8 Billion is Too Many: Don’t be a Twit About Overpopulation
While Elon Musk erroneously claims population collapse is our biggest worry, world population is hitting 8 billion, adding the latest billion faster than any time in history. The UN has declared world population will surpass 8 billion on November 15, 2022. We persist in adding about 80 million people to the planet every year, despite overwhelming evidence we’ve outgrown our planet.
Christopher Tucker, author of A Planet of 3 Billion: Mapping Humanity’s Long History of Ecological Destruction and Finding Our Way to a Resilient Future, joins Dave in a conversation intended to help cure the rampant overshoot illiteracy resulting from misguided silence on the subject. This illiteracy is demonstrated as Dave shares his new YouTube video (link below) about the 8 billion milestone.
Tucker shares his disappointment in United Nations messaging around World Population Day (July 11) and the 8 billion milestone, and Dave turns his criticism up to eleven. He makes this important point about the silence on overshoot and overpopulation:
If responsible people don’t talk about these issues, irresponsible people will – and they’ll spread disinformation and perpetuate the negative attitudes we want to avoid.
The conversation also turns to coercive pronatalism, a topic that may be new to some listeners. It’s surprisingly pervasive.
Here’s the new GrowthBusters YouTube video about 8 billion
8 Billion is Too Many: Don’t be a Twit About Overpopulation – by Dave Gardner on Medium
(we’ll post this link here later today)
World Population Hits 8 Billion: What Do People on the Street Think? – new YouTube video by Dave Gardner
New Rule: Let the Population Collapse – Bill Maher
A Planet of 3 Billion: Mapping Humanity’s Long History of Ecological Destruction and Finding Our Way to a Resilient Future – by Christopher Tucker
Bending the Curve by 2030: On the Path to a Population Safe Harbour – by Christopher Tucker
We Know How Many People the Earth Can Support – by Christopher Tucker Journal of Population and Sustainability December 2020
How Many People Can the Earth Sustain? – The Stream on Al Jazeerah English 10/27/22
Sustain What: How Many Billions Can a Heating, Pandemic-Wrapped Planet Support? – A Sustain What chat hosted by Earth Institute’s Andrew Revkin
Decline and Prosper! Changing Global Birth Rates and the Advantages of Fewer Children (new book debunking aging and other depopulation fears)
Dismissal of “Population Alarmism” is Rooted in Pronatalist Ideology – by Nandita Bajaj
GrowthBusters Online Community
GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth – 2011 documentary by Dave Gardner
Global Footprint Network – data on biocapacity, ecological footprint and overshoot
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On the GrowthBusters podcast, we come to terms with the limits to growth, explore the joy of sustainable living, and provide a recovery program from our society’s growth addiction (economic/consumption and population). This podcast is part of the GrowthBusters project to raise awareness of overshoot and end our culture’s obsession with, and pursuit of, growth.
Dave Gardner directed the documentary GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth, which Stanford Biologist Paul Ehrlich declared “could be the most important film ever made.” Co-host Stephanie Gardner has degrees in Environmental Studies and Environmental Law & Policy.
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Tags: Climate Change, contraception, family planning, family size, footprint, overpopulation, overshoot, population growth, sustainability, World Population Day
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Christopher Tucker is articulate and convincing. Yes, empowering women and girls is surely worth more than the cost of fighter plane development. Perhaps we could invest our way to 1.5 by 2030. Sign him up as a consultant for Dave’s presidential bid.
But I believe his calculation of a global carrying capacity of 3 billion must be in error. One method to compute a carrying capacity is to use Global Footprint’s Overshoot Day. Using July 28 for our 8 billion population, one computes a carrying capacity of 4.6 billion. If all on earth consumed as Americans (with an overshoot day of March 13), one computes 1.6 billion. Since Global Footprint’s calculations tend to be conservative and since probably most do aspire to live comfortably, probably his 3 billion figure is an overshoot.