Growth is the human population is expected to continue until at least the late 2060s before reaching a peak, and then commencing a slow decline. The current mid-range forecast is for 9bn in the 2050s, 10bn in the 2060s and 11 bn in the 2090s, if the upward curve is extended.

While most people assume growth is all about the number of babies born and can be easily checked through contraception, in fact growth nowadays is also substantially driven by people in developed and NIC countries living longer lives; this makes it all the harder to control through family planning alone.

A number of eminent scientists and defence specialists have argued the world - particularly a hot world of +2-5 degrees - cannot support so many people, especially at the elevated levels of material demand driven by economic growth, without risking serial catastrophes of various kinds.

To avoid this, finding creative ways to restrain population growth and ultimately return the world to a sustainable population is one of the key imperatives of global policy.

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