It is not reasonable for us to expect that population control policies can be effectively lobbied for and introduced in time to reduce birth rates significantly enough to alleviate the impending disastrous effects of overpopulation. This is so because the primary underlying role of government is to facilitate economic growth, which is ultimately facilitated by population growth - and a government cannot act against the interests it exists to serve.
Nor is it reasonable for us to expect, as population optimists seriously suggest, that as the poorer nations raise their standards of living through the miracle of economic growth their birth-rates will experience a corresponding decline (in perfect accordance with the trends which have occurred in first world nations).
First of all to believe that rising affluence necessarily lowers birth rates based solely on the fact that historically this has been the case in our own culture is not rational,
in some cultures the opposite effect could well occur.
And it is madness to suppose that, for instance, 2 or 3 billion of the world's poorest citizens could all be driving cars and using washing machines and computers within the next fifty years (which would be a natural consequence of affluence and which they would have a perfect right to demand)
it's far too late for that, there are already too many of us, our environment simply couldn't bear such a burden.
Time is fast running out for our civilisation. Our fragile institutions of hard won freedoms, our legacy from all those who in the past have fought for progress: our freedom of speech, of movement, our systems of welfare, education and health; our right to form unions and so on - the survival of all these will be threatened once the food supply is outstripped by population growth.
Hungry billions will inevitably take whatever steps are necessary in order to survive,
Political processes cannot be relied upon to prevent disaster, urgent action taken by private, independent individuals who possess both the necessary power and the courage to exercise it for the general good (even in the face of strong popular opposition) is very possibly our only hope.
and probably more significantly because reproduction is such a powerful natural instinct in all of us that any perceived threat to its continuance is generally met by an unreasoned, stubborn, reactionary mentality, against which no amount of argument can prevail.
The moral objections which are likely to be raised against the prospect of involuntarily sterilisation generally arise from the entrenched idea that fertility is a fundamental human right which cannot be sacrificed. I suggest that this is a mistaken idea.