Question: Is population growth a serious issue? Is it being adequately addressed?
Alan Weisman: Well, I came to conclude that yes, it is a problem. Even though this book has been in a lot of best seller list and it is out in more than 30 countries, but it is on 30 languages and it is also cut across a lot of political and even religious barriers in the United States. The political barriers have been interesting, because I have been on this many right wing radio programs that I have been on progressive public radio programs and find out that is because everybody, whether you are out there and you are just a nature lover and you are into trees or if you just want to get away from home, you want to go out hunting or something like that, everybody is upset with the landscape filling up with more and more strip malls and housing projects and stuff like that, but place where they used to go before the world was so crowded and everybody seems to be able to relate to that one. Also, in this book, I don’t have to preach, I just take readers to all these interesting places and let interesting facts appear in every paragraph and the readers can connect the dots themselves. So, towards the end of the book, I dropped this interesting fact that I mentioned earlier that every four days there is a million more people on the planet and some readers and some talk show host have said to me, if you would started your book out talking about this, I would not have even bother to read this book. I would have been another ramped about birth control or something, but the way that you lead up to it is so obvious, it makes so much sense that of course this is a problem. So, for the reasons that we have discussed we are wiping out too many other things. Literally, pushing them off the earth in order to grow food to sustain ourselves and we cannot keep doing that forever. Either we are poisoning the land, which ultimately that those poisons come back to us or we are losing the things that make the land wonderful to live on or even possible to grow things on and ultimately we are going to end up destroying ourselves in the process. There was a cartoon movie made many years ago based on the Beatles, the music group, it is called Yellow Submarine. You can rent the thing and see it. At one point there is this little character in it, I think it was blue and it just waddles around and it is head, instead of the head, it is got this funnel which is really kind of a vacuum cleaner and it goes around pointing its head at everything vacuuming up everything it can, until suddenly there is nothing left. So, looks around for something, it looks down, at its feet and it vacuums itself up and then you got a blank screen and that is kind of where we are headed.