Population

Population

Live chat on population 7 billion — ask your questions and have your say-so

Sandeep Bathala and Carmen BarrosoJoin a Grist live chat on population issues on Monday, Oct. 31, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Pacific, marking the occasion of the world population hitting 7 billion. We’ll have two experts on hand to answer your questions: Sandeep Bathala of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, formerly director of the Sierra Club’s population program; and Carmen Barroso, director of International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region. The chat will be moderated by Grist Senior Editor and Queen of Pop(ulation) Lisa Hymas. Ask questions in the box below, or tweet your questions to …

Population

Three’s a crowd: Is it unethical to have more than two kids?

In the U.S., many population groups try to smooth over controversy, preferring to highlight areas of broad agreement, such as making birth control universally accessible, educating girls, and empowering women. By contrast, the British group Population Matters (formerly Optimum Population Trust) tries to stir up controversy. It recently chided David and Victoria Beckham for adding a fourth child to their jet-setting brood, and the group has rankled some in the population movement by promoting PopOffsets, a program that lets you “offset” your family’s carbon footprint by funding family planning elsewhere. I talked to Roger Martin, chair of Population Matters, about …

Population

Is the environmental crisis caused by the 7 billion or the 1%?

The United Nations says that the world’s population will reach 7 billion people this month. The approach of that milestone has produced a wave of articles and opinion pieces blaming the world’s environmental crises on overpopulation. In New York’s Times Square, a huge and expensive video declares that “human overpopulation is driving species extinct.” In London’s busiest Underground stations, electronic poster boards warn that 7 billion is ecologically unsustainable. In 1968, Paul Ehrlich’s bestseller The Population Bomb declared that as a result of overpopulation, “the battle to feed humanity is over,” and the 1970s would be a time of global …

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