The last tree in an overpopulated world

Terry Spahr: Talking About Overpopulation Isn’t Sexy, But We Have to Do It

For 7.8 billion people to live sustainably on the planet, everyone would have to be a vegetarian; never drive a car or fly in an airplane; live in a one-room apartment with minimal electricity and no heat, hot water, washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher; and have only a few sets of clothes and pairs of shoes. Sounds crazy, right? But what’s even crazier is that nobody, including environmentalists, really wants to talk about our growing population and consumption. With 7.8 billion people on the planet and a few billion more (between 9.4 and 12.7 billion people in 2100 based on UN estimates) to come, it is time we look at the elephant in the room.

Together with Terry Spahr, the environmentalist and filmmaker behind “8 Billion Angels,” we talk about:

  • how population growth impacts our lives, health, and the planet
  • why so few people talk about overpopulation and why some even deny it
  • why having a smaller family is the most impactful thing anyone can do
  • why providing access to education and family-planning methods helps both people and nature
  • which countries are successfully slowing their population growth
  • why reducing consumption is almost impossible
  • why educating people about population is part of the solution

You can listen to the podcast on all major platforms, including Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or Stitcher.

Planet Earth is crowded by people


4 thoughts on “Terry Spahr: Talking About Overpopulation Isn’t Sexy, But We Have to Do It”

  1. Joan Agnes Philips

    Yes you can reduce consumption without shifting it somewhere else.
    Since my consumption is very low, I simply stopped working and retired early. Now my income is low enough to just meet my needs, and it gives me time to listen to and comment on podcasts.

    1. That sounds so great, Joan! I love your mindset. It reminds me of what Carleton Schade writes about on his blog – Work less, play more. Or what the Mr. Money Moustache says about financial independence. I am happy that you made it!

  2. Pingback: Paul R. Ehrlich | Best conservation strategy? Empower women

  3. Frederick Macdonald

    I have been aware of the overpopulation problem since the early 1970’s when I read “The Population Bomb” written by Dr. Paul Ehrlich. Unfortunately, his idea of zero population growth never really caught on, and so here we are in the midst of a pandemic, with a continually growing population that Nature has constructed a way to lower, since we have not done anything to lower it ourselves. God help us!

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