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.


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.

Two competing schools of thought clash on the issue of human survival. The first, dubbed “wizards,” believes the dilemma of resource depletion is solvable through...

About the Speaker

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

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

What Baby Boomers Can Learn from Millennials at Work and Vice Versa
The Power to Think Ahead in a Reckless Age
Why COVID-19 Is Hitting Us Now – and How to Prepare for the Next Outbreak
A Global Pandemic Calls for Global Solutions
What We Do (and Don’t) Know About Coronavirus
In Uncertain Times, Think like a Mother