Emory Kirstof/National Geographic
Explorer Robert Ballard on board the boat “research vessel Knorr,” that discovered the Titanic.
Global Impact of Population Growth
The world population boomed more in the past 50 years than at any time in human history. The planet's population stands at nearly 7 billion people and many demographers project we may reach 9 billion by the middle of this century. That growth raises serious questions at a time when forests are vanishing, glaciers are melting, and almost a billion people are going hungry each day. Can we meet the basic needs of the next two billion? And can we balance human aspirations with environmental sustainability? Talk of the Nation and the National Geographic Society bring together National Geographic's Robert Kunzig, NPR's Richard Harris, and Upmanu Lall of the Columbia University Water Center to discuss how and where the world's population is growing and aging, the implications for the environment, and why human population remains such a thorny issue.
What's Left to Explore?
You can now pinpoint a photo of your house on the Internet in seconds, but there are still vast areas of the Earth no one's ever seen — much of it in the depths of the ocean. And as human encroachment and climate change alter the world's natural landscapes, the role of modern explorers changes as well. In a special broadcast before a live audience at the National Geographic Society's Washington headquarters, renowned deep-sea explorer Robert Ballard, National Geographic photographer Michael "Nick" Nichols, and biological anthropologist Jill Pruetz talk about what it means to be an explorer in the 21st century, and what's left to explore.