Writing for BBC News website Professor Chris Rapley, from Director of the British Antarctic Survey has put forward the idea that the current global population of six billion is unsustainably high and that “population is the ‘Cinderella’ issue of the environmental movement”. Professor Rapley acknowledges it is a controversal question and might suggest the idea of forced population control.
The idea of population control made me think of the 1976 film ‘Logans Run’ which is set in the year 2274 – after the world has been decimated by a holocaust, a new society is built, and where it is forbidden for humans to live beyond 30 and and so go through a ritual called Carousel with the promise of being “renewed” (in fact the 30 year olds are killed). Its a great film starring Michael York (and a very sexy Jenny Agutter) and presents an interesting view of the future where high-technology and self-indulgent living help disguise a world struggling to survive.
Ok it’s a film, but I can’t help thinking that unless we change our own self-indulgent lifestyles (importing food from 1,000s of miles away, destroying rainforests, devouring our limited fossil fuels etc etc) then in a couple of hundred years, say around 2274, then we too will be looking at a world controlled by computers who keep us locked up in a dome and knock us off at age 30!
Interestingly (or timely) a remake of the film version, which is said to have a story more similar to the book,(by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, published in 1967) is scheduled to be released in 2007.