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I'm rather surprised you'd take this view point, because the general consensus of scientists is that a lower population growth is definitely needed
Population growth produces a variety of challenges, and there is a wide body of research to that effect. But if you are under the impression that the consensus of scientists
is that reducing population growth is the necessary solution
to those challenges, then no, I do not believe that is true. I know of no synthesis report by any intergovernmental scientific panel or agency that recommends proactive measures to reduce population growth.
If you do know of one, then by all means, share it. (No, not a news article, not a particular paper, and not a quote from a particular scientist.) I am referring to a synthesis report that reviews the literature of all scientists working in a relevant field and reaches this conclusion or recommendation, in a similar manner to the IPCC synthesis reports for climate change.In the meantime, I will refer to what I believe the most authoritative body that exists on this subject: The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. This is their report on changing population age structures and sustainable development, from 2017:http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/trends/ConciseReport2017/English.pdf
Based on the content and language of this report, I do not think it's such a serious issue that it necessitates limiting growth, nor is it their recommendation. It is rather something that is followed and its associated challenges mediated by more secondary means. In many ways, population growth is already appearing to be self regulating on the relevant timescales, anyway.
Yes education and financial opportunities for women should definitely be a natural leveling factor in controlling population growth. Number 55 was my main concern, as well as our densely packed cities where children dont get to see the stars, where air pollution rates (smog) is high and people need to take drugs to be able to sleep at night. Nothing is a substitute for a visit to the country and the mountains to breathe in fresh clean air and to sleep well.
The other thing I would like to bring attention to is habitat loss and mass extinction caused by humans expanding as a result of a growing population (particularly in places like Africa and Asia.) One of the projections I looked at said that half of our known animal species would be extinct by the end of the century. That's pretty sad and not only a great loss for the environment, but I believe will also be a great detriment to humanity. We've become dependent on only a few sources of food, and everything else going extinct outside of captivity is not my idea of a healthy planet or society.
As far as the meat industry is concerned, animal farming taken as a whole accounts for the third highest rate of greenhouse gas emission, after China and the US. Besides the well-documented health concerns of a diet dependent on meat (which the UN report also mentioned- it was mentioned in the same WaPost article as the one with the link to Nature, there was a link to a UN panel study on reducing meat consumption for sustainability, unfortunately I can't access the WaPost article to retrieve the link because I reached my limit of number of articles a nonsubscriber can access and it wont let me go back there, but you should be able to access it, you'd agree with what was said I think, because it's pretty well known how detrimental to the environment animal farming is), there are also climate and water resource ramifications from animal farming. There is a whole culture of industry-paid animal "scientists" who basically shill for the industry who pale at the thought (but they cant around the fact that both the AHA and ACS recommend a 90% reduction in processed meat), but a sharp reduction in meat consumption would benefit all of society, the environment and be far more sustainable. I remember reading that had the rest of the world consumed as much meat as the US does, we would have been out of fresh water years ago.