Reconciling energy and environmental concerns was challenging enough when global population seemed headed for a plateau around 9 billion. A new forecast of up to 12 billion people by 2100 raises large questions about the capacity of current energy technologies to meet future global needs. The combination of forecasted global economic weakness and growing non-OPEC production continues to weigh on oil prices.  Brent crude has fallen below $90 per barrel , and the US benchmark has been flirting with $80. But just when the rapid growth of energy supplies has undermined the mood of energy scarcity that prevailed for the last four decades, a group of demographers has thrown us a curve ball , though admittedly a very long one. In the 1970s many people were concerned about a “population explosion.” Dystopian fiction–already a well-established sub-genre–featured visions of a grossly overcrowded future earth, along the lines of “ Soylent Green .” […]