If we lived in an ideal world, in which everyone - North and South, rich and poor - had access to the same amount and quality of resources and consumed as much (or as little) as anyone else; in which sustainable management of the natural world was fully integrated with develop­ ment; in which the carrying capacity of land was recognized and honoured; in which appropriate technologies were available to all and practised widely, then the size of the world’s population would be of no great concern. Indeed, a 1983 FAO study concluded that with more irrigation and the wise application of other known technologies, the earth could produce enough food for everyone. And, if the rich consumed less, environmental degradation would be reduced.