Human population control is the practice of altering the rate of growth of a human population. Historically, human population control has been implemented with the goal of increasing the rate of population growth. In the period from the 1950s to the 1980s, concerns about global population growth and its effects on poverty, environmental degradation, and political stability led to efforts to reduce population growth rates. While population control can involve measures that improve people's lives by giving them greater control of their reproduction, a few programs, most notably the Chinese government's one-child per family policy, have resorted to coercive measures.
One frequent criticism of The Population Bomb is that it focused on spectacle and exaggeration at the expense of accuracy. Pierre Desrochers and Christine Hoffbauer remark that "at the time of writing The Population Bomb , Paul and Anne Ehrlich should have been more cautious and revised their tone and rhetoric, in light of the undeniable and already apparent errors and shortcomings of Osborn and Vogt’s analyses."  Charles Rubin has written that it was precisely because Ehrlich was largely unoriginal and wrote in a clear emotionally gripping style that it became so popular. He quotes a review from Natural History noting that Ehrlich does not try to "convince intellectually by mind dulling statistics," but rather roars "like an Old Testament Prophet."  Gardner says, "as much as the events and culture of the era, Paul Ehrlich's style explain the enormous audience he attracted." Indeed, an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson helped to propel the success of the book, as well as Ehrlich's celebrity.  Desrochers and Hoffbauer go on to conclude that it seems hard to deny that using an alarmist tone and emotional appeal were the main lessons that the present generation of environmentalists learned from Ehrlich's success.