The cost of overpopulation and greed—is there any future for mankind? || XLRI (2021)

August 4, 2022 | Acharya Prashant

Questioner: While COVID-19 has severely affected many world economies, many things have come into the limelight in the wake of the pandemic. People have realized that life is precious and that nature has limited resources.. How do you see the future of the economy? Will we move towards a resource-based economy? How would future technologies impact us or life as such?

Acharya Prashant: In the short term, probably, consumption will keep rising. The bigger picture is that the Earth just cannot sustain the kind of consumption we are exhibiting.

So, how do I look at the future? Well, mankind will be forced to reduce its population. You cannot continue to be eight billion, ten billion, twelve billion, and then say, “Well, in the natural course of things, we are anyway going to stabilize at twelve billion.” Even eight billion is just too much, it is too much by many times. Twelve billion is unthinkable, and you are talking of twelve billion when all these twelve billion aspire to have a per capita consumption similar to that of the United States.

So, what are we looking at? We are looking at a scenario where nations have the population of an India and the per capita consumption of an U.S. Multiply these two,


Acharya Prashant is an emerging champion of socio-spiritual awakening in the world today. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad, and a former Civil Services officer, Acharya Prashant is an acclaimed Speaker, Vedanta Teacher and author of over 50 books. Apart from that he wears various hats: a veganism promoter, an environmental activist, a science activist, a campaigner against superstition, and a champion of essential human freedom. Know More