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Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Population Debate, radio discussion on the World Service's One Planet

I listened to this interesting programme early this morning. You can listen using iPlayer here.

"The number of people living on the planet is rising and we are approaching the seven billion inhabitants mark......

This week, the UN published its latest projections for the world's population, so One Planet's taken the opportunity to take another look at the topic of humanity's numbers.

Three guests from around the world join Mike to discuss the issue. In London we have John Guillebaud from the Optimum Population Trust; from New York Matthew Connelly, author of Fatal Misconception; and from Calcutta, the social demographer Alaka Basu. Plus we hear reports from Uganda - a country with one of the fastest birth rates in the world - and from Japan, a country that is suffering a decline in its population."

They consider whether family sizes should be deliberately limited and whether this should always be voluntary. (There is a view that it is the rich people who most need to limit family size because they are the people who are most profligate in their usage of the planet's resources.) They do not, of course, discuss intentionally reducing population size by famine, war and pestilence! - But here is a webpage arguing that the Pharmaceutical Drug Cartel is already embarked on "chemical warfare" using toxic drugs. Before you dismiss this idea as fanciful, consider the terrible harm done by the majority of pharmaceutical drugs, the fraudulent claims made by the drugs companies, the times they have been sued for suppressing evidence of adverse effects from their products, their bribery and corruption of doctors, influential politicians and others, the drug trial scandals, etc.