audibleecoscience Earth Headphones

Audibleecoscience is a database of podcasts on subjects related to global change biology. It is designed as a resource for the general public and for educators looking to assign "required listening" to their students. Reviews of each podcast and links to the original source have been provided by students taking the IB107 class at the University of Illinois. The database is fully text searchable or you can browse on your favorite subject...
facebook twitter rss
Crops and Food Security

‘Countdown’ Explores the Effects of Our Overpopulated Planet

Media Source: National Public Radio
Program Name: Science Friday
Show Name: ‘Countdown’ Explores the Effects of Our Overpopulated Planet
Broadcast Year: 2013
Original Link:

Alan Weisman believes that the Earth's capacity to hold an overwhelmingly large population (that continues to grow) has nearly peaked. Weisman contends that the atmosphere continues to be overloaded by gases that we expel; which is intimately related to other natural phenomenon including climate change, warming and expanding of seas, melting of ice caps, etc. When asked about potential solutions, Mr. Weisman acknowledged that "consuming less" is a popular yet unrealistic solution. He remarked about the uneven distribution of foods across the planet and believes that most food is raised for profit, so unfortunately, the distribution of these foods in order to nourish everybody is not a prime motivation. According to Weisman, every organism will undeniably suffer a population crash when they exceed their resource-base. He believes that mankind's greatest invention was synthesizing artificial Nitrogen fertilizer, which literally created more plant life than possible than nature was capable of creating; nonetheless, this also had detrimental effects (river pollution, more greenhouse gas contribution, etc). "We can stretch our limits, but there will be a breaking point." Weisman believes that regardless of how we confront the issue of overpopulation, there will be a point in time where our efforts will go in vain and result in astronomical losses. Aside from the many things we can't truly control, it seems apparent that bringing fewer people into the world, and utilizing our resources in a more eco-friendly way, and symbiotically considering the longevity of nature---will all contribute towards dictating this planet's survival.

© 2013 - 2022 University of Illinois Board of Trustees