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tv   [untitled]    October 31, 2011 5:31pm-6:01pm EDT

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seven billion can our planet really handle this many people that's all cross talk debate shortly here on t.v. . hello and welcome to cross talk i'm here a little as the world reaches still another population benchmark the debate continues as to whether the planet can sustain such levels as well as the future of global consumption is the world overpopulated and if it is what should be done
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about it. crosstalk population levels i'm joined by babatunde or sitting here in berlin he's the executive director of united nations population fund in washington we cross to martha madison campbell she's a lecturer at the school of public health at the university of california berkeley and in gainesville we have matthew conley he's a professor of history at columbia university all right folks this is crosstalk that means you can jump in anytime you want i very much encourage it but first musharraf where does the world stand right now with seven billion people and still counting today's world population is double what it was in one thousand nine hundred fifty seven and seven times what it was only two centuries ago by mid century a projected growth will put that figure at nine point three billion people concerns are mounting that such sustained expansion of the humankind threatens to run dry this planet's already overstretched resources. the business as usual scenario
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predicts that humanity will be using renewable resources and land at the rate of two planets each year by twenty thirty and just over two point eight planets each year by two thousand and fifty in addition to medical progress and higher agricultural productivity fertility start to be the main driver of population interesting we enough worldwide population continues to grow despite the fact that the growth rate itself has been steadily declining the reason for this is the fact that there is still more. people living in countries with a higher birthrate these countries are also some of the developing world poorest such as niger somalia afghanistan and congo which means more people born into dire poverty the seven billionth of a citizen will be born into a wardrobe counter contradictions we have for. us to starve them social and economic equity as at the crux of the phenomenon because not
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only does overpopulation work the hardest against the planet's most vulnerable groups but it is the developed countries that are currently enjoying the biggest share of the resources this has led many to argue that altering consumption patterns in tandem with improving access to family planning are essential elements of the population discourse but then again a really pressing crisis all that's going to be my first question thank you very much for that my first question for matthew is the world facing a population crisis and you know i don't want to betray my age too much here but this is i've been hearing this for forty years so you know i'm going all the way back to like you know they will there was a book in one thousand nine hundred sixty eight sixty nine population bomb you know we've been every decade we've been warned that you know the put their population has been growing too fast for the world's resources but it continues on if i go first to you matthew. well that's right peter you could almost set your clock to it it reminds me a little bit about some of the preachers that we have here in the united states i
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happen to be in florida and florida is full of preachers who will tell you that the world is coming to an end and you might even believe them itself that they were predicting that last year before and ten years ago and twenty years ago they're kind of figures you just heard with the same kinds of figures that people used thirty years ago forty years ago you know according to the club of rome we would have been using five planets now so if you believe those kinds of numbers and sure you should be frightened but if you want to focus on the real problem here you have to get past the numbers what do you think about that martha i mean that's a seven billion people is a lot of people on the planet but i'd like to point that out it's someone inform me before i did the program that if you took all of those people but i'm shoulder to shoulder you could fit them into the city of los angeles so that kind of puts it in a different perspective people take up a lot of space however because they also need food they. very very important water is poured you wouldn't be able to live in los angeles in fact if you crowded everybody in there but i think that it's dangerous to say that we should let go of
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the numbers and look at other things the numbers are extremely important in terms of what the population is going to be like and what life is going to be like even even thirty years from now ok if i can go to you our guest in berlin but today i mean it really gets down to maybe not numbers but what's a good sign to use the type of lifestyle that people want to be able to have and if we look at the rich north and the rich west they consume most of the world's resources and we have emerging middle class is all around the the developing world the emerging world and they want to live like their european and american peers isn't that really the issue here is how you distribute resources divided by seven billion nine billion ten billion and so forth. i think it goes beyond i think the real concerns in some developing parts of the world where population is growing faster columbus council stane and i think that you know if he is working with those
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countries you know that to be able to ensure that women and young girls to take advantage of new technologies that are available education and ensure that they can be empowered to make choices in their lives to have children going forward so it is first about demographic transition in those countries but beyond that i agree with you it indicate that the level of the level of consumption of this point in time is also syllable and we must encourage developing countries to adopt a different concern from so that we're going to have it ok what an interesting point i mean to a lot of people say it's the rich west that needs to change its consumption matter you want to jump in there go ahead i did it's because i was curious to ask bob attend if the u.n. f.p.a. would also help empower those women who'd like to have more children instead of
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fewer i mean in africa it's more than fifteen percent of women who aren't able to have children because a very easily treatable and even preventable diseases reproductive tract infections and so on so what's a priority if. she learned it actually turns out help them to. no the issue about. reproductive health is that we go beyond just family we provide services to assure that. the child when she wants to have it and how dismiss and so for those who have them how many women is a population fund helping with infertility how many women are receiving infertility treatment the way they're receiving hundreds of millions of them contraception from the u.n. do you have a figure for that. quite a number i don't how would i be right in saying is it your home but to the extent
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we treat it sexually transmitted infections we provide expertise to assure that they do not get to that point because most of the where you talk about actually do so far from. the woman on the program answer some of this job with jump in we will obviously have a difference of opinion here got harder going towards looked after i think i think that looking at infertility is missing the point completely there are more women in africa who want to use contraception but can't get it then there and then there are women who are using contraception the unmet need for family planning is absolutely huge in africa and other very poor countries too and. has moved through more than fifty million women worldwide did from relief money then all gets in it and i think that that should be about how does the women who are and
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it was handled do you know them as well. matthew jump in go ahead. i'd like to know you know if you're keeping count of the women who'd like to have children and can't because in fact that's the specter of the future i mean you're counting seven billion people and it just so happens to fall on how wayne what an amazing coincidence i mean i think you want us all to believe that this is some kind of horror story but for some women for many families in the real drama as they say you have children who says i. wasn't sure you could laser the. drugs over the five days of their child where she wanted. to be working with the all the other just used to ensure that. the child when she wants to out of it and i think that many of these not hollow. in martha are jumping ahead matthew you are missing the point here the point here is population on a very huge scale and we are headed toward great trouble if this if the world goes
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up to sixteen billion people and stead of six billion people going to get a certain billion by the end of this century that is the high level of the united nations population division equip could be anywhere between sixteen and six million people at the end of this century twenty one hundred and so you're looking you're learning the ninety nine years into the future martha. and i are set in the future . matthew you know what i'm going to story and historians can even agree on what happened ninety years ago but you have crystal clarity about the world in twenty one hundred these kinds of warnings and so he didn't really radical and in many cases wasteful spending on the wrong priorities and that's the point i want to make martha. none of our families are released but my reply to the no no let martha reply go ahead. only important to recognize that we're headed for here when
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i was born we had we were taking fish out of the ocean that is taking out eight times that amount. that we have eight times the amount that we had then what's happening to the fisheries what's happening to the forests what's happening to agriculture where people have enough to eat it is very very difficult even if you reach nine point three billion people by twenty fifty that is a serious problem because it means we're headed toward the medium to higher levels of numbers of people on the planet later i think we're heading for a catastrophe in fact if we do not slow probably they are under oath that is the most important thing. yes i think but i think it is important to make the point clear that this is also about this is about trying to make sure that every woman. child when she wants to have it. she can access all of the technology and shows that she can have the way
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she wants to have it without because i think it is the right that is. going to be called to talk to. the technology or alter a cell and. would that include ultrasound scanning if they choose to have boys instead of girls no nos didn't know anything on unity how did they saw it and right now they're not willing to lay down they just say we're going to go to a short break after their short break we'll continue our discussion on global population stay with r.t. . and.
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a very warm welcome to you this is your news today protesters on the. streets they have. ladies and gentlemen you chose to try to get the status of the human experiment is exploding with. this in this rap music. movies literally trying to make sense of global economy and it's on changelings us financial template the reason to maintain our confidence in markets and don't want to be seen trade imbalances recession look keep the nation's
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close to collapsing in some time alone feel close. to fail switchblade banks again feel a little like think is us crash smashed. just like ultimate in the closet in st the i.m.f. strikes me i'm just programs increased to two. welcome back to crosstalk i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're talking about the world's population. ok matthew before we ended a first part of the program the c. word came up coersion and now and this is i want to talk about is that we look at
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population decline in the rich countries of the of the of the north and of the west because you certainly have countries in europe that are dealing with that issue and then we have some countries in the world that have their growth is much faster than they can sustain what role do governments play in this what role does the united nations play in this because you know what kind of incentives do you give people to have more children and what kind of incentives you give people not to have children because different countries have different experiences and different expectations i'd like to point out as well and that goes back to the other c word in this program and that's consumption. that's right peter and if i leave you with one idea it's the fact that we don't have a population crisis we have a consumption crisis there are real challenges from over using resources for depleting fisheries and so on but if you want to see where the problems are it's not from looking at whether there are millions of people starving the fact is there are but it's not because there's too much or too little food in the world quite the opposite you know there's more than four pounds of food per person on this planet
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and when people go hungry it has nothing to do with population it has everything to do with power and inequality and unfortunately for too many years for decades international non-governmental organizations allied themselves with wealthy countries that told poor people in poor countries that if they were poor if their people are starving it's because they kept having children they had too many babies and that's a legacy we're still living with that's the reason why in so many countries including nigeria a country about the turned as origin that is a country where many women don't trust the family i do not desire it's because i think i think that i think you should you should talk about their experiences that you know about walked on the ground for forty years as a doctor and i can tell you that the lowest quintile the most societies in the developing world have children that come out of new kafka it is not just about
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feeding it is a housing is about what is opera it's about clothing is believed to be to look after these children and also what i write in chelsea king lou when i was a kid how many highly says to this i think it was in your footsteps. to make those choices which you don't want to make if you asked them rather than less than they have ok martin now let me let me go to morris is my thing is this is this a political crisis not a population crisis i mean maybe you draw upon the some of what matthew just had to . say because there there is a dearth of food in the world but there is starvation there is that there are people living in massive poverty but there's the world the planet is very rich i mean what math is getting at is it's a political problem because of inequality not because we have too many people. i think it is a very much a crisis about population itself but he is right that is that consumption is
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very important we consume much too much there's a huge unmet need for family planning but unfortunately there is no unmet need for wanting to consume less it's version much harder to deal with but we must do that. there are ten day is absolutely right that there are very large numbers of women who have children who have babies the pregnancies that they do not want we know this because of the huge number of unsafe abortions for example in many countries where women just are desperate not to have another child we should not have coercion there is no need for coercion at all and there should be no incentives by the way incentives are not necessary what's really important is letting women have the beams and the information they need to be able to manage whether and when to have a child when you think about. that i believe that that is what we should do is the right that we should we should do to pursue their show for took
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yes of course their you know the world but you know who does exist both in the reach on the floor countries access to food access to space. exist everywhere but where you when you take your particular national state or you look at it the last quinto of of all of those states actually do have access to these things. you want to have less children they do have a we should make it possible for them. to be able to do so matthew for adelaide and equally matthew go ahead i would absolutely agree with morris are about to turn to when they say that every woman should be able to have the children that she wants but what i would add is simply that you know the family planning community has always focused on those women they say don't want the children they have. i would like to have fewer children than they have but i'd like to know is when they're going to wake up and realize that there are hundreds of millions of women who are
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having difficulty having children i would like to have some help and in fact the biggest countries in the world china and india especially our countries where yes there are still incentives so-called and not only that but there are disincentives there are severe penalties in china and for forty years you know the u.n. population are thirty years out of the u.n. population fund has been in china so i'd like to know over all these years you know this whole time the population fund has been claiming that they're ending the one child policy why is it after thirty years thirty years of u.n. support why is it we still have a one child policy in china when i see you and finally going to speak out and say let's i want to go to the forest because i've. had to give thirty years to work on this isn't wrong information we have been there in the states in which we have worked with have been able to work with this did authorities to liberalize what is up with that we continue to work with the government of china we all posed towards
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thirty years brought so when you put it under a lot of addictions what does what is the kind of filing it and the like to see. the truth of the matter is that we. believe that you know. we should not leave it alone we should go into the kids for the rights based approach to so you'd rather who would rather be advice. you would rather help china's population control program which you say is having the effect of liberalizing that population control program and you like to do a lot of that here what are you going to be there for another we already. this morning was a job and here i was you know i said. martha is going to jump in and right now going to. do. the name the word poverty hazard here is your idea it's very very important matthew weight please know what we really haven't looked at poverty at all where i we cannot find any country that has gotten
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out of poverty while maintaining a high average family size except for a few oil rich states this is very important what really means is that people cannot get out of poverty they cannot be educated they cannot the health system cannot catch up with the fact that there are many more children born here than the year before in the high fertility countries is exceedingly important to make sure that women do not have babies that they do not want to have says that they can give the advantages to their own children that they otherwise cannot do i think. if you know there's a problem that we have that is to assure that when it conflicts that have taken women of the seriously. moved to make choices for their lives they have come out not only out of poverty but of also girls who demographic transition they become more prosperous i mean it is about and i think that this is what we continue
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to talk to. to it as sure that we didn't have access to information on the. choice ok matthew you want to jump in there because i think one of the things i'm kind of carry us about is that if we do all the right things with family planning then what kind of population will the planet finally settle on is there is the populations go through this demographic transition because at what number do we get out with a sustainable for the world's resources. well it's a very good question and in fact economists not just economists many others have been debating this for centuries has been a discussion and a debate over centuries about how many people the earth can support and over the centuries there are some of said that the earth can't support more than two billion or perhaps it's four maybe six or maybe eight and the fact is it's not just about the number of people on this planet it's what kind of people we will be yeah you
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know if we're going to continue wasting our resources if americans for instance are going to continue throwing out more chicken that has eaten in the entire indian subcontinent then no that can't go on but that's why i would say that the real issue here is not the numbers of people on this planet especially not the numbers of poor people on this planet because they're not the ones the countries that still have relatively high fertility are not the countries where people are over consuming and depleting the world's fisheries and burning up all our fossil fuels and creating greenhouse gases the real problem here is consumption there is a consumption crisis it is not a population crisis and to say that the solution to the world's problems much less a solution to the world's poverty is to get poor people to stop having so many children is worse than a distraction it is worse than a distraction. so i think much of what it is it is it is not one of the other it is it is both to the extend that every person in the world she will have
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a life of dignity and should be moved to have a quality to their lives that is what we're talking about so we're asking should be we should look after them and shoot ensure that we do not consume the. planet's resources we should also help the poor women who have absolutely no access to education or to have to move to make the choices so they can have quality into their lives that to be frank you know when i want to go to matthew day well we're almost out of time magazine dealing seems to me it seems to me at the at the end of this program it's the problem of the west too willing to consume less well loused the rest of the world consume or is there any political will for that expression in these hard times. i think that's what we all have to focus on and that's what i try to say as long as we're looking at brown and black people and saying there are too many of them and that's the problem of the planet and that's the specter of the future and that this hallway and every halloween we have to be frightened of
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a world of billions of people then that's for how long we're going to lose sight of what really matters here the real crisis we're facing which is that yes we are overconsuming resources we are depleting the world's fisheries the planet is getting warmer but it has nothing to do with whether a poor family is going to have three or four children instead of two it has everything to do with what rich people are doing in the richest countries in the world well fascinating discussion thank you very much many thanks to my guest today in berlin washington and in gainesville and thanks to our viewers for watching us here to see you next time remember crosstalk.
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on the path to recognition gets a seat at the u.n. cultural agency for the first time widely seen as a strong show of support for the region's bid for statehood. for the un agency and
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the vote comes at a price washington says stop funding the organization i'm. back with more from washington in just a few moments. syria's president claims that the deadly anti regime uprising in the country is funded from abroad and warns western powers to keep out. and from the directors' box to the witness box chelsea football club owner. is in court as his former friend boris berezovsky suits him for allegedly muscling him out of a multibillion dollar russian oil company. and broadcasting live direct from the heart of russia's capital moscow this is r.t. .

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