As the birth rate falls in the richest countries (the North), it continues to soar in the poorest ones (the South).

 [Northern hemisphere] The Population-Resources issue falls into two halves corresponding, roughly speaking, to the northern and southern hemispheres. Asia, for our purposes, we'll move south of the equator...Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, north of it. Both sides are killing the world in different ways.

The industrialised, consumption-based North is quite simply eating the planet alive. For good measure, we're poisoning it at the same time, accounting for over two-thirds of the greenhouse gases and virtually all the poisons in the sea.

 [Southern hemisphere] The South, on the other hand, although barely making a scratch on the surface in terms of its consumption of resources, is suffocating the Earth through sheer numbers.

Over-population, coupled with the South's poverty, leads to deforestation and land degradation. Deforestation increases carbon dioxide, the principle greenhouse gas. Also, rice paddies and domestic cattle - the food supply for two billion people - are a major source of methane, another of the gases that combine to cause global warming. It's a more honest form of pollution than the North's, but pollution all the same.

Some will argue that Southerners outnumber Northerners by ten to one already and that population dismantlement 'across the board' would be unfair to the North. The answer to that is that one Northerner does as much damage to the Earth as ten Southerners.

 [Bonsai tree]

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