Having (mostly) read Diamond’s Collapse recently, and noticing the various G8 stories (Japan today, China, India, etc ongoing as well as US, Russia and the rest of us in the same boat) about climate change controls, carbon emissions targets, agreements, and the like, I can’t help feeling the No.1 global sustainability issue is population – pure and simple. (But, see the comment about simplicity in the previous post).

Every other effect is multiplied by this number – population times consumption times every other effective governance, efficiency and diversity issue. And where are the margins for error, the plan B’s, the escape routes, the insurance policies, those rainy day resources ? It’s warm and cuddly to talk about each doing our bit for global warming, for the environment, peak-oil, etc – and important to do it for real of course. However, it seems it’s very non-PC to suggest (human) population control is the real issue – now there is a political minefield.

Or are world leaders banking on widespread war, famine and pestilence to sort that one out for us ? Not on their watch, of course. Predictably, hypocrisy rather than evil will be our downfall.

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