90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Global Population Debate

The new global population debate. How many humans should, can, will live on this planet?

In 1900, there were a billion and a half people on Earth. In the 20th Century, that population doubled, then doubled again. Now we’re over  7 billion. By the end of this century, projections are we’ll be near 11 billion humans. We’re adding a million every four-and-a-half days. For centuries, doomsayers have warned of an over-population apocalypse. Now the warnings are coming two ways. That we must cut back or nature will do it for us. That in reining in numbers, some nations will fail. Up next On Point: the blazing new debate over human population, high and low, and its impact.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Alan Weisman, senior editor and producer for Homeland Productions, author of “Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth,” “The World Without Us.”

Steven Philip Kramer, professor of Grand Strategy at the National Defense University, author of “The Other Population Crisis: What Governments Can Do About Falling Birth Rates.”

From Tom’s Reading List

The New Yorker: Head Count — “The latest population projections from the United Nations were released in June. If they’re correct, by 2025 there will be eight billion people on the planet. By 2050, there will be nine and a half billion, and by 2100 there will be nearly eleven billion. This is an awful lot of mouths to feed. It’s also a lot of people for Weisman to turn, as it were, back into air.”

Foreign Affairs: Baby Gap –  ”Although overpopulation plagues much of the developing world, many developed societies are now suffering from the opposite problem: birthrates so low that each generation is smaller than the previous one. Much of southern and eastern Europe, as well as Austria, Germany, Russia, and the developed nations of Southeast Asia, have alarmingly low fertility rates, with women having, on average, fewer than 1.5 children each. For example, the total fertility rate is 1.6 in Russia, 1.4 in Poland, and 1.2 in South Korea. In the United States, it is 2.05, which is about the replacement level.”

Washington Post: Book Review: Book review: ‘Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?’ by Alan Weisman — “What would a planet with a stable population and ecologically sustainable use of resources look like? Where should we be headed? However, just as the discussion gets interesting, Weisman starts to duck out. He endorses the famous formula in Stanford ecologist Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 bestseller, “The Population Bomb”: that the impact of humans on the planet is a combination of our numbers, what we consume and the technology we use to produce what we consume. But while he is good on the impacts and on human numbers, he is sketchy on the rest.”

Read An Excerpt From ”Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth” by Alan Weisman

Read An Excerpt From “The Other Population Crisis: What Governments Can Do About Falling Birth Rates” By Steven Philip Kramer

Watch the

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Mike

    Most studies show that to achieve sustainability the USA and the world should have about 1/2 the number of people it now does. Getting there over 50-100 years would do a great service to humans, to our environment, to climate change, and to overall happiness. Can we survive with more people, perhaps up to some limit. But, what do we sacrifice? What is left for our children. Eternal growth is the problem, not the answer.

    See: http://npg.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/OverpopulationandOverconsumption-revised2013.pdf

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Collaboration, is always, “On Point”.

    We at this site have potential to work together to demonstrate that “average” people can achieve good and maybe great things. Each of us comes from different experiences, has different sets of resources and different capabilities. If we can learn to trade on the differences and develop methods in this white space of words, we should be able to create sparks of insight, hopefully, sparks that create the fire of action! Now we know that there is a general rule, of “Six Degrees of Separation”. This one fact alone, may be enough to get things going. Each of us knows someone, that knows someone, etc.. One method to assure success, would be to “appeal to authority”, and try to convince professionals to “weigh in” in our pursuits. Of course, there is a downside to this approach, namely; the professionals have been indoctrinated to see things in particular ways. We, have the power of , “naiveté”. Our minds are open“, as the mathematician, Erdos, might have said.

    We have the ability to ask “ all of the wrong questions” ! We are not burdened by deadlines, and all of the emotional baggage that can come from face- saving avoidance. Who cares if we say something that is incorrect ?

    I once wrote a subset generating program. IT TOOK ME 7 YEARS, off and on, of trial and error. There were times I would dream about the problem and wake up and run to the computer to test my idea, only to find that, “it almost worked” ! When I did finally, some 1200 pages of code later ( it’s a book ), achieve, VICTORY, I said to myself, “ What was so hard about that, it’s kinda obvious” ! Looking back, I realize that it was the journey that was exhilarating. Not only did I solve my program issue, but found that my program could be generalized to solve other programming questions !

    My imaginary, complex, Riemann arm twisting, is my probative offering to the math-god. For as we all know, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of, the math-god’. As Mr. Ashbrook, and his guest said at the end of last Friday show, Prove it !

    George Noory, “Eat your heart out” !

    Ps. Have a nice Sidereal Day. Uhmm….side real ?

    We at this site have potential to work together to demonstrate that “average” people can achieve good and maybe great things. Each of us comes from different experiences, has different sets of resources and different capabilities. If we can learn to trade on the differences and develop methods in this white space of words, we should be able to create sparks of insight, hopefully, sparks that create the fire of action! Now we know that there is a general rule, of “Six Degrees of Separation”. This one fact alone, may be enough to get things going. Each of us knows someone, that knows someone, etc.. One method to assure success, would be to “appeal to authority”, and try to convince professionals to “weigh in” in our pursuits. Of course, there is a downside to this approach, namely; the professionals have been indoctrinated to see things in particular ways. We, have the power of , “naiveté”. Our minds are open“, as the mathematician, Erdos, might have said.

    We have the ability to ask “ all of the wrong questions” ! We are not burdened by deadlines, and all of the emotional baggage that can come from face- saving avoidance. Who cares if we say something that is incorrect ?

    I once wrote a subset generating program. IT TOOK ME 7 YEARS, off and on, of trial and error. There were times I would dream about the problem and wake up and run to the computer to test my idea, only to find that, “it almost worked” ! When I did finally, some 1200 pages of code later ( it’s a book ), achieve, VICTORY, I said to myself, “ What was so hard about that, it’s kinda obvious” ! Looking back, I realize that it was the journey that was exhilarating. Not only did I solve my program issue, but found that my program could be generalized to solve other programming questions !

    My imaginary, complex, Riemann arm twisting, is my probative offering to the math-god. For as we all know, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of, the math-god’. As Mr. Ashbrook, and his guest said at the end of last Friday show, Prove it !

    George Noory, “Eat your heart out” !

    Ps. Have a nice Sidereal Day. Uhmm….side real ?

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    ISN’T LOVE GRAND ?

    Unfinished business, from Oct. 18, 2013, “Week in the News” show, for Barry Kort and any willing others.

    Barry,
    Your interest in Chaos Theory interest me, so I thought I would clarify my post about The Collatz conjecture and how a person might apply this to the real world.

    The conjecture ask:

    Is it true that for any natural number, “n”, if n is even, then n/2; if “n” is odd then ((3*n) +1) / 2. Continue this process to create a series that ALWAYS ends in the number 1? !

    Imagine there was a loving couple, “A”, being the woman, “B”, being the man, The woman is told by her father that she will be receiving an inheritance, “N” ( the initial value that we will be starting with). She tells here mate that she will take half and give him half. The man, “B”, says, “why don’t we try to use the initial amount, “N” and make it work for us. I will take whatever you give me and increase it by 200% and add one dollar to the amount. So my dear, this is the same as saying I will take your “N” and multiply it by 3 and add one dollar to it, THEN I will take MY half of the new amount and give, what is left, back to you. She agrees, but tells him, “let’s keep it interesting, if the amount we start with is even, I’ll go first, if it is odd you can go first, and will just continue this process forever. Oh darling, isn’t love grand?” ———– He agrees.

    So now we have:

    The initial amount “N” (sub 0) and:

    A = n/2 ; B = ((3*n) + 1) / 2

    Now Mr. Collatz has demonstrated that under these conditions the loving couple is in for a rude surprise !

    Now to Barry.

    We have strong evidence that the recursive relationship between, “A” and “B”, as given, settles on the number “1”. Barry, there are so, so many questions that we could ask, such as, what if the loving couple were in a polygamous relationship with “C” or “D….” and each person had their own functional relationship ( KEEP IT CLEAN, PEOPLE! ) What if, for example person “C” was using r* n + k / 3? Our new recursive relation ship would be :

    A = n/ 3 ; B = ((3*n) + 1) / 3 ; C = ((r*n + k) / 3

    How would this end for any “N”? How might the output vary if C were using the even rule, versus the odd rule. Who would give what to who? How would the output vary? Going back to the two couples, I ask, “ What are the outputs for any 2 sets of

    A = f_sub_1(a) and B = f_sub_2(b) ? Are there critical values ? Are there values for A and B that diverge to infinity?

    Does Feigenbaum have something to say about this ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feigenbaum_constant

    Barry, if you ever wanted a career that would last you a lifetime, this just may be your launching pad !

    Although, personally, and speaking for the rest of us, I would hope that it would be a short-lived career due to your ability to solve this very important problem. If it wasn’t, we might all be doomed !

    Ps. Friday I said the Collatz has been tested for Billions of numbers. It is actually many more samples.

    Barry, if you ever wanted a career that would last you a lifetime, this just may be your launching pad !

    Although, personally, and speaking for the rest of us, I would hope that it would be a short-lived career due to your ability to solve this very important problem. If it wasn’t, we might all be doomed !

    Ps. Friday I said the Collatz has been tested for Billions of numbers. It is actually many more samples.

    • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

      At my age (68), the search for a lifelong career is pretty much over.

      The Collatz Conjecture is just one example of a curious recursion law that generates startling sequences. I reckon it holds some fascination because the formulas are so easy to compute.

      Chaos Theory really got off the ground when Edward Lorenz discovered that his differential equations for a global weather model revealed an even more startling behavior than that of the Collatz Recursion.

      Unlike the Collatz Recursion, the one devised by Lorenz never converged to a predictable outcome. Much like the recursion formulas for calculating the successive digits of pi, each iteration of the Lorenz Butterfly added more decimal points to the state variables in the model.

      All by itself, that’s no big deal. After all, the successive approximations to pi converge to a definite value in the limit. But Lorenz, like Poincare before him, discovered that the tiniest perturbation, no matter how small, yielded a dramatically different history from its nearly identical neighboring starting point.

      Later on, Benoit Mandelbrot made this arcane observation dramatically visible with the invention of fractals.

      Today, we know that Chaos Theory is profoundly important, being the key to understanding natural processes and human-created systems which manifest all flavors of chaos.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Grab your hats and oil your whips! The adventure is just beginning.

    I wonder if all this talk about the math-god, has made some of you, view me, as the lamb, that “I” must slaughter ! Does the question “Lami?”, speak to the spirit of Riemann’s

    0 = 1 + 1/(2)^s + 1/(3)^s + 1/(4)^s + 1/(5)^s … .

    After all, if the sum of all of these real and imaginary forces sum to zero, it would seem that you could use the:

    (P / sin(alpha) ) = (Q / sin(beta) ) = (R / sin(gamma) ) …, concept (see link on Lami equation). Can you imagine, imaginary forces, all working to produce a net effect of zero, on the complex-plane of ideas?

    I mean that is what talk is, isn’t it? Well, maybe not in the real world ! But what world do we live in? Is it a world of sin(of a particular angle), or a world of godly gifts? Is it a secular world of Greeks, named Menelaus, or could it be both? Wouldn’t it be twice as good if we could join heaven and earth? ( Hmmm? I may have to ask Ed about this one!) There are enough of you out there that may be able to demonstrate or prove that there are many, many geometrical universes, from which an engaged soul might shed light on this quest;… this Indiana Jones type, adventure !

    Questions unanswered are like snakes that tread on me; and “I hate snakes Jacques, I hate em”!

    See:

    http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AvYapO5nqckw_g8A8ZCo9uibvZx4?fr=yfp-t-900-s&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&p=lami's%20theorem

    Whip it good.

    http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0oG7imvpWNSsC4AGWdXNyoA;_ylc=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?p=whip+it+good+song&fr2=sb-top&fr=yfp-t-900

    Ps. If you are totally confused about this, try to visualize the following.

    You have an equation that equals zero. All the terms on the right side are fractions involving the natural numbers on the complex plane raised to the same number, “S”. Now “S” is known to take the form a + bi, where both a and b are real, but the product of bi is complex. So any point on the complex plane can be written as (a,bi). Now, imagine the formula to be written as: ( of course I took the “1” and brought it to the left side of the equation. )

    -1 = + 1/(2)^s_sub1 + 1/(3)^s_sub2 + 1/ (4)^s_sub3…etc..

    So in this case all of the “s(es)” are different. Each has a vertical component and a horizontal component on the (x, iy) graph. Each term, such as the 1/ (2)^s_ sub1, can be thought of as a vector ( like a force having magnitude and direction ). The complete sum on the right side has to sum to negative one. So if we thought of the negative one as being an “area” on the complex plane, the area of a circle, we could now “picture” all those terms on the right “covering the circle”. After all there are an infinite number of terms on the right, correct ? ( Think Archimedes.) But the original equation wants all of the s(es) to be the same, right ? So, somehow we would have to multiple each vector on the right by some “correcting” multiple, that would make all vectors, COLLINIAR. This would graph as one single vector pointing to the center of circle ( At least that is the way I am thinking now. ) Now, we would hope, that each multiplication took some regular form. This would allow us to write a nice neat equation that made the original Riemann equation easier to work with.

    It is already known ( in the practical sense, that is, by extensive number crunching ) that the real part of “S” in the original equation is equal to ½. The question is: CAN IT BE PROVEN ! Could you use this idea, to generate a series of terms that can be converted into the other, original terms, containing an “S” as an exponent?

    Rephrasing: The thing we want to multiple by would be some kind of function that rotates each vector and makes them “line up”. It would probably contain cosines and sines for some angle. Why, you ask? Because Exponential of (Pi * (imaginary_I)) is equal to negative one, by Euler’s Equation ; e^(I*pi) = -1 and this can be written as

    ;e^(I*pi) = cos(pi) + isin(pi) = -1

    Hey ! It’s just a guess !

    I need to be rescued from all of the natives that are throwing arrows at me from all directions, as I run to the plane!

    Note: my word processor won’t let my write a small “eye”! (sp?)

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      What, no feedback? Why ?

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        1) This is way off topic.

        2) DISQUS is ill-suited to rendering mathematical expressions.

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          See Tomorrows Post. Also, I am working on some new ideas about Hailstone sequence. This conversation got me to thinking about things. Thanks.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Overpopulation? Sounds like a math problem involving exponentials !

    Lot of videos out there.

    http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AiNOmBOBGbI0wqwoOI3Kw7mbvZx4?p=population+growth%2C+videos&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-900

  • BOBinRSI

    A more interesting figure might be an effective population. Multiply the whole thing by what we use divided by what we need. I’m guessing we are already around 20 billion.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Isn’t it interesting that the liberals get concerned about the population of the earth becoming so large as to be unsustainable, but are oblivious to the fact that the same mechanics apply to the national debt! Perhaps if all of the left wing Hollywood elitists such as Barbara Streisand and “environmentalists” like Al Gore who preach about global warming while living out their fossil fuel-guzzling lifestyles would walk their talk instead of promoting a modest lifestyle “for the little people”, the human population would comsume fewer resources and have less of an impact on the planet.

    • fun bobby

      c’mon its a G4 not a G5, everyone is hurting

    • nj_v2

      Hahaha! Thinks Barbara Streisand is “left wing.”

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      F_R Would you finally define “Liberals” ? I consider myself one, but with conservative tendencies so, I don’t like the term.

      Frankly, I’d like a dialog – but don’t want to have it with people who only seem to repeat what they hear from Rush Limbaugh.

  • andrewgarrett

    Whether we like it or not we know the planet will have 10 billion people soon. We know we already use 40 percent of the land for food production, and we expect food demand to be double in about 40 years. It is absolutely flabbergasting that so many self-proclaimed environmentalists demonize science and GM crops. GM crops are not a panacea, but there is no scientific debate about their safety. Why wouldn’t we want rice that can tolerate salt water? Why wouldn’t we want to use every tool we can to increase yields and thus prevent every inch of the planet from becoming a corn or soy field?

    • fun bobby

      rice that grows in salt water sounds like exactly how every inch of the planet could become a field unless rice fields are ok and corn and soy are bad. There is plenty of debate about GM crops. The world will never have 10 billion humans. we will have war famine and disease well before that number is reached

    • nj_v2

      “andrewgarrett” proffers…

      [[ It is absolutely flabbergasting that so many self-proclaimed environmentalists demonize science and GM crops. ]…

      handily combining outright misstatement, with a conflation of “science” and technology.

      and…

      [[ but there is no scientific debate about their safety.]]

      Mr “andrewgarrett” needs to get out more.

      http://www.responsibletechnology.org/10-Reasons-to-Avoid-GMOs

      10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs

      The bigger problem with the attitude manifested in posts like this is that there will always be a magical technofix for any kind of problem generate from the result of humans living in ways that violate basic, inviolable ecological principles.

      People who don’t understand this principles will ever grope and hope for magic bullets which themselves have negative consequences and create yet more problems which beg for yet more magic technofixes.

      Round and round we go, until eventually, so much damage is done to the biosphere that it can no longer function in the way we have come to expect.

  • Yar

    Ask the wrong questions and expect answers to satisfy the premise of deserved privilege. How many people, isn’t a fair question. The answer implies some people don’t have a right to exist.
    I attended the From Rio to the Capitals conference in Louisville Kentucky in 1993 where Al Gore was a keynote speaker. In his warm up he made an off color remark, it isn’t in the proceedings, but I clearly remember him saying, ‘A billion poor Chinese is sad, but a billion wealthy Chinese that consume like Americans is a (environmental) catastrophe.’
    Shouldn’t the questions be:
    How to achieve the highest quality of life with the smallest footprint?
    How do we live in harmony with nature and each other?
    How to stop exploitation?

    • fun bobby

      who wants to live like a European?

      • Yar

        Are you saying you will fight for the right to exploit?

        • fun bobby

          its what has made and continues to make America great.

          • northeaster17

            Exploitation can make one person or a whole people powerful. It will not make them great.

          • fun bobby

            what’s great? Catherin and Alexander were great. under that measure America is one of the greatest nations in history even though our reign has been so brief.

          • nj_v2

            Thus conflating domineering, wasteful, and exploitative with great.

          • fun bobby

            America is great. it may or may not be the greatest. I have been a lot of places.where else is better than America? those three words describe any empire. while empire may be upsetting to some for emotional or philosophical issues it will always exist and its usually better if you live in the empire than not. we have gone downhill recently because we have failed to follow our principles and live our ideals

          • Pat Kittle

            The rest of the world thinks all Americans are like you.

          • fun bobby

            I am sure they know about democrats

          • Don_B1

            And now you have no problem with the few really wealthy in America exploiting those Americans that are not “rich”?

          • fun bobby

            like who? the waltons? they provide me a great store I love with low low prices. I am not mad at them. I should buy some stock.

      • LinRP

        And the last time you lived in Europe was when?

        • fun bobby

          why would I want to live somewhere like that? if you like Europe so much why do you not live there? are you a big fan of horse meat meatballs?

          • LinRP

            So, you pass judgement about something you know nothing about, or have any experience with. I rest my case.

          • fun bobby

            all right I will try the horse meatballs. they are probably delicious. I like cheap gasoline and meat and freedom and guns and not being human trafficked by gypsies. if you live in American and you have been there and you still live here then America must be better. I rest my case.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Populations push out into flood zones and water tables drop as corporate farms and the people they feed suck life from the earth with no consideration of the needs of tomorrow. Wars are fought over oil and gold, drugs and control. As the population grows, the societal pressure and dysfunction will increase disproportionately.

    We create such dystopias because we are dumber than yeast: we will breed until there is not enough food or water and we choke on our own refuse. Sadly this is what awaits humanity until people stop reproducing at just two… And then we have to solve the problem of economics which is predicated on ever increasing demand.

    The Population Bomb published in 1968 raised this very issue and here we are 45 years later taking an hour to look into this problem.

    • fun bobby

      overpopulation is a racist myth. compare the population density in any “overpopulated” African country to MA

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        And the dropping water table out west is a myth too?

        • fun bobby

          in California overpopulated? we can pump oil all over our country. we can and should do the same for water

          • Pat Kittle

            Just wave your magic wand — the resources will appear!

          • fun bobby

            its pretty much always raining some where in America

          • Pat Kittle

            A big drought here, a big flood there — it all averages out to normal.

            In your mind.

          • fun bobby

            did you read what I said? we have an electric grid and many oil pipelines. its an obvious solution to build a pipeline for water. I had not considered it would be good for floods but if you designed that in that’s a great idea. you have running water at your house right? maybe you get your water from a bucket and a well but there is no reason this could not be done

      • Pat Kittle

        The notion that over-population is a racist myth is itself a racist myth — by those who blame whites for all their problems, even self-inflicted ones.

        • fun bobby

          what are you talking about?

          • Pat Kittle

            You.

          • fun bobby

            the fact that whites cause most of my problems is unrelated to their whiteness

          • Pat Kittle

            So whites just cause “most” of your problems.

            Is ANYthing your fault?

          • fun bobby

            I cause most of my own problems but occasionally problems are caused by others and I don’t have anything to do with it. most of these people are white but I deal with more white people in general than minorities because they are the majority, especially where I live. I like your creative punctuation

          • Pat Kittle

            So what race are you?

          • fun bobby

            human, you?

          • Pat Kittle

            You blame “whites” — care to be specific about your race?

          • fun bobby

            I don’t actually believe in “race”, its a human construct. all humans are African in origin and are genetically indistinct on a mitochondrial DNA level. care to be specific about your race?

          • Pat Kittle

            You just said “…whites cause most of my problems….”

            Next you said “…I cause most of my own problems….”

            Now you pretend race doesn’t exist.

            The word “troll” comes to mind.

          • fun bobby

            I believe race exists in the minds of most humans. are you saying you are a “troll”?care to be specific about your race?

          • Pat Kittle

            I happen to be “white” — a race you repeatedly refer to in this forum when you’re not denying race exists.

            Trolls behave like that, taking contradictory positions for the childish thrill of getting adults to respond.

          • fun bobby

            nuanced and contradictory are not the same thing. trolls tend to not understand that

          • Pat Kittle

            Others can draw their own conclusions — our exchanges are cluttering up this forum.

            Goodbye.

          • fun bobby

            sounds like a case of the pat calling the kittle black

  • Ed75
    • nj_v2

      Simple-minded claptrap, strawmen, diversionary nonsense.

      Maybe Jeezus will save us.

      • J__o__h__n

        Or some new god inflicted natural disasters to reduce the population.

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        Jesus exemplified a rare class of individuals who are today known as systems thinkers.

        To my mind, there is no need to deify such individuals; rather it is important to apprehend their insights.

      • Ed75

        Yes, I’ve never looked at the site, but mentioned it just to show that not everyone agrees with the overpopulation idea.

  • Ed75

    The book ‘The population bomb’ led to the killing of more people than probably any book in history (in abortion). ‘To save humanity, many people will have to die’ (Nietzsche, I think).

    • brettearle

      Are you of the opinion that it is God’s will to provide for overpopulation?

      Or is it because of your strong pro-Life stance that you think that God would provide and sustain all human life–regardless of whether we were up to, let’s say, even 75 billion, by 2075?

      In other words, are you of the opinion that there is really no such thing as overpopulation; and that this is a myth–one that is perpetrated by non-Christians?

      Do you think that you would believe prominent scientists who were Christian (not Christian Scientists)–who could come to you and say that, in some parts of the world, because of overpopulation, that disease and death will increase substantially, as the result of overpopulation?

      Or do you believe that no such prominent scientists–who are quite troubled by overpopulation and its perils to Humans–could possibly be, at the same time, devout and knowledgeable Christians?

      • fun bobby

        which countries are overpopulated?

        • brettearle

          The same countries that the `Guest Voter’, who liked my comment, lists and itemizes.

          • fun bobby

            I don’t see that post

          • brettearle

            You have to ask.

            It’s not the kind of post that he makes public, voluntarily

          • fun bobby

            sorry I have been drinking every time jefe says the “n” word. I don’t know what you are talking about

          • brettearle

            Since my comment, there have been others who have been more than willing to make a contribution to the overpopulation position.

            They list and itemize, too. As you can see, there are 5 others.

            But you have to ask.

            ******************

            And why are Right Wingers so obsessed with finding the same verbal atrocities in the Left, that they themselves, the Right, are much more guilty of?

            Maybe Jefe will see this, and offer an opinion as to why he is being slandered by ignorance.

          • fun bobby

            i think you must have been playing the game as well. this thing could get out of hand

      • Ed75

        In Genesis God said ‘Multiply and fill the earth’. So it’s a good thing that we fill the earth, and it’s a theological principle that God always provides enough food for the people of the world, either directly or indirectly.
        Still, we have to be sensible stewards, and work with the environment. I would refer to Pope Benedict’s encyclical ‘Caritas in Veritate’, Charity in Truth.
        But we have to follow God’s moral order, we can’t do immoral things. For example, the speaker thinks there should be 2 billion people, does he suggest slaughtering the other 5 billion? We can’t use abortion, etc.
        There are two problems – if we keep growing, we will run out of resources the way things are structured. On the other hand, if we don’t have enough young people, there won’t be people to take care of the elderly and to run society. Between a rock and a hard place.
        It is a situation where no matter what we do, we will have to abandon ourselves to God’s goodness and power. He can make multiply food as he did for the crowds (Jesus), he can help us devise new ways to develop energy and food. But if we turn to immoral means, we can’t receive his help, and we will fail.

        • brettearle

          You are suggesting that some parts of the World–where there has been overpopulation, for many decades; and where overpopulation has been directly tied to increased disease and death–are following an “Immoral Order”..

          Isn’t THAT what you are suggesting?:

          that some parts of the World MUST be immoral–IF their overpopulation is causing unnecessary death and disease?

          My guess is, you WILL ignore my questions.

          And, if you don’t ignore these questions, we will see that, from your point of view, these parts of the World deserve BLAME for their own death, suffering, and disease.

          Isn’t THAT what YOU ARE GOING TO TELL US?

      • Ed75

        In Genesis, God commanded ‘Go and multiply, and fill the earth’. So it’s God’s intention that we fill the earth, and a consequence is God supplies enough food for everyone, including through human ingenuity. This will happen if we live according to God’s laws, and gain his help. (Scientists tell us that we have enough food, but wars, etc., lack of trade, lead to starvation, i.e. sin. I can’t say it’s true or false.)
        But there is an issue of too many people for current resources. Prudence can be used. At the same time, immoral means (like abortion) can never be used.
        An interesting theological question is what would have happened if we did not fall into Original Sin. In that case, we would have multiplied and filled the earth, but the problem of needing more young people yet having ‘too many people’ would have arisen.
        In that case, the fact that we had ‘filled the earth’ would, it seems to me, have been one sign that the return of the Lord was near.

  • fun bobby

    the united nations estimates are very optimistic. is there any reason to believe we can go 100 years without a pandemic and/or war? is there any reason to believe Hispanic people and middle eastern people will continue to reproduce at their current rates and not follow the trend of having less children.? if the Vatican were to approve birth control and family planning that could stop population growth right there.

  • northeaster17

    I read once that the population around 1930 was the peak number for the earth to easily provide for humanity. I’m not sure how valid the numbers were but it seems there was a whole lot more space to move around in back then.

    • fun bobby

      most of America is fairly empty if you drive across the middle

      • Don_B1

        Yes, and large tracts do not support much life, particularly of the complexity required for human life.

        Right now, the ranchers in western New Mexico are halving their cattle herds as they have recognized that the current level of rain does not allow the grasslands to recover from the grazing of larger herds. They have recognized the degradation that has occurred because of that overgrazing for the last few decades.

        As climate change further dries out that area, the number of cattle that can be supported will drop even further.

        Just as those types of land do/can not support all the life that some think, the areas that are not and at least for a while will not be water constrained, will be constrained by the effects of storm damage, which will be the erosion and contamination of land by devastating floods that reduces its agricultural value.

        • fun bobby

          1human beings inhabit all parts of the united states.
          2that anecdote is irrelevant
          3still not relevant
          4 eliminating drought and building proper flood control is a matter of political will. Katrina was so destructive because the levees were garbage and poorly maintained. climate change has always occured

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      I heard 1860.

      It is a concern because over population and its effect on the environment is a new reality – and we don’t do well with danger signs greater than 90 seconds into the future.

      Personally I’d think I’d do a lot better if I just took a damn the torpedoes view of the world and charged ahead. However, in the back of my mind I can’t get over the notion that we – humanity that is – are about to drive off the cliff. Unsustainable is just that… the edge is very close.

    • nj_v2

      Physical space isn’t the problem. All the people in the world could fit in the buildings of a couple of New Yorks, with each person having the room you’d have at a well-attended cocktail party.

      The degradation of the ecological services of the planet’s biosphere is the real issue.

  • thequietkid10

    Very interested in this topic, might I recommend “What to Expect When Nobody is Expecting” by Jonathan Last. We’re all fortunate that we are living in the most affluent county on the planet (At least for the time being) but if this is what “overpopulation” looks like, it’s probably not our greatest concern. Especially since it might all be temporary.

    • nj_v2

      Are we also “fortunate” to live in a country that, with about 6% of the world’s population uses about 40% of the world’s resource production?

      Are we fortunate that military spending in the U.S. is higher than that of the next 14 countries combined?

      Are we fortunate that the U.S. produces about 230 million tons of solid waster per year (over four pounds per person per day)?

      • thequietkid10

        You seem to be a great mood this morning

        1. Has nothing to do with the issue of over population

        2. Has nothing to do with overpopulation

        3. Is a rather useless statics without any context

        • nj_v2

          You seem to be fairly clueless this morning. No different than usual, though.

        • brettearle

          What are you talking about?

          (1) The more people we have in our country, the more we deplete resources, everywhere

          (2) The more people we have to protect–via Military spending–reflects the harrowing reality that the more dangerous the world is; and the more vulnerable we are to attack by other countries and groups….because of ideological differences and competition of resources.

          (3) So, in other words, humongous waste could not possibly be a danger to our lives?

          Or are you one of those hopeless anti-Global Warmers who believes that Big Business decreases the Ozone Layer and that Cancer is inevitable, no matter what?

        • Hopeglory

          We could use our resources that we are wasting to try to stem the population increases from the “poorer countries” to reduce their populations to more sustainable levels. As countries become more prosperous their population levels do level off, but the resources that they use increases. It’s a rather delicate balance. The planet certainly not sustain this too much longer before an outright crises threatens the “richer countries” as well.

          • fun bobby

            at first I thought you were considering expanding our current practice of killing off white people

      • fun bobby

        yes, consider the alternative.

  • nj_v2

    Mr Kramer’s paper on population totally ignores the ecological basis on which all life depends and the ecological implications of population size (resource use, ecological carrying capacity, etc.)

    This sort of scientific illiteracy from someone of such apparent influence is more than a bit disturbing.

  • creaker

    What will primarily drive this is not technologies and resources but economies and politics – when the latter 2 fall into disarray, the infrastructure’s ability to support current population levels will be greatly compromised, shifting us from “manageable” to “wildly overpopulated” within a very short period of time.

    Famine is coming.

  • nj_v2

    “Calculations show that the planet has available 1.9 hectares of biologically productive land per person to supply resources and absorb wastes—yet the average person on Earth already uses 2.3 hectares worth. These “ecological footprints” range from the 9.7 hectares claimed by the average American to the 0.47 hectares used by the average Mozambican.”

    (Worldwatch Institute)

  • HonestDebate1

    Maybe we should give up sex, it’s working in Japan.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/20/young-people-japan-stopped-having-sex

    • thequietkid10

      Japan is a weird bird. They still have a streak of good old fashion ultra nationalism, so much so that they have zero immigration. Watch Japan over the next couple of decades and you’ll get a sneak peak of the rest of this planet during the 22nd century.

    • nj_v2

      Newsflash: Sex no longer necessarily leads to procreation.

      News must be slow to travel to North Carolina.

  • thequietkid10

    Birth rates in this county have been in continual decline since it’s inception. The only major exception to that was the baby boom. Latino immigrants tend to have more children than whites, but even that population is falling towards the norm. Even outside the US, 97% of the global population is living in a nation where declining birth rates are a fact of life for good and ill.

  • nj_v2

    Current annual loss of forest: 4,179,562 hectares

    Current annual loss of land to erosion: 5.626,826 hectares

    Current annual carbon dioxide emissions: 27,603,700,000+ tons

    Toxic chemicals released into the environment annually: 7,870,053 tons

    Days left to end of oil: 14,653

    Days left to end of gas: 60,079

    Days left to end of coal: 151,249

    Net annual, world population growth: 65,634,800+

    http://www.worldometers.info/

    • HonestDebate1

      Ever since Algore said we have 10 years before the planet cooks us, Rush has had a countdown clock on his website. There are only 2 years, 97 days, 15 hours, 3 minutes and 33 seconds left.

      • nj_v2

        Another sad victim of GDS.* Please seek help.

        The anti-science ignorance may be harder to cure.

        (*Gore Derangement Syndrome)

      • northeaster17

        I think that in two years we’ll just be starting to cook. Not sure how long till we’re medium rare.

      • jefe68

        What is wrong with you?
        Why is that almost every subject presented by On Point has to be lowered to the level of a petulant adolescent?

        • harverdphd

          it belongs there

        • HonestDebate1

          It’s true, he said it. It’s now 2 years, 97 days, 0 hours, 23 minutes and 3 seconds left.

  • Hopeglory

    As a single 48 year old male living in an expensive suburb of NYC working for a local nonprofit mental health agency I can not afford to support myself, let alone a brood of children galavanting around my apartment. Am I the “poster boy” for the population decline in the “civilized west?” I have two masters degrees, make less than $40,000 per year, and can’t afford to pay my property taxes on the only piece of property that I own. (Maybe I need to find a bride who has an MBA of childbearing age making at least $100K to support AT LEAST ONE KID before I die.) To that I say GOOD LUCK NPR listeners. To that I say “Hope definitely springs eternal!!!”

    • thequietkid10

      Am I the “poster boy” for the population decline in the “civilized west?” I

      Yep, especially if you are secular and have lots of college debt, which considering your economic circumstances, you probably do.

      • Hopeglory

        “Secular?” I do believe in God, and pray every day. I am a member our our tiny church’s band, and take an active role in the affairs of my small church. And yes! I have a ton of debt. I’ll die a pauper, but (hopefully) “get to heaven” :)

    • jefe68

      You could change jobs, no?

      • jirohwein

        Of course, changing jobs (assuming there is one to change to) does not automatically mean increased income. And looking beyond “poster boy status”, given where the US median household income rests, having enough income to support a family is problematic for a lot of folks.

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    If we don’t control our population nature will – and nature is a harsh task master.

    Can anyone recall the experiment done decades ago with rats in a box that was left to populate because there was an ample supply of food? Seems the results had many aspects of our world today.

    Also, look to Ronald Wright’s “A Short History of Progress” for an eye-opener on this subject.

  • ToyYoda

    Please ask Alan what how will “nature will do it for us”.

    • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

      Famine is the number one cause of population die-off.

  • Citizen James

    Let the next Nobel Prize for economics be awarded to the scientist who figures out how to grow an economy with a declining population. Governments award citizens for bearing children because of the assumption that population growth means economic growth.

    • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

      Obviously we need to improve the quality of life, which is inversely related to the quantity of life.

  • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

    There is some tantalizing evidence that elevated anxiety levels arising from existential pressures reduce the drive to procreate.

    This phenomenon has been seen in nature, and also has been noted in Japanese culture.

    • ToyYoda

      Interesting articles!

      I have read back in the 90′s, a book on ecology which was written in the 70′s. And in that book it had predicted population decline in all developed countries due to increasing levels of quality of life.

      Permit me to badly recall here… as quality of life increases, the chances that offspring will do better than their parents decline. And since parents have an underlying wish that their kids do better than they do, quality of life decreases the birth rate.

      The authors reasoning came from studying other animals! And comparing interspecies behavior regarding ecological niches. At the time, I didn’t know what to make of it, but I thought the arguments were sound. Now, I see decline in lots of developed nations. So, I think they were correct. Now I need to dig up that book.

      What I see now, is the concrete manifestations of their predictions; from student debt tying down future parents, and now these articles you have pointed out.

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        A century ago, it was common to have large families. Partly, that was due to the fact that many children died before reaching adulthood.

        Once our health system improved to the point that survival was no longer such a dicey proposition, priorities shifted to quality of life, ensuring that one’s offspring could obtain a good education so as to live a good and producive life.

  • Markus6

    I’d like to know what we’re going to slam into and when. Rising sea levels, food shortages (where), unemployment (where and when), etc. One off anecdotes are fine, but don’t give the big picture.

  • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    The “Go forth and multiply” bunch are going to upset about this stuff. They don’t seem to understand reality.

    • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

      Eventually, the multiplier has to settle on a stable value near unity.

      • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

        Barry you’re applying logic to the problem and that bunch absolutely does not believe in logic, just faith that someone on high will solve all their problems.

        • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

          The ancient people of the Middle East didn’t listen to their own prophets, either.

        • harverdphd

          …as above

    • harverdphd

      If you weren’t so ignorant, I’d be angry with you….

  • d_w_f

    Even if the earth could support ten times the current human population, what would the environment look like? Would it be worthwhile for a human being to exist in such an environment?

    The two-beaners think things are fine as long as the earth can support soy beans and human “beans”. I don’t think so.

  • AC

    this is rihgt up my alley! what’d i miss?

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      The opportunity to solve tough problems.

  • psinotte

    Here (below) is one of the biggest negative consequences of human overpopulation. It’s not just about us, folks!

    UN Environment Programme: 200 Species Extinct Every Day, Unlike Anything Since Dinosaurs Disappeared 65 Million Years Ago. (Huffington Post 2010)

    • fun bobby

      in evolution its every species for themselves

  • thequietkid10

    What Allan keeps missing is the role of children in various societies. In a third world society a 12 year old is an economic asset. In a developed country, a 22 year old is often an economic liability.

    • Pat Kittle

      Breeding children as indentured servants is a lousy excuse for over-breeding.

      • fun bobby

        in agrarian society’s children earn their keep. this is true in rural America as well. its children’s natural role to work. many children in America are horribly spoiled from lack of work, not many of them live on farms.

  • Lucy

    While serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Panama, many women in the village approached me to talk about family planning. They had heard about birth control pills and injections and were interested in exploring their options as birthing children was painful and dangerous. Several women died due to complications in childbirth in my 2 years there. Their husbands were also interested because they were hard pressed to provide for large families of 6 or more children. I think there is truth in the idea that educating and empowering women on their options, not only economically but more importantly on their own bodies, women would choose to have smaller families.

  • John_in_VT

    There are few global problems from rising CO2 levels to the collapse of
    fisheries that don’t have as a root cause human overpopulation. We
    think we’ve outsmarted nature by conquering diseases, lowering infant
    mortality, raising life expectancy, etc. – we may have outsmarted
    ourselves.

    • tbphkm33

      That is what I think. Too often we implement things, only later to realize the negative effects.

      • HonestDebate1

        MTBE

  • Markus6

    Couldn’t you have found one real scientist to discuss this? These cutesy anecdotes are pretty useless.

  • MKGS

    Alan, interesting shift away from population buildup among settlers.

  • i_is_j_smith

    The current U.S. population is roughly 317million. The current U.S. unemployment rate is 7.3 percent. Can either of these guests explain why, if we suddenly reduced the population by 23,000,000 or so, we wouldn’t have zero unemployment and many fewer issues (poverty, poor nutrition, homelessness, etc) than we do now?

    • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

      Compare two extremes:

      1) Reduce the population in such a way that the least educated 200,000 no longer resided in America;

      2) Reduce the population in such a way that the best educated 200,000 no longer resided in America.

      • fun bobby

        then we ought to raise taxes on the 1% right? ;)

        • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

          We need to raise the STEM education on the 99% and the education in ethics on the 1%.

          • fun bobby

            perhaps everyone needs a good lesson on civics

    • thequietkid10

      I suppose it could work, but you would have to focus on basically “removing” retired people and the very young, otherwise your going to create a whole bunch of problems.

      • fun bobby

        those people are not “unemployed”

    • fun bobby

      because 7.3% of 317 million is 23million and not 233000?
      that would only work if we killed off all the unemployed

  • M S

    Ha, ha…my wife is from India…she’s always complaining about never being able to be alone ;)

  • Tom

    Education, education, education.
    Education is the key. Encourage education of women world-wide, not through forcing governments, but through all other methods. Educating women, and eventually aiming to have countries outlaw barring women from education, is the goal. With this alone, all other positive aspects will fall into place.
    – Tom in Vermont.

  • Tom Reardon

    The modern interventions through vaccinations into natural patterns of limiting populations via disease must be recognized and discussed. What we assume as an unmitigated good may have consequences beyond our scientific control.

  • tbphkm33

    I have great faith in that human populations will be curtailed in one of two methods: a) caused by ourselves in the impending resource struggles, or b) caused by nature in the form of a pathogen.

    History shows that societies tend to crumble when they outgrow their resource base – water scarcity alone will place great stresses on our civilizations. In the natural world, species that grow out of control tend to be constrained by things like bacteria and germs. Both scenarios resulting in a culling of the population.

  • Yar

    Any country that turns food into fuel has no right to talk about over population.

    • Pat Kittle

      Any country that destroys its remaining wilderness has no right to continue over-breeding.

  • ToyYoda

    Hey! Stop singling out the wall flowers. :) I’m 41, a straight guy, I haven’t had sex in a couple of decades.

    I’m not interested in dating, marriage, or sex. I live in America, and I have a Japanese call handle. Yet I’m not Japanese. :) Hehehehe…..

    In my case, I just find the whole enterprise to be a big chore. And I don’t see any rational reason to date, get married, and/or having kids. I’m educated and I make over $150k. Yet, I believe that I would still have the same attitude even if I were uneducated and poor, because I’ve had this outlook since I was very young.

    • tbphkm33

      You are a member of the often unknown “asexual” group. Rational individuals who chose a lifestyle without sex. There is not a lot written up or studied about this group, but it is a larger group than one might expect. As in earlier decades, many homosexuals entered into heterosexual marriages because it was socially acceptable; the asexual group often did the same. More recently it has slowly gotten more socially acceptable to be asexual. Yet, it is a choice that few people know about.

      • ToyYoda

        Yeah, I read about this. In fact, I coined the word joking with my friends long before it had a scientific label.

        When I was a kid, I use to read books on da Vinci and other Renaissance artists. I was struck by the quote that most thought dating was beneath them, and that they were too preoccupied with “higher” things to bother. I wanted to pattern myself after them, and so I devoted myself to math, music and the visual arts. I never really looked back. Most of my heroes (Renaissance artists and mathematicians) never had any kids.

        Asexual, I don’t know about that. I think it’s doubtful. The difference between me and “most guys”, is two things. One, I can see the end of a relationship and I don’t wish to hurt any girl. Two, I can channel my compulsions to “higher” things. The two are symbiotic.

        Guys get to my state, but usually in an advanced age. and it’s often accompanied by bitterness, regret, and child support.

        • fun bobby

          all of the loonies that go on these shooting sprees have in common that they are not getting laid.

      • fun bobby

        nerds?

    • fun bobby

      I thought you were looking for a date at first

  • http://twitter.com/_sequoia Sequoia M.

    Re: “Only You Can Stop Population Pollution.” Question for bumpersticker maker: what gives you more of a right to exist than someone else? If you want to reduce the population, what exempts you?

    This sounds provocative but I don’t think it’s any more provocative than referring to people as “pollution.” Sounds extremely eugenicsy– who exactly is “polluting” the worlds population?

    • Sy2502

      Absolutely! Every time I hear somebody complaining about overpopulation, I feel like telling them to jump off a bridge and start contributing to the solution.

      • Pat Kittle

        You fail to even comprehend the distinction between birth control and death control.

        • Sy2502

          No, it’s called “putting your money where your mouth is”. And most people are too hypocritical to do so.

          • Pat Kittle

            Promoting birth control is not the same as you promoting death control.

            Death control (war, famine, disease, jumping off bridges, etc.) is the inevitable way over-population gets controlled if birth control is not practiced.

            Tricky concept, huh?

    • Pointpanic

      it’s not about ethnic groups it’s about us as species homosapien. Given our record on this planet people ARE pollution.

      • http://twitter.com/_sequoia Sequoia M.

        “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Capisce?

        • Pat Kittle

          You like PC bumper stickers?

          Here’s one for you:
          “Think globally, act locally!”
          Capisce?

          Now apply that to over-population.

          Hint — without highly UNSUSTAINABLE immigration levels our US population would be decreasing toward a sustainable size.

          • http://twitter.com/_sequoia Sequoia M.

            How does migration change total global population, the issue at hand here? Nevermind…

        • Pointpanic

          I try . but one person alone can’t change anything.

    • fun bobby

      I did see a bumper sticker that said “save the planet, kill yourself”

    • Pointpanic

      Ihappens on many levels . the cigarettes , balloons and other dangerous plastic trash ewe toss on the beach. The water pollution from industrial chemicals, air pollution from nuclear and coal plants. i could write a book about it.

  • donny_t

    Overpopulation
    is a myth, in my opinion. Just a lack of direction. Imagine what 7
    billion people could do if we all stopped warring or stopped trying to
    control one another. What if we all started honestly caring for each
    other and worked together. The problem lies not in our lack of natural
    resources or living space but in its manipulation by those driven by
    power and greed.
    How much food is wasted in restaurants and supermarkets that could be feeding the poor? How many poor third world countries could be working to turn their deserts into fields?
    Yes we might reach a point where we’re standing toe to toe over every square inch of the earth, but in my scenario, the prosperity could potentially lead us to other worlds. Like I said: just a lack of direction.

    • J__o__h__n

      If we can’t get along now, what makes you think more of us will get along any better?

      • donny_t

        I’m saying the potential for world peace and prosperity is there, which would eliminate the so called, “overpopulation” dilemma (because let’s face it, we’re all scared of overpopulation because it will deteriorate quality of life, and prosperity cancels this out – in other words, “we probably won’t be concerned about overpopulation if we were all living comfortably) However the truth is, yes you’re both right – that, realistically, this will never happen and mankind is doomed.

      • donny_t

        That’s just it. Humanity has the potential to unite, but realistically we will probably have a third world war and wipe each other out.

    • jefe68

      Have read any world history?

    • Pat Kittle

      Where will 100,000,000 other species thrive in your little scenario?

      As for exporting our multiplying billions to “other worlds” — it takes ~$500,000,000 to put 7 humans in low-Earth orbit for a couple weeks, never mind sending them permanently into a fantasized permanent habitat far far beyond that.

      And even if you could, that would take care of 3 seconds of human population growth.

      Think!!

    • Pointpanic

      iT’s not a myth given our record of plunder and pollution on this planet. look how many other species we’ve pushed to the brink of extinction. And it’s overly idealistic to think that 7 billion people are going to ‘unite” behind anything.

      • donny_t

        Honestly, I agree. Humanity is doomed so we will need to fret over overpopulation, and how to feed the poor, give shelter to the homeless, give work to the jobless, because man can’t get over it’s innate greed and hegemony.

        • Pointpanic

          summed up well, donny. hank you.

    • fun bobby

      and what will be gained by creating every larger populations of humans?

      • donny_t

        Everything. What if we had 7 billion Albert Einsteins? It’s not a question of population, but of quality of life. Can we sustain a good quality of life as the population increases? If we focus as worldwide people we probably could. We could’ve explored the cosmos years ago and populated other worlds. So it’s not a matter of overpopulation, it’s a matter of mankind’s immaturity.

        • fun bobby

          7 billion Einsteins seem unlikely. maybe they can sequence his dna but the answer may not be found there. the singularity would happen well before that happened. sure when we have some other worlds handy we can send people there

  • MW

    I would really liked to have heard a discussion on how we are planning to balance the population, economy, and or finite supply of resources. I realize that my generation might not experience this as a pressing issue here in the States, but for my grandchildren it would seem that overpopulation would be the emerging problem, especially when you factor in issues such as limited farmland and a changing climate.

    • thequietkid10

      Your grandchildren could be living in a world with a declining population (probably towards he end of their lives but none the less)

    • Sy2502

      This may sound like an odd question but… if you were concerned about overpopulation, why did you have children?

      • MW

        Ha, well its one thing to have one or two children, its another to have four or more. Basic arithmetic can demonstrate how the two are distinctly different. I did because I actually planned for it and budgeted for it. In some ways it’s a bit selfish of me but I think that I have a lot of love to give and that I can raise well rounded children who will operate liberally and be tolerant of others, something our world *can never have enough of* ha ha. I was also speaking on a global level. I do believe that at some point it will all come to a head but there are so many facets to the discussion it is impossible to cover them all in a short discussion. I don’t understand the purposes of attacking me.. I merely commented on what I would have liked to hear Tom discuss. It was just thought I wanted to share and hear discussed by educated scholars. I wasn’t getting on a soap box like some people.

        • Sy2502

          I wasn’t attacking you, I was curious. It boggles my mind when people with kids talk of overpopulation. It’s like they are saying “It was ok for me to have kids, but everybody else shouldn’t have them”. Really? Don’t you think everybody else has exactly the same feelings and excuses as you have? And what makes yours more valid than theirs? That’s all, I wasn’t attacking, just commenting on a glaring inconsistency.

      • fun bobby

        good question

  • myblusky

    I have great concerns about the rising population and the extinction of animal and plant species as we move into their territory.

    On the other hand, I wonder if populations will continue to rise as other countries become more educated and birth control becomes more readily available. We have seen a decline in the number of children born in progressive countries where women have choices, education and the ability to support themselves.

    Can anyone accurately predict the future population given that countries like India and China are becoming industrialized? Will they also see a decline in their numbers?

    • tbphkm33

      It is somewhat of a myth that China and India are becoming industrialized. Both countries face crippling water shortages that need to be overcome. Furthermore, both countries have a high percentage of their populations still living in abject poverty.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Close proximity of urban dwellers and frequent air travel will likely facilitate a pandemic. It looked like we had a close call with SARS back in ’03 and then H1N1 back in ’09. We can not evolve faster than viruses.

  • rich4321

    This population growth is unsustainable. People breed as if they are cockroaches. How much more can this planet take?

    • warryer

      Be the example; don’t have children.

      • rich4321

        That’s why I never intend to have one.

        • warryer

          Intentions aren’t good enough. I don’t believe you yet. Go the full mile. Sterilize yourself else-wise you have no platform to speak from.

          • rich4321

            Please do take the lead. Set a good example. I will follow you

      • Pat Kittle

        Statistics prove that if your parents didn’t have children the odds are you won’t either.

    • myblusky

      Yes people do because that is what nature intends species to do for their survival. Making statements like this doesn’t help. Educating women, having an economy with jobs and making birth control available cuts down on the population greatly – as well as preventative medications like vaccines to ensure the kids remain healthy. Women often don’t have choices in many undeveloped countries with huge population growth. You and I cannot imagine what it is like for people who live in countries where there is no choice over what happens to their bodies. Many of these women don’t want to be having this many children and if they had the choice, they wouldn’t.

      Support global education if you want to see change.

      I am so fortunate to live in a place where I had the choice to remain child free – which I decided to do long ago. If I ever have a kid it will be through adoption. I’m a very lucky and rare human to have that choice.

      • Pat Kittle

        How about “educating” people to realize that responsible breeding is not only highly ethical, but it’s in their own selfish interest?

        BTW, you tell us “Women often don’t have choices in many undeveloped countries with huge population growth.”

        But you don’t tell us why that is — the politically incorrect fact of the matter is their men tend to be patriarchal jerks. That’s one big reason.

        • myblusky

          Well Pat you might want to put a little social elixir on that statement because you only do yourself a disservice with an off putting attitude. Nobody is interested in listening to someone pigeon hole an entire group as jerks because that simply isn’t true.

          Yes men rule the roost in many of those countries. Which is why I’m pro education – for all men and women. Women used to be in the same boat in this country as well – limited job choices and little education. Education helps everyone in the end – including men. Men in these countries also have to marry even when they don’t want to and have children when they don’t want to because it is expected of them so all parties are enslaved to outdated practices. Education and progression helps everyone.

          • Pat Kittle

            You imply I am anti-education when in fact I merely suggest a highly relevant topic for education.

            You actually agree with me (“Yes men rule the roost in many of those countries.”). What you scold me for is failing to use your delicate phrasing.

            So sorry, but “patriarchal jerks” is not too harsh a description for women being cruelly punished for not wearing burqas, or young girls being routinely raped as a cure for men’s AIDS.

            You fastidiously (but condescendingly) pretend the men in these cultures are mere victims, “enslaved to outdated practices,” as though they somehow aren’t responsible for their own customs & behavior.

            For once try not being so sanctimoniously PC.

          • myblusky

            If I could use language to describe my feelings for you, I assure you, it would be less than PC, but this forum isn’t the place for that.

            Yes there are horrible men who are degenerates skipped by evolution. There are plenty of those men in this country as well and we are lucky to have laws that protect us from them and punish them when they do act out. I’ve seen some women do some pretty terrible things too – that’s humans for ya!

            That doesn’t change the fact that I still believe that a lot of men don’t want to do the things they are forced to do. I have watched, with my own eyes, men who are bullied by other macho men when they don’t conform. A man at my high school killed himself after being mercilessly bullied.

            Anyway – I stand by my statement that nobody wants to listen to someone spewing out a bunch of hatred like you do. I frankly don’t care if you want to alienate people.

    • fun bobby

      its done fine with cockroaches reproducing in that manner for a while

  • rich4321

    Another Ice Age is in order!

  • John_in_Amherst

    Unbridled fecundity is destroying the planetary ecosystem, and setting the stage for catastrophe. As a specie, we are already living beyond our means. See “Harvesting the Biosphere” by Vaclav Smil.

    Antibiotic resistance and/or mutated viruses, and famines on the heels of climate disruption due to global warming will do for us what we have been unable or unwilling to do for ourselves – limit/reduce our numbers. The questions are when, and with how much misery?

    In 1798, Thomas Malthus published An Essay on the Principle of Population, in which he wrote:

    The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to
    produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or
    other visit the human race. The vices of mankind are active and able
    ministers of depopulation. They are the precursors in the great army of
    destruction, and often finish the dreadful work themselves. But should
    they fail in this war of extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics,
    pestilence, and plague advance in terrific array, and sweep off their
    thousands and tens of thousands. Should success be still incomplete,
    gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear, and with one mighty blow
    levels the population with the food of the world.

    • fun bobby

      so I guess this is not a new concept. I don’t understand why the un doesn’t understand that

  • Sy2502

    “How many humans should live on this planet?”
    Oh and who gets to make this decision?

    • Pat Kittle

      So far over-breeders are making that decision — and forcing the rest of us to reward them for it.

      • Sy2502

        So you think you are qualified to decide who should be on this world and who shouldn’t?

        • Pat Kittle

          How about if YOU pay for all the children over-breeders crank out but can’t/won’t support?

  • Duras

    I think the FDR Republic proved Malthus wrong. The baby-boomer generation who live(d) middle class lives did not reproduce.

    The poor reproduce the most. Why? Perhaps, other people find their jobs fulfilling and creative. The poor, however, hang their hate on their children. So, middle and upper class people identify their legacies by their work. The poor identify their legacy in their children and grandchildren.

    A society that treats poverty as an injustice, that promotes middle class lives, and that promotes education will lower birth rates.

    I don’t think anybody wants the world to be over-populated, so let’s stop labor exploitation and demand middle class lives for the most unskilled of workers. I’m a dreamer, man. But I’m not the only one.

    • tbphkm33

      A little discourteous, but you are right that lower socio economic groups tend to have more children. Although the sociological reasonings behind that phenomenon are much more complex than the singular argument you attribute it to.

      • Duras

        I tried to suggest that I think it is more complex.

    • fun bobby

      sounds like you hang your hates on children

  • lobstahbisque

    We have more people than souls to stuff into them…

    • tbphkm33

      That’s not a problem in the United States… the Nopublican’s never had a soul and the Tea Baggers that were born with a soul, have long since sold that out.

      • lobstahbisque

        Bring on the Rupture, I mean rapture!

  • Pat Kittle

    Non-human species are fading to black 1,000 times faster than before humans numbered in the billions.

    Until the Holocene (anthropogenic) mass extinction returns to the background level we are over-populated:
    — [ http://www.rewilding.org/thesixthgreatextinction.htm‎ ]

    Not until!

    • tbphkm33

      The wonderful thing is that the Earth has gone through mass extinctions before and will survive for life to emerge once again… just that we humans will not be around to enjoy this planet.

      • fun bobby

        humans will prove to be just as enduring as rats or crocodiles

        • Pointpanic

          maybe but we’ll destroy everything else to “endure”

          • fun bobby

            we cannot survive independent of many other species

        • tbphkm33

          Nopublican’s might we as enduring as rats, but they have proven themselves incapable of creating a civilized society :)

          • fun bobby

            meh. do you sell “nopublican” t shirts or something?

  • Pat Kittle

    Demographic warfare is an age-old tradition, which is not surprising given that it’s biologically hard-wired.

    Excuses can be made for everyone indulging in it — except, of course, those evil white people.

    • Dan West

      An excellent point Pat. Forgive me if I was singling out only white conservatives, that was just the example I am most familiar with. I don’t know if anyone could have a legitimate excuse to wage that kind of warfare though

  • Pat Kittle

    If you think rapidly multiplying billions of over-breeders are ever going to rise out of poverty BEFORE they stop over-breeding, even as global ecological collapse accelerates, you are seriously mistaken.

    EVERYONE has to do what they can.

  • Jon

    Let people decide themselves how many children they want? What a geek!

    • Pat Kittle

      To hell with ecological ethics! And the future!

      • fun bobby

        if you did a good job educating people about “ecological ethics” then would they not choose to reproduce less? in most developed countries they already are.

        • Jon

          educating – you kidding right? what about “life is gift from god”?

          • fun bobby

            life is a gift from god. what are you talking about? education levels and reproduction levels are inversely related

          • Jon

            disagreed, correlation is not causality. I bet you seen rich well educated big families. “life is god’s gift” is just one of those noble excuses to have more children if I’m not mistaken. Govt regulation is the only effective way to control population. There is no such fact as human rights.

          • fun bobby

            I see far more poor large families and there are not that many “rich” relative to poor people. statistically the more educated a female is the less children she will have. there are many examples of population decreases with no “govt regulation”. there is no such fact as human rights? in general? we have the natural rights as all humans are granted by god even if in some places they are not recognized by the authorities

          • Jon

            I’m only interested in facts. Religion and politics are inseparable after all?

          • fun bobby

            who said anything about religion? with God all things are possible

          • Jon

            sure, with god you winning all the way to heaven and it’s not religion that makes you exceptional.

          • fun bobby

            is that coherent?

          • Jon

            sure it is based on your ‘logical belief’ – give me your version if not?

          • fun bobby

            your previous statement was incoherent. if you rephrase it better I will give it a shot

          • Jon

            here is a syllogism just made up for you -

            human rights are granted by god
            I’m human therefore
            I have rights – e.g., to reproduce as many children as I wish

            does this sound similar to yours?

          • fun bobby

            that’s great, it’s very coherent. that is one way of looking at it. there is also a humanist way of looking at human rights. either way, consider the alternative. how do you decide who should have how many children? how does that get enforced? the best way to reduce population growth is to educate females and raise their income.

          • Jon

            here is the problem – it’s not coherent, neither in the deitist nor humanist way, both are theory, religion, and hypothesis. You simply cannot use hypothesis as a premise in logic.

            you don’t have made-up rights to reproduce at will. does god tell you this planet is resource limited (or it’ll reset after doomsday)? your having more kids means you taking the equal opportunity of using resource away from other kids and future kids.

            when you insist on human rights, have you forgot the concept of sharing learned at kindergarten? as to who and how to control population, there are many smart scholars out there. I am here to refute human rights this religion. rights, freedom or liberty is simply animal desire should be abolished.

          • fun bobby

            I was not composing a syllogism.
            if your point is that rights are something that only exist in our minds then that’s fine. they are clearly an idea and not an place or thing. They are codified in law in many ways and on many levels.
            I don’t really discuss the planet with God much. If you want we can pray for whatever aspect of the planet you are concerned about.
            evolution tells me that I should have as many children as I can raise to adulthood. it also tells me that if I can prevent others from reproducing by denying them resources that is to my advantage. I don’t know that I have a current desire to do that. overpopulation occurs and is a part of ecology. there will never be ten billion humans on earth. there are many natural mechanisms to prevent that from occurring.
            kindergarten eh? you seem to be a big fan of the German way of thinking. humans are animals and you can try all you want but there is no way to “abolish” that reality.

          • Jon

            if law is codified under a hypothesis then it’s an immoral law. evolution does encourage all of us (not just you and me) to reproduce more because of our selfish gene. However, evolution is not the major force any longer to survive the human race since we figured out how to grow crop domesticate animals plus medicine and technology. how about being good at spending our future generation’s money in order to live better now? does that hypothesis have anything to do with our behavior? when they play JFK’s responsibility speech (not just do for this country how about this planet), it’s only for rhetoric show, because you’re right humans are selfish animals. Modern civilization means we learn how to tame ourselves.

            define “the German way of thinking”?.

          • fun bobby

            evolution will always be in effect. if the human race is stable long enough we will witness the beginning of autonomous electro-mechanical evolution. perhaps carbon based life forms are nearing the end of their reign on earth

          • Jon

            thinking biblically aren’t we? apocalyptic with a scientific and hollywood twist.

          • fun bobby

            that makes almost as much sense as you arguing that rights do not exist yet morals do. where is mechanical evolution discussed in scripture? you seem pretty obsessed with the bible

          • Jon

            obsessed it’s more like mind controlled, like morality comes from the bible. my morality comes from nature.

          • fun bobby

            that’s funny

          • Jon

            it takes thousands of years for a civilization to realize it’s not.

    • Pointpanic

      no we can’t allow that. irresponsible people who aren’t thinking beyond their own egos can prove a blight on the planet.

      • Jon

        so what you do? it’s against UNIVERSAL human rights like taking the gun rights and gay rights away.

      • fun bobby

        but what about all the liberals that already exist?

        • Pointpanic

          it’s about people not mere liberals or conservatives.

          • fun bobby

            I thought you were talking about al gore

          • Jon

            both sides think the other side stupid. the fact must be they both are.

          • victor3577

            I’ll definitely agree that “they both are” [stupid] on THIS topic.

            Liberals want to avoid the looking racist by talking frankly about when and where overpopulation is happening currently. Or perhaps they simply don’t want to engage in a narrative where they can’t blame everything on the West.

            Conservatives on the other hand object to no-brainers like making contraception and planned parenthood broadly available.

            It’s been a perfect storm.

    • HonestDebate1

      I’m all for it unless taxpayers are footing the bill.

      • Jon

        Americans don’t have to – they’re talking about EU, Japan, Russia and developing countries. Shrinking population is an indication of decline of its civilization. However increase of population doesn’t lead to a rise of civilization. The steady increase of the US population is attributed to immigration which will see plateau followed by decrease eventually. Population growth in poor nations has to be controlled by their govt whatever it takes – or the human race becomes locust to squander the whole planet. To be a true model to the world, Americans must learn from EU and reduce their king-sized appetite for resources.

  • Pat Kittle

    Sustainable birthrates are not “genocide” — unless you have an overwhelming need to blame those awful white people for all your problems.

  • Jon

    Poor nations grow and rich decline – it’s nature’s law and the law of rise and fall of civilizations. These geeky scholars live talking in the stratosphere.

    • Pointpanic

      not laws of nature but social forces.

      • Jon

        No life no civilization lasts forever. human is part of nature therefore cannot escape from nature’s law. social force is the force against evolution and to deviate away from nature and it only worsens the fate of human race – this is backed by the facts of human history (e.g., war, vaccination, nitrogen fixation, gene technology). a better and peaceful way is try to understand the nature’s law (without manipulating it after) and don’t prolong individual human lives that is in fact to shorten the life of the human species.

  • Pat Kittle

    Never before has one species had such a catastrophic effect on the rest of life, which we’re taking down with us.

    That’s why.

  • WilHenD

    Has anyone mentioned Dan Brown’s “Inferno” yet?

  • Pat Kittle

    Can we leave ANYthing for non-humans?

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Good point !

  • rich4321

    What did the West say about the one child policy in China?

    • Pat Kittle

      Without China’s one-child policy there would be hundreds of millions more desperate Chinese today.

      Wouldn’t that be wonderful for China & the West!

      • fun bobby

        that would bring down the price of ipads

  • Pointpanic

    Given our record of plunder and pollution I feel there should be a ten year moratotium on all human birth save for rainforest and other indigenous cultures endangered by western encraochment.

    • Pat Kittle

      In other words, over-breeders could keep over-breeding.

      • Pointpanic

        they aren’t teh ones overbreeding ,we are.

        • fun bobby

          “we” who?

          • Pointpanic

            we the humans in the developed world that consume most of the world’s resources.

          • fun bobby

            no one is actually overbreeding but I agree that Americans use a fantastic amount of resources

          • tbphkm33

            “What you mean ‘we,’ white man?,”

          • fun bobby

            did you read the preceding post?

          • Pat Kittle

            Kemo no get it.

  • fun bobby

    in many countries the population is declining.

  • fun bobby

    we have plenty of oil to completely cook the planet but it will take more than a few decades

  • victor3577

    Remarkably wrong ideas seem to come out of the woodwork when this topic is discussed.

    One enormously common meme, as articulated fervently by Sy2502 in this thread, is the idea that world-wide population dynamics are some kind of zero-sum game, where people in first world countries (who are already having the least children) should stop having children. This is an attempt to naively apply arithmetic to a much more complicated problem. Steven Kramer’s idea, in this podcast, of seeking balance is a better rule of thumb.

    The problem with the “self elimination” (by first-worlders) approach to overpopulation is, first of all, it’s insufficient. If all the places with sub-replacement rates reduce further, how does this stop the explosion going on elsewhere? It’s true that the resource footprint of someone in Japan or Europe is higher than an individual in a developing country, yet this doesn’t change the fact that shrinking Japan further does NOTHING to bend the curve where today’s “population bombs” are exploding.

    Further, it’s quite likely that developed contries with imploding, unsustainable populations will have their populations largely replaced by demographically expanding ones through migration. And then the long term growth rates will be positive again! This may yet happen in Europe, for example – especially, if religious doctrines keep some populations’ birth rates consistently high (resisting the Demograph Transition).

    Exponential growth being what it is, it takes surprisingly few generations for exploding sub-populations to become dominant over stagnant or shrinking former majorities.

    To devotees of the self-elimination approach, then, you must still figure out how to pass on your approach to those who will replace your culture in your geographic locale. And there we are, back at the problem of spreading contraception and education, while fighting religious fundamentalism.

    So, please, Sy2502, think this through!

    Oh, but to be fair to you, there are plenty of other bad ideas on display here. Let’s take a look. We’ve got Pointpanic with silly anti-human pronouncements. (Really?) We’ve got Jon with broad, over-generalizing statements about Nature and Civilization, which can’t possibly based on data, but rather on… intuitive plausibility?

    Ok, yes, it’s the internet, what can one expect? Still, I think this topic is especially troubled. Perhaps because its not discussed that much in public discourse?

    • Bluejay2fly

      I have a different take and believe that the world population even in nations such a our own is grossly overpopulated. We have tens of millions of unemployed people and a bad habit of building new homes on forested land while millions of acres of idle homes go unused. If the US lost 100 million people it would probably be the best thing both environmentally and socially. I would start with all the people who believe that we can do anything we want with the planet because an invisible man in the sky (GOD) can blink his eyes and “fix it” for us when it is utterly destroyed.

      • fun bobby

        keep getting your flu shot

  • GuestAug27

    From the point of view of the global elites (the 1%), increasing
    population is considered a good thing. Five billion working age people competing over scarce jobs keeps the wages down. The lucky wage slaves who do have jobs are willing to work so hard
    that the only way they can achieve “happiness” is by consuming useless crap marketed and sold to them by the elites. This is called “economic growth”.

    • fun bobby

      you don’t sound that happy, perhaps your pile of consumer goods is not large enough. all my consumer goods are quite useful

      • GuestAug27

        Yeah … I have a major case of gadget envy. Your pile is bigger than mine.

        • fun bobby

          if you work hard you too can have a 4 year old dell and 6 year old cell phone. its up to you whether you place importance or link your happiness to material goods. don’t blame others if you are unhappy

  • GuestAug27

    I’d like to congratulate the Communist Party of China on the
    wisdom and foresight that allowed them to realize the dangers of uncontrolled population growth and for having the guts to actually do something about it, more than thirty years ago!

    • myblusky

      Are you referring to the one child per family law – the one that resulted in girls being abandoned, left in orphanages or killed in favor of having a boy? Seems like that law didn’t work out so well.

      • GuestAug27

        Yes, I am. The one-child policy has worked quite well, prevent quarter billion births in China.

        Sex-selection abortions are practiced in many other countries besides China (India comes to mind) that don’t have one-child policies. That’s a cultural phenomenon that self-corrects once the males realize there are not enough brides for them.

    • fun bobby

      move there

      • GuestAug27

        @fun bobby, no need to move. In ten years, the Chinese will own this place and, based on the track record of the past thirty years, will do a much better job running it than our own banksters and oligarchs.

        It would do you good though to start learning Chinese.

        • fun bobby

          it would be funny if the Chinese ever met merica

  • Stochast

    It’s really strange hearing Tom continue to say “females” when both guests are talking about women.

  • GuestAug27

    Open your eyes

  • Ed75

    There are two problems – if we keep growing, we will run out of resources the way things are structured. On the other hand, if we don’t have enough young people, there won’t be people to take care of the elderly and to run society. Between a rock and a hard place.

    It is a situation where no matter what we do, we will have to abandon ourselves to God’s goodness and power. He can make multiply food as he did for the crowds (Jesus), he can help us devise new ways to develop energy and food. But if we turn to immoral means, we can’t receive his help, and we will fail.

  • Jon

    no, I’m part of this democratic and capitalist force destroying the planet.

  • fun bobby

    roombas for oldsters

  • ExcellentNews

    The real population problem is the fact that those who possess the mental qualities of good human beings are NOT breeding, while those who do NOT possess them are breeding. Hence, a nightmare world of tribal warfare, hunger, disease, religious fundamentalism, misery, and overall idiocy.

  • fun bobby

    he was not the first to come to that conclusion. what’s your point?

  • Regular_Listener

    Thanks for another very important broadcast. I have felt for some time that our growing population, particularly among the poor, is rapidly becoming the biggest problem facing the human race. We will need to take action on this, and the longer we wait, the more painful it will be.

    I am disappointed that both major parties and all the leading politicians in the US have, so far at least, refused to touch this subject. I tip my hat to both the guests for their contributions to the discussion, and I hope that they and some of the others that were mentioned (James Howard Kunstler comes to mind as well) can help to raise awareness of this issue. The major media in American have likewise stayed away from this, and the few pieces on the issue that I have seen have been hostile to any form of population planning.

    I like the idea of increasing tax rates on people who have more than 2-3 children, It also would make sense to not provide increased entitlements for those who are already “on the dole” and who choose to bring more children into the world.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine. A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary. And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

 
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine. A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary. And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

More »
Comment
 
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

More »
Comment