'If our population numbers keep rising without a slowdown of our consumption patterns, sustainability will soon become a myth. Conflicts over vital resources combined with anthropogenic pressures will result in more dire human-caused disasters. However, in conversations about overpopulation and how we are pushing our planet home to its limits, we must recognize different perspectives across cultures and acknowledge the many traditions which promote respectful and responsible use of our resources.
As I look to the future, I see female friends and colleagues growing increasingly concerned about both the ecological footprint of having children and their capability to balance their careers and personal lives. Women need more agency to make thoughtful and sustainable decisions for future generations, but we also need the space to contemplate the desire for children against growing population and currently unsustainable resource consumption. How can we ensure that our individual choices contribute to a healthier planet for all?'
Josheena Naggea is completing her PhD at Stanford University on human impact on ocean ecosystems.