If rapid population growth is the root cause of so many of the problems, pressures
and stresses of the 21st century, why are so few
people writing or talking about it?
Truly, the subject is missing from even the places you would most expect it.
One recent study looked at 150 articles about three population-related issues:
water shortages, endangered species and urban sprawl. They
found that only 16 of those even mentioned population increase, and only
one suggested that slowing or stopping population growth might help deal with
these problems. You may have noticed that discussion of population growth is also strikingly
absent from stories about oil prices, energy shortages, housing prices,
When something so important is sitting right in front of everyone's noses and
no one says a thing about it, that is the textbook definition of a
And it's not hard to see why. To have this discussion, we will have to delve deeply
into our attitudes about Race,
and to deal with our economic fears about job security, and desires
It's no wonder that many people seem to be in denial!
But we believe that most people will have better lives, both now and in the
future, if we have these discussions now. Our goal is to first ask what is the
optimum sustainable population for the planet, and then to find and adopt policies that
will encourage people to move towards those goals. Whatever the obstacles, the
problems are serious enough that we must overcome them.
The Texas growth machine is still running at high speed. Eight of the 15 fastest-growing U.S. cities and towns for the year ending July 1, 2012, were in the Lone Star State, according to population estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Texas also stood tall in total growth, with five of the 10 cities [...]
The Ogallala Aquifer suffered its second-worst drop since at least 2000 in a large swath of the Texas Panhandle, new measurements show. The closely watched figures, published this week by the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District, cover a 16-county area stretching from south of Lubbock to Amarillo. The Ogallala wells measured by the district [...]
SANLIURFA, Turkey — I’ve been traveling to Yemen, Syria and Turkey to film a documentary on how environmental stresses contributed to the Arab awakening. As I looked back on the trip, it occurred to me that three of our main characters — the leaders of the two Yemeni villages that have been fighting over a [...]
The 9th Circuit struck down Arizona’s 20 week abortion ban, one of 10 states with 20 weeks assumed to be when a fetus feels pain. Roe v. Wade established 26 weeks, before viable outside the womb, as the legal criterea. North Dakota now bans abortion after heartbeat is detectable, usually about 6 weeks. The safest & most effective way to avoid abortion is to provide free & effective birth control to all women.
WASHINGTON – Global warming and clean energy should be priorities for Congress and the president, a majority of Americans said in a recent survey. In the survey, released Tuesday by Yale and George Mason universities, 70% of American adults say global warming should be a priority for the nation’s leaders, while 87% say leaders should make it [...]
The Earth is Full
June, 2011 - Thomas Friedman - The title says it all. Maybe now that Friedman has broken the ice,
a few others can also say that the Emperor (of endless, thoughless growth) has no clothes!
Ruling on Contraception Insurance
January 29, 2012 - Obama admin.
finalizes ruling that insurance companies cover contraception without a broad religious
exemption. Half of pregnancies in U.S. are unintended.
[New York Times]
Resisting Dickensian Gloom
by Tony Recsei. Forced high density policies don't reduce our carbon footprint or
energy use. This is a very well researched article summarizing many studies. It
was posted on a "smart growth" blog and many people have commented.
Smart Growth: The Worst Kind of Sprawl?
Studies find that urban construction is no better for the environment
than the suburban. People have pretty much the same
global footprint either way. Transportation is a small part of it, and is offset
by extra resources to build high rises.
Tikopia: Living within Limits Feb, 2011 -
The history of the Pacific island Tikopia shows that when humans are confronted with
obvious limits to
our resources, we are smart enough to constrain our population and enjoy
comfortable, prosperous lives.
Overpopulation at its worst?
In the Congo's capital, parents only feed their children every other day.
Demand U.S. contribute
to U.N. contraceptive program!
- Jan 10, 2012
Japan's economy stronger than USA's
This is usually obfuscated by using total GDP to measure growth, but per-capita GDP is stronger
- Jan 3, 2012
Conjectures on Human Growth Limits, Jan 2004 -
Ross McCluney's classic survey of ways to address the question of the best population size
for our Planet. Hint: it depends on how we want to live...
300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds, Jan 2011 -
Great(!) video on the history and effects of humanity's use of fossil fuels. As supplies
dwindle relative to our population, what will we do?
The Critics Deconstructed Intersting article about the attacks against population activists,
and the need for population awareness
U.N.Predicts 10.1 billion people by 2100 May -
This article corrects some common mis-perceptions about population. It is growing rapidly, but
can be slowed by easy access to contraception, better education for women, and
changing social norms.
Mother: Caring our Way out of the
Population Dilemma, Jan 2011 -
The film follows Beth, an American mother who comes from a Catholic family of 12 and has adopted
an African-born daughter as she
travels to Ethiopia where she meets Zinet, the oldest daughter of a desperately poor family
of 12. Zinet has found the courage to break free from thousand-year-old-cultural barriers,
and their encounter will change Beth forever.
The Moral Right to Set Limits, Dec -
It seems right for us each to protect the positive qualities
of our own region, the only place where we have even a modicum of
the political ability to do so. But there is always a nagging question
Opposition to Power Line at Fjord Runs Deep, Nov 11 -
A beautiful place. Why run a high-tension power line with 125
foot towers through the middle of it? Another toll of increasing population.
Nobody Ever Dies of Overpopulation, Garret Hardin
or do they? Much of the Pakistani land which
flooded in 2010 is floodplain which was marshland that was
only settled in the last 30 years...
The Last Taboo What unites the Vatican, lefties, conservatives,
environmentalists and scientists in a conspiracy of silence?
The Last Taboo
by Julia Whitty in the June 2010 issue of
Mother Jones: "Who's to Blame for the Population Crisis?"
Calling Planet Birth
Family size is the great unmentionable in the campaign for more environmentally friendly
Having 1 less child in the US would reduce carbon emissions 19 times more than
all the E.P.A.'s recommended actions combined. -
Drop in Birthrates in 2008 is Linked to Recession -Apr 2010
Population growth is not inevitable. When incentives favor postponing having children,
many people do.
Smart Growth? the smart alternative is No Growth
Although city planners are trained to call some patterns of growth 'smart',
in many areas the only truely smart alternative is No Growth
Parting the Waters - mid-East wars over Water Rights - March 31, 2010.
30 of the 37 Wars over Water in the past 60 years involve Israel and its neighbors.
Fewer people living in these desert regions would leave more water per person. This should
inform the population policies of all countries involved.
A Pivotal Moment: Population, Justice & The Environmental Challenge
Dec 23,2009 This new book compiled by Laurie Mazur discusses environmental issues as they affect
equality, justice and sustainability. Regarding the UN's low and high estimates for World
population in 2050 "if we take seriously the twin imperatives of sustainablilty and equity, it
becomes clear that it would be easier to provide a good life - at less environmental cost - for
8 rather than almost 11 billion people."