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Mother: Caring for 7 Billion

2011, Environment  -   49 Comments
Ratings: 8.02/10 from 85 users.

The type of world in which our ancestors lived for hundreds of thousands of years women probably had four to six children in a lifetime. Half of those children would die before they could reproduce. So the only thing we can be sure about in human population studies is that for the last 100,000 years, people on average, had two children to succeed them, or there would have been a population explosion a thousand years ago.

In just the last nanosecond of human history, which began ten thousand years ago with the advent of agriculture, we began to change the way we looked at the earth; something that we separated ourselves from. It is the basis for our civilization today. We have spread notions of proper sanitation as we've vaccinated for diseases, as we've provided famine relief and basic levels of health care, we see an unintended consequence of our best intentions. By adding fossil fuels to our agriculture, we have allowed population to simply skyrocket.

In the 1960's, population was growing at an unprecedented rate, the highest in human history; as famine developed in South Asia spreading fear to the rest of the planet. The world started grasping the urgency of the situation. Advocacy groups, such as Zero Population Growth (ZPG), emerged in the US in the 1960s. For the first time, population growth was linked as a major factor responsible for the global environmental crisis, at the first Earth Day in 1970.

40 years later, the environmental message has not changed. Apart from a few persistent groups, population growth is barely being mentioned. It's as if the issue has been diluted among all the others; Even though population growth and human consumption are the major factors in our on-going environmental crisis. We are adding about 50 Million new middle class each year; modeling their consumption habits from the unsustainable lifestyle of the developed world. A triumph for progress and poverty, but a ticking bomb for our civilization.

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49 Comments / User Reviews

Leave a Reply to Ilona Randall Cancel reply

  1. Samuel Rodriguez

    We need Abortion, birth control pills and population control with a 1 child policy and this problem will slow down. One more thing:!! Stop paying people money from taxes (CASH), Also, giving free housing to none residence or citizens as well as free phones, free medicaid to people that never pay a dime in taxes. I am sure that is one good reason for some to have extra children.

  2. Neli Prota

    no matter what I do, I keep on seeing the message "this video is private" or "you must log in to see the video". How do I solve this issue? I'd really like to watch this movie. Thanks

  3. norek

    nature will take care of this.humans are too stupid to live a simple good life.we will kill everything around us,destroy water systems ,air, kill of the animals people dont give a shit.they want their 3d tvs,ipods and houses with 7 rooms for a family of 3.sooner or latter we will have to face the music.maybe a virus maybe oil crash maybe super volcano something will happen we cant consume and consume forever.greed will kill us at the end but maybe it will be a nice fresh start for the will survive and nature will bounce back in time.
    there is no need to change.survival is not mandatory.

  4. Event Horizon

    When it comes to human reproduction....just because you can, doesn't mean you must. Great film. I wish more people didn't downplay the crisis at hand.

  5. Avdhut

    It's not so much the amount of people but the production techniques, distribution, and consumption habits in use.

    1. NONONONO123

      YES it is about the amount of people too, just as much. Living space is a resource that can't just be expanded by more effective production or reduced even more in some crisis areas by changing consumption habits.

    2. Ilona Randall

      I think there is enough resources for everyone and we have the technology and ideas to feed, clothe, shelter everyone and a lot more... But is it a good idea to breed like rabbits and fill up the Earth? I don't think it is.

    3. NONONONO123

      Sure, but you missed my point I believe. Even if we have those resources you mentioned - food, housing, warmth - we do not have the resource of simple living space.

      It could be argued that yes there is but it becomes a twofold ethical question.

      1) Expansion of human populated areas can only come through the reduction of space in which wildlife lives. This will lead to disruptions in the ecosystem (messing up food-chains among other things) that will undermine the continuity of mankind itself.

      2) Technology - some say that overpopulation could be solved by interplanetary travel in the future. A deus ex machina solution by all standards. Instead of trying to solve the problem with the means currently available they put their heads in the sand and propagate doing nothing and relying on the questionable hope of an utopian solution.

  6. tom432

    we love are kids we hate are kids. evolutions got that bit under control. just us been very silly. I read some ware on this website that the us spends 8 billion on cosmetics. education for the poor 6 billion. very silly .

  7. joe

    An amazing film that everyone should watch and that they should show in every school around the world. For us that are already parents it can be too late. For those that are the next generation of parents -- they should pay attention. This will greatly affect them when they get to be our age.

  8. cecilhenry


    Anti-whites expect an entire race to disappear from the face of the earth without even mentioning, not even whispering about it.

    Nobody's flooding Africa with Non-Africans and giving them free health care, affirmative action and special privileges.

    Only White Countries are doing it, only White children are affected, and only White politicians are allowing it.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

    1. a_no_n

      i suggest you read a history book...specifically reguarding the empires where it was a case of everything for the whites.

      Your persecution complex is ignorant of so for example ow the chineese are actually moving into Africa, the whites are moving into Asia.

      so yeah, in short every single word of your statement is provably wrong.

  9. Lauri Neva

    This is what the abortionists want you to believe! Don't believe a word of this film!


      You are totally ignorant to the problem and to the truth that is right in front of your face. OK, don't get an abortion! Just don't get pregnant. Every ejaculation does not need to have a name. Get your head out of your behind!!!

    2. joe

      What film were you watching?????Did you pay attention?? It did have subtitles you could read. What land do you live in?

    3. Kenric L. Ashe

      What the heck is an "abortionist" anyways?

  10. David Flack

    Excellent film, all the goverments and religions of the world should be made to watch and understand this films message! But I am afraid it won't happen because they are all self centred i*iots!! Great idea though!!!

  11. Horst Manure

    If the idiots in the RC church would push for birth control instead of coming up with lame excuses it would be a good start...makes you wonder what the population would be with out the latest is trying to get people to live until they are 120 plus.

  12. Gadea

    There are certain parts of the world, that continue to produce
    babies that they obviously cannot afford to feed, clothe or educate.
    Those countries have limited access to medical care, food,
    education, opportunities for anyone, let alone new mouths to feed.

    Free Birth Control, sterilization, cash for every baby
    they do not h ave, should be made widely available to
    people in those countries.

    There are other countries, where babies are offered a very good
    start in life, access to excellent professional medical attention,
    top notch educators, nutritious food, good living conditions.

    In those countries, women should be encouraged to have babies,
    because their children will have a good start and a good future.

    1. Lila

      How Eugenic of you. Why not offer the same to people from countries who have $ as well. They are more likely to be over populating due to access to food, healthcare etc since their survival rate is higher..

    2. Kenric L. Ashe

      And also more likely to be consuming far more of the Earth's resources.

  13. Sumner Berg

    Humans are a plague species and Mother Nature will be doing more culling than She is presently doing. We aren't a very intelligent species but we think we are as we invented the word! To build a nuclear power station on the top of three tectonic plates as we have done in Japan is an example of total stupidity. Religion is another example of something engendered through human stupidity and religion is causing a lot of problems in our world. As Paul Ehrlich stated "what we need is a consumption condom". I personally think we have passed the no return stage and human will become extinct just like 99% of the species have done that have ever existed on this planet. We are just another species no more important than any other species. I think we are just a genetic fluke that is going to be shown to be unsuitable for life on this planet. What bothers me the most about the human species is that when we are gradually phasing out we are going to be taking so many other forms of life with us. We are definitely not above extinction!

  14. Ilona Randall

    There's a lot more than just population. It is an important issue, which I think isn't talked about enough and yes there's a social taboo as someone who is childless and chooses to remain so, I experience it. There needs to be education for EVERYONE not just women. What use is any amount of education if men remain ignorant?

    But there's a lot more, things imo, which should be addressed asap! If we want poor people to be educated, fed and have the opportunity to grow (and not in population!) we need to share with them what we have.

    We have a high consumerist society that wastes a lot and keeps telling us to consume more instead of making things to last, highly recyclable and/or upgradable so they don't need to be replaced. We buy a lot more food than we need and we eat too much, a lot is wasted and shops too waste a lot of it. Mc Mansions, expensive items, cars for everyone...

    Then there's the fact that priority is set on short term "profits" to get into the pockets of a few who don't care (don't they think of their children?), instead of long term eco-friendlyness that will benefit all.

    The money system and high greed capitalism is outdated. It relies on infinite growth, taking advantage of others, placing resources in the hands of a few and making sure everyone is consuming tons and have a lot of debt.

    Earth doesn't belong to anyone, it should be common heritage and we should do our best to keep it clean but also for everyone to benefit, not just a lucky few.

  15. Name

    it is all about the money:more people ,more sales and the capitalistic machine don't have a heart and is self destructive.

  16. Jonathan Roseland

    Looks interesting...!

  17. ChefBryn

    we need to have one baby families across the world and now, not in 20 years time. 60 million people living in the UK soon to be 70, its just madness.

  18. Bob Trees

    Scientist pretty much can see that our population is in jeopardy. Humanity's collective history of being on the planet is relatively short. Really we don't that much in the way of a good track record on this planet. This in turn points to a rather short lived record for an outlook of our future. The world will continue in some fashion. The question is will humanity be apart of that future? Sure doesn't look good.


      With no humans on the planet, maybe rhinos, elephants, African lions, whales, chimpanzees, manatees etc will have a chance for survival and will thrive on this planet with no threat of extinction and harassment from humans. We continue to muck everything up.

  19. Val Valiant Five

    The numbers game is in front of us and
    we can see all the outcomes with great clarity if we try.

    It's as simple as this - The Earth can
    sustain, at a 1st world standard of living, 2.5 billion
    people. Exponential, sustained growth from our current situation of 7 billion + people WILL cause our planet to be completely overrun by humanity in the near future.

    We will breed until every breath pulls
    in the entire atmosphere and all the food and water of the world are
    in our collective bellies. This is only an exaggeration due to the
    fact that we will most likely kill each other off peace-meal before
    we make the world unlivable to that extreme. Irrevocably though, we
    are headed to a world completely covered in a thin layer of humanity regardless.

    The only way to curb this trend is for nature to overcome our ability to overcome natural law... But we are now outside of the realm of nature, we can manipulate genomes and super-collide particles in a world changing way; Akin to the first man-made sparks that set the first man-made fires that took us out of the Stone age.

    In this new age, nothing can stop
    us, and we are going to keep going down this path without any
    reprieve, their is nothing the Earth can throw at us that we cannot
    overcome. Praying we are burned down by global epidemics, meteors or super-volcanoes is wishful thinking at best. Yes, I say to you now that 'wishing' we are culled by nature is the best hope we have for the future of the human race.

    The alternative to this is that 4.5 billion people agree to never breed. And the 2.5 billion that do breed do so at a rate equivalent to the rate of natural death. This would balance the worlds population in a generation, assuming we ban all forms of war and declare world peace. Other then that, we are quite simply doomed to life-times of generational imposed strife.

  20. bringmeredwine

    What would I like to see in my society?
    People living below their means, becoming more self sufficient, and spending time with their children, rather than buying them things.
    What do I see now?
    People going to the mall for something "to do", buying stuff nobody needs, (and putting it on their credit cards). People stuffing their kids with garbage because they haven't the time to prepare healthy meals.
    Everyone busting their asses at jobs they hate to live in a McMansion, mortgaged to the hilt.
    A car for everyone over 16. People being constantly distracted by cell phones, tv, never-ending advertisements everywhere we look.
    Then there's this prevailing sense of entitlement. It relentlessly fuels our consumption.
    People are very unhappy, just look at their faces, listen to their tone of voice, read their body language; but they don't willingly get off this treadmill.
    Not until something awful happens in their lives and they suddenly wake up, and realise those "things" were meaningless.
    We see the hoards in third world countries picking garbage, choking on pollution and dropping dead on the streets from hunger, but think, well of course WE deserve so much better; Our kids deserve 600 dollar strollers and iphones. THEY'LL just have to quit making more babies. And THEY'D better work in horrific conditions to quickly produce what WE need at a bargain.
    Liked this doc, by the way.
    Sorry for the rant.

    1. oQ

      As with everything...a large portion of people have already realized this in all walks of life and are cutting off the treadmill. The goal is to associate with such group in your community.
      The more together the more power.

  21. Galzu

    I have not watched the vid, don't have the time just now, but want to raise issue with the 10,000 years, the problem I have is that it started at the same time in 4 different areas that were isolated from each other that suggest they were recovering from a disaster than a new development, also we have the problem that corn is not a natural plant and is a product of cross breading that suggest a civilisation existed before, so it would seem that at the end of the ice age a disaster happened that wiped most men out and erased all that had been built before and it took a few thousand years to recover, this would explain all the flood myths from all over the world, I suggest what happened was the ice under the ice sheets touching the ground in Europe and the USA melted and that huge ice sheets slid off into the oceans over a number of years, created waves of water many miles high erasing the land down to bed rock and grinding up what ever was built into sand, I think all surface coal field are the remains of the forest at that time and we should be able to find traces of a past civilisation within them.
    I think this may happen every 12500 years as 25,000 years ago the same thing happened and only a few humans survived all in caves up high mountains, we call them cave men. the only ice sheets we have to worry about are the ones on Greenland and the south pole, we should maybe check for lakes forming under them.

    1. 1concept1

      I didn't know that corn was the result of cross breading? This would certainly suggest a civilization capable of cross breading plants to create corn and the knowledge there of would be an advanced group of people?

      Where did you get your information about corn?

      I'm going to go back and read your outline again. Interesting!

    2. Galzu

      Research maize and in the area of Mexico that it came from, it came from the cross breeding of 2 plants and is said that it could not have happened naturally.

    3. dmxi

      i think i've read somewhere that corn was a weed that through breeding processes became the known plant of today...have to check that.

    4. bringmeredwine

      Might have seen it in the doc, "America Before Columbus"?
      Its snowing outside, sigh.

    5. a_no_n

      i think it's actually been proved that it can't have happened naturally because corn can't exist in the wild.

    6. bringmeredwine

      The evolution of corn, as we know it today, was done by Native Americans, living in the woods. They also grew squash and potatoes.
      This was demonstrated in the doc, "America Before Columbus".
      The Mexicans could have been doing their own thing, too. I don't know anything about that, myself.

    7. 1concept1

      That is sure something to think about, if we follow the plants evolution or links that tells us a lot about the people domesticating those plants at that time in real time. I am going to research it more.

      Just to speak about plants, there is a tree that when the caterpillar comes to eat its leaves it gives of a chemical that spans a ten mile radios alerting the wasp; its dinner time. How i ask you does the tree know to do that and it must be conscious to understand its being attacked and eaten and it must have "Knowledge" that what the chemical it is giving off will bring the wasp in its defense?

    8. bringmeredwine

      Isn't that amazing?
      I am in awe of Mother Nature.
      When Spring finally arrives I am filled with joy and optimism.
      I can't get enough of trees, I adore them. That's why I spend as much time as I can camping here in the Boreal Forest.
      Thanks for your reply.

  22. 1concept1

    It's almost impossible to comment on this. The numbers dictate war or pandemic? Pandemic better, less damage to infrastructure.

    Factory farming has got to stop. Each person must be responsible to grow his or her on food. Less burden put on refrigeration, transportation. Or smaller community farms of say a hundred people so as to control organic processing bio dome green houses and so on.

    Mass public transportation is a mandate, unless the electric car proves otherwise or some other invention does an like Now!

    All elementary - middle school - high school and college should have an on going organic farm again through bio domes. All students and teachers will allocate time to work the garden to the point it will feed all who attend the school. This Is Real Education In Real Time! In doing this we prepare or citizens to be good farmers, Number One! We have the system in force now lets do it now. We can also turn Monsanto into a helpful operation so as to keep its employee roster full. Lets not condemn the hand that feeds us? There will be plenty that Monsanto can do with its vast knowledge or access to knowledge. We can reconfigure there efforts as a local support group - communal tractors and farm equipment!

    You know that's what the numbers tell me we should do and do now? A lot can be added and a lot will be tweaked.

    1. oQ

      I support the school idea one 100%.

  23. Tomislav R

    That one lady sounds exactly like Ann Druyan.

  24. anna miller

    good documentary on the problem behind all of our world problems, over population of the human species. Doc covers the lack of availability for women's basic education, religious and cultural blockage of free and freely available contraception for societies and the failure of most people to make the connection between overpopulation and our ongoing environmental and economic collapse. The idea that economies can only thrive under the premise of continuous growth is now being shown as fallacy.