Ensure universal access to contraceptives in this country and
around the world. People should have the freedom not to have children if they
choose. We all pay the price of adding a billion people to the planet every
12 years. Providing universal access to birth control costs just a fraction of this.
Support and elect politicians who are sensitive to issues
of reproductive choice here in the U.S. and abroad.
Reduce teen pregnancies with sex education in schools. Let your teens know they can talk to you about sex. Despite recent progress, Americans still have the highest rate of teen pregnancies of all developed countries.
Consider having a smaller family or have kids later in life. Encourage others to do the same. Adopt or become a foster parent.
Respect the choices of those who choose to remain childless. We know it's difficult. Kids are wonderful! But don't apply too much pressure.
Advocate for comprehensive reproductive health coverage, particularly in marginalized communities. This will ensure healthier families, which generally results in smaller families.
Raise public awareness. Talk to your friends and colleagues, to your representatives, and to the media.
Engage social media and traditional media. Comment on social media, publish blogs, and write letters to the newspapers.
Engage young people. There has been a decline in birthrates
in many parts of the world since the 1970's, part of which can be directly attributed
to the success of ecologists such as Paul Ehrlich in getting the population-reduction
message across. With almost half of the world's population under the age of 25, it's time for a new generation of activists to act up.
TAKE ACTION: Donate to help us spread population awareness locally and globally. Donations of any size are welcome!
Local Issues - where you can talk to decision makers
Raise your awareness of local issues such as
sprawl, development, school class size, water rights, and housing markets so
that you can discuss population growth's impact in your own community.
Engage with city hall when developments threaten quality of life
in your town. Population growth is not an inexorable force of nature that we must accommodate! Grassroots battles are being fought and won in every state of
the union - yours could be next!
Localize! Shop at locally-owned stores. The money you spend will be recycled into your community instead of going off to corporate headquarters.
If you are a small business owner, join a great network like BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) for support, helpful contacts and ideas.
Buy locally-grown produce. It's good for the environment - much less CO2 emissions due to transportation - and it's good for you.
When you see articles on the environment that gloss over
population as a cause, write letters to the editor, or post comments on the web. For example, if an article covers water shortages, they may suggest better pumps. These certainly can help short-term, but why not add family planning clinics to the mix of help that we suggest or offer?
Join a local environmental group, and ask them to include maintaining reasonable population size in their lobbying efforts. All the places we've protected today will be at risk if America really adds 120 million people in the next 40 years.
Help reduce carbon emissions. Family planning is among the most cost-effective means of lowering CO2 emissions - less than $2.11 per ton of reductions in California!
Reduce, re-use and recycle. We are already in global overshoot, so please maintain a responsible level of consumption.
TAKE ACTION: Visit the Sierra Club's action alert page. This month it's "thank the EPA for standing up for Appalachian Communities" and opposing mountain-top removal.
TAKE ACTION: College students can apply for a grant to the Environmental
Protection Agency's P3 sustainable design Expo. The P3 – People, Prosperity, and the Planet Program is a unique college competition for designing solutions for a sustainable future.
Women's Equality, Human Rights & Social Justice
The most effective programs that reduce birthrate worldwide are those that include giving women the education and opportunities necessary to make real choices about childbearing. Support these programs, and vote for
politicians who will vote to support them worldwide.
Support equal rights for women worldwide. Overall, women's empowerment engenders slower population growth, and vice-versa.
Support the adoption of methods of measuring public prosperity
that don't rely on economic growth. Relying on measures like Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) leads politicians and economists to promote policies that are destructive
to our ongoing well-being, and do not actually increase the economic
well-being of most people. There are many alternative
measures of economic prosperity but the simplest alternative would be to use per-capita GDP.
Shop Local. Shop in locally owned stores and buy locally grown food. (See other suggestions in the local actions section of this page.)
Don't support the real-estate economy. Developers and City Planners promote the ideas that population growth is inevitable and that residential construction is good for the local economy. But population growth is neither inevitable nor desirable, and while residential construction adds a few short-term jobs, it adds to the number of people in the region who need long-term jobs. That adds to the competition for jobs for existing residents, and raises unemployment rates.
Millions of people around the world are likely to be pushed back into poverty because climate change is undermining economic development in poor countries, the World Bank has warned. Droughts, floods, heatwaves, sea-level rises and fiercer storms are likely to accompany increasing global warming and will cause severe hardship in areas that are already poor [...]
What Happens to Women Who Are Denied Abortions? S. arrived alone at a Planned Parenthood in Richmond, Calif., four days before Christmas. As she filled out her paperwork, she looked at the women around her. Nearly all had someone with them; S. wondered if they also felt terrible about themselves or if having someone along [...]
BEIJING — China is pushing ahead with a sweeping plan to move 250 million rural residents into newly constructed towns and cities over the next dozen years — a transformative event that could set off a new wave of growth or saddle the country with problems for generations to come. The government, often by fiat, [...]
MARSA ALAM, Egypt — ON Tuesday, I visited a bakery in Cairo’s dirt-poor Imbaba neighborhood, where I watched a scrum of men, women and children jostling to get bread. You have to get there early, because the baker makes only so many subsidized pita loaves; he sells the rest of his government-subsidized flour on the [...]
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rural America is losing population for the first time ever, largely because of waning interest among baby boomers in moving to far-flung locations for retirement and recreation, according to new census estimates. Long weighed down by dwindling populations in farming and coal communities and the movement of young people to cities, rural [...]
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."