Growth of the human population has been underway for thousands of years and was never a problem until recently. It is now expanding exponentially, and today global population stands at nearly 6 billion with 97 million being added each year. Currently, overpopulation has led to serious social and environmental problems such as poverty, overcrowded slums, crime, terrorism, pollution of air and water, and depletion of the protective ozone layer. Warnings were sounded, but few listened. The enthusiasm once generated for solving the problem of too many people was short-lived. The press with puzzling abrogation of its responsibility to the public managed to allay all fears of population overgrowth. Two U.S. presidents welcomed such growth as a stimulus to economic development. Although modern contraceptives are safe, effective, and widely available, more are badly needed, but none are in the pipeline. Research is being hampered by hostile attitudes and by the high cost in time and money of bringing a new contraceptive to an uncertain market with the added threat of litigation. At the present rate of growth, the population will double in the next century. This is believed to be beyond the carrying capacity of our planet. Corrective measures by man or nature need to be undertaken.
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