Guest Speaker Paul Ehrlich podcast now available

The podcast for the presentation by Professor Paul Ehrlich is now available for download.

Prof. Paul R. Ehrlich

Prof. Paul R. Ehrlich

The Environment Institute and the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University presented Professor Paul Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies in the department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University on Thursday 21 March 2013 in Canberra.

The presentation Avoiding a collapse of civilisation – our chances, prospects and pathways forward discussed population growth and its effect on the environment.

Paul Ehrlich is the Bing Professor of Population Studies in the department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University, president of Stanford’s Centre for Conservation Biology and Adjunct Professor, University of Technology, Sydney. By training he is an entomologist specializing in Lepidoptera (butterflies), but he is also a prominent ecologist and demographer. Ehrlich is best known for his dire warnings about population growth and limited resources. He became well-known after publication of his controversial 1968 book The Population Bomb.

Listen to the presentation.


Environmental problems have contributed to numerous collapses of civilizations in the past. Now, for the first time, a global collapse appears possible and at the same time avoidable. Population growth supercharged by significantly increasing consumption interacting with our choices of technologies are major drivers. Dramatic cultural change provides the main hope of averting calamity.

Paul and Anne Ehrlich have written a paper on how humanity’s global civilisation is threatened with collapse by an array of environmental problems. In this special presentation, Professor Ehrlich gave a talk about his recent conclusions.

Professor Ehrlich was joined by leading ecological scientists to participate in an in-depth panel discussion. The panel extended and discussed Professor Ehrlich’s topics as they relate to sustainability politics in Australia, broaching controversial topics from food and energy supply to the politics of greed. How much scientific evidence underlies our national decision-making?

The panel included Professor Corey Bradshaw from the Environment Institute, Professor David Lindenmayer from ANU, and Professor Graham Pyke from University of Technology Sydney. Professor Stephen Dovers, Director of the Fenner School of Environment, chaired the panel session.

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