at The Seattle Times, The Virginian-Pilot, Scripps Howard Newspapers, Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post, The Connecticut Post, The San Diego Tribune, The Honolulu Advertiser. She lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, and currently serves on the board of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association. Tracy speaks English.