In 1990 the United Nations forecast that world population would peak at around 11 billion by the middle of this century. Now many experts believe the peak will be closer to 8 or 9 billion people. Is this slowing of global population growth good news for the earth's environment? Or do we still need to worry about the dangers of overpopulation and overconsumption? Peter Robinson speaks with Paul Ehrlich and Steven Hayward.
Peter Robinson: Today on Uncommon Knowledge: an all-consuming fear...
Announcer: Funding for this program is provided by the John M. Olin Foundation.
Peter Robinson: Welcome to Uncommon Knowledge. I'm Peter Robinson. Our show today: one world, but a human population that's expected to peak at 8 or 9 billion--is there enough of planet Earth to go around? Ever since Thomas Malthus, the eighteenth century British economist, we've been hearing predictions that the growing human population and appetite for resources would lead to environmental disaster. Now in the twenty-first century, are these arguments more valid than ever or less so?
Joining us, two guests. Stephen Hayward is a fellow at the Pacific Research Institute. Paul Ehrlich is a professor of biological sciences at Stanford University and the author most recently of One with Nineveh: Politics, Consumption and the Human Future.
Title: Population Balm
Peter Robinson: In his 1798 study, An Essay on the Principle of Population, British economist, Thomas Malthus, predicted disease and starvation arguing that the then industrialized world would produce a growing population that would outstrip food resources. It didn't happen. Was Malthus' argument flawed in and of itself or was his timing off by a couple of centuries?
Stephen Hayward: I think he was fundamentally wrong.
Peter Robinson: Paul?
Paul Ehrlich: I think he was fundamentally right.
Peter Robinson: All right. Well--we have a nice contrast and ready to go from there. All right. Paul, you argue in One with Nineveh that we suffer from, I quote you, "too many people for the planet to sustain, too much consumption by the well off and mal-distribution of power." Let's examine each of those assertions. Too many people, I quote you to yourself once again, "Because of population momentum and still high fertility rates in some areas, the race to curb the global population overshoot is far from over." Explain yourself.
Paul Ehrlich: Well, we've had some good news on the population front as I think both of you know and that is birth rates have started to go down in many areas. They've gone quite a ways down in the developed countries. They've started in East Asia which is one of the places where there are huge numbers of people--to go down very substantially. They have not really started down in sub-Saharan Africa. The problem is as the scientific community knows, that we're already using our capital rather than living on income. So while the news is good that we're going to stop before the--some of the projections used to be to 12 billion, now it looks like 8 or 9 is much more likely in the long run. 9 billion people is still 3 billion almost more than we have now. It's more people than we had when I was born on the entire planet. In other words, the growth is going to be as many people--the increment is going to be as many people as there were when I was born. So…
Peter Robinson: We're living on capital. That's demonstrable that we're running down resources?
Paul Ehrlich: Yeah, sure because we're losing biodiversity. This is num--by the way, this is--the things like oil and coal and so on are not the important things that we're running down. They're non renewable but we're stopping--going to stop using them for other reasons but primarily it's biodiversity especially populations. It is deep rich agricultural soils. And it's groundwater, a lot of which is fossil groundwater. For example, there is no potable water left in China and they're already having wars over the water that they've got between the farmers and the petroleum industry because they need the water for secondary recovery. They're running out of petroleum. And the farmers need the water for irrigation.
Peter Robinson: Stephen?
Stephen Hayward: There--I have some points of agreement with the specifics that Paul mentions especially about biodiversity. And I disagree with his broad conclusion or summary conclusion that we're living off our natural capital. Put it this way I suspect is perhaps we get onto the issue of sustainable development. But one of the ways I put this is if you take a snapshot picture of human society at any point in time, I can guarantee you that what you see happening at that time will be unsustainable. You know, JR McNeil who wrote a great history of environment in the twentieth century put it this way. He says China has been unsustainable for three thousand years. But they're still with us because things are constantly changing or United States is the example I know best. It's what I do my most research on. To go a hundred years ago, the United States used to get a third of its energy from burning wood, five billion cubic feet a year. There was actually data series on this. That's when Teddy Roosevelt was warning about a timber fanon--famine, excuse me, and there was actually the suggestion that we were going to have to ban Christmas trees because we were running out of trees so fast. And then, of course, remember our transportation then was horses. We've all heard the stories about how New York would drown in manure.
Paul Ehrlich: I think it has.
Peter Robinson: So your point is the human mind, human capital, ingenuity is always able to stay a step or two ahead.
Stephen Hayward: Right and you don't want to be Pollyannaish about that, I understand, but the point is is that if you looked at the American economy in 1900, we would have said this is deeply unsustainable. And some people did say that. They didn't use that terminology but they could see this wasn't working. Now the substitutes for it are things that we worry about deeply today--coal and oil, for example. But they represented at the time an improvement in our ecological profile. You know, we used to use almost a hundred million acres of land to grow feed for horses to move things around. Now we don't like the car these days if you're sort of environmentally correct as I like to say. But, in fact, if there'd been an environmental movement in 1915 and I'd been Henry Ford, I would have had a bumper sticker that said, "Save Farmland, Drive a Car." I mean, a lot of the rebirth of the forest in the Northeastern United States can be attributed to the rise of the automobile. Well now the automobile's a problem and it's another--well I think it's another transitional technology…
Paul Ehrlich: A lot of what you say is perfectly correct. I think the big differences are, as we try and point out in One with Nineveh is first of all, for the first time, we have a global civilization that is pushing on its limits. We have lots of examples of civilizations in the past that didn't make it ecologically but they went out regionally.
Peter Robinson: Global civilization--you mean simply too many people around the globe?
Paul Ehrlich: Well, globalized also, for example, the problems that--the reason we don't like the car--the main reason we don't like the car is its contribution to climate change. And climate is something we're all tied into. Nobody knows for sure what's going to happen with the climate except for some relatively minor things but the scientific community is mighty worried about it and we're all affected by the climate.
Peter Robinson: I see. I see.
Paul Ehrlich: And so it's a global situation. The other thing is that we have a scientific community that is trying to keep constant track of what's going on everywhere. We have the intergovernmental panel on climate change. We have the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment that's very much concerned with the loss of ecosystem services that we're just talking about and so on. It's perfectly correct that in the past, there have been warnings that at least in the short term, you know, we did not drown in horse manure. We managed to kill ourselves off with automobiles and I like driving an automobile and I'm a great consum--I'm an instrument rated pilot so I'm not a leadite but the problem is I'm--one of the few advantages there are to getting older is that you get some historical perspective on yourself. You know, when I wrote The Population Bomb, people said…
Peter Robinson: Which you published in?
Paul Ehrlich: 1968, when there were 3½ billion people. There's now almost 3 billion more. And people said don't worry. We'll easily be able to take care of 5 billion people, feed all of them, house all of them, give them educational opportunity, give them good food. And the answer is we've now got 6.3 and about 3 billion people are not living a life that any one of us would want to try.
Peter Robinson: But what makes Paul Ehrlich think things are getting worse rather than better?
Title: Food Fights
Peter Robinson: Agronomist Paul Waggoner--this is the kind of thing a layman discovers if he googles around…
Paul Ehrlich: Sure.
Peter Robinson: Agronomist Paul Waggoner argues that if farmers around the world can raise their productivity to current U.S. levels--and bear in mind that they'll have fifty years to do--population according to the latest UN projections is expected to peak in about fifty years so that it has, so to speak, fifty years to do so, at least in this mind experiment--they'd be able to feed 10 billion people using only half the land now devoted to agriculture around the world. And that's a billion more than the UN now thinks we'll have fifty years from now. So…
Paul Ehrlich: Well, first of all, it's true in part and it's false in part. First of all, we--human beings are very smart. Guess what, we did not farm to get the highest yields, the lousiest soils first. One of the reasons the United States is such a wonderful and successful country is the deep rich soils that we had in the…
Peter Robinson: The Great Plains.
Paul Ehrlich: …in the Great Plains. Therefore there's not a hope in hell as far as anybody I know can see, that in fifty years, the world's productivity will all be raised to that of the best productivity we have today. But even if it is, you have to ask are the farmers going to do it? I mean, it's like the issue of whether people are going to get fed. Right now if you could divide the world's food production evenly among human beings…
Peter Robinson: Everybody'd be fine.
Paul Ehrlich: …on the basis of their metabolism, everybody could be healthy. The issue is what are the chances of doing that or should we be planning for a world in which we'll still have inequities of distribution.
Stephen Hayward: Well I'm not an agronomist. I look at the historical statistics which show that food production for the world has been growing faster than population. There's raging arguments on both sides of this. Paul may very well be right. Let me give you a summary statement of why I'm an optimist about both this and biodiversity at the end of the day. Qualifying optimism by saying that I have no illusions there's going to be some catastrophes along the way and tragic loss of biodiversity. We know that--no matter what's done today. Conservation International, a very well respected environmental group stunned the environmental world about two years ago with a study they sponsored through a bunch of Harvard scientists that used satellite imagery of the Earth and they reported this conclusion--that 48% of the world's land mass was wilderness. Now wilderness didn't mean no people at all but it meant a very, very low population density or actually the same--about the same population density that our Census Bureau used in the nineteenth century to denote the frontier in America--about two people per ten square miles, something like that.
Peter Robinson: All right.
Stephen Hayward: Now some of that land is Antarctica and Greenland. So in some sense, that doesn't count.
Paul Ehrlich: And a lot of Nevada and places like that.
Stephen Hayward: Right but those are not negligible things. But then--but you combine that with the work that I know you know from Edward Wilson and others that an awful lot of the world's biodiversity could be conserved in the short run or the long run if we targeted the hot spots around the world.
Peter Robinson: The hot spots meaning those where biodiversity is in most danger?
Stephen Hayward: Well yes and also where there's the most…
Paul Ehrlich: Where's the most of it.
Paul Ehrlich: That's perfectly correct. There are all sorts of things we could be doing. I just came from meeting with two of my colleagues discussing the issue of how we can by slightly improving the biodiversity holding capacity of agricultural areas, we can support a lot of needed biodiversity there because you got to remember, if you just save the hot spots, we'd all be dead. In other words, you need the organism spread over the entire planet. The fact that in Southern Africa, you've got bees to do pollination isn't going to do a thing for our alfalfa.
Peter Robinson: From too many people to too much consumption.
Title: Supersize Me
Peter Robinson: I'm going to quote you to yourself again, Paul, in One with Nineveh, "The United States because of its population size, growth rate and high per capita level of consumption is the champion consumer of the world, each baby born in the United States on average will cause fifteen to 150 times more environmental damage than a baby born in a very poor country." Now you are simply presuming that consumption equals damage.
Paul Ehrlich: No, not necessarily.
Peter Robinson: All right.
Paul Ehrlich: If you look in detail at what we said in One with Nineveh or if you look at the paper we have out-coming in The Journal of Economic Perspectives…
Peter Robinson: We is yourself and your wife Anne?
Paul Ehrlich: No not just my--just also me and the many economists we've been working with like Ken Arrow here at Stanford who's the lead author on an article on Are We Consuming Too Much? It's an extremely difficult part of the problem for a number of reasons. First of all, business economists think all consumption is good. And we think that's wrong. On the other hand, some consumption is very good and some is very bad. For example, if you're going to spend ten million dollars on something, if you buy a Van Gogh with it, you're not hurting any--doing anything environmentally damaging. If you buy your third executive jet with it, that's a very different expenditure of money but the issue of how you decide what consumption is damaging and what isn't is something that finally the technical community is beginning to look at. But it is clearly a big part of the problem.
Peter Robinson: All right but the notion that the United States somehow is over-consuming--is consuming more than its share--as best I can work it out, the United States consumes about a fifth of the world's overall output but it also produces about a fifth of the world's overall output.
Paul Ehrlich: Some of the things it produces are things like carbon dioxide as a result of the consumption. And some of, you know…
Peter Robinson: Stephen.
Stephen Hayward: I was actually going to say that if we had color-coded warnings for gradations of doom-saying, I would have upgraded you from doom-sayer to mere gloom-sayer having read some of your books over the years.
Peter Robinson: That's true though Paul because One with Nineveh is not as hot as--it's not as angry and it doesn't feel as urgent as The Population Bomb.
Paul Ehrlich: Well look if you look at The Population Bomb or One with Nineveh, you'll see they're all read by my colleagues and one of the reasons that The Population Bomb was hot was at the time, there was a beginning environmental…
Peter Robinson: I didn't mean hot in the sales sense. I mean…
Paul Ehrlich: No, no, no, I meant hot…
Peter Robinson: Okay.
Paul Ehrlich: Yeah, right, we were very concerned that this part of the issue wasn't being looked at. It's now been looked at. We know an enormous amount more about the population situation because the last thirty years we haven't taken the same look yet at consumption because it's trickier.
Stephen Hayward: Well I think Paul does deserve credit for being the first person to popularize that issue. I mean, you actually refer to yourself in that book, The Population Bomb, as a part-time propagandist which is why I'm never quite sure when you're being provocative to push people's thinking and when you're serious--I mean, literally serious.
Paul Ehrlich: Oh, by the way, I was--again, Don Kennedy, Peter Raven, you know, they read the book from cover to cover and approved it. In other words, serious scientists--a whole bunch of them did but they're just two that are now in the National Academy--but the basic point is you and I are both propagandists. What I mean by a propagandist is somebody…
Peter Robinson: I am but how dare you accuse Stephen…
Paul Ehrlich: No it's somebody who tries to persuade people to do something different, look at it differently, something like that. And I don't want to pull--I think politics is a big part of being a human being. And we're engaging in politics now and that's what we ought to be doing.
Peter Robinson: Go ahead--but this point of over-consumption…
Paul Ehrlich: I'm sorry.
Stephen Hayward: Let's assume for the moment that everything that Paul says is correct about over-consumption. At this moment, regardless of what dynamic changes you can think about or anticipate. The next question is do we really know what to do about that? And that's where in One with Nineveh and does not seem to be much different although his analysis is somewhat different in some areas from his earlier books, some of his prescriptions seem to me quite the same and to a political conservative just as worrying as they were in the past. I mean, there is--and this is a general complaint I have about a lot of environmentalists--not all of them--is that there seems to be precious little worry about the so--what you might call the human ecosystem of liberty and freedom. Paul mentions in, you know, couple of very brief places in the book but I think way too brief that say well, you know, freedom and democracy--it's not clear how well they relate. And then he goes onto endorse--if I can paraphrase it--the Federal Department of Saying No. One of the reasons I'm an environmental optimist, even though it's often considered beyond the pale, is I take exactly the opposite view of Paul. I actually think the United States is providing the example of how the world is going to unfold in the twenty-first century. He'll be appalled to hear that but here's why I think that. I first got interested in environmental issues because I grew up in L.A. and I thought as actually Paul thought in The Population Bomb that it's going to be impossible to solve the smog problem in Los Angeles. I think the way you put it in that book was L.A. already exceeds the carrying capacity for its air shed. And I thought the same thing. I thought when I first studying this in graduate school in the eighties, I thought the only way you can solve smog in Los Angeles is to de-populate the basin. And after all, the Native Americans five hundred years ago supposedly called it the Valley of the Smokes. I don't know if that's true or not but that story is…
Paul Ehrlich: It's a good story.
Stephen Hayward: It's urban legend.
Peter Robinson: Right. Yeah, right, right.
Stephen Hayward: And yet here we are twenty some years later, the population of L.A. has doubled, the number of cars on the road and miles traveled has tripled and the smog levels are down 75%. Well how did we do that? Well its' a long story how we did that but I can tick off a whole number of things that we've done. Forested areas in the '90s grew by ten million acres. Paul mentions…
Peter Robinson: In the L.A. basin?
Stephen Hayward: No, no, forested area in the United States grew by ten million acres in the 1990s, that's from a Clinton Administration report. Paul mentions PCB's in the environment. They're down 92% according to the latest EPA data over the last twenty-five years.
Peter Robinson: Well, then if these environmental problems are getting fixed, don't people like Paul Ehrlich deserve some of the credit?
Title: Ring My Bell
Peter Robinson: What are you suggesting? That Paul is an alarmist or, in fact, that he's serving a vital function by raising the alarm?
Stephen Hayward: I might say both of those things actually.
Paul Ehrlich: I am--I'm an alarmist and I also agree with you. For instance, one of the things that disturbs me about recent trends is the U.S. got a leg up in world markets because we had the best environmental laws in the world to begin with and it gave our companies a real advantage. Now we're seeing the Japanese move in because we've gotten onto this SUV kick and so on where--and there are ways of dealing with that, both through the market which is what I would prefer.
Peter Robinson: Hold on. I don't understand how SUVs…
Paul Ehrlich: Well we're using huge amounts of gas because the SUVs are unnecessarily, in my view, because the SUVs are not under the CAFE standard.
Peter Robinson: But how does that help injure our international competitiveness?
Paul Ehrlich: Oh because it--the Japanese are the ones who are building the cars of the future now…
Peter Robinson: I see.
Paul Ehrlich: …and bringing them in here, the Prius and so on. I think they're putting our industry at a disadvantage for no particular reason and I would use a market mechanism. I would slowly raise the price of gasoline.
Stephen Hayward: That's a great subject to argue about. Let me argue a little more fundamentally this way. Someone who I'm sure Paul and I both hold in mutual regard is Aldo Leopold, the author of The Sand County Almanac years and years ago, whose central point was we need to adopt a land ethic. Really meant respect for the land and for wildlife. It's a wonderfully lyrical, poetic book. But at the beginning of that book, he says this, "These wonderful wild things of nature would have no value to us until mechanization had assured us of a good breakfast." See Paul is, you know, one of the famous theorems that he has in this book and others is the--you might say the environmental equivalent of monetarism. Monetarism's fundamental equation is MV=PQ, footnote, see Milton Friedman. Paul's is I=PAT.
Paul Ehrlich: Right.
Stephen Hayward: Impact, meaning environmental impact equals the combination of population, affluence and technology. But look, I mean, I--there's a lot of ways of saying that affluence is what leads to both the means to improve the environment, increasing demand for environmental quality. It also, I think, turns out to be the best contraceptive because birth rates are falling fast in the more affluent countries.
Peter Robinson: Okay. Let me quote Stephen Hayward to you. "Environmental consciousness around the world correlates chiefly with economic growth which is why a richer planet will be a greener planet." So we've dealt with over-population, consumption, mal-distribution of power. Now I'm asking you what should be done about it and Hayward says if you want to clean up the global environment, you ought to encourage other nations to participate in the regime of free trade and democratic capitalism because it'll make them richer and that will lead to a cleaner environment.
Paul Ehrlich: Well, there's a lot of truth--there's a lot of truth in that and there's a lot of hidden problems in that, making the rest of the world--for instance, if you mean have the whole world go through the Victorian Industrial Revolution like we did, that's crazy. If you mean having the Chinese build the--simulations of the kind of affluence we have using a solar hydrogen technology and not burning their coal and so on, yeah. What we have to do is get together and discuss these things. These issues, you know, we're airing these issues here. Most people are totally unaware.
Peter Robinson: You can't trust the workings of the marketplace.
Paul Ehrlich: You can trust the workings of the marketplace if it…
Peter Robinson: Intellectual elites, yourself…
Paul Ehrlich: …if the playing field is leveled. Everybody quotes a little bit from Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations. They don't bother to read his Theory of Moral Sentiments which says what kind of a society the market is supposed to operate within. You got to have markets. They're critical.
Peter Robinson: Last topic, a very critical view of Paul Ehrlich.
Title: Taking It on Faith
Peter Robinson: This is coming from a speech recently by medical doctor and novelist Michael Crichton. And this particular passage is not directed against you but there are places in the speech…
Paul Ehrlich: I've read the whole speech.
Peter Robinson: You know the whole thing. Okay, so here we go. Get ready. Crichton now, "I studied anthropology in college and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. One of those is religion. Today one of the most powerful religions in the Western world is environmentalism, the religion of choice for urban atheists. There's an initial, even a state of unity with nature. There's a fall from grace into a state of pollution and we're all energy sinners unless we seek salvation which is now called sustainability. These beliefs are not troubled by facts because they have nothing to do with facts," which is why Paul's still at it even after predicting starvation that didn't materialize in the seventies and so on. Is that really what's going on?
Paul Ehrlich: Well, you know, a lot of the starvation did materialize...
Peter Robinson: How do you--defend yourself against…
Paul Ehrlich: Yeah, I--no, I'll say first of all, he's correct in the sense that values are really central to all of this. We're talking about our values and we should recognize that we're talking about a lot of values. That's number one.
Peter Robinson: We are presuming a certain a sort of love for the planet at a minimum, right?
Paul Ehrlich: As far as--people who saw his movie, the…
Stephen Hayward: Jurassic Park?
Paul Ehrlich: Jurassic Park--will know exactly how much he knows about the biology and the science. Most of his speech contains so many fundamental errors about how the world works that it would shock you to read it.
Peter Robinson: Place Paul in contemporary American life. This isn't science. It's a kind of appealing to a misplaced impulse toward religion or it's useful--place Paul for us.
Stephen Hayward: Well I--the idea that environmentalism is a religion is not a new theme. I've come after long reflection to think not very much of that actually although there's certainly--you hear that rhetoric from some kinds of environmentalists who are very good at getting a lot of publicity.
Peter Robinson: Right.
Stephen Hayward: But then I talk to sort of ordinary people--people who belong to the Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club and they're much more common sense about this. And a lot of them are regular church-goers. So they haven't really substituted sun worship. I think what happens is we are misled by the people at the extremes on both sides of the debate. And I think--I don't mean to be unkind but I think Paul sometimes fall into the extreme on the environmental side of the debate. I mean, my criticism, for example, of the Nineveh imagery that he uses and there's been other people like it like Jared Diamond wrote about the fall of the Mayan civilization in Harper's last year, in very similar terms, pointing out symptoms of their ecological collapse.
Peter Robinson: And he has a blurb on the back of One with Nineveh as I recall.
Stephen Hayward: So, I mean, it seems to me the criticism that Paul makes of Michael Crichton could be made of him. In other words, I'm not convinced that we know whether, for example, the ecological collapse of Nineveh or the Mayan civilization was cause of their collapse or the effect of other causes that brought on their collapse or an interrelation that's very hard to untangle. So--and making the broader point is that cause and effect in a dynamic world is very, very hard to sort out. And I sort of resist generalizations on either side, either the market will solve it--I'm actually a believer in politics--or that, you know, if we don't change today, we're all about to die.
Peter Robinson: Alas, it's television so we have to wrap it out. We're talking at book length. We've got to wrap it up. Let me ask you each to name the one reform--bring it down to one reform--to be brief and memorable here that you would most urge upon the next president with regard to the environment. Steve?
Stephen Hayward: I would like to see someone--I'm not sure if it's the president or several world leaders or congress or the UN or who--but I would like to see someone take up the biological hot spot idea. It is nowhere on the agenda right now. And the main reason for that is is you might say it's only twenty…
Peter Robinson: Describe the idea, once again, very briefly--you protect the rain forest in the Amazon? Is that the idea?
Stephen Hayward: That's--there and several other areas that have been identified where you have the highest concentration of biodiversity. It makes perfect sense to me. People like Edward Wilson will say well it's only maybe twenty billion dollars could get the job done--maybe true maybe not. The point is it's not just twenty billion dollars. It's twenty billion dollars on top of a hundred billion we spend for this on the environment and two hundred billion in private sector costs on that--some of which is not very well prioritized. And because we're all gridlocked over some of these political fights, the idea of trying to preserve the biodiversity hot spots…
Peter Robinson: But the hot spot idea--that ought to be within the grasp of man?
Stephen Hayward: Yes.
Peter Robinson: Paul?
Paul Ehrlich: I would like to see the next president set up a millennium assessment of human behavior in some form to be like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment so we could bring these kinds of issues to the public, discuss the values, discuss the facts, have it totally transparent…
Peter Robinson: High level presidential panel?
Paul Ehrlich: …or a high level UN panel would be even better…
Peter Robinson: You want a national or international debate?
Paul Ehrlich: International discussion…
Peter Robinson: Higher visibility for the issues.
Paul Ehrlich: And to push to make sure we have media--channels of communication that are very diverse.
Peter Robinson: All right. Rudyard Kipling's 1897 poem Recessional, "Lo, all our pomp of yesterday is one with Nineveh and Tyre" or as you yourself put it in One with Nineveh, "The very life of our civilization is now threatened." Disease, pestilence, starvation--give me the probability as you see it that a century from now, humankind will indeed have suffered an environmental catastrophe.
Paul Ehrlich: Hundred percent.
Stephen Hayward: Ten percent.
Paul Ehrlich: See we differ.
Peter Robinson: Paul Ehrlich and Stephen Hayward, thank you very much. I'm Peter Robinson for Uncommon Knowledge. Thanks for joining us.