Paul R. Ehrlich: The Most Effective Conservation Strategy? Empower Women

The impact of our growing population on nature is such a sensitive topic that nobody really dares talk about it. Better sweep it under the carpet and forget about it, right? Well, not necessarily. If you think it through, the solution is really simple and beautiful: give women full rights, opportunities and access to family-planning methods.

In this interview with Paul R. Ehrlich, the Bing Professor Emeritus of Population Studies at Stanford University, we talk about:

  • What is a sustainable population and how to achieve it
  • Why women play a key role in creating a sustainable planet
  • How we can empower women and why women still don’t have equal rights
  • Why our Stone Age genes make it hard to address global issues and why we need to change culturally
  • Why we need 8 billion Greta Thunbergs and everyone to spend 10% of their time helping out society
  • What is Paul’s vision of 2050
  • How hot soap operas can help us talk about overpopulation, and more.

In the future people will not know what forests are

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

Paul Ralph Ehrlich (*1932) is an American biologist, best known for his warnings that population growth presents an extremely serious threat to the future of human civilization. The Population Bomb, a book that he co-authored with his wife, Anne, helped start a worldwide debate on the impact of rising population that continues today. Author of 50 books and thousands of articles, Ehrlich is the Bing Professor Emeritus of Population Studies at Stanford University, President of Stanford’s Center for Conservation Biology and also president of the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere.

If you’d like to dig deeper into the topic, you can listen to my conversation with Terry Spahr, the author behind 8 Billion Angels, about the impact of our growing population and ways we can address the issue.

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8 thoughts on “Paul R. Ehrlich: The Most Effective Conservation Strategy? Empower Women”

  1. Kathleen Miller

    I can’t understand why the growth in population is never mentioned, it seems to be the real elephant in the room. I suppose at the forthcoming COP 26 it again will not be mentioned. Is it because if you do you get so much online abuse? There seems to be no shame in people these days having 3 plus children, in fact 3 seems to have become the norm which means another 50%. When I was at school it was virtually unheard of.
    I also have not found a charity to donate to that I could trust, I used to donate to Marie Stopes but stopped when I heard the CEO was paying himself 800k a year.

    1. Dear Kathleen, thank you so much for expressing your view. I also think that the population growth won’t be mentioned at COP26. These should be the venues to talk about these issues but unfortunately they are pretty ineffective. I do like the work of Population Matters, a British NGO, or the Population Media Center. Maybe you can check them out. They do great work and I am going to interview them in the next episodes.

  2. Global warming is directly related to population growth. Unfortunately this will not get a mention at COP 26 in Glasgow especially as the Pope and Boris Johnson are not interested in birth control.

    1. Richard, you are so right. I also think they won’t mention population because it would turn against them. But let’s start from the ground, common people talking about it, eventually it is going to go up there, to these conferences.

  3. Great interview, thank you. Kathleen, for charities, as well as Population Matters, take a look at Population Action International (PAI) and Population Council. I believe they are US based charities and I support them from the UK. I have not heard anything bad about them but I am no expert. They certainly seem good to me and say the right things. As they are US, if you are outside then they won’t get any tax benefits from the foreign donation but they are happy to receive any donation.

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