Depopulation Bomb: Why Are Birth Rates Falling Across the Globe?

In 1968, Paul and Anne Ehrlich published a best-seller, “The Population Bomb,” predicting imminent mass starvation due to overpopulation. The situation was so dire, they wrote, that adding “temporary sterilants” to the water could be a solution. At the time, the world’s population was 3.5 billion people. Today it’s over 8 billion—and oddly, we’re having a very different conversation.

Elon Musk, by all accounts a very smart man, says the problem today is not too many people—it’s not enough people. That plummeting birth rates across the globe poses a civilizational threat. And if people don’t start having a lot of babies soon, civilization will crumble.

Is it true? What about concerns that we’re using up the earth’s resources? That more people means more pollution? Certainly birth rates are declining. But what does civilizational collapse even mean? Why are we in this situation? What can be done? And if it’s really so bad, why isn’t anyone talking about it?

Our guests, Steven Mosher, President of The Population Research Institute, Stephen J. Shaw, Producer of the documentary “Birthgap: Childless World,” and Steve Milloy, publisher of, join us to do just that.

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