Placed in a fictional future, The Age of Stupid highlights the apparent insane attitudes and behavior of our age toward environmental problems. The film illustrates the dire situation and potential consequences if we continue ignoring the signs of a coming environmental disaster and don’t find a way to effectively implement solutions.
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Demographic fatigue, social instability, and environmental degradation are clearly linked. Demographic fatigue can be described as a state of a government being financially drained by rapid population growth. It results from attempts to engage the needs of more and more people for education and jobs, while still addressing environmental problems (Brown, Gardner, & Halweil, 2006, p. 83). Governments of developing countries are hampered by demographic fatigue in dealing effectively with emerging challenges in the health and wellness of the people and the environment of their country. It becomes a destructive circle – by attempting to meet the needs of more people, environmental and social problems are introduced or exacerbated, impeding meaningful progress in solving any of these problems. It has been suggested that the concept of demographic transition might hold a solution to rapid population growth – by encouraging and accelerating further modernization, it is argued that population growth will stabilize and alleviate the problems of demographic fatigue (Brown et al., 2006). Considering the environmental problems that existing modernized countries face though, the wisdom of the demographic transition approach is questionable…
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For context, here is a summary of the film from IMDb:
The documentary, “The Power of Community – How Cuba Survived Peak Oil,” was inspired when Faith Morgan and Pat Murphy took a trip to Cuba through Global Exchange in August, 2003. That year Pat had begun studying and speaking about worldwide peak oil production. In May Pat and Faith attended the second meeting of The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, a European group of oil geologists and scientists, which predicted that mankind was perilously close to having used up half of the world’s oil resources. When they learned that Cuba underwent the loss of over half of its oil imports and survived, after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990, the couple wanted to see for themselves how Cuba had done this.
Question: Is this the severe crisis that will cause the human population to make a significant change in regards to dealing with the environment? Do you see Peak Oil as a coming crisis we will face?
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