Exploding? The Sensitive Issue of Overpopulation

By Daniel Isler

In his mesmerizing book “Freedom”, Jonathan Franzen delicately handles a sensitive but critical issue. He takes his protagonist to a journey into a large sustainability activists group, calling mainly for immediate actions to decrease the world’s population. Although being recognized as a genuine issue by sustainability scientists and social scientists – the subject of decreasing population is still a taboo in most parts of the world. Just think for a second about China’s one-child policy, forbidding more than one biological child for each couple of parents – and feel the repulse and intimidation we experience in light of such intervention to our personal decisions.

But this is by no means a new issue: warning signs were raised already over 200 years ago, namely by British scholar, Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus. In a nutshell, he showed and argued that while population growth is exponential by nature (2-4-8-16…), food and other resources grow arithmetically (1-2-3-4…). This observation means that if untouched, the population will outgrow its own fuel needed to live, and will unavoidably extinct. Although debated intensively over the last 200 years and often dismissed by other scholars – Malthusianism remains a central notion in the debate about global over population.

demographic_change_global_population_150dpi_3_57881

Continue reading

Off with his head!

by Alix Barré

I like to imagine that that’s the sentence that was said before the French beheaded Louis XVI, King of France 2 centuries ago. Poor Louis could only exclaim: “I am innocent” before the deed was done. This deed ended monarchy in France and of course the French Revolution is an important part of history, a mostly admired part of it.

tumblr_msbqe39mzT1s2rtuso1_500

Continue reading

What not to miss in Israel

By Sonja Nikcevic

The newest hot topic here is apparently, the dire state of our generation. My plan is to stubbornly continue to claim that we are totally fine and talk about other things. So… just like last time – hello from Tel Aviv! I’ve been here for exactly a week now, and for all the diversity the country offers, I’m a little disappointed to say that all that I’ve seen has been football related. Football, stadiums, football players, football press areas, with a little bit of exhausted , but fancy ,hotel life thrown in. So, the list below (yes, yet another list), is less of a ‘look at all the cool things I’ve done, you should SO do them too’ and more of a ‘go out and try to experience the country, you idiot’ reminder for me. Enjoy.

1.   Humus. Eat lots of humus.

eating-hummus

Now that, I have done, and will continue to do with every meal. On my way from the airport, the driver gave me a list of all the types of humus I need to try. At a fast food stand, when I asked for humus with my fries, I got a beaming smile and a free drink.  Israel’s attitude towards food, and especially humus is amazingly dedicated, and as soon as I had my first taste of it here, I understood why. Think of the best western-made humus you’ve ever had, add some olive oil, spices and multiply it by 50 –then you’ll get the stuff they have here. Dip some steaming pita bread in and you’re set – the borekas and falafel can wait.

Continue reading

Is “hyggelig” always positive?

by Michael Seckler

Before I start writing this: I am certainly not an expert of danish history, and, as a non-danish-speaker, especially not of danish words. Therefore please look at the following thoughts on the word “hyggelig” as a “thinking out loud”-article. I’m open to conviction by anybody who knows more about this.

So why writing about a word anyways? Especially one that sounds as strange as “hyggelig”? Maybe because it seems that “hyggelig” is not only hard to pronounce but also hard to fully understand.

Coffe Place in Downtown Arhus

Coffee place in downtown Arhus

Continue reading