Is America’s fertility decline a real problem?

Chances are you already have a strong opinion on this subject. There’s a great deal of noise, mostly but not wholly on the American right about the dangers of fertility decline. Jonathan Last’s book _What To Expect When No One is Expecting_ and Ross Douthat’s recent lament about American women’s TFR (total fertility rate – the reason men aren’t mentioned is that men don’t count in fertility calculations) is down to 1.87 children. Both writers predict fairly dire outcomes – economic stagnation a la Japan, a benefits crisis as insufficient new workers arrive. Moreover, for Douthat and other commentators like Rod Dreher, there’s a larger moral and cultural dimension that is absolutely critical…

Can we avoid a collapse?

"Population Bomb" author & Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich on his Royal Society Paper "Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?" From Tasmania, forest expert Dr. David Bowman: wild fires drive more global warming. Economist John Talberth suing the U.S. Government over risky ocean oil leases in the Arctic. Three interviews from a world of trouble.

Peak Philosophy: The economic contraction narrative needs facts, not theory

These days, people are maxed out on every level trying to get through life as everything gets more tedious, expensive, and uncertain. The onslaught of “glittering generalities” and opinionated political rhetoric coming from popular media and paid advertising on “both” sides is enough to make many shut off and tune out – their philosophical bandwidth running at full capacity until it is choked off entirely.

The Populations Problem

The population problem should be considered from the point of view of all populations — populations of both humans and their artifacts (cars, houses, livestock, cell phones, etc.) — in short, populations of all “dissipative structures” engendered, bred, or built by humans.

Growthbusters the movie (review)

Growthbusters is the inspiring story of Dave Gardner’s efforts to challenge conservative Colorado Springs’ failed growth promotion policies. The film begins by focusing on the insanity of local councils cutting essential public services to “jump start” growth. However it also takes a broader theoretical look at the overall failure of economic growth to solve the global economic crisis. More importantly it tackles head-on the deeper and more serious issue of population control – and the conspiracy of silence on the part of institutional environmental groups (such as Sierra Club) on the issue.

Mike Freedman on his new film Critical Mass

Unsung Films watched Mike Freedman’s Critical Mass this year when it screened at the Biografilm Festival in Bologna, Italy. On approaching the filmmaker with a short review of his documentary, we ended up with a great deal more: a 3000-word interview taking readers deep into the story of how Freedman’s film came together, how it affected him – both personally and professionally — and what we should expect in the years to come.

How many people can the world really hold?

Spreading awareness that the human population is in overshoot of the carrying capacity of the planet has led to a number of attempts to calculate what the true carrying capacity might be. My objective here is not to provide another calculation, but to explore some issues that need to be faced to address the question properly. To start thinking about the problem, I am choosing as a point of reference the global population of about 1 billion that existed in 1800 before the main thrust of the industrial revolution.

International Conference on Sustainability, Transition & Culture Change features elusive Daniel Quinn

This sixth-annual conference begins in the morning on Friday November 16 and continues through Sunday afternoon on November 18. The venue is the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The theme of the conference is Vision, Action, Leadership. Headliners at the conference include Daniel Quinn, Steve Keen, Richard Heinberg, Nicole Foss, Albert Bates, and Stephanie Mills.

The long term tie between energy supply, population, and the economy

The tie between energy supply, population, and the economy goes back to the hunter-gatherer period. Hunter-gatherers managed to multiply their population at least 4-fold, and perhaps by as much as 25-fold, by using energy techniques which allowed them to expand their territory from central Africa to virtually the whole world, including the Americas and Australia.