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World population approaches 7 billion

Bill Ryerson of the Population Media Center in Shelburne, Vermont spoke about how to think about population and population control as the world passes seven billion souls in October. His prescription for reducing world population: provide women everywhere with good health care, including contraception. The Population Media Center also produces soap operas and other media that include women who go to school or take other paths than getting married and having kids while a teenager. Ryerson said Vermont could feel dramatic effects of overpopulation, with environmental refugees streaming here from drought-stricken parts of the country.

We also mentioned Hans Rosling's TED Talk on the changes in family size in many countries, called No More Boring Data. Ryerson says he and Rosling disagree on policy: Rosling things population growth is taking care of itself, and Ryerson things greater investment in women's health and family planning is needed.

Carl Etnier hosted.

Editorial Notes: Don't miss hearing Bill Ryerson on our next webchat 19 October.

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