We’ve heard time and time again about how global demographics present overwhelming challenges to governments, the world’s economy and the health of earth.

A recent book by environmental writer Fred Pearce puts a different twist on the subject.  His premise in The Coming Population Crash is that the world’s population is peaking and that in the next century it will begin a slow, steady decline. 

In a recent interview in Salon Pearce says that the decline has the potential to massively change both our society and our planet: Children will become a rare sight, patriarchal thinking will fall by the wayside, and middle-aged culture will replace our predominant youth culture. Furthermore, Pearce explains, the population bust could be the end of our environmental woes. Fewer people making better choices about consumption could lead to a greener, healthier planet.