In population biology carrying capacity is the maximum population of a species an environment can support indefinitely based on the availability of food, habitat, water and any other necessities. Previous reports of a world’s carrying capacity for the human species of between 4 and 16 billion have been lowered recently, due to the growth of the middle class worldwide and increased consumption that goes along with that. Humans prove a more challenging species to apply this idea to then, as there are numerous other human specific factors to consider, medical care, sanitation, waste volume and management all prove more complex factors than apply to most animal species.
More effort should be made to determine, or agree upon a more accurate measure for a global carrying capacity for humans as a species. Big questions and considerations may arise out of this such as the relation between consumption and population and if driving down one is good for the other, but whatever the case this remains a truly global question that could only be debated and answered by a global body such as the UN. Determining the earth's human carrying capacity as also pose other difficult questions, as our world economic structure relies on population growth for economic growth. Are we not going to reach an eventual point when both can no longer be positive and we need to rethink the economic systems and growth as a whole? Should we not strive for answers to those big questions, sooner rather than later?