World Environment Day is celebrated globally on 5 June each year. The United Nations calls the Day the “people’s day for doing something positive for the environment.” The theme this year is “Seven billion dreams. One planet. Consume with care.” Somewhat ironically, given the theme, population is barely touched on.
Population growth is acknowledged as a cause of dwindling resources, but no means of limiting that growth are offered. Instead, the focus is very much on responsible consumption with having people pledge to recycle, stop wasting water, support renewable energy and so on. Undeniably, these are actions that need to be taken, but we will need to make many more sacrifices in order for our planet to provide for a few billion more people.
The greatest threat to the environment is our increasing population. Even if every person on the planet chose to use renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels, took showers instead of baths and ate only locally grown produce, we would still have a tremendous impact. Ever more people need ever more homes, offices, schools, shops, hospitals and so on.