Saturday, 12 December 2009

Population: the taboo subject

Human population levels are the one big environmental and social problem that are not given the degree of thought and coverage that they should be.

In this BBC Horizon program, David Attenborough presents a highly thought-provoking documentary about past, current and future population levels, and their impact on the world's resources.

It's available on the iPlayer until Dec 18th and is really worth watching:

1 comment:

Pete Murphy said...

The biggest obstacle we face in changing attitudes toward overpopulation is economists. Since the field of economics was branded "the dismal science" after Malthus' theory, economists have been adamant that they would never again consider the subject of overpopulation and continue to insist that man is ingenious enough to overcome any obstacle to further growth. Even worse, economists insist that population growth is vital to economic growth. This is why world leaders continue to ignore population growth in the face of mounting challenges like peak oil, global warming and a whole host of other environmental and resource issues.

But because they are blind to population growth, there's one obstacle they haven't considered: the finiteness of space available on earth. The very act of using space more efficiently creates a problem for which there is no solution: it inevitably begins to drive down per capita consumption and, consequently, per capita employment, leading to rising unemployment and poverty.

If you‘re interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, then I invite you to visit either of my web sites at or where you can read the preface, join in the blog discussion and, of course, buy the book if you like.

Pete Murphy
Author, "Five Short Blasts"