Prof. Alon Tal: "Israel's Population Bomb: An Existential Challenge for a Sustainable Future"
Rapid population growth has been part of Israel's national identity since the country's inception. As the country has expanded in 73 years from 1 to 9.3 million it has emerged as one of the most crowded countries in the world. The impacts on the local environmental and social reality are profound. The lecture will review Israel's historic demographic policies along with their consequences (intended and unintended) and argue that "quantity of life" has begun to come at the expense of "quality of life". The complex associated policy options and political dynamics will be presented.
Prof. Alon Tal is Chair of the Department of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University since 2017 and works as a researcher and activist in environmental policy. Tal is founding director of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, Israel's preeminent environmental organization, and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, a regional Middle East education program for Israeli, Jordanian, Palestinian and international students. In 2008, Professor Tal was awarded by Israel's Ministry of Environment with the Life Achievement Award for Contribution to Environmental Protection in Israel. Between 2010 and 2013, he served as Chairman of the Green Party of Israel. Tal was visiting professor at Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Otago in New Zealand, and the Renmin University of China in Beijing. His numerous publications include Pollution in a Promised Land - An Environmental History of Israel (2002), All the Trees of the Forest - Israel's Woodlands from the Bible to the Present (2013), and most recently - The Land is Full: Addressing Overpopulation in Israel (2016).
The lecture was a cooperation of the Center for Israel Studies (ZIS) and the Lehrstuhl für Wissenschaftsgeschichte at the LMU and took place online.