Demographics & The Future / Space Exploration

Demographics & The Future / Space Exploration

Date

HostGeorge Noory

GuestsKenneth Gronbach, Robert Zimmerman

In the first half, demographer and generational marketing expert Ken Gronbach spoke about the concept of "demographic winter" and the trends he sees ahead. A demographic winter refers to locations that are seeing significant declines in their birth rates, such as China, which has "changed from an aging country to an aged country," he commented. In practical terms, this means more people dying than being born. The only way to fix this problem, he continued, is with immigration-- but the Asian countries that are facing the lower population issue-- China, Japan, and South Korea are xenophobic, so their labor pools and market economies will decline and fade, he predicted. India, on the other hand, has a growing populace and will likely be strengthened in the years ahead.

The United States, Gronbach pointed out, has a healthy demographic outlook, with large populations of millennials (88 million) and Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012). In terms of the political perspective in the US, conservatives are decreasing (through the older population dying out) at a rate of 2.5 million a year, while 4 million younger people are coming onboard as liberals each year, he cited. Gronbach also listed states that have had population changes-- California, Michigan, Illinois, W. Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York all lost a House seat because of reduced residents, while Texas picked up two House seats, and Oregon, Montana, Florida, Utah, and South Carolina all gained one House seat. In general, more people are moving south, so Americans need to understand how this will influence their business, he added.

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In the latter half, science journalist and historian Robert Zimmerman talked about the anniversary of the original Apollo Moon landing on July 20, 1969, as well as the latest news in space, including images from the James Webb telescope and the ways private and commercial enterprises are revolutionizing space exploration. Just a few days ago, a private company called Impulse Space, that is building engines for planetary missions, announced that they're teaming up with Relativity Space for a joint venture that may be the first crewless commercial mission to Mars (slated for 2024). There is also a private commercial lunar lander set to launch in November, carrying two rovers- one for the United Arab Emirates, he detailed.

The 1969 moon landing set the stage for the burst of space activity we're seeing today, Zimmerman remarked. NASA considered their early missions to only have a 50% chance of succeeding, making them a perilous endeavor for the astronauts, he noted. China currently has a very robust space program, he stated, with continued launches of modules for their own space station, as well as a planned manned mission to the moon. Zimmerman marveled over the new Webb telescope images that show structures from the early universe but wondered whether the enormous budget for the project might have been better used for other science/space projects.

News segment guests: Mish Shedlock, Howard Bloom

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