4th August 2011: Lets Talk About Population Baby! By Brian Chrystal
During the Edinburgh International Festival of August 2012 twenty two talks were given at Leith on the Fringe at the Out of the Blue venue. They were free and open to everyone
Bullet points of what you would like to cover:
- The rate of population increase ( One billion = 100 mega cities and we are about to add two billion)
- David Attenborough’s RSA speech (Perhaps show the video)
- Resource depletion (GB imports 40% of our food. Then there is peak oil, water, minerals ext)
- Success stories (states where by educating females they have fewer children)
- Solutions (There are solutions but only if we face the problems)
Websites and / or texts where further information may be found:
- David Attenborough talks about Population Matters
- Wikipedia article on world population
- US and World Population Clocks
A few words about you and your passion:
My passion is the environment and the future of human kind. At present we have food riots. What is it going to be like when we have a harvest failure and an extra 200 mega cities worth of people to feed. Then who will care about the environment?
A few lines about the history of your subject:
This subject has had an interesting history. Thomas Malthus was not the first person to talk on the subject. Ancient Greek scholars talked about population and its effects on resources. Paul Ehrlich published ‘The Population Bomb’ in the 1968 and although his predictions have not come about yet they are looking more likely in the future.
The figures are indisputable, at the birth of the modern era, year 1 the world had a population of 200 million, year 1000 saw 270 million, 1650 saw 500 million, 1804 – 1billion, 1927 – 2 billion, 1975 – 4 billion, 1999 – 6 billion, 2011 – 7 billion,
The United Nations predictions for 2050 are (high estimate) 10 billion (low estimate) 8 billion. The difference is the entire world population of 1927.
Anything else you may want to say:
Humanity at present is like lemmings preening there fur coats before going over the cliff, but we are taking many other species with us. David Attenborough has stated that he can think of no environmental problem that would be easier to solve with fewer people. The difference we can make is the difference between 8 billion and 10 billion but we can only do this by facing up to the problem and braking the taboo of talking about it. We do not need coercion, set limits or eugenics but we do need to talk.
Here is the video which Brian wanted to screen from the RSA…