Tag Archives overpopulation

Today it could be argued that human beings daily act against our own self-interest. How? Biologist Paul Ehrlich and fellow scientists tell us we are expanding our population and economy beyond the Earth's carrying capacity– at our peril. Why do we insist on continuing? Humanity in the last few hundred years has become the dominant animal on this planet. We are changing...the atmosphere to the point where we’re threatening our very sustainability, we are now mobilizing most minerals more rapidly…

Rex Weyler has lived the life dreamed of by those who want to make a difference. As a young man he joined early Greenpeace expeditions to document and stop commercial whaling. He went on to co-found Greenpeace International, and as a journalist has covered the subject of ecology extensively. The human machine is just steamrolling…toward disaster.” Weyler has lived a rich life and has a keen understanding of the source of joy, but there is sadness in his voice when…

The age of growth and the age in which growth is going to be considered a good thing is coming to an end.” The late sociologist William R. Catton was certain of this, but spent a significant portion of his professional life attempting to understand why mainstream society was reluctant to prove his point. Catton authored the landmark book, Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change, published in 1980. He brought important sociological perspective to a subject dominated by biologists…

Our 41st episode is a retrospective of Seasons 1 and 2 of Conversation Earth. In this episode we turn the table, as co-producer Kaitlyn Hickmann interviews host/creator Dave Gardner. The two share highlights from previous episodes and discuss the joys and challenges of producing the series. Please comment below to let us know your favorite moment from the series. Thanks so much for listening, sharing and supporting this series. This episode serves as a great sampler, giving you a taste…

Most scientists agree the current level of human population, in combination with present living arrangements, is damaging our ecosystems. But doing something about overpopulation is not high on public policy lists. It’s rarely discussed in the media or over coffee with friends. Why? Population Media Center President Bill Ryerson discusses the obstacles preventing faster progress on solving the overpopulation problem, or even admitting there is one. This is the second part of an April 2017 interview. Bill Ryerson has worked…

We’re not living on Earth as if we want to stay, observes Mike Nickerson. In our last episode, Mike Nickerson shared his vision for, and the joy of, making the cultural shift necessary for a sustainable human civilization. In this continuation of the conversation, we explore some of the forces keeping our system stuck in an unsustainable mode. Nickerson leads the Sustainability Project/7th Generation Initiative in Canada, a non-profit organization that collects, studies, develops and teaches ideas, information, technologies and…

“We could be having so much fun that there just isn't time to consume resources on a quantity, or produce waste on a quantity that would be problematic for the planet,” according Mike Nickerson. He shares his ideas about how enjoyable it could be to make the cultural shift necessary for human civilization to be sustainable. Mike Nickerson has spent his career advancing sustainability. In the 1970s he founded and co-directed the Institute for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Today…

Efforts to date are falling far short of achieving the greenhouse gas reduction needed to avoid catastrophic climate disruption. Bioethicist Travis Rieder shakes things up by suggesting ethical use of public policy to encourage smaller families, which would result in dramatic decrease of carbon emissions. Rieder co-authored the paper, Population Engineering and the Fight Against Climate Change. In part two of this 2017 conversation, Rieder shares how he and co-authors Colin Hickey and Jake Earl parsed out what fertility reduction…

With human activity disrupting the climate, do we have a moral imperative not to have children, or to have only one child? Bioethicist Travis Rieder dares to explore this bold question with sensitivity and scientific rigor. Rieder shares his logic in the short book, Toward a Small Family Ethic: How Overpopulation and Climate Change are Affecting the Morality of Procreation. It starts with the fact that deciding not to have one child is over 20 times more effective at reducing…

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