Filmmaker, naturalist and environmental activist, Terry Spahr, is my guest today on Inside Ideas.

He is the producer of the widely acclaimed 2020 documentary, 8 Billion Angels, which establishes the connection between unsustainable population growth and our global environmental emergencies including climate change. Through compelling stories the film lifts the veil on a critical topic often purposely relegated to the shadows of our personal, political and international conversations. 

“Despite awakening to our environmental pollution problem, giving rise to recycling, renewable energy, land conservation and environmental awareness and stewardship, we now see that no amount of technology, voluntary reduction in consumption, or conservation can halt the greater forces propelling us toward climate change, ocean acidification, deforestation and a host of other natural catastrophes,” Spahr said in a statement about the documentary. “All of our efforts, up until now, have amounted to stop-gap measures that distract us from the fact that we add 80 million more people every year to the earth, who together consume more resources faster than the world can replenish, and emit more waste than the earth can naturally absorb.”

He added: “That is why I decided to stop talking about it and do something, dedicating my time and money to telling the truth about the problem, and sharing the hope of real solutions in the stories of everyday people. After all, it is only when we are not afraid to name a problem, confront it and talk openly and honestly about it, that we can begin to fix it.”

I am delighted to have him on today’s show to hear more about the 8 Billion Angels documentary and to get his take on some of our biggest century defining challenges.


Terry Spahr is the Executive Director of Earth Overshoot, a nonprofit dedicated to making nature and its resources central to all personal and public decision-making through targeted education and advocacy.  He is also a respected expert on sustainability and the intersection of human consumption and population as being the primary drivers of environmental destruction.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts & Sciences and The Fels Center of Government, Spahr had a 25-year career in the insurance, investment and real estate industries and is a former board member of the Long & Foster Companies as well as their philanthropic arm. A sought after speaker, he has presented at numerous conferences and forums, spoken on radio and podcasts, and is a contributor to environmental publications and blogs. 

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