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 12th (it came out in 2015), 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.

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Population in Film

The buzz has quieted down from last fall's announcement by the United Nations that the world's population now exceeds 7 billion. So, it is time for a sober and thorough view of what population growth and change really means for the planet and for the future of human society. An award-winning independent film-maker in Oregon, Jane Turville, has a plan for such a film:

THE PEOPLE PROBLEM poses the question “Are there too many of us?”  And, while I don’t intend to arrive at a definitive answer, the film will present population issues in a way that (a) alleviates fear about discussing population and (b) translates compelling data into stories that resonate with mainstream citizens.
How will the film achieve this?Using the nesting basket sustainability model as a framework, the film will weave interviews with professionals into the stories of three families located in America, Brazil and China.  Set up like this, data explained by professionals is immediately illustrated through each family’s story.  By bringing the data into homes located in diverse countries, and showing data’s real-world applications for real families, the film will help viewers relate with statistical information and at the same time, bring to light the role of affluence and consumerism in population issues, dispelling the myth that it is a third world problem.   In order to lay a foundation for the discussion, we’ll also take a look at population throughout history.  What have the dynamics been and just how did we get to where we are today?
I encourage you to visit her website to see if this is something that you would like to help her launch. 

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