We often hear it said that there are too many people on Earth, that 'overpopulation' is an existential threat, and that fewer people might consume proportionately less, resulting in some easy environmental gains such as less carbon output and fewer species extinctions. It's a seductive logic, but is it true?
Globalisation has rendered us increasingly inter-dependent with massive opportunities and also risks/challenges as a result. Driven by technological advances from transport, to communications, and electronic networks, globalisation has delivered important advancements in terms of movement and exchange of people, ideas, values, resources, commodities and finance.
By investing to make contraception available to every woman who wants it, improving access to safe abortion where it's legal and making sure that medical care is readily available when things go wrong we can make a real difference. It's not rocket science - even for someone still relatively new to the development sector like me.
So, next week the Scots will decide if they want to be independent. Let me start by declaring a lack of interest in this issue. A complete lack of interest. I think may be one-eighth Scottish but I really don't care if I have Scottish blood coursing through my veins. It hasn't affected my life either way.
Fewer women are dying in child birth, more girls are going to school, increased numbers of women are taking on roles in public office, there are more female entrepreneurs and less poverty. But significant challenges remain, and we are still a long way from achieving universal access to reproductive and sexual health and the realisation of reproductive rights for all.
At NPC we do all our techie work because we want to help the voluntary sector use its resources in the very best way it can. Without understanding what you are trying to do you can't really achieve it; without measuring it to some degree, you can't get better; and without shared metrics you can't learn from anyone else.
This year on World Population Day let us celebrate the unrivalled success that humankind has had in making the world its home, and in enabling civilisation to thrive... It's in all of our interests for us to achieve what we agreed in London a year ago. Let us make the pledges of the London Family Planning Summit a reality.
11 July is UN world population day. An easy way to remember the date is that in June this year the UN demographers upped their estimate of future global population to peak at around 11billion in about a century's time. By the dawn of the 22nd Century there will be 50% more of us, they think, give or take a few billion either way. The default reaction has been to predict doom.