Conventional wisdom tells us that there are too many humans on this planet. But the data disagree. In a new book titled "Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline," Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson argue that the world is about to face radical change due to depopulation.
A Japanese official blamed the country's shrinking population on people who don't have children. The comment was a classic Kinsley gaffe, something that was obviously true but taboo to say, possibly because it's a touchy subject in Japan.
World population growth is a hot-button issue. A large segment of the public seems to believe that humans will continue to reproduce until we run out of food and water. Basically, we're just like cockroaches or bacteria. No serious demographer believes that -- as world fertility has been declining for years -- but facts haven't killed off this pernicious myth.