Canadian Geographic - - YOUR SOCIETY - —Nick Walker

Dar­rell Bricker and John Ib­bit­son, the au­thors of the provocativ­e new book Empty Planet, spoke at Can Geo Talks events in Toronto and Ottawa in Fe­bru­ary on the causes and con­se­quences of global pop­u­la­tion de­cline. You read that right — de­cline. De­spite half a cen­tury of statis­ti­cians, pun­dits and politi­cians warn­ing that a bur­geon­ing planetary pop­u­la­tion will over­whelm the Earth’s re­sources, a grow­ing num­ber of experts are sound­ing a dif­fer­ent kind of alarm. Rather than ex­po­nen­tial growth, they ar­gue, the global pop­u­la­tion is headed for a steep de­cline. Ib­bit­son and Bricker (who spoke alone at the Can Geo Talks event in Ottawa), draw on a wealth of research and first-hand re­port­ing to il­lus­trate the con­se­quences of global de­pop­u­la­tion, in­clud­ing worker short­ages and a weak­ened econ­omy. Both talks, like the book, were com­pelling vi­sions of a future that we can no longer pre­vent — but one that we can shape, if we choose.

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