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UCL events news and reviews


Half a child

By Matteo Farinella, on 15 June 2012

This seems to be the final answer to the question, population: how many is too many?

The only flaw one could find in this challenging talk is that there was not much room for debate, since both the excellent speakers agreed that we are already too many. According to the most realistic estimations the planet would be able to sustain at most 2.5 billion people (living our unsustainable lifestyle).

Therefore, even assuming a drastic cut in our consumptions (by all means necessary), remains the problem of how to accommodate the 7 billion that since last year populate this planet?

We simply can’t. This was the first point that Jonathon Porritt wanted to stress: any serious discussion about sustainable development and consumption must address the population issue. It is something we can no longer ingore and Porritt finds particularly frustrating the almost total lack of references to overpopulation within environmental organizations, in which he has been working for years.


Population and Climate Change in a World of 7 Billion

By news editor, on 15 November 2011

Helen Allwood, Research Grants Assistant, UCL Centre for International Health & Development, reports on ‘Population and Climate Change in a World of 7 Billion’, a high-profile reception held at the House of Commons on 7 November.

With the birth of the seven billionth living person last week, there is no more fitting a time to focus on the population and climate change debate. Never one to miss an opportunity, on Monday, the UCL Institute for Global Health co-hosted a reception at the House of Commons that brought together cross-sector stakeholders to discuss just this.


Population Footprints and Inequality

By Lara J Carim, on 6 June 2011

The UCL/Leverhulme Population Footprints Symposium held on 25 and 26 May was an interdisciplinary look at the impacts of human population growth, reports Shivani Singh, a PhD student at the UCL Centre for International Health and Development. Undercut with themes of inequality, consumption and health, the conference allowed for academics, members of the public and students to engage in lively debate on past trends and projections for the future.

While there were varied opinions on the potential problems that will be faced by the next generation if our populations continue to swell, there was a general consensus amongst presenters about a major issue that needs to be addressed: inequality.

Panel session at Population Footprints

Further speakers at the Population Footprints conference (from left): Professor Maria Lee (UCL Laws), Professor Anthony Costello (Co-Director, UCL Institute for Global Health), Ms Sara Parkin OBE (Founder Director, Forum for the Future) and HE Ernest Rwanucyo (Rwandan High Commissioner)


Is the population bomb a fallacy?

By Lara J Carim, on 31 May 2011

Kelly Clarke, a student at the UCL Institute of Child Health, reports on the opening debate at the UCL/Leverhulme Population Footprints symposium, held on 24 May.

The human population quadrupled in the 20th century. It will reach 7 billion this year. There are 250,000 more people on the planet today than there were yesterday. But Fred Pearce, New Scientist journalist, speaking at the ‘My Vision of the World’ debate at UCL last Tuesday believes we should stop worrying about an exponential population.