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LAAG Talk/Discussion: Population Matters (& religions' responsibility in this?)

  • Apr 8, 2014 · 7:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

ABOUT THIS EVENT:

In a talk entitled population matters, we'll look at the various factors to this complex issue. For us perhaps the the role religion plays in the population explosion is particularly worth examining. In order to increase their own contingent, many religious authorities are continuing to dissuade people from responsibility in limiting family size, with obviously far-reaching consequences for us all. We welcome Stephen Bown, from PopulationMatters.org as our speaker this month and you'll find more information below:

From the POPULATION MATTERS website:

Sexual and reproductive health and rights
We're calling for the provision of high-quality, age-appropriate sex and relationships education that encourages respectful and responsible personal relationships and behaviour and is provided by teachers who have relevant training.


We believe there should be universal access to family planning. We're calling for the international community to devote more development funds to family planning and for all governments to have universal access as a near-term goal. A range of contraceptive methods, including more reliable, long-acting reversible contraceptives, should be made available. In some countries, Population Health Environment programmes are appropriate. Conflict situations and poor governance must be addressed to enable effective health programmes to be provided.

Family size
We're promoting programmes that encourage smaller families — including social marketing — but do not believe that coercive or punitive measures of any kind are acceptable.

Women's rights
We're calling for an end to child marriage and violence against women and girls, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation. We endorse measures in education and employment leading to equal gender participation in the economic and social spheres.

More at:

Populationmatters.org

Any pre-event comments or questions can be added in the comments boxes below, as usual.

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ENTRY:

£5  non members/ non RSVP'd members
£3  LAAG/CLHG members, £2 NUS (if RSVP'd)

Please note:

People who are no shows more than twice in a year (from 10/9/13) will not be eligible for discount, so please update RSVP's ;-)

RSVP facility will close automatically, at 17:00 on the day of the event. ★★★ If you have a genuine issue after that time, or are a 'maybe' for some reason etc., just please LET US KNOW in the comment boxes below & that'll be no problem ★★★

This is guide only & we won't be draconican in the case of occasional slip-ups etc so don't worry! , but people just showing up or no shows makes organising difficult (& possibly denies others from attending fully booked events) so we do ask for this small courtesy, please.

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SCHEDULE

19:00- 19:20  Arrival upstairs (please get drinks and order any food DOWNSTAIRS first)

19:30 Discussion /Talk starts PROMPTLY, break and then Q & A usually till 21:30 (but flexible)

Social time at the bar, with some nibbles, till 22:30

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Feel free to add your own questions or comments in the comments boxes below (these comments boxes are for pre and post event discussion TO DO WITH THIS PARTICULAR MEETUP - please use the forum to start discussions about anything else)

Though these midweek events are usually structured talks/debates/discussions, they are nevertheless fairly informal; so the bar is usually open upstairs in the break and feel free to order food and have it during the event (here is the menu - food is generally good!).

We start the discussion promptly at 19:30. As a courtesy to others, please try to turn up by 19:20 ... if at all possible :-)   If a late arrival can't be helped, it's not a problem, no worries, just come in quietly :-)

The usual end time for discussion is 21:30pm, but this is flexible if people want to continue with the discussion, and usually we have some social time afterwards until 10:30pm (or until the pub closes!)

The meetup fee either goes towards costs of running the group; including materials, equipment, room, prizes, nibbles etc, or towards specific campaigns and causes when we can cover other costs. The latter are specified on the appropriate events page.

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  • Jalal

    Hi There,
    I just wanted to say a big thanks for the invite, and more importantly for being so welcoming. I enjoyed the talk and especially the post-presentation discussions - nice to speak with analytical thinkers.
    Look forward to meeting up again! Tc, Jalal

    2 · April 9, 2014

    • Adrian

      You're welcome! Nice to meet you and looking forward to the next time too :-)

      April 9, 2014

  • Daniel

    Population increase is clearly a huge issue for us and our planet. The worrying problem appears to be that no one seems to have an idea of how to tackle it. The talk gave a good general overview but I would be interested in discovering more specific examples of what can be done. Can anyone remember the books that were mentioned?

    1 · April 9, 2014

  • Georgi L.

    Hi all,

    Nice message from Stephen Bown, our speaker yesterday:

    "I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday evening – you are such a delightful and thinking group, it was a great pleasure to talk to you. The comments on your site were most satisfying to read. The sources of essentially all the key data I presented were indicated on the slides – the organisation, at least, if not the precise reference. Admittedly, it was mostly in small print on the bottom of the slides or more vaguely as a particular UN organisation. I’m attaching the slides for your reference. The slide on European fertility rates in different countries came from a research project I supervised at the LSE. The Hans Rosling situation is more complex and I will have to get back to you later on that"

    1 · April 9, 2014

  • Grumpy G.

    Nice presenter, nice talk. I found it slightly strange not to see sources for the figures presented to us though....unless my eyes completely missed that out.

    April 9, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      Good point Alexandra, I think there is so much to cover that this would probably be a whole talk in itself. Tim mentioned another source of stats too - the Hans Rosling data so we'll ask about sources and methods and post the info for you ...and if there's anything else anyone wants to follow up on please let us know.

      April 9, 2014

    • Adrian

      There were sources quoted at the foot of each slide. I don't think there were any that didn't have a citation. To be fair it was easier for me to see as I was sitting in front of the laptop with the presentation on it!

      April 9, 2014

  • Tim

    I've caught a cold so I won't be going tonight after all, which is probably good news for the people I might have infected.

    I was hoping to bring up Hans Rosling's statistics showing that the pre-breeding population (age 0-15) is already stable and that the rise to 10 billion (or 11 if you factor in better health) is just due to existing adults getting older. This means that short of mass famine, plague or genocide we're stuck with that rise, hopefully followed by a slow decline which doesn't leave us as a world of dependant geriatrics.

    So, we need to find ways to sustain 10-11 billion for a time at least. Pretending we can keep population stable at 7 billion, still less reduce it in the short term, by reducing birth rate further simply don't hold up under scrutiny of the statistics.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezVk1ahRF78

    This video has quite a bit to say about religion and population as well.

    April 8, 2014

    • Tim

      Of course we should continue to try to reduce population growth. The ways to reduce the birth rate below replacement level are already known from countries which have already achieved it, such as Japan and some European countries.

      The methods come down to reducing child mortality, availability of contraception, reducing poverty, government support for aging families (so that children are not born just to be workers for the family) and education plus participation in the work force for women.

      Rosling points out that many of our Western prejudices simply don't hold up. For example, many of us would point to Bangladesh as an example of population out of control, yet despite fundamentalist religion the birth rate per woman is close to the replacement rate of around 2. Also there is very little difference in population prospects of countries by dominant religion or even by countries with a largely secular population. (cont)

      April 9, 2014

    • Tim

      (cont) Poverty and lack of social infrastructure are by far the dominant factors. Religious opposition to contraception, while a convenient stick with which to beat the religions, seems to have little overall effect. Give people a way to limit families and they will use it.

      I sometimes fear that organisations like Population Matters exist to campaign rather than to achieve a goal and then go home satisfied with a job well done. It is not in the ideological interests of campaign groups either to achieve their goal or to have to modify that goal in the light of stark practicalities (such as the fact that the people who will make the population 10-11 billion are already alive, so short of exterminating them that population increase is going to happen regardless).

      April 9, 2014

  • Adrian

    Here's the website Stephen was talking about last niht - the one with the daily emails and a wealth of info: http://www.populationmedia.org/

    April 9, 2014

  • Georgi L.

    A thoughtful presentation with a fun interactive quiz, many thanks to Stephen Bown and Population matters. We'll add some more details about them and their work to our campaigns forums.

    Nice chat afterwards too, and thanks to Jalal for being so open and constructive in speaking with us. Congrats to prizewinners: SmarkRemarks this month is Jorge, and Sashi for picking the winning entry of the Caption comp: Yes, it's Cloe AGAIN!

    April 9, 2014

  • Andy B.

    Another interesting and stimulating evening!

    April 9, 2014

  • Mihai M.

    A very good talk about a very important problem.

    April 9, 2014

  • manos

    Wonderful talk, covering a lot of topics and major issues

    April 8, 2014

  • Roger

    A little off our usual track but full of relevant and though provoking information.

    April 8, 2014

  • merry

    Will definitely attend your next meeting. I think what you are discussing is so important. I will, however,
    be out of the country for some time from mid-May.
    Back in the Fall.

    1 · April 8, 2014

  • David M.

    Sorry, won't be able to go because of work commitments. Should be able to make the next midweek one. Also see if I can make Sunday also.

    1 · April 7, 2014

  • merry

    I can't believe this - Just checked my diary
    and I have a poetry workshop at 6:30 Tues
    which I booked two months ago!
    So sorry I cannot come along this time.
    Looking forward to the next meeting.

    April 6, 2014

    • Georgi L.

      No probs Merry, enjoy the poetry and see you next time

      April 6, 2014

  • merry

    Born into an atheist family who pretended to be religious, I was the only one seeking god.
    I wanted to be a contemplative nun when I was
    young, took my Masters in Theology and had
    a vision of Christ, all of which made me an
    absolute atheist.
    I can breathe now. Now figuring out exactly what
    it is we are breathing and what that means for
    the Nature of Reality. And, of us.

    April 6, 2014

  • terence f.

    May be out of Town sadly as this looks interesting

    March 25, 2014

    • Roger

      Yes, I heard this chap speak last year & he had a lot of arresting & relevant things to say.

      March 25, 2014

28 went

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Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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GBP10.00 to laag.events@gmail.com

This covers: This is to help with LAAG's activism and the Ministry of Reason project.

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