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.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Thinking About Population Growth on Black Friday

It's still Black Friday in my time zone, and even though shoppers are undoubtedly home and exhausted, it is never too late to comment on the frenzy to spend money consuming the earth's resources, whether we need stuff or note. Andrew Revkin, writing for the NYTimes, had some similar thoughts as he contemplated a book that speaks to the whole issue: Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot.
“Over,” formally titled “Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot,” explores themes at the heart of this blog — the harms from persistent high fertility rates, consumption for consumption’s sake, disregard for the environmental and social impacts of resource extraction.
But even as I embrace some of the themes and marvel at the imagery, I can’t help recoiling simply because the book’s dimensions and mass clash so primally with its call to stop overloading the planet with too many people consuming too much stuff — stuff like books that weigh almost as much as a Thanksgiving turkey.
Now, I confess to being one of those people possessing a hard copy of the book and it is on the coffee table to remind people of how importantly interwoven population growth is with the sustainability issues we face on the planet. But, as I pointed out when the book was published this past spring, you can view it for free on the internet. I encourage you to do that right now

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