The human species is at a threshold to a new era. Not a pleasant era. The picture above is from Bangladesh. People living in stacked concrete sewer pipes.
Bangladesh has about 170 million people, or about half the U.S. population, living in 2% of the area of the U.S.. In other words, it is 25 times more populous than the U.S.. Bangladesh has 6% of the annual GDP of the U.S.. So, you have 25 times the number of people per square mile and 1/16 the financial resources per person. That financial productivity is directly related to resources.
Bangladesh is a parliamentary constitutional republic, not a caliphate, but it is predominantly Muslim. It is socially conservative with orthodox Islam practiced in areas of the country as a tradition. Girls are commonly married off at ages 13-15. Female genital mutilation is common. Male polygamy is also common. The high birthrate of children to abandoned child-mothers accounts for much of its crippling poverty.
In short, Bangladesh represents a part of the world which has not advanced into a post-religious or co-religious scientific age. Bangladesh has not advanced beyond patriarchal/misogynist culture, which would largely be effected by a diversion from Islamic orthodoxy. Free speech in Bangladesh is currently under attack by Islamic traditionalists. Violence associated with Islam has led to the deaths of journalists and gay activists at the hands of religious fanatics recently. The government has also been clamping down on any speech it interprets as anti-Islamic.
The accelerator which boosted Europe out of an overpopulated, religiously dominated culture, like the Bangladesh of today, was plague. The decimation of the upper echelons of society along with an even greater decimation of the overabundant worker population furthered The Reformation and gave rise to a middle class through guild formation. Today's advancements in pharmacology in the scientific West has largely deflated the effects of disease in accelerating cultural reformation. It has also enabled higher birthrates in undeveloped nations. Hence the burgeoning human population in the planet's least developed areas.
Think of population as weight on a scale. The balancing point of the scale is the planet's health.
On one side of the scale is the population of the planet which produced the technology and products which promote planetary health. That population uses more resources per person but also maintains resources more efficiently. So the net effect over the whole population is less damaging to the environment. In other words, waste is purified. Water is efficiently distributed and paid for by users. Agriculture is increasingly efficient. Taxes are collected and applied to public assets generally, despite marginal corruption. And so on.
On the other side of the scale is the population of nations through Asia, Africa and South America which is growing more rapidly and already is beginning to outweigh the other side in terms of efficiencies and natural resources. Inefficient farming, water and air pollution, decimation of forests, destructive mining techniques, use of polluting fuels, etc.. That population is actually being supported by and encouraged to grow by the developed population.
What will happen when the stress on the fixed balancing point (Earth's fixed natural resources and atmosphere) causes it to collapse? The answer is simple: Chaos. I believe we are seeing the beginning of that chaos in diffuse forms. I believe ISIS is a form of that chaos. I believe the constant marginally violent demonstrations of vested minority groups globally are forms of that chaos. When human beings are sufficiently stressed, social fabric tears apart in favor of individual survival impulses.
The uneducated and culturally indoctrinated tend to see an increase of reproduction through subjugated women as a hedge against deprivation, when it actually accelerates deprivation of all. So the impoverished human population, when aided by medicine and food from the wealthy population, are actually threatening the well being of the whole human population. While this approach to poverty makes wealthy humans feel better, it is not a solution to the long range problem. In fact, it is an accelerator of destruction
The only effective accelerator of planetary and human health is liberation of women through education and birth control. In the developed world, the promotion of liberated women into power has not led to a change in the approach toward women in the impoverished world. Modern feminism, in fact, is pushing an agenda which is exactly opposite to what will contribute to population stabilization and planetary health.
Defending religion and culture over science is entirely counterproductive. The chant of "Islamophobia" among feminists is an example of the absurdly counterproductive. Blaming vaccination science for autism is another example of counterproductive feminism, especially when current science tends to point to the age of male sperm as a contributing factor. Women are indeed the leaders to a better future for humankind, but those leaders are women who are educated in science and who are liberated from seeing themselves as birth-mothers above all else.
Modern feminism in pop culture is pure Stockholm Syndrome, which is even bringing down advancements in Stockholm itself. It is an unconscious expression of fear, not intelligence. It is appeasement in the face of religious and cultural threats to women and scientific remedies to great challenges to human survival ahead. It is the abandonment of the greater good for childish denial of the sheer weight of the threats to the planet and our species.