Talking overpopulation over drinks

The next Green Drinks on April 5 will tackle the issue of global population and the pressure we collectively exert on the world’s resources.

  • Mar. 31, 2011 3:00 p.m.

The next Green Drinks on April 5 will tackle the issue of global population and the pressure we collectively exert on the world’s resources.

Green Drinks are a decidedly social event, usually held on a monthly basis in communities all around the world, from Argentina to Zambia, encouraging a lively mixture of people to come together to discuss new ideas, make contacts, and consider ways to improve the world we live in.

Guest Speaker Jack Alpert, director of the Stanford Knowledge Integration Lab, will return to Rossland for his second Green Drinks gig in our town, joining local panelists Aaron Cosbey and George Penfold.

Alpert will likely argue that we have drastically underestimated the impact of overpopulation. A short documentary he posted online takes the stance that, if everyone were to “enjoy” a North American lifestyle forever, the planet could only support 100 million people, less than two per cent of the current global population.

“I haven’t met him, but he sounds like quite the character!” said Lea Thuot, the manager of the Sustainability Commission and the event’s main organizer.

Cosbey is an associate at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and specializes in climate change and ways to mitigate or adapt to its effects.

Penfold will bring his experience as a researcher and the Regional Innovation Chair for rural economic development at Selkirk college. He will try to untangle the implications of British Columbia’s rapidly aging population.

“I think it’s going to be really interesting,” Thuot said. “Especially in Canada, where our population is actually declining, it’s tough to talk about global overpopulation and what it means for the whole system.”

The event begins at 7 p.m. on April 5 at the Rock Cut Pub. For those who plan to walk, a group will meet at the Centennial Trailhead at 6:30 for a brief stroll and a chat on the way up to the pub. “Otherwise,” Thuot said, “people are welcome to carpool.”