This Sustainable Life
251: Let's make overpopulation only a finance issue
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
489: Martin Puris, part 2: All big ideas begin in the mind of one person thinking creatively
Martin and I continued our conversation about America, its problems, and what we can do about it. I misread him that he had a specific plan, but that didn't stop him from clarifying and continuing more of what we spoke about last time.We talked about education, arts, voting, government, the future, the past, competition, and more.Listen for reflections from a master communicator who has worked with people at the forefront of American business for decades.I mentioned before that I was prompted to reconnect with Martin after almost two decades while seeing him give a webinar online. I took the liberty of capturing the screen when he showed this slide. I hope you can tell why it made me connect. Creativity is up there with curiosity for me.
488: Maxine Bédat, part 1: Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About Fashion's Sustainability (or lack thereof)
Maxine's book, Unraveled: The Life and Death of a Garment, traces how a pair of jeans comes into existence from it's raw beginnings and where it ends up at the end of its life. The book has been covered in the top levels of fashion media, for exampleElle: Maxine Bédat Unravels The Lies of GreenwashingVogue: Maxine Bédat Urges the Fashion Industry to Make a Change Now, Not in 2030Financial Times: Unraveled by Maxine Bédat—cutting the clothIn our conversation, she shares the story behind the book: her history and motivation to write it, the story of her visiting people and places actually doing the work, the shocking sights the industry doesn't want us to know about. As she puts it, "the chemical industry is the fashion industry. The oil industry is the fashion industry."You might think, "I don't want to learn these things. I just want to enjoy my clothes without thinking about them." You'll feel the opposite when you hear. You'll wish you'd learned earlier. You'll want to tell people what you learn.
487: Karen Shragg E.D.D., part 1: At last, simple, reasonably talk on (over)population
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