Is the population bomb ever going to explode?

World Population day was July 11, 2010. Did you even know that? Environmentalists and human rights advocates regularly point to a growing world population as a potential source of strife. But one environmental author doesn’t agree. Fred Pearce is an environmental and investigative journalist. His books include “Confessions of an Eco Sinner” and “PeopleQuake,” in which he argues the fears of a population explosion are overblown. His recent post on our Climate Desk partner site Grist sparked a sharp rebuttal from Robert Walker, executive vice president of the Population Institute. We invited them both to talk about the issue of population growth and its impact on climate change:

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.

 
SUGGESTED STORIES
  • Differing views on fracking's impact
    Studies conducted on the counties above the Marcellus and Barnett Shale for example — where extensive drilling has already taken place — present mixed economic results.
  • thumb
    Too much solar energy?
    The proliferation of privately owned solar has large power companies in Germany worried.
  • thumb
    Nominee has industry ties
    Energy secretary nominee had deep connections to industry, including as a paid adviser to BP until 2011.

Comments

  • Debbie Blanton

    I can understand Mr. Pearce’s logic, but I think he’s looking too narrowly at the total picture. He’s looking through the lens of climate change, which is certainly the prevailing concern these days. Mr. Walker is looking at population and its impact on the earth more broadly, and I have to say that his argument rings true for me. Even without the climate change, large populations are straining the resources of the earth. In the United States, we face degrading agricultural land, increasing suburbanization, and truly massive withdrawal of non-renewble natural resources. Common sense should tell us that we can’t go on withdrawing from our bank of natural resources without running into a deficit wall at some point. Climate change just adds to the uncertainty of the converging factors that result from too many people. It’s not just the developing countries that are overpopulating their lands. Look at the population growth of the United States in the past century. Every person who is responsible for more than one child coming into the world (which would mean a couple could have two children, but upon remarrying have none) is contributing to the problem.

  • DonalB

    It is a sad reflection on the state of human wisdom when having children is considered a problem. What is even more unbelievable is that the majority of the people who see the growth in human population as a problem have no doubts about the validity of the “Theory of Evolution” and the process of natural selection. The most offensive and troubling manifestation of this latest prevailing view is how it motivates it’s followers to desire to curtail the basic freedoms of others.
    What arrogant beings we have become believing we can account for all the variables involved with limiting the growth of our own species! Common sense tells me that the result of this folly will be the extinction of those genetic variations within the human family who are persuaded to choose infertility.
    Get out of your tiny self absorbed universe for God’s sake and look to the heavens. There is a vast universe out there waiting to be planted. What if we are the planters? What if we are the seed?

  • Beam Me Up Scotty

    It already has. Global Warming would not have occurred if there weren’t so many people.

  • Samuel mwaniki mwangi

    Donald please,overpopulation is not gauged on human wisdom but on reality.Overpopulation here is availability of resources verse demand/consumption.
    Perhaps you have noted there are a lot of people going without meal for a duration of time,many of us in Africa are starving with a meal a day,Unemployment has boomed,Health problems has overtaken health service provide and necessary commodities ,shelter is yet a crisis with slum looming even in rural area so are with other commodities/resources.Unless we go China’s way to accomplish a Zero population growth rate the future is threaded by the current population growth rate.
    It is a great step for Environmentalists and human rights advocates regularly point to a growing world population as a potential source of strife.Environment has greatly be affected by Overpopulation,for instance the amount of carbon dioxide emitted ,Number of tree cleared for settlement and cultivation purpose,logging for commercial and construction ,fuel consumption,charcoal burning ‘with more than 2 billion people using charcoal daily’ ,sure climate change has be affected by human activities which can be altered only by controlling birth rate.

  • http://www.earthstorys.org/2010/05/12/3925/ Earthstorys

    [...] Audio: Is the Population Bomb Ever Going to Explode? [...]

  • Steven Earl Salmony

    Let us estimate conservatively that the world’s population of 60 year olds is 675 million this year. Then according to the UN estimates, in 2050 the number of people over 60 years old will increase to over 2 billion people.

    According to UN Population Division estimates of the total human population on Earth, there is a total population of 6.7 to 6.8 billion people in 2010, with a fully anticipated, forty percent increase to a total of 9.1 billion people in 2050.

    What can possibly be good about this “demographic picture”? It reminds me of a terrifying nightmare. The family of humanity will soon be confronted by emerging and converging, human-induced global threats that appear to be the direct consequences of the unbridled growth both of huge numbers of old people and gigantic numbers of young people. The fact that fertility rates are declining worldwide must not be allowed to blind us to the equally evident fact that absolute global human population numbers are continuing to skyrocket now, just as they have been during my lifetime.

    The human community is not providing for the basic needs of the people on Earth in our time. Over 3 billion people are existing on resources valued at less than $2 per day. What possible good can come from adding 2+ billion more human beings to the family of humanity in the next four decades?

    Can you envision that by the year 2050, a mere 40 years from now, if a substantial portion of the family of humanity was to achieve Stage IV described in Demographic Transition Theory, then it would require several planets just like Earth to provide the adequate resources to sensibly sustain a global population of 9+ billion people?

    The widely shared, consensually validated and commonly held interpretation of global human population data by many too many experts, per the theory of the demographic transition, appears to be fatally flawed. The Demographic Transition Theory appears to be founded in preternatural thinking, is descriptive not predictive theory and, furthermore, is directly contradicted by unchallenged scientific research of human population dynamics from Hopfernberg and Pimentel that has been extant but ignored during the last, “lost” decade of denial.

    Perhaps others will speak out loudly and clearly by expressing their concerns about this predicament, and also invite population scientists, human demographers, conservation biologists and other top rank experts to break the silence that is suppressing the open discussion of vital evidence regarding the human population.

  • Steven Earl Salmony

    Please note that scientific evidence of human population dynamics and the human overpopulation of Earth has been eschewed virtually everywhere for a decade while a global gag rule was in place. The unfortunate choice of so many experts to remain electively mute would not be a such a problem if the human-induced global challenges already visible in the offing were not so formidable and so likely to threaten human wellbeing and environmental health in the fairly near future.

    Whatsoever the odds, and no matter how daunting the human-driven challenges which loom ominously before the family of humanity on the far horizon, human beings have undeniable responsibilities to assume and solemn duties to perform as best we can with the steadfast hope of making the world we inhabit a better place for the children to live in. To do otherwise, much less choose to do nothing but more of the same unsustainable things we are doing now, is anathema to me. What do you think?

    Perhaps necessary changes toward sustainable lifestyles and eco-friendly business enterprises are nearly at hand.

  • Russ Hopfenberg

    I applaud the open discussion about the difficult topic of human population growth. This important issue has been avoided for far too long. What remains unaddressed are the precipitants and causes of our global exponential growth. I urge you to view the narrated slide show at http://www.PanEarth.org entitled “World Food and Human Population Growth” that was delivered as a special seminar at Cornell University in 2005.

  • Steven Earl Salmony

    If a viable way is not found soon and immediately implemented to humanely accelerate the current decline in human fertility rates worldwide, other ‘essential’ concerns will likely not take on the significance they do now?

    The current gargantuan scale and unbridled growth of absolute global human population numbers in our time is the global challenge that dwarfs all other human-driven threats to human wellbeing and environmental health.

  • Randolph Femmer

    We should be most alarmed (and most assuredly should not be complacent) about the enormously dangerous numbers that we are continuing to add to world population.

    (1) Beginning with a worldwide population of two billion in 1930, we will have reached seven billion sometime in 2011 (an increase of five additional billion in a single human lifetime), with still more billions (numbers eight and nine) on-track to arrive by 2050. (For a consideration of the enormity of these numbers, a mathematical “Riddle of a billion homework questions” can be found at http://www.scribd.com/doc/18366094/World-Population-Demographic-and-Biospheric-Understandings-ppt-1 – Hint: The answer is 38,461 years).

    (2) Secondly, we should not allow flawed expectations of demographic transition theory to lure us into suppositions that we will not overshoot the nine billions hypothesized by recent medium projections.

    Imagine, for example, unexpected medical advances that bring about a sudden reduction in mortality or startling increases in longevity. (Researchers have already succeeded in lengthening life-spans of laboratory organisms six-fold – an equivalent extension in human terms would be 500 healthy years – see, for example, Cynthia Kenyon’s review paper in the journal Cell, 2005.) (If this initially seems unlikely, consider humanity’s startling advances in aeronautics: Beginning with the Wright brothers who flew their heavier-than-air vehicle for twelve seconds and 120 feet, in less than six decades the US was able to land astronauts on the moon and fly them home again in a little more than one week. What if startling increases in longevity mirror similar trajectories in computers, communication, and aeronautics, for example? )

    If medical and similar advances bring about continuing mortality reductions (never mind startling increases in longevity) current demographic theory envisions a period of “demographic transition” during which there is a time-delay before reductions in fertility occur to reflect the reduced mortality – and during this lag-time, populations skyrocket as births greatly exceed the lowered death rates.

    Finally, however (perhaps after one or more generations), transition theory postulates a gradual decline in fertility rates that slowly reduces them to levels commensurate with mortality rates, and a population stabilizes. Thus, demographers commonly envision our time of soaring populations as a transition period during which fertility rates have not yet caught up to our falling mortality rates, but they suppose that they will do so any decade now.

    However, one oversight in current theory is that expectations of a population stabilization may well be subverted as science, medicine, and technology repeatedly lower mortality rates not just once, but over and over and over again – so that the currently-imagined “demographic transition” is repeatedly postponed or never occurs. In effect, as fertility rates slowly and gradually adjust to an initial mortality reduction, today’s genetics, technologies, and medical advances institute a second, third, fourth, and fifth mortality reduction in quick succession.

    As a result, falling fertility never catches up to the multiple new reductions in mortality and the interim stage of the transition (with its period of soaring population) is never completed. (It will be completed eventually, of course, but with each delay in the transition, the completion is increasingly likely to occur as a collapse.) (Additional treatment of this is available at http://www.scribd.com/doc/19805610/Demographic-Transition-Theory-New-Questions).

    We are much like passengers on the passenger liner Titanic whose captain was specifically warned repeatedly (six separate times) about the dangers of icebergs, but he nevertheless chose to sail complacently onward because he was certain that HIS vessel was completely unsinkable.

    It is absolutely necessary for policymakers and journalists to include serious, serious, serious discussion of population-environment-demographics matters as a routine part of their programming and coverage, so that we salute the team at Need To Know for their above step in this direction. Let us hope that other PBS, network and cable television programming will soon begin to follow suit.

  • Randolph Femmer

    The question posed in the introduction to this discussion is: “Is the population bomb ever going to explode?”

    This comment format, to my knowledge, does not permit us to post a graph here to answer that question. However, the following quick link to a flickr.com image shows the answer to that question:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pali_nalu/4824594496/

    The linked mage depicts humanity’s population growth over the past ten millennia as a graph that is virtually identical to a graph of the exponential / hyperexponential fission events taking place in the closing, late-phase stages of a nuclear detonation.

    The answer is that our population bomb is in the process of detonating NOW and has been detonating mostly since the 1930s. (Think of the atomic detonations that ushered in the age of nuclear weapons. When these weapons detonate, they obliterate everything around them as the fission events inside the weapon skyrocket upward along the y-axis of a graph – which is exactly what our graph shows that WE are doing to the only biospheric life-support machinery so far known to exist anywhere in the universe.) (Our time-line is different in that our detonation is not taking place in milliseconds, but our detonation is a planet-wide event, as is the destruction that we have inflicted, are inflicting, and will inflict.)

    Fred Pearce seems not to have considered the implications for humanity, civilization, and the biosphere if his complacent assessments turn out to be in error (and they are calamitously wrong) – but our species should have stabilized our population at least two decades ago. If we had done so, our chances of achieving sustainability and avoiding calamity would have been greatly enhanced.

  • Misa Olvera

    the fact that we sit around arguing more about the problem then looking at the common sence soulutions it the main problem. The only problem is soulution. what do you do in an economic system wear all the solutions are free or when the alternitve is so cheep its addiction. thier are no poblems but the ones we chose not to solve. God help us all to see, to wake up to reality.

  • Steven Earl Salmony

    Statement by Dr. James E. Hansen
    Freedom Plaza:
    Equal Protection of the Laws

    We hold this truth to be self evident – all people are created equal. That truth is the basis for equal protection of the laws – a right guaranteed by our Constitution. “All people” includes young people, mountain people, poor people.

    Our government was instituted to protect the rights of all people. We are gathered here today to draw attention to the failure of our government to protect the rights of the people, and failure to provide equal protection of the laws. People have suffered a long train of abuses, invariably with the same objective – to enrich the few at the expense of the many.

    First, the government is failing to protect the future of young people, knowingly allowing and even subsidizing actions that benefit the few at the expense of the public and at the expense of all life sharing this Earth.

    Second, the legislative and executive branches of government knowingly propose actions that demonstrably and utterly fail to preserve our climate, and the environment for life.

    Third, our government allows and contributes to a great hoax, perpetrated on the public by moneyed interests, aimed at confusing the public about the reality of climate change. We are in danger of becoming the land for the rich and the home of the bribe.

    More than 200 years after the founding of our nation, we face a great moral crisis. Human-made climate change pits the rich and powerful against the young and unborn, against the defenseless, and against nature. The moral issue is comparable to slavery and civil rights.

    Solution for civil rights was provided by the combination of people in the streets and the courts, which provided equal protection of the laws and ordered desegregation.

    Brave people have been standing up in West Virginia, in Kentucky, in Tennessee, in Utah, in Australia, in the United Kingdom, around the world.

    But now is the time to go on the offensive. We should not be begging courts to forgive the brave people who protest. We must ask the courts to order the government to present plans to phase down fossil fuel emissions at a pace dictated by science, a pace stabilizing climate, preserving nature and a future for young people, providing young people equal protection of the laws.

    We can bring that case. But we can win only if the public understands the situation, sees through the lies of the moneyed interests, sees what is needed to solve the problem.

    As long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, we will not solve the addiction. There will be more mountaintop removal, longwall mining, tar sands, deep ocean drilling, shale gas, seeking the last drop in the most pristine places.

    We must put a fee on carbon, collected from fossil fuel companies, with all proceeds distributed to the public. One hundred percent or fight!
    Most people will get more in the monthly green check than they pay in increased energy prices. Our economy and innovations will be stimulated. We will move to clean energies.

    A coalition is building for a carbon fee with 100 percent distributed to the public in a monthly check. In October this coalition will launch a campaign, Million Letter March, gathering letters showing that the people insist on an honest equitable solution. Please join the March.

    Let us resolve to have a rebirth – a rebirth of our nation, a rebirth of equality of opportunity, true equality — with a government of the people, by the people and for the people – all of the people.

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001
    http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176
    http://sustainabiliysoutheast.org/
    http://www.panearth.org/

  • Steven Earl Salmony

    Statement by Dr. James E. Hansen
    Freedom Plaza:
    Equal Protection of the Laws

    We hold this truth to be self evident – all people are created equal. That truth is the basis for equal protection of the laws – a right guaranteed by our Constitution. “All people” includes young people, mountain people, poor people.

    Our government was instituted to protect the rights of all people. We are gathered here today to draw attention to the failure of our government to protect the rights of the people, and failure to provide equal protection of the laws. People have suffered a long train of abuses, invariably with the same objective – to enrich the few at the expense of the many.

    First, the government is failing to protect the future of young people, knowingly allowing and even subsidizing actions that benefit the few at the expense of the public and at the expense of all life sharing this Earth.

    Second, the legislative and executive branches of government knowingly propose actions that demonstrably and utterly fail to preserve our climate, and the environment for life.

    Third, our government allows and contributes to a great hoax, perpetrated on the public by moneyed interests, aimed at confusing the public about the reality of climate change. We are in danger of becoming the land for the rich and the home of the bribe.

    More than 200 years after the founding of our nation, we face a great moral crisis. Human-made climate change pits the rich and powerful against the young and unborn, against the defenseless, and against nature. The moral issue is comparable to slavery and civil rights.

    Solution for civil rights was provided by the combination of people in the streets and the courts, which provided equal protection of the laws and ordered desegregation.

    Brave people have been standing up in West Virginia, in Kentucky, in Tennessee, in Utah, in Australia, in the United Kingdom, around the world.

    But now is the time to go on the offensive. We should not be begging courts to forgive the brave people who protest. We must ask the courts to order the government to present plans to phase down fossil fuel emissions at a pace dictated by science, a pace stabilizing climate, preserving nature and a future for young people, providing young people equal protection of the laws.

    We can bring that case. But we can win only if the public understands the situation, sees through the lies of the moneyed interests, sees what is needed to solve the problem.

    As long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, we will not solve the addiction. There will be more mountaintop removal, longwall mining, tar sands, deep ocean drilling, shale gas, seeking the last drop in the most pristine places.

    We must put a fee on carbon, collected from fossil fuel companies, with all proceeds distributed to the public. One hundred percent or fight!
    Most people will get more in the monthly green check than they pay in increased energy prices. Our economy and innovations will be stimulated. We will move to clean energies.

    A coalition is building for a carbon fee with 100 percent distributed to the public in a monthly check. In October this coalition will launch a campaign, Million Letter March, gathering letters showing that the people insist on an honest equitable solution. Please join the March.

    Let us resolve to have a rebirth – a rebirth of our nation, a rebirth of equality of opportunity, true equality — with a government of the people, by the people and for the people – all of the people.

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001
    http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176
    http://sustainabiliysoutheast.org/
    http://www.panearth.org/

  • Anonymous

    While scientists and other human beings with feet of clay struggle to reveal and report what could somehow be real, absurdly enriched minions, overly educated sycophants and other merchants of doubt, who have had their dishonorable propaganda broadcast everywhere in the corporate-owned mainstream media by self-proclaimed masters of the universe among us, are commissioners of crimes against humanity, life as we know it and the Creation.
    What greater shame is there than the sham that is being perpetrated now here by a tiny arrogant minority of extremely foolhardy greed-mongers, who can be seen leading humankind down a “primrose path” and turning the planetary home we are blessed to inhabit into a shambles, even in these early years of Century XXI?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NULECUV4Q4OO24CQWCLT7Q3PJI Steven Earl SALMONY

    “Why is Man failing?” is the question.  Of course, there are likely many recognizable, understandable and acceptable responses to that query.  Having made this acknowledgement, I remain dumbstruck by one glaring and willful failure.  It is the conscious and abject failure on the part of many too many top ranking professionals with appropriate expertise and extant scientific evidence to respond to one central question, the rejection of which appears to be allowing ‘ the stage to be set ‘ for big trouble that takes its shape in the form of some unimaginable sort of colossal, human-induced global ecological wreckage.

    ****  Is the population dynamics of the human species essentially similar to or else different from the population dynamics of other species? ****  The implications of the correct response to that single query appear profound.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NULECUV4Q4OO24CQWCLT7Q3PJI Steven Earl SALMONY

     ‎’The brightest and the best’ are bought and paid for by “the highest bidders,” who then are aided and abetted in the sale of the Earth to the lowest bidders. If the creation of concentrated wealth continues to be the highly regarded driver of purposeful activity it is today, then the probable destruction of the Creation is the already recognizable result. If human beings with feet of clay keep silent, and by so doing consent to what is happening as the Earth is being ravaged, its climate destabilized and its environs degraded by pollution, then some among us in the DE community may witness something unimaginable, I suppose. And if not us, then surely the children will. Given the gigantic scale and the growth rate of human overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities now rampantly overspreading the surface of Earth, the likelihood of some sort of colossal ecological catastrophe appears virtually inescapable. Such are the vicissitudes of life now, in a soon to become patently unsustainable world ruled by the ‘virtue’ of greed. On the other hand, perhaps greedmongering will be eschewed and other behavioral changes toward sustainability are to be beheld in the offing.
    If changes are not made, perhaps the children will look back in anger and utter disbelief at what my generation of elders is doing now in our planetary home that is certain to prove beyond a shadow of doubt how far we are willing to go in order to protect a patently unsustainable way of life based upon outrageous greedmongering, even if our greediness leads to the death of life as we know it; and even it our foolhardiness causes the destruction of the children’s future. The children will see that human beings with feet of clay can be directed by self-proclaimed masters of the universe among us to precipitate a colossal global wreckage as well as that greed can rule the world absolutely.

  • Anonymous

    Are people being prevented from examining scientific evidence or else duplicitously biased against science by the mass media?

    How could the perpetration of so pervasive a silence with respect to science of human population dynamics, as well as the widely shared consensually validated broadcasts of pseudoscience, ever have been accomplished during the last four decades? What is going on? I cannot help but ask the questions. How did this willful denial of what could be real occur on our watch? How have the ubiquitous broadcasts of false hopes and promises been maintained regarding a benign, soon to occur, and somehow automatic end to human population growth by 2050? Has delusional thinking and ideological idiocy been allowed to rule the world during our lifetime because many too many experts chose to remain mute regarding evidence of human population growth or, even worse, to act as censors of the best available scientific evidence? Are powerful and influential experts colluding with “the powers that be” to deny science?
    Why would leaders and followers in a single generation choose not to speak out loudly, clearly and often in a time when a paradise is being turned into an inferno? Can malignant narcissism, pathological arrogance, extreme foolishness and outrageous avarice of a tiny dishonest and immoral minority of the human family be at least partially responsible for such an intolerable situation? How else can such a thing as a colossal human-driven extinction event occur so fast, before our eyes, with ‘the brightest and best’, “the smartest guys in the room” leading the way? Are self-proclaimed masters of the universe in possession of critical decision-making authority at the top of the global political economy leading all of us down a primrose path, come what may? Are power and greed mongers shouting everywhere “greed is good” and acting on what they have proclaimed to be their ‘inalienable rights’ to perpetrate some unimaginable sort of global ecological wreckage without a word being spoken for 40 years. Perhaps we are witnessing not only the sixth extinction event, the first such event to be precipitated by a species, but also the sight of something unthinkable: silence killing the world.Leaders and followers alike in the family of humanity can do better, and I trust we will soon enough awaken in a determinative critical mass of human beings with feet of clay to the need for behavior change. Support in the form of silent consent of the adamant advocacy and relentless pursuit of a morally disengaged and patently unsustainable way of life — one of endless population growth and unbridled economic expansion — simply cannot be tolerated any longer. It is never too late to stand up and be counted or to do the right thing, I suppose.

  • Steven Earl Salmony

    Somehow we have got to do many things differently, do them much more ably, and do all of them simultaneously, collaboratively, better and fast. Ready or not, like it or not, we are presented with a planetary emergency.This is the time for making necessary behavioral changes by thinking globally and acting locally. Science and common sense will give us direction. What we cannot do is sit on the sidelines. No, we cannot afford to sit this one out. All hands are needed on the deck at this critical moment in the history of our planetary home. Our generation is simply not stepping up to the challenges before us. The consequences of our failures appear colossal and profound with regard to the prospects for future human well being and environmental health. The very last thing a responsible person is to do in such circumstances is consciously and deliberately choose to remain silent, I believe. Are we not participants in and witnesses to yet another preposterous failure of nerve? When are the leaders going to speak out in an intellectually honest way and act with a sense of moral courage? How terrible are things going to have to become on Earth before the-powers-that-be begin to talk about and do the right things, according to the lights and best available knowledge they possess? Whatsoever is real and true must be acknowledged if we are to respond ably to climate destabilization, pollution, biodiversity loss, resource dissipation, environmental degradation and overpopulation,but the manufactured ‘nothing is wrong’ reality is well-established and those who speak truth to power are consistently marginalized and ignored. It is difficult even to imagine how much can be done in such unfavorable circumstances. Still our efforts are vital because the-powers-that-be are living in a fool’s paradise, and the stakes are such that the things that are not being acknowledged will likely destroy life as we know it on Earth. We know how to stop overpopulation humanely.The gravity of this and other looming human-driven global threats are understood and could be confronted with a long overdue determination to do what is necessary. All of the world’s human resources, including overrated intelligence and technology, need to be deployed in order to overcome the emerging and converging wicked problems looming ominously on the horizon.The-powers-that-be could save the world if they acted with the intellectual honesty, moral courage and power they possess to sound alarm bells, forcefully warn the world, and call out loudly and clearly for changes toward sustainable lifestyles and right-sized corporate enterprises. But most of the necessary changes are unlikely to happen, The-powers-that-be want to maintain the status quo, come what may. They lack the moral courage and the imagination to save the world we are blessed to inhabit as a fit place for habitation by children everywhere and coming generations.