“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

January 22, 2010

Video: What Stops Population Growth?

Swedish scientist Hans Rosling presents a fascinating explanation, complete with visuals, of the "problem" of overpopulation. Although the message is actually quite simple, this is a very interesting presentation which rebuts some long-held popular assumptions about population growth. Rosling is believable, obviously sincere, and likable. He is calm, smooth, and quite reasonable in his approach.

His message is essentially that we must have small families in order to "save the planet." I believe this notion is erroneous on a number of levels, and of course it's nothing new, but what is new, it seems to me, is how persuasively smooth and appealing Dr. Rosling is in getting the message across. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that he's intentionally trying to manipulate people — nothing of the sort. I'm sure he is deeply sincere and simply wants to share the data he has been analyzing. And as I say, I myself find his presentation very interesting and credible.

If one didn't know better (and let's face it, most people today don't know better), this message, delivered so reasonably here, would make all the sense in the world. The problem is that it contains a great deal of truth and indisputable demographic evidence, but all of that is wrapped thickly and obscuringly around the kernel of untruth: that we must do what we can to have small families.

I plan to write more on this theme, but for the moment, watch this video and see how calm, how, smooth, and how reasonable the family planning message can come across . . .

1 comment:

  1. I think perhaps he is speaking in a more "scientific" sense. The title of his video is, "What stops population growth?" His final quote is, "The only way to stop population growth is to have small families." Both of these statements are, most likely, literally true. The questions remain, is stopping population growth desirable? is it moral? is it even possible?