In 1800, there were probably a billion people living on Earth. In the present day, that number has increased to about eight billion.
A recent study by population biologist William Rees warns that our planet cannot handle such rapid development without facing a 'population correction'.
Human nature, in Rees's view, makes it difficult to reverse this "advanced ecological overshoot."
Although natural selection and short-term thinking still rule us, humans have evolved to procreate, spread, and consume all resources.
Rees gives a dire warning, arguing that in the event of a global catastrophe, only the most prosperous and adaptable countries will remain standing.
A fall of this magnitude, which might happen by the end of this century, would be a 'correction' to the world's population and would result in a radically different planet.
Inconceivable changes to the global landscape would result from such a shift, leaving only the strongest societies standing.
As Rees points out, "for most of humanity's evolutionary history, expansionist tendencies have been countered by negative feedback."
However, exponential expansion has been made possible by the scientific revolution and the use of fossil fuels, leading to the current condition .
Rees stresses that while climate change is a notable indicator of the strain on our planet, it is only a small portion of the total issue.