Summary: Population growth is a difficult subject to explain to students. This is a great short video that explains some of the subtleties of global population increases simply and with some fun visuals (and even better sound effects). The video explains how the global population increased in size incredibly rapidly in recent history and offers some suggestions for why that increase is likely to slow in the coming years. The video discusses advances in medicine and agriculture as part of what's at work here: accounting for fewer deaths and longer lives. But, the video does not suggest any ways to stave off the number of births. While they do provide the UN project of 10 billion, they don't quite explain how and why population growth will slow. It's a great video to begin a conversation about demographic change and global population. But, it requires a discussion of dual forces at work: (1) social and technological advances that help keep more of us alive longer and (2) social and cultural factors that cause us to have fewer babies, in part—though not entirely—due to various social and technological advances. If births didn't slow down, it's likely we'd already have overfilled the beakers. Discussing the social and cultural forces that work to help people decide to have fewer babies is also part of this conversation and well worth exploring after the video. For other clips on The Sociological Cinema that explore the challenges associated with a world population of 7 billion, click here and here.
Submitted By: Tristan Bridges