How to save our planet :: Sir David Attenborough

by Volker Weber


Comments

Switch off the video, listen to the commentary only. I find the beauty of the videos very distracting and I can't concentrate on the key message(s). I'm happy to see that Sir David re-iterates his no. 1 claim that we need less population. Fully agree. Funny though that this is not part of his "4 goals" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Attenborough)

Friedrich Holstein, 2019-05-03

Damn, the visuals in that video are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

However, I believe much nuance is needed when discussing the problem of planetary resource inadequacy. Simply claiming "we need less population" is a grossly over-simplified and negative solution to such a multi-faceted issue.

For example - Sir David is correct that "simply shipping bales of flour" to Africa does not help the root problem. But this is because the populations producing the most children often have the least amount of education, both generally and with respect to the environment and personal responsibility of it. Whereas on the other hand, there are plenty of families that know "where things come from", how to responsibly hunt, garden, recycle, not litter/pollute, etc.

The planet's sustainability requires *more* of the latter group, however those populations tend to be the ones that already have reached sub-replacement child birth rates. The message of "we need less population" does need to be heard and understood by everybody, but that particular group needs to raise *more* children and continue to teach them about environmental responsibility so the message and practices can spread.

The other side of the solution is reducing scarcity of resources through technology. We are witnessing the shift of mankind off of fossil fuels, which is an incredible concept. Recycling, which barely existed a generation ago, is now commonplace in many countries. Lab-grown meat is also now a reality, which (once economy of scale is achieved) should result in much lower footprints and resource consumption than the animals themselves. Humane treatment is another positive outcome.

Overall I agree that awareness of our impact on the environment is essential, but to focus specifically on "we need less population" is a very pessimistic and dangerous conclusion.

Erik Brooks, 2019-05-05

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