Population Boom

Population Boom

Downloadable Video - 2015
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How many people are too many? And who's one too many? Is this even the right question to ask? One thing is certain: 25 years ago there were five billion of us. Today, there are seven. Dwindling resources, mountains of toxic waste, hunger and climate change - the results of overpopulation?In "Population Boom," acclaimed director Werner Boote (Plastic Planet) traverses the globe armed with a World Bank umbrella to examine the myths and facts about overpopulation. Like a contemporary Socrates with a wry sense of humor, Boote questions the conventional wisdom. From Kenya's slums to Dhaka in Bangladesh to New York City, China, Japan and elsewhere, Boote speaks with everyone from demographic researchers to environmental activists, and comes to a surprising conclusion. It isn't overpopulation that threatens humanity's existence. Rather, it is the developed world's patterns of over-consumption and constant pursuit of immediate profit that looms over our future.Is overpopulation a myth with the sole purpose of covering up larger and far more important problems, and making the world's population the scapegoat of a far more complex game? 'It is not about how many of us there are, but about how we treat each other,' Boote recognizes. "Population Boom" starts with this as the basis for a debate, and becomes a cinematic journey with the masses between myth, facts and politics.
Publisher: [United States] : First Run Features : Made available through hoopla, 2015
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 90 min.)) : sd., col


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Dec 05, 2017

This film should be discarded from the library. It takes a serious subject, human population growth and its consequences, and treats it as if it were an issue that can be resolved by chat. Indeed, the movie offers little but chat to substantiate the opinion of the filmmaker i.e. that the threat of over-population is a scam perpetuated by big banks and rich countries to prevent them from being over-run by more populous poor countries. Werner Boote visits several countries that are widely considered to be over-populated and asks people, sometimes experts but not always, their opinions. He most often chats with people who share his opinions. Sometimes the opinions of his guests are wildly irrational. Irrational or not, never once in the entire film is any opinion supported by evidence. Be cautious about the message you take away from this film...or better yet, don't bother.

Oct 02, 2017

Although a well made film, it was ruined by the childish rhetoric - indeed stupidity - of the filmmaker, Boote. As an example, he goes to a big city (Mombasa) and makes many pictures of congestion, then goes out to the countryside, and then the upshot is: do you still think Africa is overpopulated? (He noticeably completely avoids reporting the population trends in Rwanda in the decades leading up to the genocide). He totally avoids any explaining, however simply the basics of demographics, and relies upon several interviews where basic physical limitations can be overcome by love and our hands. Delusions with smiles are the most dangerous.

Jul 31, 2017

Werner Boote (narrator, writer, and director) travels to various countries around the world and has discussions with a range of leaders, activists, and common folks to explore the question: 'How many people are too many [for the Earth to sustain itself and presumably, in a way that is healthy and productive for its inhabitants]?' Although I felt this film somewhat lacked a substantive and insightful discussion on this persistent question relative to other subjects like on food nutrition and agribusiness, industry practices, and ag policies which have an abundance of information that I have seen, what it did succeed in was to at least begin this conversation. It seems part of the reason for the lack of depth in the subject matter was that the leaders (as a broad term) that were interviewed seemed more concerned about anchoring their positions, and then there was just a general lack of clarity in the film's thesis; so it seems, there needs to be discussions with a broader group of people who have a more objective view of and possess material information that can substantiate this subject in order for the viewers to grasp a better understanding of the issues. The narrator made a remark that I thought raised more questions than it answered: He posited that if you placed the world's population (7 billion in 2015) in Austria, that everyone could fit within that country with 11 sq. meters allotted to each person and the rest of the world would be empty [of people], then he ended that statement with, 'The idea of overpopulation is nothing more than an excuse, a cheap excuse of doing nothing.' Perhaps I missed something, but honestly I just didn't quite understand this idea because his line of reasoning, if I understand it correctly, doesn't take into account quality of life (starting with basics essentials like shelter, sanitation, infrastructure, etc) of which he enjoys, the practicalities in the ability to raise and harvest food with 11 sq. meters to spare, as a start, and there's a large presumption that every sq. meter of the country's geography is habitable, etc. What was clear was that people were having difficulties discussing this subject, including the narrator, and thus an obstacle in finding cooperative and effective ways to address this and its associated issues, all as we become more ever-aware of time passing by. And what I am also aware of is that there are tangible conflicts occurring throughout the world because of a need for space and natural resources and consumption thereof, so I do believe this is a necessary discussion to have for the consideration of all of its inhabitants to strike a workable, sustainable, and healthier balance in our relationship with ourselves, with each other, and with everything else. I further believe that what happened on Easter Island is not an aberration.


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