Film: World in the Balance – Fellowship of Humanity    

Film: World in the Balance

Posted by Humanist Hall on August 19, 2010as , , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 8 at 7:30 pm

World in the Balance:

The Population Paradox


The staggering power of this film lies in its conceptual insights — how diverse and complex the twin problems of population growth and global warming have become. This complexity makes the outcome near unpredictable and likely catastrophic.

Population growth is predicted to reach 9 billion by mid-century despite declining birth rates in industrial countries. What is unexpected is the potential disastrous consequences of such declining birth rates in Europe and Japan; the older generation vastly outnumbers the young, who will be unable to support them. A different problem exists in Africa, where AIDS has devastated those in their prime, leaving both elderly and children uncared for.

China has a different dilemma; it’s trapped by the rising affluence of its huge population resulting from industrialization without pollution controls, and finds it difficult to impose such controls without causing economic collapse and civil unrest. The paradox posed here is that “backing down” the ladder of population growth is far more difficult than imagined; as is “backing down” from industrialization or even imposing pollution controls on a nation whose population is finding new affluence.

Global warming is the other part of the dilemma; at least significantly the result of over population and industrialization. Global warming is no longer controversial in the financial world. Neither population control nor pollution controls on levels significant enough to affect global warming seem likely in the near future.

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