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Don’t Panic – the World Might Not Be as Bad as You Believe: Hans Rosling

By:   •  April 30, 2018  •  Essay  •  1,947 Words (8 Pages)  •  164 Views

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Don’t Panic – The World Might Not Be As Bad As You Believe: Hans Rosling
Viewing Guide

1. Before you begin the video; write down your thoughts on World Population (Explain your position if you think the world’s population is beyond carrying capacity, at an optimum carrying capacity, or the earth can support more people).

I think that the world’s population is still a problem. Recently, there have been many news stories about the approaching 8 billion mark of the world’s population, and people have been expressing concern about the lack of resources (food, water) for more and more people. I think the world is not beyond carrying capacity yet, but that it is approaching that point very rapidly.

2. What were the reasons for population growth pre- and post-1800?
Pre 1800, there were population growths due to more stable food supplies. With crop rotations, potatoes, and other technologies, people were able to grow enough food to survive and even have a little extra, so people were able to have more children that lived and were able to carry over during winters because of the extra food. Post 1800, the main reason for the population growth was the industrial revolution, when people were changing their ways of life. Many things became easier due to technologies, people moved to cities and had different kinds of lives, and the labor force changed.

3. When was the majority of the world’s population added to the planet? Provide two reasons why you think this pattern is observed and two countries in which most of the growth took place.
The majority of the world’s population was added to the planet in the second half of the last century- more than half of the world’s population was added. I think this pattern happened because of food security and industrialization, and Asian countries such as China and Bangladesh are two examples where this has happened.

4. List at least 2-3 observations you make from the video about the culture toward family size in Bangladesh.

I noticed that culturally, a lot of people from Bangladesh come from large families but in family planning for themselves make the choice to limit family size based on income and finances. There is also a government program to help educate and provide resources to help people limit family size based on their means (and population goals).

5. Pause the video at 8:20. What does Hans Rosling note about Bangladesh’s population in 1972?
That they were about 7 babies per woman born on average, and that 50 years was the expected lifespan. This was the year of independence.

a. Do you think the population increases or decreases from 1972 onwards, why? After you answer this question, resume the video.

The population would seem to decrease because women are having many less children, down to 2. But they are also living longer.

6. Describe the world population trends from 1963 – 2012 as shown in the video.

Overall, the average number of babies born per woman was 5, but in developed countries families were smaller and life spans longer. Now, developing countries are following the example of the developed countries, over time, family sizes are shrinking and life span is longer.

7. What reasons does the video give for why one assumes that population growth is out of control in the developing world?
One reason is that people just don’t know very much about the world. It is just misconception and misunderstanding. People don’t really know what other countries, especially developing countries, look like. It is not just education that is the reason for this misunderstanding, according to the narrator. Preconceived ideas are also another problem that he outlines. People have set ideas about what developing countries look like, and that shapes what they assume about those countries.

a. What do statistics show, according to Hans Rosling?
Statistics show that people, regardless of education, just don’t know a lot about the world in terms of facts, and just base it on their preconceptions.

8. List 2- 3 reasons why Bangladesh has reduced fertility rates in the country. What measures is the country using to reduce family size?
Some reasons why their are reduced fertility rates are these: girls are encouraged by families and the government to stay in school longer (and not get married young and have babies early), and there is education based on family size, etc., there are more opportunities for women in terms of jobs, so more choose to work.

9. What are the reasons why Bangladesh has successfully reduced child mortality rates?
The reasons are that basic health has improved, their are vaccines, better nutrition, and treatment of illnesses have all improved.

10. Do you agree or disagree with the Hans Rosling’s interpretation of world population growth?
Yes; it makes sense that a large part of world population growth was determined by “balance,” that mortality decreased as health, food, and other things improved to make survival more certain.

a. Provide an explanation for why or why not.
The narrator demonstrates that less babies are born, but more are surviving, so the “balance” is easier to achieve. The falling fertility rate makes sense as the reason why the growth is going to slow down dramatically in the near future.

11. Geographically, where is population growth expected? Explain why?
Population growth is expected most in Asia and in Africa. I think this is because of resource allocation and culture.

12. What are the reasons for high populations in Urban and Rural Mozambique?
Fertility rates. Healthcare, food, etc. Women are saved in childbirth with C sections, and other measures that increase the mortality rates of mothers and children. The booming economy is also important.

a. What is the one thing, shown in the video, which enables rural people to access markets and resources required for a living (Hint: it’s something Oregonians are famous for!)
The bicycles! They seem to make a big difference in helping people to get more done.

13. Reflect on the consumption patterns of the richest and poorest sections of the world’s population. Write down 2-3 observations of these patterns.
I think in the poorest areas, people’s consumption revolves around survival and safety. The richest are focused on acquiring more, not for survival, but just for conspicuous consumption. I think the differences are that the consumption is different, but the key principle is the same- saving to get to the next step in order to be more successful, more secure, more prosperous. It just looks different at the different levels.

a. Consider what would be the impact on the world’s resources if the entire world’s population consumed at the same level and amounts as the richest 1%. Write down your reflections here.
I don’t think that would really be feasible on a long term, because there aren’t enough resources to support that kind of consumption. It would also slow innovation, food supply, and technological advances, because the motivation or drive to do better would not be there. If you are fighting for survival, your motivation is different than if you are fighting to just have a bigger plane or house than your friends.


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