The declining global population might alleviate the strain that is currently caused by eight billion people. However, there are claims from economists that the decline in birth rates spells doom. This is because it may lead to fewer workers and consumers who are necessary for fueling economic growth.
You see, every individual requires food, water, energy, and shelter. If our goal is to enhance the quality of life, the demands per person will rise, even in a sustainable development scenario.
The loss of biodiversity is a tragedy that can be attributed to a high global population. A world without enough wildlife in the coming years will be catastrophic. Freshwater, the plants we eat, medicine, and the forests that clean our air result from a balanced world. When even a single thread of biodiversity is withdrawn from this relationship, the entire system can become chaotic.
Lower fertility rates indicate improved gender equality. Educated women tend to have fewer children curbing population growth. Moreover, women in leadership positions are more inclined to champion initiatives that combat climate change and preserve nature.
If populations decline, some regions will adapt to an aging society. However, consciously pursuing decline through enhanced well-being can alleviate anxieties around family planning.
We can say that a choice lies before us. Do we allow a growth-based economy to determine our planet’s destiny, or do we acknowledge that demography and ecology are closely interconnected issues instead of seeing them as separate entities?