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The global population is now about 6.5 billion, has more than doubled since 1960, and is expected to reach eight billion by 2050.

Solving environmental problems such as climate change will be impossible without tackling this unsustainable population growth, says Chris Rapley, director of the British Antarctic Survey.

Humanity's collective impact on Earth's life support systems is huge. Rapley says that to limit it, we must not only reduce each person's individual effect, but also manage the overall size of the population.

This suggestion is rarely discussed due to the moral, ethical and practical issues it raises, says Rapley. He warns that future generations will suffer unless this changes.

Link to full article on BBC Online