What's the Earth's carrying capacity? If we're above it and we choose to lower it, what happens to the economy? I've wondered these questions. I know the mainstream view gets it wrong because humans have lived sustainably. Their models say it's impossible, so they're wrong. They must be missing something, at least. Rapid population growth leads to poverty. It might be a party on the way up, but it's unsustainable. We can celebrate lowering population. Other cultures have. We can too. Bill starts by talking about how we can tell we're over the Earth's capacity, the dangers of relying on nonrenewable resources like oil. How do we achieve a soft landing if things collapse? Bill works on these things and speaks with experience and thoughtfulness, not just political bromides. We also cover birth control and immigration, topics relevant to the environment. These topics are critical, but not covered. For me, it's refreshing to talk reasonably about these things. The media doesn't. I also get him acting on his values. As you'll hear, he hits on something in his back yard he's neglected for decades. We switch from abstract facts, however important, to personal emotions.
No matter what you think we should do, everyone gets that there is some connection between population and sustainability. Everyone knows our population is increasing. We're consuming more than ever. How do we talk about this issue? I think most people shy away from it. I know I did, until recently feeling "what's the point in talking about something we can't do anything about?" I saw problems with overpopulation but the only cures I knew of seemed worse than the disease. Today's guest, Bill Ryerson, has been working on these issues with tremendous effects increasing prosperity, stability, freedom, and things everyone prefers---think the opposite of the One Child policy. He shares what he does, his sources of inspiration, why what he does works, and how it started for him with Mexican soap operas. Actually, it started long before with action of the sort nearly everyone talks about today---laws, information, facts---but it didn't work. The Mexican soap opera started what worked, and has around the globe for decades. After you list, read the book Over. You only have to see a few images to get the value, and understanding that seeing can create. I hope this episode helped loosen the grip of beliefs of mainstream culture. I wish I had heard things like it decades ago.