Population, Consumption, and Climate: A conversation with Al Bartlett

by Stephanie Chasteen on March 14, 2012

Al Bartlett is a celebrated physics educator, and he’s right here in Boulder.  One of the things he’s well-known for is a talk that he’s been giving since the 1960’s on the simple arithmetic of population growth, and what this means for our planet.  I’ve seen that talk — Arithmetic, Population and Energy:  Sustainability 101 — and it was illuminating even for me (and not a little bit frightening).  He’s using the same overhead slides that he’s had for years, but they have the same impact now as they always have.

The Outreach office at CU Boulder has just put together a short video with Al Bartlett’s main messages about population growth and how this relates to our global levels of consumption.  It’s aimed at the general public, but definitely appropriate for middle-school and high-school (as long as it’s accompanied with suggestions of solutions to the climate problem, as research has shown that a doom-and-gloom approach is paralyzing for children.  There’s a nice little video on how to mitigate the effects of climate change, geared for Colorado, here.)

Below is the YouTube of this latest video on Al Bartlett:

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