One plus one equals three; 1; A Place on Earth
One plus one equals three. There were four hundred people. It took two centuries for that figure to double. It took only one century to double again. Today there are well over three and a half billion of us sharing this planet. Demographers tell us that by the year 2000 the world population will swell to almost seven billion. This series of programs is about this problem about what happens because
one plus one equals three for 15 seconds guidances and channel 11 ignition sequence sex. 3. We live in the dawn of the space age. Mankind has taken the first small steps into the void that separates the stars in our satellites. One side effect of this venture has been the opportunity to see ourselves from a fresh perspective. Pictures from space have given us a view of the whole earth. This view of the world is forced many of us to realize emotionally as well as intellectually what scientists have been telling us for a long time how that is. We live in a finite world
all of us you me grandma go Harry the neighbor next door and every citizen on every continent on earth. I must we carry a balanced part of our world with us. We cannot travel or live beyond our environment as we so dramatically illustrated during the near tragic flight of Apollo 13. If we upset the balance that has been developed during the last several million years we like the men of Apollo 13 will face the possibility of world wide death in this first of 13 programs on the problems of population. We're going to be looking at how our finite world functions how the varieties of life on earth interact to produce our environment. Right is a good example of how one substance in our environment is involved in the whole ecosystem. A rain is formed with one of the cools and collects around tiny particles in the air it falls providing water for plant life streams rivers and lakes
as a flows over through the earth. Water picks up a variety of water soluble chemicals in the soil and carries them into the streams and lakes. Once on the surface of the earth the water evaporates sand and vapor form returns to the atmosphere or it flows into the oceans and then evaporates. During the time it's in liquid form. Each bit of water may perform a great variety of functions. It can become a part of a plant a part of a human being part of a fish. It can wash clothes be drunk as part of a bottle of soda pop kool and enjoy it and put out a fire all before it returns to the atmosphere. Water is therefore a dynamic part of our world life in all its forms including man is also a dynamic part of the earth. Any living thing consumes food in one form or another. It uses and changes this food into tissue energy and waste. When the organism dies the tissues break down and the components return to the earth and its cycles.
During an interview with Louise Geissler is Dr. Paul Silverman a professor of zoology at the University of Illinois at our battle and advisor to the World Health Organization discussed man's relationship to this world. It's an interesting Krapp's theological concept. That man is often thought of as having come into the earth. As a biologist and a naturalist I believe one must realize that man came out of the earth that he was part and parcel of the ecology. And he has been faced with many years as the. One who has fought nature. And is a friend of mine has mused in this battle with nature. He not only has one but now nature is on its knees and begging for mercy. And we ought to at least give it a. Little bit. Well.
We are part and parcel of this of this earth. We we ourselves are an environment for many parasites and many organisms viruses bacteria protozoa and worms. We are dependent upon many other organisms. For sustenance and for interaction and we are not separate and distinct from the earth. And if we and I don't know how to put this but we must think of ourselves in a much more holistic sense and I think those of us who have had a much more urban existence would probably tend to think the oxygen in the air. Currently about 20 percent of the air is oxygen is being reduced. We are dependent upon this apparent level because we have adapted to it as a result of many many. Natural selection and we are very rapidly
reducing that level of oxygen. Whether we'll be able to adapt to a new level or not I don't know. Certainly there's suggestion that people can live at a somewhat lower level of oxygen because people live in the high altitudes and heat in Denver at the level of Oxygen's only 18 percent. But the change in the proportions of carbon dioxide carbon my ox Munn oxide and the nitrates gases which are being rapidly added to the air. A new item which has never been. Present and such going to do before. Places a very stress on already our ability to adapt ecologically. Winter for I've answered your question but that's approximately the way I think and other words where in that you cannot divorce me. From this whole natural environment even though some of us would sometimes like to think so. Absolutely not and we are really
restricted to a fairly small proportion as both spatial proportion of the earth. People think that we can live in you know on the moon and places like that but we have no idea of the kinds of stress and the kinds of problems with which we would have to. Deal in order to adapt to that kind of environment. No we are. We have millions of years of history behind us and in forming this delicate balance and it is a delicate balance and we have got to be aware of that in a way that we have not been aware of it before. Let me say that the problem as we now see it in terms of man's relationship to his environment and this whole question of ecological balance is a new problem. It's a problem that didn't become. Acute in just the recent recent decades previously when
man was in a sufficiently small population size and the impact he had in the Vajra environment although traumatic in some respects nevertheless was not so overwhelming that it wasn't reparable by normal means. Qualitatively we as a result of this increase in quantity. We have now changed that relationship. How and under which we have changed it from being just a part of it to something you might want destroyed our lives. Well for example on the Oxygen question had the rate at which we are burning fossil fuels the oxygen in the level and level in the in the air is the result of the accumulation of oxygen that was contributed to the atmosphere during the times that the plants were alive that currently make up our fossil fuels coal and oil. They created a surplus at that time you know. By
burning those fossil fuels. Another was the amount of oxygen that they burned was really adequate to oxidize their own substances. There isn't and we don't produce more oxygen than an organism can actually use to oxidize melt when we when you've burned up all the fossil fuels in the world and you will have eliminated all the oxygen. It's just that simple. Now in order to maintain the balance we have to continue to maintain organisms like like plankton in the sea and things like that to continue to produce oxygen to maintain and a balance. At this current level I'm not sure that's clear. In other words is a cyclical effect. For instance you have a little Let's take a simple plant plant and man relationship that man he breathes air. Exhales more carbon dioxide than he took in. So he's contributing an excess of carbon dioxide. The plant does basically the opposite thing and I understand it
takes carbon dioxide it briefly says oxygen in the presence of sunlight in the presence of sunlight right. OK. So if you've got this situation if you eliminated plants you would not have a reef you would not have a continuous supply of oxygen would not have our current level rejuvenated and retained and maintained this cycle. Yes. Now about 70 percent of the accident producing organisms are estimated to be the plankton in the sea. And they live in that part of the ocean in the upper part of the ocean down to a depth at which they can still receive sunlight and they continue to produce oxygen there coracle but bearing organisms. Now as you kill those things and you upset this whole balance best solution pollution is probably one of the most dangerous kinds of pollution that look for that combined with a rated which we're burning up our fossil fuels.
Dr. Paul Silverman is explanation of how man and plants are at or dependent is but one aspect of man's relationship to his environment. During a recent visit to the University of Illinois Urbana campus Yale ecologist knocked up Paul Sears and explained to Louise Geissler is that man has more than a biological relationship to work. Ecologically How does man fit into the earth's physical environment. Well in some respects he's like any other living organism as far as breathing is concerned. You know stay aware of water to drink and food to eat. But over and above these purely physical requirements he connects with his environment he's related to it by means of these. Ways of living and his values the things that he thinks are important these ideas of what kind of world he lives in we call it is the pattern of his culture and each group of people has its own patterns of variations of those patterns. Eskimo for example is one of Polynesian had another until we messed it up.
Seen it but it's very intimately related not only to the way in which he does things the resources which he uses but also the treatment he gives his resources. I'm told by people that know the Indians better know I do that the considerable respect for other living things and I'm quite sure there are people hunting tribes who feel that they must not kill recklessly. And certainly the people in the small countries of Western Europe like Holland and Switzerland and Denmark have a feeling of greater respect for the land than we have because their land is limited in amount you see. And so this comes close to what we call the ethics of the people. Their sense of values their sanctions actually is very closely related to. I think their religious values. And one tragedy the western world is that.
Too few of our religious believes have been concerned with that in the Orient. There are some face to. Face for example that violence towards nature is an evil thing just like balance to your fellow man. And I'd bring that right down to date by saying that violence towards nature is violence towards people not yet born because it lowers the capacity of the earth to sustain them. What about our society in general. Have we so he committed violence toward our environment. Are we in danger in our relationship to the environment. I don't think there's any question about that. In my profession as a I'm an ecologist which means that I'm a student of the Living Land of what I call a living landscape and I've been in EVERY STATE OF THE UNION I've been in some foreign countries. And certainly as you go through the United States it's rather depressing experience to see how often the capacity of the landscape to support people has been lowered by
means of Well for example erosion of the most fertile soil. Or drying up of the springs sources of water you see things that can. In the case of the western states which I know pretty well a lot of that really productive range land has been spoiled by overuse. You know. Grazing too many cattle on him so I'm not giving the vegetation a chance to recoup and when that happens when weeds came in and the value of the bastard is reduced same way with the forests and state of Ohio they've taken care of them and forcing New England to be not as productive as they would be under the kind of management you'd see say in a Swiss forest. You know. Every time you drive a car burn some leaves fill up a garbage can plant a tree
spray your roses build a house take a shower use a toilet or turn on your furnace. You are in a small way influencing your environment. Almost everything we do influences in one way or another everything around us. If you multiply what you do by the millions of people who live on this earth. Human actions take on an immense significance. During the recent University of Illinois Environmental teacher and Dr. Alan Guttmacher took time to drop into our studios as president of Planned Parenthood world population. Dr. good marker has long been aware of what human pressure could do to our environment. So we asked him how serious is our population problem. Well I think you have to. Divide that into two parts. The world is a finite place. I think that our survey of outer space has shown the impossibility of exporting a
meaningful number of people from the earth to uninhabited planets because obviously without oxygen and with an entirely different kind of environment we can't survive. Therefore we have to make the world do. And since it is a finite place you can't stretch it. We can just have so many people living on it now current world population is approximately three point six billion people. There is argument as to whether you can accommodate eight or 10 or 15 or 30. I think nobody knows but I think all of us. It would make the observation that you're going to change life materially and for most of us undesirably if you attempt to people live with words in terms of eight or ten billion or more people
among the environmentally conscious not around good marker is considered a moderate. Many other scientists however are discouraged by the proportions of our population environment problem in MCHARG. He is the chairman of the landscape architecture and regional planning department at the University of Pennsylvania a long outspoken critic of man's handling of the environment. Dr McCarthy is called Man a planetary disease. I think it's all of matter if one look from afar on the planet and saw that one creature at this inordinate capacity to replicate the multiply and the process was destroying the environment for other creatures in themselves you concluded this it would be a disease really would be an epidemic like locusts accepted 10 years since that a cycle. So that one can say this numbers alone represent evidence of a disease but among all men there are some clearly who are more of a client there is those who accomplish more destruction for me. Without doubt the
fence the populace than any country. Atomic Energy Commission the people who are engaged in bio chemical warfare who create a climate in hydrocarbons and the major polluters are all evidence of manned planetary disease in the August 15th issue of Life magazine you were quoted as calling man the agent up evolutionary regression. Does this mean the same thing as planetary disease do you know this is a special kind of planetary diseases and that is those agents so my Atomic Energy Commission Defense Department increases world levels of radioactivity injurious more mutations and this of course is mutational retrogression so that a special form of very dangerous form of plantar disease. What constructive steps could we take to alleviate their effects. Well. You know muscling I stopping anything we do to stop them inflicting these lesions on the world by body and setting back
evolution. Anything we do can handcuff them to stop them from the destructive ways. To be fair we must add that not everyone agrees with the guard's estimation of our problem. Now there are experts who are optimistic who believe we can handle our growing population problem if we make the effort. However these people usually agree that it is not going to hurt us to take a serious look at our environment and ourselves. If we do this we cannot avoid seeing that man is not only dependent on his environment but that some portions of the environment are dependent on man. Among them are the human parasites. Dr Paul Silverman was asked about the relationship between man and his parasites. I would like to make the point that hasn't come out in earlier discussion. But the birthrate per se has remained essentially the same as far as we have records. The thing that has created the difference in terms of population increase has been the ability of man to control parasites.
Things like smallpox vaccination vaccine the viruses of that as a parasite which killed a very high proportion of the population infant mortality has been very substantially reduced by man's ability to control diseases such as hooping cough and diptheria and most recently measles and of course polio and things like that. Also the introduction of antibiotics has had a very substantial impact on population. Mortality has reduced mortality has prolonged life and these combined have produced. The population problem. Now malaria which on a global scale probably did more to control population. It was essentially. Reduced in its impact as a result of the introduction of the insecticide DDT. Now this has many.
Side effects and so forth but the fact of the matter is that the control of malaria by insecticides has contributed tremendously to the overpopulation and in the tropics particularly this death control is very cheap very effective. And the can comment and social and economic problems that result from and have not been given the serious attention that they perhaps ought to have been because of the effect of this and the and the. Relative cheapness of the control procedures. Now all parasites harmful are they all bugs or worms or bacteria or viruses that one you can isolate from or find in any human organism harmful. Now the answer is not. It is know that they're not. We walk
around every day with many bacteria. In fact some of these bacteria have beneficial effects and intestine and so forth. But we have many bacteria. We have many viruses which can be isolated from a some of them pathogenic In fact one of the ways of determining that an individual is adequately immunized against something such as polio is to be able to isolate polio virus from an individual and then into the job you say not paralyzed or affected by it and that simply demonstrates that that individual is resistant in that particular. Organism. There are. Protozoa organisms such as toxoplasma which probably infected a majority of the population they will produce pathogenic effects under certain circumstances. And I think that this raises a very important point with regard to these populations that we're talking about in these countries were underfed is the result of stress or malnutrition will
precipitate pathogenicity in organisms which might otherwise be quite innocuous or come insoles and their relationship to the host. Dr Paul Silverman's comments on man his parasites and his environment point directly to what we've been trying to get across that the ecosystem that is our environment is a set of vital and flexible but delicate balance this man can upset these balances by overloading the cycles overhead erupting that if we do the result will be a disaster. It was the Lodi new bill a.m. up there with the Claymates did a good look at Boeing up would not have. Known the current one that was about it was nothing like that not on the non linear
feet of Net. Bill Maher There you go get. A. Child. And the line was very long way.
Dr. James B Kitzmiller is a geneticist professor of zoology at the University of Illinois in our battle and advisor to the World Health Organization. Louise Geissler Yes I asked him about possible results of overpopulation. For example two years ago in Pakistan I saw the first cases I'd ever seen in my whole life of smallpox. And I was. A little upset about this because I asked the people why don't you get out and vaccinate these people who got vaccines for smallpox was used them and. Sort of laughed about it saying that well that's fine but we only have enough people to get around once a year and by the time that we get around there that many people that have been born and who haven't been vaccinated that we just can't keep up. So I suspect that while I don't have a crystal ball or anything like this with the numbers of people going up in the population rising a great deal especially in areas where nutrition is going to be bad we're going to have crowded conditions
in cities. We're going to have a breakdown of public health of sewage and water facilities things of this sort and the crowded conditions are certainly going to be more conducive to the spread of the big endemic diseases such things as plague and typhoid and smallpox wings of a sort. I don't I don't think there's any question about it that we're going to get a lot of these. But Dr. Kitzmiller describes this frightening. It could be our future data coming program in this series. We will be discussing the probability of such a future. However for now we like to say that if man has any hope for survival he must learn to understand emotionally as well as intellectually that we live in a finite world or as Buckminster Fuller once said a spaceship earth. The late Adley Stevenson summed it up neatly and with his comment we'll close. We travel together. Passengers on a little spaceship dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil all committed for our safety to add security and peace
to preserve from annihilation only by the care of the work and I will say the love we give our fragile craft. You have been listening to one plus one equals three four. Five a series of programs about the problems we face because of our growing population. Your host for this program has been Dennis Corrigan special music performed by Ria Truscott engineering by Edna Haney. One beat one like many a night beat like any beat and there is little to eat. We still
beat. One plus one equals three four five was produced and directed by Luis Geissler. But w i l l the radio service of the University of Illinois in Urbana. This is the national educational radio network.
- One plus one equals three
- Episode Number
- A Place on Earth
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- No description available
- Social Issues
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 71-5-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “One plus one equals three; 1; A Place on Earth,” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-gh9b9r15.
- MLA: “One plus one equals three; 1; A Place on Earth.” 1970-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-gh9b9r15>.
- APA: One plus one equals three; 1; A Place on Earth. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-gh9b9r15