Are People the Problem, the Solution, or Both?
Right now, a billion people are chronically hungry. That means they wake up hungry, they’re hungry all day and they go to sleep hungry. A billion people are living in slums, not the same billion people, but there is some overlap. Living in slums means they don’t have tenure in their homes, they don’t have infrastructure to take the garbage away, they don’t have secure water supplies to drink.
Nearly a billion people are illiterate. Try to imagine your life being illiterate. You can’t read the labels on the bottles in the supermarket, if you can get to a supermarket. Two-thirds of those people who are illiterate are women and about 200 to 215 million women don’t have access to the contraceptives they want so that they can control their own fertility.
This is not only a problem in developing countries; about half of all pregnancies are unintended. So those are examples of population problems.
In his lecture, Professor Joel Cohen teaches you how demography can provide answers to the life or death questions caused by the world’s swelling population and dwindling resources.
Can we prevent an outcome where wealthy western countries are in permanent population decline, while third world cities into swell into massively overcrowded slums with no access to education, healthcare, or hope?