This new report is very important, though it surely states what ought to be self-evident to anyone aware that we live on a finite planet:
The core argument of such studies actually echoes that of seminal publications such as ‘Limits to Growth’ Report and the ‘Blueprint for Survival’ (1972). Back in the late 1940s and early 1950s, for example, writers such as Fairfield Osborn, William Vogt and Samual Ordway were arguing the same case. Indeed, there were early pre-echoes long ago, by, for example, the Chinese philosopher Confucius, (l551 – 479 BC), the Christian scholar Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240 AD) and the Berber historian-scholar Ibn Khaldoun (1332–1406)
So, on a finite planet, expansion of any variable, be it human numbers or per capita consumption, cannot continue. The same applis to the irreducible heat and material waste by-products of technological processes. Furthermore, these variables multiply each other’s effect.
There is overwhelming evidence and not just in the field of climate changes, that collecitvel,y humanity has transgressed safe boundaries: extreme weather events, acidification of the oceans, ‘plasticisation’, a noxious cocktail of air and water pollution, soil erosion, poisonous of soils, salinisation, aquifer depletion, species extinction, deforestation, wetland loss, declining availability of high quality and easily accessible minerals, overcrowding, congestion, increasingly violent competiton for land and resources…
Perhaps the real question is why so many people deny or evade the issue. The issue, is of course, not just populaiton growth but it is the critical driver of climate change and all those other ills. Uniquely, it automatically mutliplies the impacts of all those other variables in the equation of ecological ruin. It might be noted as well that the effects of ‘better’ technology’ are sometimes thwarted by the ‘rebound effect’ (see: http://www.alternet.org/b…/efficiency-sustains-broken-system, with more exmaples here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX_iKAh4S1M