Iran serves as an apt model of how government population policy affects social and environmental welfare in a country.
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Editor’s note: We’re proud to support the Earth Policy Institute’s online publication of Lester Brown’s book Full Planet, Empty Plates by publishing selections from the book. If you missed other installments, you can find them here; we’ll add new ones every couple of weeks. By Lester R. Brown As food supplies have tightened, a new geopolitics of food has […]
Is Population Killing Us? Alan Weisman’s Countdown: Our Last Best Hope for a Future on Earth [Book Review]
In Countdown, author Alan Weisman takes a step back from a “world without us” and looks at what is, albeit arguably for some, possibly the main thing that may make that world happen: the breakneck growth of human population.
On World Population Day, Population Connection president John Seager offers ideas on how we can turn this event from a day meant to raise concern to one for celebration.
Throughout most of human existence, population growth has been so slow as to be imperceptible within a single generation. Reaching a global population of 1 billion in 1804 required the entire time since modern humans appeared on the scene. To add the second billion, it took until 1927, just over a century. Thirty-three years later, in 1960, world population reached 3 billion. Then the pace sped up, as we added another billion every 13 years or so until we hit 7 billion in late 2011.
Worried about the “baby bust” under discussion in some media outlets? John Seager of Population Connection argues that there’s no shortage of people in the developed world (nor will there be), and that the “Ponzi demography” represented by such thinking is unsustainable.
What does corporate sustainability actually mean? A company gives lots of money to charity? Follows rules and regulations? Or something else? Roger Ballantine of Green Strategies, Inc., wrestles with these questions.
The phrase “global food crisis” may strike us in the developed world as a bit overblown. But in his new book Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity, Lester R. Brown, founder of the Earth Policy Institute, aptly demonstrates that our current food security situation is anything but normal… and could even represent the “weak link” to maintaining the standard of living to which we’ve become accustomed.
A human population of 11 billion might turn Wisconsin’s gorgeous lakes green. Not green as in environmentally sound, but green as in covered in slimy, stinky, toxic blue-green algae.
This month, a young black bear was found in a tree outside an apartment building in Cleveland. While it makes for interesting headlines on the small scale, the competing interests of humans and animals on the global scale could spell doom for wild creatures.
The situation in which we find ourselves pushes us to redefine security in twenty-first century terms. The time when military forces were the prime threat to security has faded into the past. The threats now are climate volatility, spreading water shortages, continuing population growth, spreading hunger, and failing states. The challenge is to devise new fiscal priorities that match these new security threats.
At least 215 million women want to prevent or delay pregnancy but are not using effective contraception. This “unmet need” for family planning may be due to poor reproductive health information, social pressures, or insufficient access to contraceptive options. In Africa, more than 1 in 4 women have unmet need — by far the highest rate of any region.
People born today will live for 68 years on average, 20 years longer than those born in 1950. By the mid-twentieth century, industrial countries had already made major strides in extending lifespans with improvements in sanitation, nutrition, and public health. After World War II, rapid gains in life expectancy in developing countries began to narrow the gap between these nations and industrial countries. Although average life expectancy worldwide continues to increase, gains have come more slowly in the last few decades. Worryingly, life expectancy has actually declined in some developing countries, while a few industrial countries have stalled or made slow progress on this important indicator of human health and well-being.