ABC NEWS SNUBS POPULATION SOLUTION
Earth 2100 is an ABC News (U.S.) special that will air the evening of June 2. At the show’s little-tended website one finds hope for a remarkably candid (especially for the U.S.) look at the sustainability predicament we find ourselves in. From the program description:
What could our world look like over the next one hundred years if we don’t act now to save our troubled planet? The world’s brightest minds agree that the “perfect storm” of population growth, resource depletion and climate change could converge with catastrophic results.
This is heady stuff, since climate change makes a few headlines, resource depletion fewer, and population growth is almost universally ignored as a multiplier in the equation that represents human impact on our planet.
I was hopeful last December when I discovered this program and its invitation for the public to submit videos offering solutions. With the deadline less than two weeks away, I shifted into high gear, wrote a script, put out the casting call, assembled a great team of over 30 volunteers, and created this public service announcement about aiming for stable or declining population as one of the solutions to the problems this special will examine.
I’m sorry to report that ABC News has refused to post this Population Solution video on the Earth 2100 website or include any part of it in the special. The producers have offered an array of excuses which don’t hold water. I’m left to conclude the population taboo is at work here. I guess, as is too often the case, while the producers may see population growth as contributing to the problem (a step in the right direction), they cannot wrap their heads around the idea we ought to actively, vocally, and responsibly do what we can to reduce the growth rate to zero as soon as we can.
There is still much work to be done. We must have more conversations, open more eyes, and enlighten more minds. Population’s role in our predicament and its role in the solutions must not remain taboo. My documentary, Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity, will examine this taboo. Talking about it will help to chip away at it. When it comes to overpopulation, hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, and speak-no-evil will not serve us well. I can’t finish this film soon enough!
If you’d like to express your disappointment to the producers of Earth 2100, here are the e-mail addresses I have: Sarah.E.Namias.-ND@abc.com and Joanna.L.Weiner.-ND@abc.com. You can also submit feedback to ABC News here.
Be sure to take a look. Maybe they’ll surprise us. The trailer includes sound bites from Paul Ehrlich, Richard Heinberg, David Pimentel, Lester Brown and James Howard Kunstler, among others. Earth 2100 airs June 2, 9 to 11 p.m. EDT and PDT.
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