He looks like a grown-up Eagle Scout: handsome, tall, earnest and, above all, prepared. Sitting with Robert Gillespie, I was inspired by this man’s mission to make family planning easy and accessible worldwide. Gillespie is an affable, passionate man with a profound depth of knowledge about the world and birth control. Gillespie’s “scouting” has led him all over the world with his vital message: Be prepared for situations affecting family size.

He personifies the idea that birth control is a human issue, not a matter of concern to women only. A longtime Pasadena resident and now a documentary film spokesman, co-producer and narrator, Gillespie is one of those people who found his calling — population control — in his early 20s and hasn’t stopped answering that call. He is central to the documentary “No Vacancy,” both on camera and behind it.

“No Vacancy,” written and directed by Michael Tobias, is to the world’s population explosion what Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” is to global warming. Double feature, anyone? The promotional material says, “‘No Vacancy’ is that rare chronicle of sobering optimism in a world more accustomed to thinking about population as a dilemma with little hope of positive change.”

I find the term “sobering optimism” to be really apt and not just film hyperbole. The title “No Vacancy” obviously refers to a possible result of reproduction run amok: no room left on our planet — a sobering vision indeed. The optimistic part is that there are practices that have been working all over the world.

Mexico is a shining example of a country that’s made an impact through its government limiting family size. Deeply committed to installing a safety valve for its nation’s population explosion, Mexico has moved from a fertility rate of five children per family in 1975 to 2.3 to 2.5 today.

And here we are, living in the United States with an administration that is doing its best to set the clock back on women’s reproductive decision-making ability at every turn. However, last week, the Food and Drug Administration FINALLY came out of its zombie-like state to reconsider approval of Plan B, an over-the-counter “oops, our birth control method failed” backup plan for women over 18. What century is this?

I asked Gillespie how he wound up making his career all about population control.

“Fifty years ago, I read an article by Aldous Huxley about population, the beginning of a journey that led me to a scientist at Caltech, Dr. Harrison Brown,” he explained.

Dr. Brown’s forte was the intersection of science and public policy with a particular emphasis on nuclear proliferation and the other ticking time bomb — population.

After making connections with Clarence Gamble (yes, of the Gamble House) and John D. Rockefeller, Gillespie soon became the head of the very first national family-planning center in the world in Taiwan. He became a family planning pioneer and the clinic that he helped start became an important outpost on the birth-control frontier: It was the first to offer the newly manufactured birth-control pill in the early 1960s.

When I viewed “No Vacancy,” I was reminded of how important it is to include men in family-planning solutions, privately, domestically and internationally. I realized that not a single one of my serious boyfriends in the past ever asked me about birth control; nor did either of my two husbands inquire. I find that odd, given that their lives could have changed in an instant if I’d been irresponsible. It was just assumed that, since I had the most at stake, I would be solely responsible for my own reproductive “protection.” What is the disconnect with men and reproduction?

“No Vacancy” is a great way to connect men and boys to the issues. It takes a complex, public and paradoxically most private issue — namely, reproduction — and demonstrates how it intersects with other multifaceted issues that impact people globally, such as environmental stresses and competition for natural resources. Birth control is an environmental issue, impacting ecology at every level. I envision “No Vacancy” being shown to high school and junior high students, service organizations like Rotary and Kiwanis and other networking and business groups. Considering the importance of population, perhaps there should be a population badge for Girl and Boy Scouts.

Start working on your badge and see “No Vacancy” at 7 p.m. tonight at Pasadena City College’s Vosloh Auditorium, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. A question-and-answer session follows with filmmakers Bob Gillespie and Mike Tobias. Tickets are $15; PCC students pay $5 at the door.

Proceeds benefit the educational programs of the United Nations Association Pasadena/Foothills Chapter, Inc.