This is a complicated issue. I can’t commit to what the right path is here. One thing I can say is that each human takes resources on the planet to just exist. The fewer humans we have, the less impact we have on the earth. Our population growth is getting to unsustainable levels. If everyone has one to two kids max, then at least our population would stop growing.
Now I’ll provide a bit more information on this subject for consideration. There probably is a capacity to the Earth for the number of humans. However, that number adjusts if we want to give any space to any other living creatures or if we want to have it all for ourselves. The capacity also will change if we figure out more innovative ways to live more sustainably with the Earth, such as living in denser cities and producing food that takes fewer resources. We have been able to grow our population so dramatically due to using unsustainable, extractive processes, such as burning fossil fuels and using fertilizer from non-renewable sources and polluting our environment. It is fair to say that growing the population is unsustainable. We might already be past our capacity because we currently depend on extractive unsustainable practices to support our current population. Once we consume resources such as oil, fertilizer minerals, and wood, we might be in for mass adjustments. If we don’t slow or reverse population growth, then we will have humanitarian issues down the road.
Keep in mind that if you are an eco-conscious human who is aware of these issues, it will be helpful for the next generation to have this awareness. Therefore, until the world is closer to living sustainably, it would be good to raise one to two children with these ideals to hopefully help humanity meet these goals. This is an alternative to having no children because you are concerned about the impact.
I feel that it is unnatural to restrict reproduction. Everything living in nature seems to attempt to reproduce to the limit typically imposed by other forces. So, we could continue in this fashion, as we have, to allow all to reproduce as much as they want. But then, we would have to allow natural forces to stop populations from reproducing, which could include lack of water or food. But if we don’t want to see suffering, then we should not allow populations to get to this point.
Let’s go back to the question of capacity. Even then, there are different levels. If you have a limited space, such as 100 acres of land but only five people live there, then each person has a much more enjoyable life with more resources. Maybe that space can support 1,000 people, but everyone will be very poor because they need to share limited resources. Then it becomes a matter of who gets more or better resources than another.
For example, let’s take a look at a city that has grown in population because of unsustainable practices using oil and fertilizers to grow food and use up groundwater. They grew a population, ran out of oil and groundwater, and must live within their regional resources. Everyone is poor and life is hard, if people are able to live at all. Some of these people want to move to a city in a country that can still support more population, but maybe that area has a comfortable population where they have a good quality of life. To increase the population would downgrade the quality of life. What do you do about that?
I hope that we have the will to manage this before it causes suffering and difficult choices.