by Philip Cafaro and Frank Götmark
2018 has been an exciting year at The Overpopulation Project (TOP). Highlights included our overpopulation conference in Stockholm in June, the many blog texts showing that much good research and outreach exist on population matters, the publication of “Aging Human Populations: Good for Us, Good for the Earth” in October, and the Working Paper on current and future EU populations in December. As the year winds to a close, we would like to express our gratitude to those who have made this work possible.
First of all, special thanks to our two assisting researchers, Patrícia Dérer and Jenna Dodson, for their sharp intellects and good ideas, strong work ethics, and for fertilizing our old brains with their new ideas and perspectives. In addition, without them, we would not have had such a good TOP website – many people have commented that they appreciate that such a website now exists (and such a project, of course).
Thanks to our senior mentors Karl-Erik Norrman, Carl Wahren and Robert Gillespie, for project guidance informed by their long years of work on population issues; to TOP associated researchers Jane O’Sullivan and Karin Kuhlemann, for their collegiality and valuable contributions to the project; and to Masters students Addison Phillips and Ann-Marie Ljungberg for writing timely and excellent population-focused Masters theses under our direction.
A special thank for the generous financial support from the Global Challenges Foundation which has made TOP’s work possible; and to our home institutions, Colorado State University and the University of Gothenburg, for ongoing support.
Thanks, too, to TOP’s guest bloggers for their excellent and informative contributions over the past year: Rob Harding, Alisha Graves, Trevor Hedberg, Peter Matanle, Richard Grossman, Jane O’Sullivan and Jan van Weeren.
We are inspired by the land that we live on, the wildlife and the wonderful creatures we share the land with, not least the birds, for unfailing inspiration and for reminding us why our work is so important – given the present fate of wildlife, as humanity expands too much.
Finally, thanks to you, our readers – and all people who have expressed support and sent valuable comments. We are grateful for your attention to TOP’s work and for sharing your views with us in so many thoughtful communications over the past year. To some of you we will come back to – time has not allowed feedback to all. We wish you best of luck in the New Year, in your own lives and work! Stay in touch, and respond to us whenever you feel it is motivated.
Finally, a note on generations, to remind our readers and scientists in the field:
Aging population is not a problem – it has meant a longer, more healthy life for many people, is linked to falling fertility in many countries, and potentially less crowded countries in the future.
But in our experience, most people with good insights about overpopulation are old. New students and young researchers are needed. We are grateful for having recruited, and for working with our young assisting researchers in The Overpopulation Project, Patrícia Dérer and Jenna Dodson (below). More such young researchers are needed – more grants, more supervision, and more encouragement to young people interested in overpopulation research and outreach!