For most of the time humans have inhabited the earth, our numbers were small, and the growth rate of our species was nearly zero. In other words, we were more-or-less in equilibrium with the natural world, as were most species. Not anymore.
"We need to balance the budget in order to grow the economy." In the midst of the federal budget debt ceiling food fight, this may be one of the only ideas both political parties can more or less agree on.