This Sustainable Life

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251: Let's make overpopulation only a finance issue

Ep. 251

Here are my notes that I read from for this episode.

  • New comment from reading Countdown by Alan Weisman
  • Overpopulation is major issue.
  • Challenges are culture, religion, lack of education, lack of birth control
  • He presented research results of demand for birth control by women -- about 250 million. Figure about a guy for each: 500 million
  • I figure low because many don't know it exists or are swayed by not seeing it so not realizing they could want it
  • He also showed results that unwanted children lead to poverty while smaller families where most people live today, ie cities, prosper
  • Combination of huge unmet demand that when met leads to money tells me birth control isn't a moral issue, nor legal, religion, or charity issue but a finance issue. The money comes later if demand is met
  • Should be profitable if someone can figure out financing
  • Many people may default, may be hard to keep track, but look at how huge the demand
  • Women risk their lives and die for abortions. No products or services have that kind of demand. Maybe heroin, which is also profitable.
  • In all of environmental efforts, reduction being major goal and profit coming from growth, profit rarely comes from conserving environment
  • Most would-be environmentally sustainable businesses look like steam engine, which I've talked about before. It looked like it would lower coal use and did for each use but increased it overall
  • Making meeting the interests of half a billion people a finance issue seems a huge change in perspective
  • Don't have to look for charity or government aid
  • As for morals and legality, Coca-Cola shows what happens when profits face against morality. They sell unhealthy sugar water everywhere in the world, including parched places with no water, charge for it, and people keep investing in it.
  • Could be a major route to bringing human population down to sustainable level of a couple billion.
  • Signs I see show we are over sustainable and projections people say imply we're leveling off still show growth in 2100.
  • I hope some enterprising entrepreneur sees opportunity and meets it.
  • Many stories of successful family planning nationwide in Thailand, Iran, Mexico, Costa Rica, as well as cultural shifts in Japan, Italy, and more
  • And economics seem likely, unlike growth economics which are failing everywhere, environmentally, culturally, socially, failing in every way but making a few people incredibly wealthy, mostly by birth

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7/18/2021

487: Karen Shragg E.D.D., part 1: At last, simple, reasonably talk on (over)population

Ep. 487
We can dance around our environmental problems all we want. Understand them enough and we eventually reach overconsumption and overpopulation. These overshoots contribute to everything.We at least talk about overconsumption, even if few are acting. Decades ago, the public talked about population, but didn't act. Today we don't talk about it. All the numbers I see suggest the Earth can sustain two or three billion people with roughly western European consumption levels. I'd love to live in a world with two billion people, like what produced Mozart and Einstein.Karen has been working on helping society face our problem of too many people being alive at once longer than I have. I've only been able to talk about it since learning from (TSL guest) Alan Weisman's Countdown about (TSL guest) Mechai Viravaidya helping solve the problem. She's been treating it a lot longer. She also knows I think all the podcast guests I talked to about population. She also knows many environmentalists who never acted on population.Karen shares her decades of working on (over)population. The U.S. doesn't talk about it publicly these days, but Karen shows how to talk about it. As I recognized that our overpopulation contributes to every environmental problems, I realized we had at least to talk about it. Karen does this.Karen's page: Moving Upstream... Where Possibilities Come to RoostMove Upstream: A Call to Solve OverpopulationChange Our Stories, Change Our World