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By 2100 there could be 11 billion people on Earth, but there’s no quick way to slow growth. James Cridland/Flickr

No quick fix for overpopulation — let’s focus on climate

The rise in population since 1900 has been so rapid that up to 14% of all humans that have ever lived are still alive today, according to recent research. Other research shows that slowing population growth…
Having two children could leave more carbon emissions than you can save by changing lightbulbs. p.Gordon/Flickr

How family planning could be part of the answer to climate change

You’ve changed your lightbulbs, you recycle, you’ve retrofitted your house, cycle when you can, and drive an electric car when you can’t. You’re doing your bit to reduce your carbon emissions and prevent…
Legislating for commercial surrogacy would enable Australia to overcome concerns about poorly regulated clinics overseas, such as this one in Thailand. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

Commercial surrogacy in Australia: rethinking notions of ‘natural’

Often emphasised in discussions about children’s best interests is the idea that certain ways of having and raising children are “natural”. For example, this word appears frequently in reference to how…

Standing room only

Demography is destiny. It’s an old idea but it remains as true as ever, despite the fact that it doesn’t get anything like the attention it deserves. It’s not hard to see why: not only is there a crowded…
Developing policies to shape the level and nature of future population change must go beyond the ‘big’ versus ‘small’ Australia dichotomy. AAP/David Crosling

The state of Australia: our people

In the lead-up to the budget, the story of crisis has been hammered home, but there’s more to a country than its structural deficit. So how is Australia doing overall? In this special series, ten writers…
Who lives in a house like this? Only the census can tell you for sure. Rob Noble

Scrapping the census in 2014 would be a disaster

The coalition government has already secured its legacy in a torrent of cuts to public services. But it hopes to do more. It also wants to do away with the largest evidence base that is available to inform…

Predicting the growth of a city

Is there a universal law that can accurately predict the seemingly random growth of a city? Patterns in urban migration are…
It is possible to be a Christian and to reject the idea humans are at the centre of creation. Justin Brown

Can Christianity and population control co-exist?

Despite the views of some church leaders - such as George Pell - who deny global warming, most Christians understand the need to care for the natural world and have embraced the scientific consensus on…
Figures regarding the original population of Australia may be way off. WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com)

Australia’s colonisation was no accident, say the numbers

Like many people, I grew up believing Australia was colonised by a small band of people, who had most likely landed on its shores by accident; but research I published this week suggests a far larger founding…
Australia’s future depends on decisions we make today - what’s coming towards us? Johnny Ross

Where is Australia headed? Some future projections

Australians want a future of sustainable self-sufficiency and a healthy environment supporting a robust democracy – free of poverty and inequity. That was one of our projections, as part of the Australia…
The Council has its work cut out to facilitate a rational, evidence-based debate about Australian migration. Wenxiong Zhang

New Migration Council to fight for a bigger Australia

The announcement of the formation of a Migration Council of Australia and its launch by the Governor General on August 1, confirmed by Department of Immigration and Citizenship official Gary Fleming at…
We’re plummeting into an over-populated world and we may not have a parachute. ...---.../Flickr

Human carrying capacity and our need for a parachute

The issue of human overpopulation has fallen out of favour among most contemporary demographers, economists, and epidemiologists. Discussing population control has become a taboo topic. The silence around…
The population has the best chance of stabilising if we improve the lives of the poor and reign in excessive consumption of the wealthier. Flickr/DaveWilsonPhotography

Challenge 3: Balancing population growth and resources

Welcome to the State of the Future series. This series addresses 15 global challenges posed by the Millennium Project, an international non-profit think-tank collecting responses for 40 nodes worldwide…
Back, sperm, back: a human egg on the tip of a pin. Flickr/wellcome images

Squaring up to difficult truths: how to reduce the population

Elephants in the room, part two For all our schemes and mantras about making our lives environmentally “sustainable”, humanity’s assault on the planet not only continues but expands. What are the deep…
Serious, interconnected risks are closing in on the globalised community, from climate change to anarchy. Are we heeding the warnings? AAP/EPA/Daniel Deme

Highway to dystopia: time to wise up to the looming risks

In that world of peripheral vision, essential for business, social and political leaders, it is surprising that the World Economic Forum’s report, Global Risks 2012 has not received greater publicity or…

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