- A series of things have come up since then that have made the problem incredibly grimmer:. The ozone hole: acid rain:. Three hundred million people have starved to death since THE POPULATION BOMB was written. The famines weren't as large as agriculturists thought they would be: due to the spread of: Green Revolution technology into the poor countries:. What makes us nervous right now is that we're faced with again having to do something desperate to increase our food production greatly.... In 1965 we knew exactly how to do it, the question was could we deploy it fast enough-Today we have nothing left to deploy-that's very scary.... As a species we're not able to live on our income; we're living on our capital, our deep rich agricultural soils are being destroyed, water is being overpumped, and our biodiversity, our life support system-we're already far beyond what we can support.
- Solving the population problem is not going to solve the problems of racism: of sexism: of religious intolerance: of war: of gross economic inequality-But if you don't solve the population problem, you're not going to solve any of those problems. Whatever problem you're interested in, you're not going to solve it unless you also solve the population problem. Whatever your cause, it's a lost cause without population control.
- Overdrafts on aquifers are one reason some of our geologist colleagues are convinced that water shortages will bring the human population explosion to a halt. There are substitutes for oil; there is no substitute for fresh water.
- The key to understanding overpopulation is not population density but the numbers of people in an area relative to its resources and the capacity of the environment to sustain human activities; that is, to the area's carrying capacity. When is an area overpopulated? When its population can't be maintained without rapidly depleting nonrenewable resources.... By this standard, the entire planet and virtually every nation is already vastly overpopulated.
paul r. ehrlich