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Join us - Population Growth – Fodder for the Apocalyptic Horses

Thu, 03/03/2016
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South West Mensa invites you to a fascinating talk and Q&A on the hot topic of SUSTAINABILITY!

We are delighted to welcome Roger Martin, Chairman of the sustainability charity Population Matters to shed light on this fascinating and sometimes controversial topic.

Population Growth – Fodder for the Apocalyptic Horses. 

"It's no use reducing your footprint if you keep increasing the number of feet".

18:00 - 21:00, Thursday 3rd March 2016

The Upper Lounge, Reed Hall, Exeter University

Human population growth, starting with agriculture, turned sharply exponential with the industrial revolution and especially the last 60 years post-war. It is now growing at about 80 million per year or 10,000 per hour. By definition, total human impact on our planet = average impact per person x number of people. Clearly a finite planet cannot sustain indefinite growth in anything, so we know growth in both consumption per head and numbers will stop. The crucial question is when and how.

Economic growth can end in a hundred scenarios, but population growth in only two (or some combination): sooner by humane means (fewer births), or later by natural, Malthusian/Darwinian means (more deaths). At present, urged on by economists, politicians and corporations, we are heading for the latter - ecological apocalypse, as the green movement have long reminded us. Yet they too observe a mad taboo on mentioning the second half of every environmental equation - population. Stable or reducing populations are self-evidently an essential (if far from sufficient) condition for any sustainable economy or society; while ever more people provide ever more oats for the Four Apocalyptic Horses. This talk will review them seriatim, summarising the current evidence and outlining the obvious solutions.

About Roger Martin

Roger was a first year VSO and later a diplomat for 22 years, serving in Rhodesia Department (for UDI), Indonesia (fall of Sukarno), Vietnam (from the Tet offensive to 'Vietnamisation'), the UN (North/South dialogue) and as Head of Middle East Department (Iraq/Iran war, second oil shock), before resigning in fury as Deputy High Commissioner in Harare. He wrote a book, lectured and broadcast on Southern Africa, before  becoming an environmentalist. He has served as a 'green' representative on numerous NGOs and quangos in the South-West and nationally, including Environment Agency Flood Defence, pollution and Water Framework Directive committees, SW Regional Assembly, Waste Panel and MAFF Panel, National Park Authority, as Somerset Wildlife Trust Director, SW regional chair and national Trustee CPRE, chair SW biodiversity action plan and Somerset 'Sustainable Development Forum', etc. Increasingly exasperated by their failure to recognise that population growth made all their problems harder (and ultimately impossible) to solve, he is now Chairman of the sustainability charity Population Matters.

To book, please click on the following link

(Please note, we regret this event is unsuitable to individuals who can't climb a flight of stairs. There is no access by wheelchair to the Upper Lounge at Reed Hall)

Talk, Q&A including refreshments - Non Member price £6.50