April 27, 2015
Parents deciding to have only two children in order to better provide for them, a young girl attending school, and a woman running a small shop at the market. These are some of the solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems, according to the 2015 Global Population Speak Out (Speak Out) – an international campaign raising awareness about environmental degradation, health and human rights, and the many challenges presented by human population size and growth.
Speak Out recently released a new video – available in English, French, and Spanish – depicting how society is at a crossroads. This 5.5 minute flagship video brings together beautiful and disconcerting scenes to weave together the threads of environmentalism, human rights, human health, and biodiversity conservation – ultimately offering a variety of ideas for a more sustainable global future.
“Although the situation is pressing, and getting more so every moment, there are still sensible paths forward,” says Joe Bish, Director of Issue Advocacy for Population Media Center, one of the organizations co-sponsoring Speak Out. “At least some of the solutions to the global sustainability challenge are known, effective, and inexpensive. If we work on important issues like improving the status of women, eliminating cultural, informational, and access barriers to reproductive health and family planning, and educating all children – we will see a dramatically different future than the current business-as-usual approach that spells catastrophe for people and the planet.”
Speak Out launched in February of 2015, a product of Population Media Center and Population Institute, and features the book Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot (OVER) as its centerpiece with more than 300 pages of stunning, full-spread photography.
“The international reaction has been remarkable,” says Bish, “and we hope to continue to build the campaign so more people can get involved – like easily sharing like these videos. We have already blown through the more than 4,000 copies of the book we had for distribution, so we’re currently in the process of a second printing so that we can provide more copies of the book to grassroots activists who want to use it to raise awareness and incite positive action and dialog.”
Speak Out has been covered in Salon.com, Yahoo!, the Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Weather.com and many more. The Guardian ran a slideshow about Speak Out and OVER in their Global Development Professionals Network, resulting in more than 2.5 million page views, more than 650,000 Facebook shares, and more than 8,000 Twitter shares. Speak Out was also featured on BBC World News with an interview with OVER editor Tom Butler talking about Speak Out, OVER, and overpopulation.
“Heading into the remainder of the 21st century, the possible trajectories of human population growth are wildly divergent,” says Bish as he explains that the world is currently being asked to support 9,000 additional people every hour. “We can finally achieve global population stabilization – as soon as the year 2050 – by addressing fundamental health and human rights issues that should be addressed anyway. It’s one of the most compelling and obvious “win-win” propositions we know of: We help improve the lives of millions of people already on the planet and help protect the future of the planet at the same time.”
ABOUT GLOBAL POPULATION SPEAK OUT (SPEAK OUT):
Global Population Speak Out (Speak Out) unites world-class scientists, academicians, opinion-leaders – and thousands of lay environmentalists and concerned citizens – to help bring international attention to the crises posed by overdevelopment and human population size and growth. Speak Out is jointly administered by Population Media Center and Population Institute. www.populationspeakout.org
ABOUT POPULATION MEDIA CENTER (PMC):
Population Media Center is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 16 years of field experience using the Sabido methodology of behavior change communications, impacting more than 50 countries around the world. www.populationmedia.org