Did you know that 300 years ago people had larger jaws? Why would this be the case and why is it important? Paul Ehrlich, the founding father of modern population sciences, is here to talk about his new book which is a bit of a diversion from his usual work – warning us to not have too many kids. This time, Ehrlich, along with co-author and orthodontist Sandra Kahn, explore the links between jaw size and an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, sleep apnea and hyperactivity. Today, Ehrlich discusses the evolutionary biology of jaws and talks about what people can do to reverse what he calls a “hidden epidemic.”
We often hear about the resource curse in developing countries in terms of oil or precious minerals — most of us don’t associate the concept with food. But as this week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, food journalist Frederick Kaufman, has chronicled, in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa the resource of fertile land is being exploited in a way that is reminiscent of how other marketable resources have been appropriated.
Multinational companies and foreign governments are buying up mass tracts of land in poorer nations, growing food on that land, but then shipping all of it off elsewhere, depriving the populations of those countries both the resource and the profit it garnered. Kaufman explores how this reflects a change in global food security patterns, and offers his take on how enormous financial institutions like Goldman Sachs are reaping profits while others starve.
The United Nations forecasts that by 2050 the world’s population will exceed 9 billion. How will that affect life on the local level, on the global level, and in developing countries? And what impact will all these new humans have on the climate? Last week on Sea Change Radio we talked with Paul Ehrlich, iconic authority on the subject of population. This week on Sea Change Radio, we continue our exploration of the topic. First, host Alex Wise speaks with New York Times environmental reporter and Dot Earth blogger, Andrew Revkin, and then later with Stewart Brand, frequent guest, former student of Paul Ehrlich, and environmentalist icon in his own right. Both guests share their thoughts on how immigration, urbanization, religion, and the increasing global empowerment of women are affecting the population equation.
For more on the ongoing debates surrounding population, check out Mr. Revkin’s recent posts here and here via Dot Earth. Also, here’s an interesting piece by Adam Werbach in The Atlantic which offers a fresh perspective on the debate, and exhorts us “to move away from the language of population control and towards an even more vibrant advocacy on behalf of women.”