This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

You can download an iPhone app for the 13th edition from the App Store (search for Weeks Population).

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This Is NOT How to Cope With Population Growth

A tragic story unfolded in Maryland (suburban Washington, DC) today when police were forced to shoot and kill a man who broke into the offices of the Discovery Channel with explosives taped to his chest and held three employees at gunpoint. He had been convicted of disorderly conduct for a protest he organized outside Discovery's offices in February 2008, and had been on probation which included coming no closer than 500 feet to those offices. However, his probation had ended two weeks ago.
"The Discovery Channel produces many so-called 'Environmental Programs' supposedly there to save the planet," Lee [the suspect] said in an ad he took out in a Washington newspaper to promote the protest. "But the truth is things are getting WORSE! Their programs are causing more harm than good."

In court and online, Lee faulted the Discovery Channel for shows as varied as "Future Weapons," "It Takes a Thief" and "Planet Green."

A lengthy posting that could be seen Wednesday on a website registered to Lee said Discovery and its affiliates should stop "encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants," a possible reference to shows like "Kate Plus 8" and "19 Kids and Counting." Instead, he said, the network should air "programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility."

Ironies abound in this sad tale.

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