Over the course of the past one hundred years, we humans have grown in population at a rate rarely seen outside of a petri dish. Alan Weisman, author of the best-selling The World Without Us, spent two years traveling to twenty nations to investigate what this population explosion means for our species as well as those we share the planet with—and, most importantly, what we can do about it. His book Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? will be released later this month. Orion managing editor Andrew D. Blechman met with Alan at his home in rural Massachusetts, amid birdsong and the patter of rainfall, to discuss some of the most serious issues ever to face the human species.
Tagged with “population” (7)
High density living is great for the environment, right? But what does it do to our heads and hearts? The Australian psyche was moulded by the myth of the ‘wide brown land’, so what might life packed like sardines look and feel like? With the world’s seven billionth person about to be born, can we learn from the Asian megacity experience? And will we still be sharing a cup of sugar with our neighbours? As the population debate gets mental, we’re going in search of the soul in urban sprawl. A forum featuring Bernard Salt, Kim Dovey, Helen Killmier, and Sein-Way Tan, hosted by ABC Radio National’s Natasha Mitchell at The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne.
"…a variety of experts discuss the path past 7 billion people. One voice is that of Mara Hvistendahl, the Asia correspondent for the journal’s news staff and author of “Unnatural Selection,” a potent and revealing book about selective abortion and related issues. In this case, she discusses her piece on the potential benefits and perils of “youth bulges” like those underlying the turmoil in many Arab countries this year.?
There’s a consensus that Earth doesn’t have enough resources to support the world’s growing population — but there’s disagreement about the root of the problem. Some think the problem lies with the growing third world, others that it is the consumption habits of the developed nations that cause the problem.
In the 1960s, Stewart Brand became one of the country’s first and most famous champions of a new ecological awareness. His Whole Earth Catalog spoke to a generation of hippies and back-to-nature commune dwellers.
Now, at 70, Stewart Brand is calling on environmentalists to reframe their understanding of the problem — and solutions. It’s too late for back-to-nature, he says. Global warming is beyond that.
To survive now, Brand says, we need nuclear power, genetic engineering, giant cities. We must manage nature or lose civilization.
This hour, On Point: In the face of global warming, Stewart Brand redefines green.
With a current world population of 6.8 billion, projected to be 9 billion by 2050, what will our lives be like in another fifty years? Our consumption is causing scarcity of resources, food production is struggling to meet demand, almost everything we do destroys delicate ecosystems and our greenhouse gas emissions keep growing.
Meanwhile, we all believe in a basic human right to reproduce. This UTSpeaks presents a diverse panel of UTS experts to speculate on a future where overpopulation may be the key force impacting every aspect of human life.
@radical.media CEO Jon Kamen presents 19.20.21, an initiative to research and document the first 19 cities to reach 20 million inhabitants during the 21st century.
Kamen: Life inside the planet’s super cities will soon be one of the great challenges of the 21st century.