Nov 01 2013
A new study this month has found that the global population will increase to 9.7 billion people by the year 2050, straining an already ailing planet in terms of resources and pollution. The findings are in line with a study published earlier this year by the United Nations. The jump from 5 billion to nearly 10 billion will have occurred in such a short amount of time that it is sure to present ever-greater challenges to our environment.
Much has been written about the problems of overpopulation, but often in a manner that has raised ethical questions of women’s rights and national sovereignty. Now, a new book by journalist Alan Weisman called Countdown: Our Last Best Hope for a Future on Earth asks the questions of how many people can the earth actually sustain? How many non-human species do we need for our survival? And what’s the best way in which to achieve those aims?
Weisman is the author of the acclaimed book The World Without Us in which he conducted a sort of thought experiment to examine the notion of how the earth would heal itself if humanity were to disappear. His new book is the result of travels to 20 different countries to understand how exactly we could add humans back into the equation in harmony with nature.
GUEST: Alan Weisman, award winning writer and journalist, author of Countdown: Our Last Best Hope for a Future on Earth