Meeting Report

January 20, 2013

Mother: Caring for 7 Billion
(Movie and Discussion)
Chuck Knutson

This meeting was attended by 25 people.

Chuck Knutson started out by getting four members to role play persons with differing attitudes towards population control. We then saw the excellent, recently-produced movie, which put particular emphasis on the fact that the world’s population has approximately doubled since the first Earth Day in 1970. Although the rate of growth has slowed, especially in developed countries, we are fast approaching 7 billion. This increase will cause an unsustainable drain on resources if we are to continue to have an acceptable standard of living. However, speaking out about this has become politically incorrect. We need to raise awareness of the problem.

We had a short discussion after the movie. A key point of that discussion was that we need to raise the status of women worldwide if we are to curb overpopulation. The countries with the lowest status for women are also those with the highest birth rates. In this area, we need to change men’s minds about women.

Report prepared by Wayne Luney

Additional information appears in the original announcement, below.

Our Speaker, Presenter and Moderator

Chuck Knutson is the chair of the Motherlode Chapter’s Committee for a Sustainable World Population, Sierra Club. He has a BA in environmental biology from UC Santa Barbara and an MS in fisheries biology from Humboldt State University. Chuck was a California Department of Fish and game marine and fisheries biologist for 34 years, retiring in 2006. He also was a Peace Corps Volunteer in India from 1969 to 1971, where he was a high school science teacher trainer. Chuck currently volunteers on the conservation committees of both the Sierra Club and the California-Nevada Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and believes strongly that world overpopulation and over-consumption of the world’s natural resources are the root causes of our current environmental problems.

The Movie

Mother, the film, breaks a 40-year taboo by bringing to light an issue that silently fuels our most pressing environmental, humanitarian and social crisis—population growth. In 2011, the world population reached 7 billion, a startling seven-fold increase since the first billion occurred 200 years ago.

Population was once at the top of the international agenda, dominating the first Earth Day and the subject of best-selling books like The Population Bomb. Since the 1960s the world population has nearly doubled, adding more than 3 billion people. At the same time, talking about population has become politically incorrect because of the sensitivity of the issues surrounding the topic—religion, economics, family planning and gender inequality. Yet it is an issue we cannot afford to ignore. Read more ...

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