‘Population Boom’ Examines Consequences of Planet Overpopulation

Michael Verdirame

 

Population Boom

2 Stars

Not Rated

First Run Features

 

In his latest documentary, “Population Boom,” filmmaker Werner Boote examines the topic of the overpopulation of the planet in an attempt to discover if in fact the exponential growth of the total number of human beings on Earth over the last several hundred years is something to be concerned about, or if it is just a cover for a different, more pressing problem.  Throughout the film, Boote travels to diverse locations all over the world, from Africa to Asia to North America, interviewing many local citizens about their opinions on the world population.

 

Over the course of his investigation, Boote seems to draw the conclusion that the disparity of wealth between the rich and the poor of the world is the real problem, with the notion of overpopulation being used by rich Westerners as an excuse to justify the reduction of the number of poor.  The problem with this claim comes from the fact that the majority of the people he interviews share his views, and his failure to present a single interview with the opposing opinion becomes glaring in its omission.

 

 

In his travels to Africa—the least densely populated place on the planet—Boote interviews an author who drives them to a desolated desert landscape, parks the car and states “Does this look like overpopulation to you?”  It does not take a genius to understand that population density is an almost irrelevant statistic when discussing the population of the world and its drain on global resources.  There will always be parts of the globe with minimal population for a variety of reasons, not the least of which might be hostile weather conditions.  To present an uninhabited place as proof that overpopulation is not a problem is ignorant at best and irresponsible at worst.

 

Also in his investigation, Boote ignores relevant topics such as food production and religion, both important factors in determining how many people are born and once born, how many people survive.  For a far more thoroughly researched and less one-sided study of the problem of overpopulation, read the book “Countdown,” by Alan Weisman.  In the meantime, this documentary should be skipped by anyone interested in a balanced and complete examination of what is a real problem facing the planet today.

 

The DVD does not include any extras, aside from a few previews of other similar documentaries.

 

Author Bio:

Michael Verdirame is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine.

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