Don’t ask me how, but complexity is easier (funner) in pictures…

What stops population growth? from Gapminder Foundation on Vimeo.

Just prepping for tomorrow’s Open Workshop on how to get more people involved in your policy making at Mullan Training in Belfast tomorrow, when Paul punted me this great video from his Local Democracy blog..

  • Democrat

    Great to see a calm, rational study of population growth which avoids both complacency and panic. Hans Rosling presents his thoughtful and, in the end, reassuring arguments with a confident command of the facts and a commitment to our common humanity. He keeps calm, despite the grim figures which record the inexorable rise in world population and the terrible toll which it takes on the environment.

    He is optimistic because he sees that people everywhere reduce family size as soon as they have a little affluence and access to contraception. Even despite their religious leaders telling them that contraception is ‘sin’ and that the gods approve of big families. It happened in the RoI – the Vatican said “No Pill Here” but the people voted with their (ahem) feet. So, yes, I suppose that there are some grounds for a little optimism. As long as we accept that the daft notions of religious leaders will continue to lose their grip.

    The question, however, that he does not face is whether the slow-down in world population growth will arrive in time. He thought that it might stabilise at 9 or 10 billion round 2050. But we are wrecking the environment at such a rate, that it is doubtful (imo) that we have 40 years to carry on wrecking with overfishing, deforestation, soil erosion, drought, famine, mass migrations, etc. If we have continued population growth set against falling production and smaller yields, causing conflict and disrupted food supplies, then the outlook is grim for both the developing and the developed worlds.