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7 Billion and counting - Podcast from Quirks and Quarks, Canadian Broadcasting

On October 29, CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks featured two guests to discuss the world at 7 billion people, Robert Engelman, President of the Worldwatch Institute in Washington and Madeline Weld, President of the Population Institute of Canada.

Podcast of Quirks and Quarks program on World at 7 Billion


The United Nations estimates that on October 31st, the world's population will reach 7 billion. Although the actual number is not certain, it does underlie the fact that our population is growing at an alarming rate. It took until the early 1800's to reach the 1 billion mark, but the last 50 years alone have seen the births of 4 of the total 7 billion This rapid increase raises the question, how many more people can the earth sustain? Or have we already surpassed the earth's capacity? Among the many people asking questions like this are Dr. Madeline Weld, President of the Ottawa-based Population Institute of Canada, and Robert Engelman, President of The Worldwatch Institute in Washington. They discuss how various factors - including access to contraception, the empowerment of women, poverty, consumerism, and the environment - apply to our population growth, now and in the future.

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The program available at the link below is an absolute must for anyone interested in the population debate.


Historian Alison Bashford reveals that Malthus' very large 1803 work has most often been published with about 10 chapters deleted to minimise production costs. This has caused his work, and his concerns generally, to be very substantively misunderstood. The negative scorn so regularly, and often so conveniently, heaped upon him is a direct product of this incomplete view of his work.

We have to think globally and act locally, I suppose. Any thoughts?

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001
Chapel Hill, NC

“We cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
- Abraham Lincoln

?'Kicking so many cans down the road' and denying responsibility for our reckless overconsumption, relentless overproduction and rampant overpopulation activities today can fulfill nothing more than the promise of a disastrous future for children everywhere tomorrow. Choosing now to live outrageously greedy lifestyles that are patently unsustainable provides all the wrong lessons to our children, who must learn to live sustainably before it is too late for human behavior change to make a difference.