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Home » Charles C. Mann: How Will We Survive When the Population Hits 10 Billion? (Transcript)

Charles C. Mann: How Will We Survive When the Population Hits 10 Billion? (Transcript)

Charles C. Mann

Charles C. Mann is an American journalist and author, specializing in scientific topics. His book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus won the National Academies Communication Award for best book of the year.

Here is the full text of Charles’ TED Talk titled “How Will We Survive When the Population Hits 10 Billion?”

TRNSCRIPT:

How are we doing? No, no, no, by that, I meant, how are we, homo sapiens “we” doing as a species?

Now the typical way to answer that question is this. You choose some measure of human physical well-being: average longevity, average calories per day, average income, overall population, that sort of thing, and draw a graph of its value over time.

In almost every case, you get the same result. The line skitters along at a low level for millennia, then rockets up exponentially in the 19th and 20th century.

Or choose a measure of consumption: consumption of energy, consumption of fresh water, consumption of the world’s photosynthesis, and draw a graph of its value over time. In the same way, the line skitters along at a low level for millennia, then rockets up exponentially in the 19th and 20th century.

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