Can the Earth support a rapidly expanding human population? All sides of the political spectrum shy from discussing the idea, and the steps that might need to be taken to control growth.
Julia Whitty takes a long hard look at the numbers behind this bugaboo:
"Planned or not, wanted or not, 139 million new people are added every year: more than an entire Japan, nearly an entire Russia, minus the homelands and the resources to go along with them. Countered against the 56 million deaths annually, our world gains 83 million extra people every year, the equivalent of another Iran. That's 1.6 million more humans alive this week than last week and 227,000 more people today than yesterday-all needing food, water, homes, and medicine for an average lifespan of 69 years."