The Bounds of Humanity
Issue: This is the Malthusian question in modern dress. Will population growth outpace the world’s ability to support the people who inhabit it? Beginning in the mid-1970s, three forces came together unexpectedly that changed the world for all time. The event was so important that historians of a hundred or a thousand years from now may look back and say that among all of the developments of society before and since this was the most crucial to the social order: These forces were the rise of feminism, availability of contraceptives that were cheap and effective, and family planning. Now that we have some measure of control over population size, we ask, “Should we limit the number of people in the world and if so, how and to what extent?”
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