05/14/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Population And Earth: Zero Growth Or Armies Of Greenies?

Today, Grist's advice columnist fields a question about population growth and its impact on the environment. It's a touchy subject. Here's the question.

Dear Umbra,

You once replied to a request for some simple things all environmentally concerned individuals should do by pointing them toward some "Top Ten lists" for eco-minded people. Without a doubt, hands down, the number 1 action that should be followed for anyone concerned with the environment is to limit your procreation to 1 child per individual (2 per couple), i.e., replace yourself only. This dwarfs anything you might do in other areas, like using compact fluorescents or choosing paper over plastic, or weatherizing your home.

Read Umbra's answer here. She's careful to say how much she dislikes weighing in on this subject. It's definitely loaded.

It used to be talked about a lot more, so maybe it's worth a poll and some lively commenter debate. Here we go...