The Humanist Cafe

Wednesday, July 19, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
James Bay New Horizons
234 Menzies Street James Bay

Topic: Population and The Environment – The Under-Reported Relationship

moderator: John Pope

The environment and population increase have both been major Humanist Cafe discussion topics.  This time, we can discuss the media role in framing the problem and the ‘experts’ role in suggestion solutions.

Here is a recent article which will serve as the basis for our discussion:

“What’s the single best decision you can make if you want to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) being released into the atmosphere?

That’s the question UBC researcher Seth Wynes and his co-author Kimberly Nicholas set out to answer in a new paper published this week.

Their answer? Have fewer children.”

To many people, including Humanists, these numbers do not seem surprising at all.  What is surprising is the fact that this kind of research has gone under-reported for years, and population increases as the major contributing factor are taken for granted.

Because of increasing global droughts and floods, the lack of access to fresh water has been becoming a very serious issue around the world.  And yet rarely is population increase mentioned as a direct cause of the problem.  The following Population Institute of Canada explains:

“Nunavut’s population is growing faster than any other province or territory in Canada; its capital city is now home to 7,740 residents, an increase of 15.5% since 2011.

But while the CBC article mentions a growing population as a contributing factor to the possible water shortage, there’s no suggestion of population stabilization as part of the solution.”

Here is more information on water scarcity:

Here’s an article which is an example of how the solution proposed does not address the most serious cause of the problem.  A researcher proposes solutions:

“The challenge now is to rapidly adapt farming to climate change with modern varieties and feed a fast-growing global population…”

No mention of family planning here – just attempts to increase production and supply.

“We have to gear up for more challenging agro-ecological conditions, we need to be able to use swampy areas and develop varieties that can be grown in salty or flooded areas.”


Is homo sapiens the only animal species that will have bred itself out of existence by soiling its own nest?

Why are there so few articles by environmentalists about how population increase is a major contributing cause of climate change?

Does anybody seriously expect national leaders around the world to consider addressing this problem?

What role does religion play in the lack of coverage of this issue?

Will homo stupidous ever learn to control and balance its global population?

See you there.  Bring a friend or 2.