Population scored discussion

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The date is February 6, 2014 and it is a cold winter day in Geneva, Switzerland. The United Nations is holding a conference to discuss the advantages and disadvantages to a growing world population. The basic question for the conference to discuss is “Are there (and will there be) too many people in the world?” During the conference a panel of experts will hear arguments on both sides of this issue. At the end of the conference, the panel of experts will make a decision about what to do about world population based on the participants’ arguments.

As of Halloween 2011, the world’s population reached the 7 billion mark and the growth rate in some countries is over 2% per year. Some people fear a “human time bomb” which will explode if population is not controlled. Some of the problems they fear are pollution, poverty, starvation and energy shortages. While few members of this side favor China’s one-child policy, many others want to offer more family planning and womens’ rights. On the other hand, some argue that developed countries like Japan are facing “underpopulation”. Others that say population isn’t a problem believe that trying to limit population violates peoples’ human rights and religious beliefs. Because of better farming and medical technology, many in this group simply feel that the world has a far greater future carrying capacity than it has today.

There are three groups in this conference: (1) yes, there are (and will be) too many people, (2) no, there aren’t (and won’t be) too many people, and (3) the panel of experts. If you are on the panel, you have three jobs: ask questions to the other two groups, keep control over the debaters, and make a decision at the end of the debate based on the comments of the groups.

We will spend two days on the computers preparing for the debate. The debate itself will last no more than 2 days. During the research time, the panel must come up with as many questions to ask based on the readings. All participants will be graded on the number of times they make thoughtful comments during the debate. If you use them during the debate, really unique and important comments, visuals (charts, graphs, pictures, etc.), as well as made-up personal stories will earn you extra credit.

Once the debate begins, the order of events will be as follows:

1. Introduction by the panel.

2. Opening statements by anyone from each group. (Everyone else must be quiet.)

3. Questioning of the group by members of the panel.

4. Open debate during which anyone may talk.

5. Closing statements by anyone from each group. (Everyone else must be quiet.)

6. Decision of the panel based on the groups’ recommendations.
Internet sites

--“Yes. 7 billion people are a big deal. The Earth can’t handle it.”

1. http://www.populationconnection.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_us Scroll down and click on “Download Answers to Frequently Asked Questions” 2. http://www.populationinstitute.org/newsroom/opeds/view/35/ 3. http://www.populationinstitute.org/external/files/Fact_Sheets/Water_and_population.pdf Population and water 4.http://www.earth-policy.org/blog/7_billion 5.http://www.earth-policy.org/indicators/C40/population_2011 6. http://www.populationconnection.org/site/PageServer?pagename=issues_protectingtheplanet Click on the fact sheet links about the environment 7. http://www.english.rfi.fr/africa/20111031-seven-billionth-human-boosts-inequality-and-resources-debate 8. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44990504/ns/us_news-life/t/seven-big-problems-billion-people “7 Big Problems for 7 Billion People 9. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=8635 10. http://populationaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/PAI-1293-POVERTY-4PG.pdf

11 http://www.unfpa.org/public/home/news/pid/8712 What is happening in the African country of Mozambique 12. http://www.populationaction.org/blog/2011/10/31/stemming-population-growth-is-a-cheap-way-to-limit-climate-change/ Limiting population can slow climate change

13. http://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/3_times_sustainable
--“No, 7 billion people aren’t a big deal. The Earth can handle it.”

1. http://www.pop.org/press Some of the articles are better than others. Click on the third and/or sixth ones. 2. http://www.openmarket.org/2011/10/28/who%e2%80%99s-afraid-of-7-billion-the-anti-human-left-that%e2%80%99s-who/#more-47096 Says those who support population limits have been wrong. 3. http://cei.org/sites/default/files/Zambone%20and%20Logomasini%20-%20Population.pdf 4. http://www.cato-unbound.org/2011/05/02/bryan-caplan/population-fertility-and-liberty/ Especially read under the heading “The Case for People” 5. http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/population/pc0049.htm Article called “After 7 Billion” 6. http://newamerica.net/node/9420 7.http://www.alternet.org/environment/131400/rebuttal_to_chris_hedges%3A_stop_the_tired_overpopulation_hysteria/8. http://www.ksl.com/?nid=968&sid=17897192

9. http://overpopulationisamyth.com/ Has lots of videos with arguments included 10. http://www.unfpa.org/public/home/news/pid/8591 About a country with a declining population. 11. http://blogs.ajc.com/kyle-wingfield/2011/10/31/the-big-problem-with-having-7-billion-people-theyre-too-old/

12. http://world.time.com/2013/11/21/china-the-worlds-most-populous-nation-needs-more-children/?hpt=hp_t3

Says China needs more kids

--Websites for both sides 1. https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/World/Article/TabId/718/ArtMID/13624/ArticleID/3074/Experts-debate-future-of-world-population.aspx

2. http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/364 3. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700194598/The-challenges-and-opportunities-that-come-with-population-growth-and-seven-billion-people.html 4. http://www.7billionactions.org/data Probably better for yes. Lots of statistics. 5. http://foweb.unfpa.org/SWP2011/reports/Press_Release_WPP2010.pdf Lots of information, just scan the headings. 6. http://www.populationconnection.org/site/PageServer?pagename=issues_defendingwomensrts About women’s rights 7. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15449959 Both, but more no. 8. http://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-26-2-the-debate-over-world-population-was-malthus-right.html Both—talks about a writer named Malthus who said 200 years ago that there were too many people 9.http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/7-billion Both. Website expands on the Nat Geo article. Lots of links. 10. http://www.unfpa.org/webdav/site/global/shared/documents/7%20Billion/7B_fact_sheets_en.pdf Both—has lots of information about lots of topics—just pick and choose 11. http://www.unfpa.org/public/home/sitemap/7Billion 12. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_59778.html About giving women more rights 13. http://geography.about.com/od/populationgeography/a/onechild.htm Basic info. about China’s one-child policy


Panel members:

1. Before the debate begins, have at least 8 questions for each group. (16 total)

2. After the debate, write a paper explaining your decision.
Group members:

1. Have at least 12 arguments for your group from the Internet.

2. After the debate, write a paper explaining your opinion about population control.

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