Summary of How Will We Survive When the Population Hits 10 Billion

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How Will We Survive When the Population Hits 10 Billion summary
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Current human behavior and population growth is jeopardizing the entire species. In fact, unless humanity radically changes its actions, nature will find a way to eliminate the threat of humankind. In this plea for action, scientific journalist Charles C. Mann describes how two environmental factions that could save the species are wasting time trying to prove ideological superiority. Hear both sides’ arguments; push for progress; and prove that, as a species, humans are indeed special.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the growing human population is an “outbreak,”
  • How “wizards” and “prophets” differ in their beliefs and solutions to solving the population problem, and
  • What strategy may save the human species.
 

About the Speaker

Science journalist Charles C. Mann is the author of The Wizard and the Prophet.

 

Summary

Natural selection ordinarily keeps populations in check. But when a population “exceeds the bounds of natural selection,” it can “explode, a hundredfold, a thousandfold, a millionfold” – resulting in an outbreak. The human race is an “outbreak species” that is poised to reach 10 billion by the mid-21st century. Alas, outbreaks don’t tend to end well.


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