Population analyst warns of catastrophe

December 2, 2011 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Jenny Goldie for this article.  See http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2011/s3351962.htm

Population analyst warns of catastrophe

Eleanor Hall reported this story on Monday, October 31 at 12:34:00

ELEANOR HALL: The United Nations says the world’s population will reach 7 billion some time today, though it concedes the date is symbolic and its calculations could be out by six months in either direction.

The UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon says reaching the 7 billion mark is an opportunity for progress.

But Professor of Population Studies at Stanford University and author of the controversial book, The Population Bomb, Dr Paul Ehrlich, says the milestone is no cause for celebration:

PAUL EHRLICH: I think it’s cause for a lot of alarm and so does every scientist I know.

You have got to face it, we still have close to 3 billion people living in poverty, almost a billion hungry. We are wrecking our environment, we are changing the climate, we are toxifying the planet from pole to pole and the worst thing is that nobody is doing anything about it.

ELEANOR HALL: But this is the sort of population explosion you warned would be catastrophic in your famous book, The Population Bomb, 40 years ago.

Why should anyone believe your warnings now when you’ve made such dire predictions before and they’ve proven to be unnecessarily alarmist?

PAUL EHRLICH: Well first of all, the predictions that most people quote were actually scenarios, little stories about the future we said would not come exactly true but when you figure that something like 240 million people have starved to death since we wrote the book, since we now have faced the fact that the ozone layer has deteriorated, that we are losing the biodiversity that runs our life support systems, that we are going to have to try and expand agriculture which is the thing that attacks our life support systems worse and yet is one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases, which in turn are going to change the climate and hurt agriculture.

Everybody who understands the situation is scared witless however there are a lot of people who don’t understand the situation and they are very vocal.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2011/s3351962.htm

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