The Bright Side of Overpopulation

The United Nations Conference on Population in Cairo leaves us with a lot to think about -- most of it charged with acute self-loathing. Why did I have those kids? responsible citizens might ask themselves, or, Why don't I ease the problem by just dropping dead right now? From a hard-nosed ecological viewpoint, humans -- along with their Styrofoam and cellophane leavings -- have become a form of pollution. One population expert, anthropologist Warren Hern of the University of Colorado, has even taken to calling our species an "ecotumor" or "planetary malignancy" that is recklessly devouring its host, the poor Earth.

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