The Humanist Cafe

Wednesday, June 15 , 7 8:30 pm
James Bay New Horizons 234 Menzies Street, James Bay

Topic: Population and the Environment: The Global Challenge
moderator: John Pope

This important issue comes up often during our Cafe discussions.  It’s often called the elephant in the room – world population growth.  The world’s fast growing population is not the first thing that comes to mind when discussing the environment.  It is often just one of the things listed as a contributing factor to the world’s slow and steady environmental degradation.

So why are people afraid to talk about the direct link between rising population and environmental disasters?:

Rising population growth can lessen our quality of life because it:
*    destroys resources, such as water and forests needed to sustain us
*    slows the dynamics of a healthy economy
*    decreases the level of biodiversity upon which we depend

Here’s a good short article describing the issue:

Population and natural resources:

Sierra Club’s Global Population and Environment Program and Family Planning:

Popular video introduction:

Quick facts on population:

Population Institute of Canada (PIC) Director – Madeline Wells who presented at the VSHA a few years ago:

PIC also offers a full page of excellent links on population here:

From the PIC web page:

Too Many People

Population growth is placing demands on the natural world that are overwhelming our efforts to achieve a sustainable future. In some countries the effects of growing scarcity — of food, water, energy and other resources — are already being acutely felt. Conflicts that dominate media headlines are typically caused by resource scarcity. Without population stabilization and eventual reduction, the great majority of people in the developing world will fail to achieve even a minimally adequate standard of living.

“Family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race.” (UN, 1992)


“…democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people into the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies. The more people there are, the less one individual matters.”  –Isaac Asimov

See you there!  Tell your friends about this discussion.