26 January 2011

On Population ~ DRB Interviews NatGeo's Kunzig

Thanks to Dark Roasted Blend for interviewing Robert Kunzig, Senior Environment Editor of my favorite monthly magazine, National Geographic, about their 7 Billion article (with beautiful January cover and other photos by Randy Olson) and the year-long series on human population. Among the nuggets...
  • On Consumption -- "The point is not to reduce consumption per se, because consumption is not evil per se -- it's important not to get moralistic about these issues, if only because moralism is self-defeating. The point is to reduce the damage that certain kinds of consumption cause. If we can find a cheap way to tap limitless solar energy, would it matter if our energy consumption continued to rise? Not so much, except in deserts covered by solar panels."
  • On Sprawl -- "It already is happening differently -- baby boomers are getting old and realizing they don't want to be trapped in the suburbs, and their children, now grown, aren't having as many babies and finding they like the city, etc etc. One of the biggest challenges we face these days is overcoming our built legacy of car-centered sprawl. And one of the big challenges for Asia will be to try to avoid the worst excesses of a particular time and place that they don't have to make their own."
  • On Education -- "She was clear about one thing -- if her son didn't get a scholarship to go to engineering college, she and her husband were going to find the money to pay for it. Around the corner, in another tiny living room, I met a father who had the same ambition for his two teen-age girls. Indians spend a huge portion of their budget on education. And kids on average are much more educated than their parents. There is way too much poverty and hunger in India. Things would be much easier if there weren't so many people. But it is a country with a lot of hope."
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