Movie Notes (Mother)

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12 Apr 2012
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In 1960s, population was growing at the highest rate in history The
Population Explosion
40 years later, the message hasn’t change; population growth is barely
mentioned now as an issue even though population growth and human
consumption are the major factors in our ongoing environmental crisis
The problem is not that we haven’t had an environmental movement and not
that some effective things haven’t been done, it’s a big cultural change, but
not fast enough
We have had a 5-fold increase in recycling since 1970, but we are also
producing 47% more trash than in 1970, 20% more CO2 and 0% improvement
of energy use
400% more endangered species today
We’re seeing 6 mass extinction of species in Earth’s history, only one caused
by one species and that’s us
The human species is unique because our consumption pattern is not just
given by our appetite
An elephant has a similar consumption pattern no matter what, but people can
decide how to eat, how big our houses are, etc.
oThere is no limit to consumption for humans
Our demand for resources is increases but not the planet, now we are at a
global overshoot
oOur demand exceeds beyond what nature can generate
We have never had to encounter limits before
Our population is growing at a much slower rate than in the 1970s, it is at the
center of the crisis
The demand for food is now driven by 3 forces: 1. Population growth 2.
Rising affluence (2-3 billion people trying to move up the food chain)
3. Conversion of grain into fuel for cars
The grain required to fill an SUV would feed one person for a year
We are peaking in oil production, availability of food globally will plummet
Biggest issue will be water
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More affluent countries are buying large chunks of land lands equal to the
size of Greenland have been sold since 2001 in developing countries
Every year, there are 78 more million people living on the planet
More than half of the people in the world in the developing countries is under
the age of 28 and will be at a reproductive age within the next 10 years
Humanity could be as low as 8 billion, or as high as 10.5 billion by 2050
One reason that the debate of population crisis has been put aside for the last
10 years is the ongoing stigmatization of the issue mainly coming from human
rights abuses that have used forced sterilization and other cohersive means to
lower their growth rate
The growth rate of the world has been nearly cut in half over the past 50 years
Europe and Japan has seen their reduced growth and aging population as a
threat to their prosperity
In many countries, people are paid to have babies, thinking if they have more
adults, they can support the aging population
Having babies on top of an aging population that is relatively healthy and can
work much longer years than the standard retirement age is a crazy way to try
to solve that problem
If you increase the retirement age by a couple of years, it covers the cost of
the old people
Population issues is still a taboo subject in societies although it is an issue
being raised in governments and NGOs
The dominant message in society has been that the population problem is
overwith; people have been afraid to speak out, and it is a reflection of
people’s fear for being out of line with what is socially acceptable
Next to China and India, US is the third most populous country, but not the
fastest growing (1% growth)
oHowever, it is the fastest growing in the industrialized world
If everybody worldwide lived American lifestyles, today it would take about 6
Earth planets to regenerate all the resources and that would be the entire
planet, leaving nothing for the other species
oIt is a model that is not directly replicable
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