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Voices of Concern


World in the Balance homepage

The experts that NOVA interviewed for "World in the Balance" have sobering things to say about the effects that population changes are having on the world. How, for instance, falling grain harvests and water tables worldwide make the prospect of feeding Earth's future population an extremely daunting one. How Japan and most countries in Europe face a rapid decline as economic and political powers as their populations age and plummet. How, because of a societal preference for males, the two most populous nations, China and India, have highly imbalanced sex ratios—a state of affairs with potentially destabilizing consequences for both countries. How, in Africa, 6,000 people are dying each day from AIDS, leaving, in places, only orphaned children and their aged grandparents—and teenage girls who are forced to sell sexual favors just to survive.

Nevertheless, as the quotes below show, each of the five experts whose interviews we present here holds out hope for solving population-related problems that threaten both the human and natural worlds.—Peter Tyson


Global Issues

Lester Brown
 

Lester Brown on population growth
and its potentially dire impact

"We may respond very positively. In a global crisis, there are a lot of leaders that play key roles."

Paul Hewitt
 

Paul Hewitt on "aging"
and "young" countries

"The win-win situation is that our pension money will help these emerging-market countries grow."


Issues by Country

Pamela Onduso
 

Pamela Onduso on young people in Kenya
"The future does look very, very promising for both sets of young people, because those of us involved in programming have been at it long enough to know what works and what doesn't."

Geeta Rao Gupta
 

Geeta Rao Gupta on women's status in India
"Because the change has already begun in other parts of India, I do believe that momentum will carry forth even to the other states."

Ding Yihui
 

Ding Yihui on climate change
in China and elsewhere

"If we start to reduce emissions now, we will probably be able to see effects between 2030 and 2050. With global cooperation, it's not too late. It's still relatively early."

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World in the Balance

Back to the World in the Balance homepage for more articles, interviews, interactives, and slide shows.



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