The Reporter June 2010 VOL. 42, ISSUE 2
A PUBLICATION OF
from the president
hen conversation turns to
sumption along with increased popula-
tional challenge of feeding, clothing,
tion is simply foolish. Yet even many
housing, educating, and generally pro-
abounds. From SUVs to
thoughtful people seem to avoid the
viding for those added three billion peo-
ple. In terms of raw population num-
McMansions, from supersized fast food to landfills chock-full of plastic detritus,
Perhaps it’s because global popula-
bers, it would be like adding another
“we have met the enemy and he is us,”
tion challenges can seem overwhelm-
North America, Central America, South
to quote the late cartoonist Walt Kelly.
ing. There is a temptation to focus on
America, Europe, Africa, and Australia.
Underconsumption is, however, the
the local in our vast, unruly world of 6.8
We cannot afford to avoid the global
other half of the story. And it gets much
billion. That’s a good thing, as far as it
challenge posed by population growth
less attention. Three billion people
goes. Growing gardens, planting trees,
simply because it’s too big, too contro-
struggle to survive on less than
and reconfiguring communities to
versial, too complex. To quote an old
$2.50/day. They are simply not con-
reduce waste are all good, even essen-
recycling maxim, there is no longer an
suming enough, based on available
“away” to throw things. Nor is there an
technology, to have anything resem-
But they’re not enough. If even a
“away” to stow population challenges.
moderate fraction of the world’s popu-
Change requires action. You and I
According to Jared Diamond, author
lation succeeds in following the U.S.
know this. Our common challenge is to
of Collapse, if the entire world in 2050
consumption model, it will overwhelm
find ways to get others to pay attention,
adopted current U.S. consumption
all of our local efforts.
especially those who occupy positions
bling a decent quality of life.
habits, it would be equivalent to a pop-
This is where population growth
of leadership and respect in their com-
ulation increase from today’s 6.8 billion
comes in. According to UN population
munities and professions. A wonderful
to 72 billion. That’s not a misprint. It
projections, by 2050 the world popula-
group called InspireSeattle has a great
really would be like having 72 billion
slogan: “The world is run by those who
people on earth.
between eight and eleven billion peo-
show up.” If you’re one of those peo-
ple. The difference between those high
ple, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
and low projections is three billion.
You can truly make a difference.
Now, it’s highly unlikely that the entire world will “catch up” to us in 40
years. But vast numbers of people in
Three billion is the same as the total
China, India, and elsewhere are rapidly
world population in 1960. It’s equal to
the population today of the entire world
lifestyle—purchasing cars and appli-
except Asia. That’s what’s in play: about
amounts of meat and dairy products.
So depending on what we do or do
The failure to take into account the
not do, on what happens over the next
multiplier impacts of increased con-
40 years, our planet may face the addi-
John Seager email@example.com
Need a speaker? We’re always on the lookout for opportunities to spread the message. John Seager, President of Population Connection, and other key staff are available to make the population connection to the environment, women’s rights, social justice, and other global issues. If your environmental organization, school, university, religious group, or other gathering could use a lively presentation, just email Natalie Widel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 1-800-767-1956 ext. 7725.
Volume 42, Issue 2 June 2010 Cover Cartoon © Seppo Leinonen
Book Review: The Coming
The Snowballing Effects of Rising
Population Crash and Our
Planet’s Surprising Future
By John and Mary Ellen Harte
Pg. 16 The Climate in Copenhagen: Observations on the Climate Summit By Dianne Dillon-Ridgley
By Marian Starkey
D E PA RT M E N T S
18 Washington View
In the News
20 Field & Outreach
22 Pop. Ed.
Printed on recycled paper
The average American home swelled from 983 square feet in 1950 to 2,349 square feet in 2004â€”a 140% increase in size. MSN Real Estate
PopPourri According to the U.S. EPA, more than 4.6 million tons of e-waste ended up in U.S. landfills in 2000. The amount of electronic products discarded globally has skyrocketed, with 20-50 million tons generated every year.
It would take more than five earths to be able to sustain the world population if everyone consumed resources at the same rate as the United States. At the consumption rate of France or the United Kingdom, it would take 3.1. The numbers for other nations include 3.0 for Spain, 2.5 for Germany and 2.4 for Japan.
New Economics Foundation
The Reporter â€” June 2010
The number of motor vehicles in the U.S. has risen by 157 million since 1960, while the population of licensed drivers has grown by 109 million. In 2003, there were an estimated 1.17 motor vehicles per licensed driver, meaning that there are more vehicles than drivers in the U.S.
Federal Highway Administration
The world's richest half-billion peopleâ€”that's about 7 percent of the global populationâ€”are responsible for 50 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile the poorest 50 percent are responsible for just 7 percent of emissions.
Carbon Mitigation Institute
Global meat consumption is expected to grow 2 percent each year until 2015, especially in developing countries where eating meat is seen as a sign of wealth and prosperity. Half of the world's pork is now eaten in China, while Brazil is the second largest consumer of beef, after the United States.
June 2010 â€” The Reporter
In the News Pregnancy Coercion
course, compared with three days for Plan B.
Researchers at the University of California,
The drug, ulipristal acetate (brand name
Davis conducted a survey of 1,300 women,
ellaOne), has been approved in Europe but is
Executive Editor Marian Starkey
ages 16 to 29, at five reproductive health
still under FDA review in the United States.
Contributors Dianne Dillon-Ridgley, Rebecca Harrington, John Harte, Mary Ellen Harte, Stacie Murphy, John Seager, Marian Starkey, Pam Wasserman
whether rates of unintended pregnancy are
Australian Population Debate
higher among women who are in abusive
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd self-purported-
Volume 42, Issue 2 June 2010
clinics in Northern California to explore
and/or coercive relationships.
ly believes in “a big Australia,” meaning that
One in five women said they had experi-
he is in favor of massive population growth
enced pregnancy coercion and 15% had
(the current rate of growth is 2%—the high-
experienced birth control sabotage. The rate
est in the developed world). Opposition
Graphic Artist Marian Starkey
of unintended pregnancy among women
Leader Tony Abbott is against runaway
who experience coercion and partner vio-
growth and prefers to rewrite the country’s
lence was twice that of women who are not
immigration policy to keep the population at
Overpopulation threatens the quality of life for people everywhere. Population Connection is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth’s resources.
victims of sexual and/or physical violence.
a sustainable level.
Editor photo, page 6: © Kendra Fletcher
Australia’s population is currently 22 mil-
Birth Rates Declined in 2008 The CDC and National Center for Health
lion. Demographers project that by 2050 that number could be 36 million.
Statistics released a preliminary analysis of
“Until we address the issue of population,
2008 birth data in April. After two years of
we are fighting global warming with at least
increasing births for all age groups, in 2008
one arm tied behind our back,” lawmaker
The Reporter (ISSN 0199-0071) Population Connection 2120 L Street, NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20037
births to all age groups—except women over
40—decreased. Births to teens 15-17
Phone: 202-332-2200 or
decreased by 2% and births to teens 18-19
decreased 4%. Births to Hispanic women fell
appointed the first-ever Population Minister,
to an all-time low.
Agriculture Minister Tony Burke. Mr. Burke is
Email: email@example.com Website: www.popconnect.org Board Chair Dianne Dillon-Ridgley President John Seager
With a total decrease in births of 2%, the 2008 fertility rate was 2.086, down from
Rudd modified his position in April and
responsible for developing a population plan, including cutting skilled immigration levels.
2.123 in 2007. A fertility rate of 2.1 is required for population replacement in coun-
Scott Roeder Sentenced
tries with low infant and child mortality.
The man who killed Dr. George Tiller, one
Analysts cautiously attribute the decline to
of the only late-term abortion providers in
the poor state of the economy. Anecdotal
the country, was convicted in January of first-
evidence indicates that many couples do not
degree murder. Roeder, 51, of Kansas City,
feel financially secure enough to have a child.
Missouri, readily admitted to murdering the
New Morning After Pill
tributed programs to fellow parishioners.
doctor point-blank in his church while he dis-
A new emergency contraceptive pill from a pharmaceutical company in Paris boasts effectiveness for up to five days after inter4
The Reporter — June 2010
Roeder was sentenced in April to 50 years imprisonment.
Specific Abstinence-only Programs May Work A study of 662 African American 6th and 7th graders living in inner-city Philadelphia found that certain types of abstinence programming may work to delay sexual activity at very young ages. Two years after completing an 8-hour course on abstinence, only a third of the students had had sex. 42% of the students in the comprehensive program had become sexually active within the two years. The course did not preach abstinence until marriage or claim that sex outside of marriage is never appropriate. It also did not discredit condoms for pregnancy and STI prevention. The program was ineligible for federal abstinence-only funding, but can receive funding under the Obama Administration’s new Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.
Cannon said that the initiative is about saving lives and that “family planning has nothing to do with it.” Two days later, the administration was singing a different tune, admitting that Cannon had misspoken and that “We are not closing the door to any option, and that includes contraception, but we do not want a debate, here or elsewhere, on abortion.” Hillary
Administration when she visited Ottawa in April. “You can't have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.” The World Health Organization (WHO) asserts that family planning is “the first step for avoiding maternal deaths.” Preventing unwanted pregnancies from occurring in the first place should be the first line of attack in any plan to reduce maternal and child mor-
Plan B for Military Women The more than 350,000 military women stationed overseas can now obtain Plan B
bidity and mortality. At this stage, while birth control is on the agenda, safe abortion still is not.
emergency contraception at Department of Defense clinics. The Pentagon accepted the recommendation by the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee—a Pentagon advisory panel—to stock the drug on February 3.
“Pro-Life” Pharmacy Fails The Christian “pro-life” pharmacy that opened in Chantilly, Virginia two years ago has closed its doors. The store did not sell any birth
Harper Administration Hijinks Canadian Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper will host the G8 summit in
Unsurprisingly, customers chose to take their business elsewhere, to pharmacies that could provide one-stop shopping.
June. His administration plans to introduce
The pharmacy owner said that heavy com-
there an initiative to reduce childhood and
petition was the downfall of his store and
maternal deaths in the developing world.
that other pro-life drug stores are faring bet-
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon
ter in rural areas. This is precisely the prob-
and International Co-operation Minister Bev
lem: where there is no competition, women
Oda both said when questioned that the ini-
who live near only a pro-life pharmacy have
tiative would not include birth control.
no place to purchase contraception.
June 2010 — The Reporter
ur members tend to be intelligent and well-
sumers in rich countries). Or
informed, so we’re going a little highbrow with this
that 20% is due to raising
issue of The Reporter and sharing a slightly more
animal protein, which is
academic feature article than usual. Drs. John and Mary Ellen
becoming a more common diet staple in the developing
Harte, a biologist and zoologist, respectively, expand upon
world, especially China. So while poor people certainly have
I=PAT equation (Environmental Impact =
a right to consume more carbon than they currently do in
Population x Affluence x Technology). Using numerous
order to live decent lifestyles, we can’t deny the fact that with
examples, they illuminate the complicated relationship
an average population growth rate of 1.3% (compared with
between population growth and environmental degradation.
0.3% for developed countries), developing countries will
While we tend to think of population and resource con-
begin to contribute a much larger percentage of total emis-
sumption as impacting the environment linearly as each
sions very soon.
grows, the Hartes remind us that in nature feedbacks, syner-
Nobody [credible] is saying that we need “population con-
gies, and thresholds can cause disproportionate environmen-
trol” or that we must “slaughter millions of children” like
tal damage. These phenomena intensify the cruciality of pop-
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ/4) warned against in a recent hearing
ulation stabilization because so many consequences of
on Combating Climate Change in Africa. We are simply advo-
growth are unknown until they occur. And the faster popula-
cating that a commonly overlooked step toward climate sta-
tion grows, the faster such consequences confront us.
bilization be considered when it comes to policy formation
Broadly, in this issue we focus on consumption: the con-
and funding decisions.
sumption of natural resources, material goods, and green-
While poor people need to consume more in order to
house gas emissions. Our Board Chair, Dianne Dillon-Ridgley,
increase their quality of life, Americans and other rich world
traveled to Copenhagen for the COP15 United Nations
citizens must consume less. The Pop. Ed. column on page 22
Climate Change Conference in December 2009. She repre-
is an adaptation of an activity called “Needs vs. Wants”
sented Population Connection well at the conference, like she
which was designed to make students more conscious of their
has done so many times in her decades-long relationship with
own consumption patterns. Chances are, if we were honest
with ourselves, most things we consume would fall into the
Population and climate can be challenging to discuss
together because of the massive inequality in per capita emis-
Just as Population Connection members tend to be at the
sions levels around the world. According to the United
top of the educational pyramid, wealthy people tend to be at
Nations Development Program (UNDP), high income OECD*
the top of the consumption pyramid. Here’s to climbing down
countries account for just 14% of the world’s population, but
a few steps and getting closer to consuming only what we
42% of total emissions. By contrast, the developing countries
make up 79% of world population but contribute an equal 42% of emissions. What those rather embarrassing statistics don’t reveal though, is that 20% of the carbon emitted each year is from deforestation, which is occurring most rapidly in the developing world (albeit partially to make wood products for conMarian Starkey firstname.lastname@example.org *Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: 30 high-income countries that work together to promote democracy and market economics
The Reporter — June 2010
By Marian Starkey
red Pearce is a British environmental journalist and the former news editor at New
Scientist. In his latest book, The Coming Population Crash and our Planet’s Surprising
Future, he describes modern demographic trends with a naively optimistic view toward the
future (which implies that the provocative title was chosen by a profit-conscious publisher). Pearce predicts that because the global fertility rate is 2.6 (still half a child above replacement level, but down from 4.9 fifty years ago), population will soon begin to shrink. This reasoning ignores the influence of population momentum (the built-in growth for a couple generations after replacement fertility is reached) and the fact that the fertility reductions that have already occurred were amongst the women who were open to family planning and easiest to reach with services. The countries that maintain high fertility are those with the most rural populations (hard to reach with family planning education and services) and those that still place a premium on large families. Fertility will only fall in those regions with strong and targeted interventions. And until global fer-
Beacon Press. 2010. Pp289. US$ 26.95. ISBN 978-0-8070-8583-7.
Book Review: The Coming Population Crash
tility falls below replacement, “depopulation” will not occur, despite his belief that those of us alive now will witness the phenomenon in our lifetimes. Like many who put all their eggs in the technology basket, Pearce believes that human ingenuity will save us from our own unsustainable growth. He contends that Malthus and Ehrlich were wrong in their forecast that millions would starve due to overpopulation. Thanks to the Green Revolution in the 1970s, millions of lives were indeed saved. But a billion people are currently starving—more people than existed on earth when Malthus made his famous prediction in 1798. And a couple billion more are malnourished—lacking essential vitamins and minerals to foster healthy brain and body development. Pearce says that if we stopped growing biofuels and eating meat, there would be plenty of food for everyone. But even if the rich were willing to give up their morning bacon, at some point we would overshoot earth’s capacity to feed a planet of vegetarians. Maybe it wouldn’t happen until we hit 15 or 20 billion, but what would happen to society and the environment in the meantime? The first half of the book is reminiscent of Matthew Connelly’s Fatal Misconception in its highly critical telling of the history of population programs. The programs conducted in the early years of USAID and UNFPA were sometimes coercive. The movement has since evolved into one promoting reproductive rights, not denying them. In fact, those who refuse family planning to the millions of women who want it are the ones now responsible for denying reproductive rights. Assigning poor, rural women around the world to a lifetime of unplanned pregnancies and inescapable poverty is hardly just. Using phrases like “baby famine,” “demographic abyss,” and “culling large numbers of people” makes Pearce sound more sensational than he really is. And reporting that demographers worry that euthanasia is the only answer to rising numbers of seniors is just plain ludicrous. It is a claim not based in reality. Perhaps another tidbit from Beacon Press. It’s hard to tease out Pearce’s thesis, other than that the demography of the world is changing and will continue to change for some time. He seems a bit schizophrenic in his stance. He supports the women of the world who have left the doldrums of constant childbearing for careers and active social lives, even if their freedom has led to lower fertility. He looks forward to a peaceful “breather” when the elderly rule the developed world for a few decades, and believes that retired people retain societal worth, even after they’ve stopped paying into social security. Meanwhile, he worries about Neo-Nazis and wolves taking over East German towns that have lost population to cities and to declining fertility. He warns that Europe should be very afraid that the rest of the continent could soon follow this demographic model. If human ingenuity led us to increase crop yields to feed millions of people in the 20th century, we are certainly capable of restructuring economies and urban plans to accommodate the new demographics of the 21st century. That might include welcoming more immigrants and delaying retirement in places like East Germany. But it by no means cultural extinction or worse. We’re not experiencing a crash, but rather, a shift, and one that we surely posess the ingenuity to accommodate. www.popconnect.org
June 2010 — The Reporter
The Snowballing Effects of Rising Population By John and Mary Ellen Harte
In Bolivia, the Cordillera Real mountain range makes up part of the Andes. Over the past 20 years, the snow on these mountains has receded considerably. Much of the brown landscape was covered in snow just five years ago. Photo: John Swaney, Photoshare
The Reporter â€” June 2010
here were already twenty or so university students crowded around the TV, craning to see
the electoral results flowing in on that fateful November day in 2008. But then a few more guests arrived, and as people politely jostled and made room, someone inevitably backed
into a family treasure, which then crashed to the ground and broke. Yes, this really did happen to us—but it’s actually a good allegory to the unusually important effects that even small increases in population can have on an already crowded planet. So many natural processes create linear, proportional consequences, and most people assume the same is true for the effects of our increasing population. But there are also plenty of examples of natural processes that create abrupt changes, once a threshold has been reached. The boiling point of water signals its abrupt change from liquid to gas. A magnifying glass can focus sunlight onto a piece of paper until it heats to its burning point, when it lights up in flames and quickly reduces to ashes. This would be totally unpredictable to someone ignorant of the burning threshold of paper, and of how magnifying glasses function. Similarly, our ignorance of the web of existing natural thresholds means that we cannot often predict when seemingly small increases in population will cause catastrophic environmental changes, or set the trigger for such catastrophes through the unconscious crossing of natural thresholds. Given this, how DOES current population growth create environmental effects well beyond expected changes? A little context is needed here. For the past several centuries, humanity has been polluting air and water, altering Earth’s climate, eliminating the habitat of plants and animals, and depleting the natural bank account of nonrenewable resources. Further, we are decreasing the capacity of natural ecosystems to regenerate or maintain renewable resources and “ecosystem services,” such as providing clean air, water, fertile soil, flood control, an adequate climate, and the conservation of biological diversity. This is the environment in which our planetary population continues to grow. The links between human activity and environmental degradation are myriad. But the human factors that contribute to environmental destruction can be grouped into three useful categories: population size (P), the individual rate of energy and material consumption that contribute to our affluence (A), and the impacts stemming from technologies (T), used to fuel that individual consumption rate. Their environmental impact (I) is often expressed as I=PAT. Although a useful reminder that population, affluence and technology contribute environmental impacts, if taken too literally, the I=PAT equation can feed the illusion that, with affluence and technology remaining unchanged, proportional or linear increases in population cause proportional or linear environmental impacts. But this ignores a host of threshold effects, synergies, feedbacks, and other nonlinear phenomena that can amplify the environmental impact of human numbers. In reality, population size plays a much more dynamic and complex role in shaping environmental quality. A threshold is a phenomenon in which a small stress to a system generates little or no impact, but when the stress exceeds a certain (threshold) level, the impact increases dramatically. The response of surface waters to acid rain is an environmental example. Below the threshold, water alkalinity prevents lake acidification. But just beyond a threshold—where all the alkalinity has www.popconnect.org
June 2010 — The Reporter
been used up, buffering previous acidic additions—the water acidity increases dramatically. Thus, quite suddenly, lakes can acidify, losing their ability to sustain life after a small addition of acid rain. But the story gets much more complex. Fossil fuel combustion produces the acidity, so some urge that we switch to clean renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power. But the limited availability of easily accessible clean energy creates an availability threshold. The faster population increases, the more quickly this threshold is reached, beyond which the population must increase its use of fossil fuels. In I=PAT terms, T (technologies) temporarily change as solar and wind sources replace some of the fossil fuel combustion. But the simultaneous increase in P (population size) quickly reaches the limits of new available technology, forcing a change back to fossil fuels. The real point is that P forces a change in T, so P is not a simple multiplier, but affects other multipliers as well. Thresholds abound in nature. In Amazonia, where roughly a quarter of the rainforest has been destroyed, numerous species have gone extinct because their habitat became either too small or too fragmented to sustain them, or was initially so small and unique that it disappeared entirely. In both cases, thresholds were crossed. Virtually all ecological models predict that the rate of species extinction will increase faster than the incremental spatial loss of habitat. A threshold relationship also characterizes the epidemic spread of viruses in a dense population, be it human, animal, or plant monocultures, i.e., crops. The innate complexity of a system can sometimes make it impossible to predict a threshold. For example, it is difficult to predict what level of global heating will cause Greenlandic and Antarctic ice to greatly accelerate their melting, resulting in a rapid, dangerous rise in sea level. We know the threshold exists, however, even if we can’t predict it. Synergy occurs when the combined effect of two causes is greater than the sum of the effects of each cause acting separately from each other. Clearly, if two environmental stresses act synergistically AND each stress grows proportionately with population size, then the combined effect of both may grow faster with population size than just linearly. Imagine you are in a room with two doors allowing escape, and a poisonous gas is released into the room. If one door is locked, your escape out the other door may be delayed but you get out. Similarly, if it is only the second door that is locked, your delayed escape through the first is likely. But when both are locked, you are trapped. Something similar can happen in the biosphere when stresses act in concert. Here’s an example. Consider the separate and combined effects on biodiversity of climate change induced by fossil fuel burning, and land use practices leading to loss or fragmentation of forest habitat. Forest loss can force species to find adjacent intact forest habitat. Climate change can force species to migrate to cooler latitudes, or uphill to find suitable climate habitat. When the two stresses act together, the effect is worse than the sum of the effects of each stress acting separately, because migration can be impeded by habitat destruction. But again, the problem is more complex. Deforestation can contribute to the problem of acid rain. In Africa, nitric acid is formed from burning vegetation. Our forest species, weakened by either a lack or degradation of suitable environment, becomes more vulnerable to other threats. For example, fish weakened by radiation have been shown to be more easily damaged by ther10
The Reporter — June 2010
mal pollution than are healthy fish, and trees subjected to some air pollutants become more susceptible to insect damage. We noted above that a habitat can become too small or fragmented to sustain a species, but this is worsened disproportionately by an increase in human population size. How? Consider a tale of three cities, which, with rising populations, become six. The original three
Human and traffic congestion in Lagos, Nigeria. The population continues to grow quickly despite the city's very slow infrastructure development. Photo: Kunle Ajayi/Daily Independent, Photoshare
were connected by three avenues of highways and transmission line rights-of-way, which are barriers to wildlife movement, death traps for some species, and opportunities for invasive species (that may displace native species) to spread. These avenues also fragmented the habitat into two pieces: inside and outside the triangle. With six cities, fifteen avenues now connect them, implywww.popconnect.org
June 2010 â€” The Reporter
Farmers plant rice saplings in a field at Ankuti village in the Hooghly district of West Bengal, India. Photo: Rajib Singha, Photoshare
ing a fivefold increase in these harmful stresses on plants and animals, and the habitat is further fragmented into seventeen pieces: sixteen within the network of avenues, and the habitat outside it. While this is only a schematic, it does illustrate how the web of infrastructural interconnections in human society, which also becomes increasingly dense as population grows, can result in synergistic land-use effects that damage biodiversity. Another process that results in nonlinear amplificationâ€”feedbackâ€”occurs when a process results in changes that, in turn, affect the rate of the original process. It adds indirectly to the direct factors already driving the process. Feedbacks are abundant in the natural world and occur at all levels of complexity, from the global climate system and ecosystems to the genome of a cell.
The Reporter â€” June 2010
Global warming is a good illustration of feedbacks at work. The buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is a direct cause of increased surface temperature, due to the extra heatabsorbing capacity of these gases. As models consistently show, this direct effect is roughly 2° Fahrenheit for a doubling of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. But this direct effect also triggers feedbacks. As ice and snow melt away under global warming, there are fewer white surfaces that reflect sunlight back to space. Without that reflective covering, more sunlight is absorbed by Earth’s surface, heating it and accelerating global warming. This reinforcing effect is called a positive feedback. Positive feedbacks reinforcing existing environmental problems are prevalent and of increasing concern. In some ecological processes, global warming feedbacks grow with human population size. For example, in a warmer climate, people may rely more on air conditioning, thereby burning more fossil fuels and emitting more carbon dioxide, causing a positive feedback. As warming creates drier conditions, wildfires will increase in frequency and intensity. Wildfires, in turn, release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, creating yet another positive feedback on global warming. There are several global warming feedbacks amplified by population that occur from agriculture. Warming is also likely to accelerate the decomposition of soil organic matter, particularly in tilled, fertilized, and irrigated soils. That decomposition in turn, will accelerate the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Because the total area of cultivated land increases with population size, population growth affects the intensity of this positive feedback. Hotter temperatures and increasing drought frequency and intensity from global warming increase the need for irrigation. Simultaneously, population growth increases global warming and the amount of land and water needed to grow food. As a result, we will be forced into more energy-intensive technologies to obtain water and maintain our level of affluence, accelerating our emissions of carbon dioxide and, thus, global warming. Beyond thresholds, synergies, and feedbacks, there is an assortment of other reasons for why population growth can have outsized effects on the environment. One is the “low-hanging fruit” phenomenon: just as low-hanging fruit gets picked first, human societies tend to use the most fertile soil, the cleanest water, and the least polluting fossil fuels first. As we use up these desirable resources, our options are increasingly limited to second-rate resources. Another phenomenon is the exhaustion of natural processes that act as “sinks” for our pollutants. Each year, oceans and forests absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, alleviating somewhat the problem of global warming. Currently, these ecosystems absorb about a third of this gas produced by humans, with a little over half going into the oceans. Because these carbon sinks have limits, they are nonrenewable resources, and can overflow if too much is put into them too fast. In fact, careful measurements show that oceans are slowing in their absorption of carbon dioxide. The faster our population increases, the sooner we use up these resources, and thus, the greater the impacts of global warming on our environment. Similarly, when we deplete natural sources of clean water, either in aquifers or surface streams, we must turn to new technologies for water, and many of these, such as dams and desalinization, carry environmental costs. Let’s return to I=PAT and the global warming effect on irrigation. We described above how www.popconnect.org
June 2010 — The Reporter
increasing population size (P) will force us to use new technologies (T) to get more irrigation water to grow the food that, in turn, maintains our affluence (A). T can be considered a function of P, and vice versa. These two drivers cannot be disentangled. When A and T are fixed, however, itâ€™s not just the magnitude of environmental impacts, I, that increases disproportionately with P, a point made when we first described I=PAT. Our efforts to solve social problems, such as environmental injustice arising from inequitable distribution of impacts and of resources across income, cultural and racial groups, are hindered by rapidly growing numbers. High rates of population growth make it more difficult to ensure adequate schooling, material resources, and civic order, thereby worsening social conditions. These effects form the subtext of everyday news. A recent New York Times article on abuse of servants in Pakistan, for example, observed that the countryâ€™s population is growing far faster than its economy, creating more poverty that forces many to become miserable, slave-like servants. In a pernicious feedback, these social problems make it more difficult to solve environmental problems. For example, in an equitable society with only small income disparities, a carbon tax to discourage fossil fuel consumption would make a great deal of sense. The tax burden would be distributed evenly, unlike in an inequitable society, where the poor spend a larger fraction of their income on fuel than do the rich. So, in an equitable society the carbon tax would not exacerbate inequality, but in an inequitable society it would. Thus, the population trap catches us twice, environmentally and socially. Growing populations exacerbate social problems, and growing social problems frustrate efforts to solve environmental problems. Unsolved environmental problems further worsen injustice and inequity. What results is an intensifying downward spiral. To counter this, we must develop solutions that also work nonlinearly and simultaneously for both society and the natural environment across all nations to bring our global population to a sustainable size. Micro-loan programs in developing countries are an example of nonlinear social programs that already exist. So are female education programs, family planning programs, and programs that promote the economies of communities linked to the conservation of valuable natural resources and ecosystems. We must also develop new perspectives. Effective family planning policies, for example, should be considered and valued as an avenue of environmental solutions. For example, a country could be awarded carbon credits, in exchange for enacting family planning policies that are demonstrated to be effective, such as increasing the availability of condoms. No nation can be excluded from family planning, because both rich and poor nations contribute to environmental problems that decrease the sustainability of humans on Earth. Rich nations fuel environmental problems through rampant consumerism. Poor nations do so through the degrading exploitation of forests and other valuable natural resources as short-term answers to the demands of unsustainable and expanding populations. Currently, no nation is free of increasing environmental degradation, which means that no nation has a sustainable population. The picture painted here is a growing global population that both worsens social conditions and degrades our environment at rates rapidly accelerating faster than population growth, due to a variety of nonlinear effects. Our ultimate renewable resource is the creativity and determination to develop appropriate and just solutions. 14
The Reporter â€” June 2010
John Harte is Professor of Ecosystem Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, with degrees from Harvard and the University of Wisconsin. An elected Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, he has served on six National Academy of Sciences Committees and has authored over 190 scientific publications, including seven books. One, Consider a Spherical Cow, is a widely used textbook on environ-
A farmer in Tibati, Cameroon, burns brush to clear land for agriculture. Photo: Ted Alcorn, Photoshare
Mary Ellen ("Mel") Harte, a zoologist, recently co-authored with John Harte the book Cool the Earth, Save the Economy, available only as a free download at www.CoolTheEarth.US. It is a layman's guide on climate change, its consequences, and solutions. This subject is also the focus of the “Climate Change Report” podcasts, a series of 90-second reports produced by her and updated weekly at www.CoolTheEarth.US/climate-report.php www.popconnect.org
June 2010 — The Reporter
The Climate in Copenhagen: Observations on the Climate Summit
gley, Dillon -Rid e n n ia D By air ectors, Ch ir D f o rd a Bo
Stalemate or Starting Point?
the alternative conference Klimaforum
December 17, 2009
’09. There are discussions and debates
By the time you read this, the out-
by activists, scientists, political figures,
come of “COP15” will already be histo-
youth, indigenous people, and film-
ry, but right now an unusually heavy
makers. In total, about 27,000 people
early snow is falling in Denmark’s capi-
have descended on Copenhagen for
tal as we anxiously await the outcome
the Climate Summit. This conference is
of the next 48 hours. The text of the
on a scale not seen since the Earth
Copenhagen agreement is uncertain.
Summit nearly two decades ago.
The weather is a teeth-chattering 20ºF,
A major shift from the global UN
which was especially hard on the hun-
meetings in the 1990s and the World
dreds of folks who stood in line from
Trade Organization Conference in
7:00 am until past 4:00 pm only to be
Seattle is the inclusion of the grassroots
denied entry and sent away with no
and “grasstops.” Delegations are being
explanation or recourse. Most of those
led by Kenyan Nobel Laureate Wangari
subjected to the long lines and terse
Maathai; former Irish President Mary
treatment were activists, academicians,
Robinson; former Norwegian Prime
NGO workers, and members of civil
Minister Gro Brundtland; Canadian
society. On Monday and Tuesday,
writer Naomi Klein; English filmmaker
In early December I went to the UK to
members of the media and even some
Jobeda Ali; and American sustainability
film several segments for The Road To
government delegates—two groups
author and visionary Hunter Lovins.
Ecotopia. I was in London, at Grosvenor
completely unaccustomed to second-
Yes, all named in that list are women.
Square, standing in front of the U.S.
class treatment—were forced to queue
The number of women participating in
Embassy, when over 20,000 people
up for hours.
and leading their government delega-
from all walks of life gathered in
Since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, I
London—young adults, grandparents,
have participated in dozens of UN
and children in strollers, many with
meetings and negotiations, often as
So much interest, so much change, so
their faces painted blue and lunches
part of the U.S. government delegation,
very much at stake. With China replac-
packed for their “climate outing.”
and sometimes even as chair at the
ing the U.S. as the world’s number one
Nothing was burned in effigy. In fact,
request of the UN or other govern-
greenhouse gas emitter, we need a
tions at COP15 is a significant departure from past conferences.
there was a rousing round of applause
ments. COP15 is in the same facility
comprehensive operating international
when it was announced that President
where thousands of people gathered
agreement now more than ever.
Obama had just changed his plans to
for the Summit for Social Development
The snow is falling, the clock is tick-
attend the high-level segment of the
in 1995, yet this time there are many
ing, and people are in small clusters
Climate Summit. But the leader of the
thousands more participants.
huddled in muted tones. The fate of so
gathering quickly added, in fact plead-
The city of Copenhagen is consumed
many will be decided in these next few
ed with the Administration to demon-
with “the conference.” Banners and
hours—people who know nothing of
strate the leadership, courage, and
billboards have been changed from
these negotiations, but whose crops
hope that the world community had so
Copenhagen to HOPENHAGEN. There
and jobs, lives and futures will be forev-
eagerly placed in his presidency.
are demonstrations in the streets and at
The Reporter — June 2010
Aftermath, May 2010
available? Will we go for-
We came away from
ward with the off-shore
Copenhagen with a mod-
est agreement, shy of the
Northeast? Will we pro-
tect our rivers and streams
COP15—to replace the
from the misuse as dump-
ing ground for “mine fill”?
expires in 2012 and never
Will the BP oil spill in the
included the developing
Gulf of Mexico harm liveli-
countries in the first place.
hoods, marshland habi-
Following the impressive
tats, and seafood stocks
manner in which Obama
for years to come? Will
salvaged the meeting—
the winds change and
negotiating an agreement with China, Brazil, India, and
From left: Dianne Dillon-Ridgley; Gro Brundtland, former PM of Norway; Daniel Magraw, President of The Center for International Environmental Law.
send the spill toward Cancun and give the delegates at COP16 a preview
must remove our blinders for it is in the
of the future? Will we as a public final-
embraced the excitement and momen-
ly begin to put all these pieces together
tum from Copenhagen and is working
progress.” She addressed the perils of
to understand that we must have a
toward ensuring that COP16 in Cancun
the consumptive lifestyle and of social
comprehensive energy strategy in the
fulfills the still-looming task of replacing
exclusion. She also said that climate
U.S. as part of our response to climate
the Kyoto Protocol.
change requires much more than just a
change and our shift from fossil fuels?
During COP15, the UN Foundation
hosted a breakfast session for the release of the UNFPA report “Facing a
But most of all, will we work to make sure that U.S. policy plus our individual
The Task Before Us
actions make a future for our children,
Whether we look at these challenges
grandchildren and great-grandchildren
with “climate eyes,” “justice eyes,” or
that is safe, abundant, and environ-
Engelman of the Worldwatch Institute.
“development eyes,” the past twenty-
mentally healthy? Will we make the
I was invited to give comments in the
five years have taught us how interde-
context of population growth. I sat with
pendent and intertwined these issues
between climate change, population
former PM Gro Harlem Brundtland, a
are and that the solutions must be too.
growth and social justice?
Changing World: Women, Population and
physician and critical voice on popula-
What will happen in the U.S. Senate?
tion issues for the past twenty-five
Will Cap and Dividend replace Cap and
years. She has long been one of my
Trade? Will we shift to an “energy
“she-roes.” Her wise words to the
only” bill? Will we as a country respect
group were solid counsel for elected
miners and demand real reform for coal
officials and decision makers every-
mines, making the connection between
where. “We must invest in families, in
our electricity and its sourcing? Will we
people and their needs, in men, women
invest in a domestic wind industry at
and children in whole communities. We
the capacity of the wind resource that is
The future depends on us.
June 2010 — The Reporter
White House Signals Support for Family Planning Funding Encouraging acts by Congress and the Obama Administration Stacie Murphy, Policy Associate t’s been a busy few months on Capitol Hill,
The only disappointment in the internation-
with both funding discussions and policy
al family planning budget is its decrease in
changes underway. We expect the pace to
funding for the United Nations Population
slow as the November elections draw closer, but
Fund (UNFPA) from $55 million in FY 2010 to
for now, here are the highlights of what’s going
only $50 million in FY 2011. UNFPA provides
on in the nation’s capital.
essential services to women around the world, and deserves the highest levels of U.S. sup-
The Federal Budget: Identifying Priorities in a
port. However, this cut, though frustrating,
does not appear to be a signal of a policy shift
President Obama released the details of his
The Reporter — June 2010
by the Administration, but rather a response
requested budget for Fiscal Year 2011 in early
February, and the news was almost universal-
Nevertheless, we will encourage Congress to
ly positive for family planning advocates.
reconsider the amount.
Despite a difficult economic climate, nearly all
In his domestic budget proposal, President
the programs we monitor received increases—
Obama again demonstrated his support for
in some cases significant.
comprehensive approaches to addressing teen
We are extremely pleased with the
pregnancy. His Teen Pregnancy Prevention
Administration’s budget request for interna-
Initiative received a $19 million increase from
tional family planning—nearly $716 million.
last year, to more than $133.6 million. The
That represents a $67 million increase over
funding will be available to public and private
the previous year’s enacted level of $648.5
entities to fund medically accurate and age
million, and a $252 million (or 54%) increase
appropriate programs that reduce teen preg-
over the final budget approved under the
nancy. The majority of the funding will go to
Bush Administration. We know that to meet
programs that have already met criteria for
our obligations to women and families in the
effectiveness and medical accuracy, with a
developing world, the United States must
smaller portion of the funds set aside for “new
invest $1 billion in family planning programs.
and promising approaches.” The budget also
We aren’t there yet, and we will be pushing
provides $4.5 million to carry out evaluations
Congress to move us closer when they begin
of new teen pregnancy prevention approach-
considering their budget bills. President
es at the Department of Health and Human
Obama’s request, however, is a signal that he
Services. This new emphasis on testing and
understands how important access to family
evaluation of programs should give policy-
planning is, and that his commitment to these
makers more tools and information about
programs is real.
what kinds of interventions really work.
The budget also included a $10 million
executive order re-stating that current abor-
increase for Title X, the nation’s family plan-
tion funding restrictions would also apply to
ning program for low income American
the healthcare reform bill. While it is galling
women. While welcome, the program’s new
that a pro-choice president was forced to sign
budget of just over $327 million is inadequate
such an order, choice advocates can at least
to meet the needs of the many women it
be reassured that there are no new restrictions
serves, especially given the fact that the need
in the bill.
grows during times of economic trouble. We
One additional frustration with the new law
will work with Congress to create a budget
is a provision that reinstates funding for Title
that does more to help low income women
V, a restrictive abstinence-only program which
avoid unintended pregnancy.
had been allowed to lapse several months prior. The program has been reauthorized at
Health Care Reform: Triumph and Frustration
$50 million per year. We believe that due to
After a year of loud and sometimes nasty
the structure of the program, this funding will
debate, Congress finally passed health care
be less attractive than that offered through
reform. On March 23, 2010, President
the President’s comprehensive program, and
Obama signed the Patient Protection and
we hope that Title V may be defunded in the
Affordable Care Act into law. The new law
contains several helpful provisions, but there is also some room for improvement.
We are pleased that the new law includes
On March 18, 2010, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-
the Medicaid Family Planning State Option.
NY/18) introduced the Global Democracy
This allows state governments to cover family
Promotion Act (GDPA) in the House. This bill
planning services for more low-income
would bar a future president from unilaterally
women under Medicaid. Previous guidelines
re-imposing the notorious Global Gag Rule.
required states to apply for a federal waiver
The companion bill in the Senate was intro-
before offering such expanded coverage. The
duced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in early
2009. Passing the language of the GDPA
renewals were time consuming and diverted
would end the political football game that has
resources away from services.
so often hindered organizations working in
The inclusion of the State Option in the
developing countries from being able to pro-
reform bill removes a needless bureaucratic
vide the information and services their clients
hurdle, saves money, and enables low income
need. We will be working hard to get the bill
women to access needed healthcare.
approved this year.
Questions about abortion coverage in the
As fall nears, members will turn their atten-
bill were responsible for much of the delay
tion to the November elections. It is going to
and uncertainty around the measure. Finally,
be increasingly important to make as much
Congress and the Administration reached an
progress as possible on our issue while we still
acceptable compromise. To reassure pro-life
have the opportunity and the momentum. To
Democrats that no federal funds would go to
stay informed on how you can help, please
abortion services, President Obama signed an
June 2010 — The Reporter
Field & Outreach
We Can’t Grow on Like This
Capitol Hill Days 2010 Changing family planning policy one congressional office at a time Rebecca Harrington, National Field Coordinator
n the words of Frances Kissling, becoming
a mother should be “a conscious act, not
Community College, Abbie became inspired
a reflexive one.” She also says that “many
to do social justice work. However, she lacked
people might not think of taking birth control
grassroots and lobbying experience. Abbie
as planning their family, but they are plan-
attended Capitol Hill Days to build skills for
ning—not to have a family.” These thoughts
her future humanitarian endeavors.
Abbie described the conference, and espe-
Choice underscore the focus of this year’s
cially her lobby meetings, as “an amazing
Capitol Hill Days program: that the ability to
experience” and hopes to attend again next
choose if and when to have children through
year. She wrote in her application, “I am a
quality, affordable family planning services
Hispanic woman with a young teenage
should be universal for all women.
daughter and strongly believe that access to
Capitol Hill Days 2010 was an inspiring
family planning, affordable birth control, and
event that brought together fifty Population
education is a fundamental right of every
Connection members, students, and activists
woman in every part of the world. As my own
from around the country. With participants
daughter dreams of a college education and
from Washington State to Arizona, Texas to
traveling the world, [I want to be sure that]
Michigan, and Vermont to Virginia, there was
access to birth control and information is
representation from almost every region in
available to my daughter to ensure that she
the U.S. Participants included lifelong popula-
achieves her goals. I believe every daughter in
tion and environmental activists, students
the world should have the same opportunity.” Maura
women’s rights, and those eager to learn
University, is a Sullivan Leader—a peer lead-
valuable advocacy skills.
ership position awarded to students with high
One of these participants was Abbie
The Reporter — June 2010
from the former president of Catholics for
with a passion for improved public health and
levels of academic achievement and a com-
Navarette, a student at Austin Community
mitment to community involvement and
College, who attended the program with her
social justice. A thoughtful student with a
son, Michael Rivas. One of the most enthusi-
passion for environmental and health care
astic participants, Abbie embraced the week-
issues, she attended Capitol Hill Days in 2009
end to the fullest, asking questions, volun-
with a group of peers. She enjoyed the expe-
teering during the interactive advocacy train-
rience so much that she applied again for this
ing, and exploring D.C. during her free time.
year’s program, and promoted the event to
Through her work on the Free Minds Project,
other Sullivan Leaders, as well as to the cam-
a humanities education partnership between
pus Young Democrats. In total, twelve Seattle
University students attended the conference, forming our largest delegation. The consequences of population growth were clearly articulated by the featured speakers, who connected the issue to their various areas of expertise. Dr. Willie Parker, Medical Director for Planned Parenthood of Metro Washington, provided a useful framework for discussing population and family planning. He stressed the importance of perception, and reminded us that “what you say is not always what people hear.” This notion is particularly resonant for the population
the political process that develops sound fam-
movement, as even the word “population”
ily planning policy.
can trigger negative reactions from those
The informational and advocacy training
who assume it is code for support of coercive
sessions throughout the weekend prepared
policies driven by quotas and a disregard for
the attendees for their lobby meetings. On
Monday and Tuesday, our newly trained
Dennis Dimick of National Geographic
advocates descended upon 42 House and
described the developed world’s overdepen-
Senate offices to lobby for two bills. They
dence on carbon and the discrepancy
asked members to cosponsor a request for $1
between energy “want and need” through a
billion in international family planning aid,
stunning slideshow. Janet Larsen of the Earth
which is the cornerstone of our Double the
Policy Institute shared her vast knowledge
Money campaign. They also asked their rep-
about food and water security, and spoke of
how rapid population growth has made it
Democracy Promotion Act (GDPA), which is a
increasingly difficult to guarantee either.
policy that would permanently ban the
Maurice Middleberg of the Global Health
Global Gag Rule.
Council explained that addressing current
Participants were enthusiastic as they filed
unmet need for family planning would drasti-
in and out of their meetings, excited about
cally reduce maternal and child mortality,
the opportunity to put their new skills to
which would subsequently reduce birth rates,
good use. All of the participants left their
as birth rates tend to decrease when the child
meetings energized and feeling as though
mortality rate drops below 10%.
they’d had a meaningful experience—even
Cate Lane of Pathfinder International and
those who were apprehensive prior to the
Kirsten Sherk of Ipas enthusiastically shared
meetings. As a testament to their good work,
the details of the innovative community out-
since Capitol Hill Days ended, five of the rep-
reach programs their organizations use to
resentatives we lobbied have signed onto the
provide comprehensive reproductive health
House version of the GDPA as cosponsors
services. Population Connection staff mem-
and three senators have become cosponsors
bers Brian Dixon and Stacie Murphy spoke of
of the Senate bill.
Washington State residents discuss a plan for meeting with their members of Congress.
June 2010 — The Reporter
“Needs vs. Wants” This activity teaches students to identify what is essential for survival and what they could give up in order to promote resource equality Pam Wasserman, Vice President for Education n this teaching activity for grades 6-12
3. Students can work individually or in small
(excerpted from our new CD-ROM, Earth
groups. Instruct them to fold a piece of paper
Matters: Studies for Our Global Future,
lengthwise down the middle and label the left
edition, 2009), students differentiate
side “Needs” and right side “Wants.”
necessities from luxuries in order to consider resource consumption in our society.
4. On the left side, ask them to list the basic needs of every human being: water, food,
clothing, shelter, etc. Have them draw a line
We live in a culture that emphasizes abun-
at the bottom of this list and add “secondary
dance. Students are constantly bombarded
needs”—items that they deem necessary
with messages that tell them to want and
within our culture (e.g. computer, means of
seek more material satisfaction. In such an
environment, it can be difficult to appreciate what they already have, much less under-
5. On the right, ask them to list the things
stand what it means to live with less. In this
they need or want for their own lifestyles:
activity, students clarify the difference
large-screen TV, MP3 player, video game sys-
between needs and wants, reevaluate their
tem, car, fast food, movies, hot water, etc.
consumption patterns, and determine what
Give the students enough time to write 10-
they would be willing to sacrifice to accom-
modate others. 6. Next to each item, have students name Procedure:
some of the resources or products needed to
1. The night before class, fill a large plastic
produce, use, and maintain these things: oil
bag with assorted household items such as
(for plastic and fuel), electricity, iron, alu-
newspapers, make-up, deodorant, pencils,
minum, pesticides, grain, water, etc. You may
forks, Tylenol, tissues, cheap jewelry, combs,
want to go through some examples of prod-
paper, plastic cups, CDs, air freshener, etc.
ucts we use regularly and the resources they are made of or use to operate, to get students
2. In class, draw the items out of the bag one
by one and ask the students if they are needs or wants. They should easily be able to cor-
7. Ask the class which items they placed as
rectly identify most of them as wants,
needs or secondary needs as opposed to
although some items may draw some dis-
wants. What distinguishes the latter two cat-
egories? Why do they feel some of these Above image © Keith Bell, Dreamstime.com
The Reporter — June 2010
items are needed in our lives, but not necessary for all humans? Would people in other
cultures consider these secondary needs as needs or wants? This is likely to provoke discussion as students disagree over whether
certain items are essential or not in our lives. 8. Now, explain to students that of the near-
ly seven billion people on the planet, only
MP3 player (oil for plastic, water, electricity, steel) TV (metal, oil for plastic, electricity, glass)
about one billion live a similar lifestyle to their own. Another billion live in abject poverty (on
about $1 per day), and most of the world's
Fast food hamburger (grain, water, pesticides, oil, fertilizer, beef)
people aspire to improve their lifestyles, requiring a greater use of natural resources.
Hot water (water, oil or gas, . . .)
The Earth is a finite system and there simply aren't enough natural resources in the world for all of the world’s people to live as we live
in the United States (e.g. three cars for every four people, a diet rich in animal products, etc.). So, raising the standard of living for most of the world’s people may require a
Car? Computer? Bike? Household appliances?
reduction in resource use by the inhabitants of the world’s richest countries. 9. Now ask students to select three items on
2. Do you think that most North Americans
the right side of their charts that they would
would be willing to lower their consumption
be willing to give up so that people who cur-
level to help others in developing countries?
rently lack the basic necessities (listed on the
Why or why not?
left) can thrive. Have them cross those items off their lists.
3. Are there any alter-
10. Tell the students to select an additional
those items on your
three items. Have them cross those items off
list? What are they?
© David Smith, Dreamstime.com
natives to giving up
their lists. Continue to have students cross out items until they only have a few left.
4. How do you think that giving up these
items on your list would
1. Which were the first items deleted from
affect your happiness?
your list? What did you elect to keep? What
What makes you the
criteria did you use to make these deletions or
happiest? What do you
choose what to save?
most enjoy doing?
June 2010 — The Reporter
Used with the permission of Signe Wilkinson and the Washington Post Writers Group in conjunction with the Cartoonist Group. All rights reserved.
The Reporter â€” June 2010
The National Coordinating Agency for Population
The Harper government should include contracep-
and Development says the population is estimated at
tion among its maternal and child health measures at
39 million this year and will hit 71.5 million within
this June's G8 summit in Huntsville, Ont. Leaving it
out would be tantamount to ignoring the serious
The agency provides data indicating that we got here partially because of neglecting family planning programs that had served the country well in the 1980s.
challenge from population growth which the developing world faces. According to the United Nations, 99 per cent of world population growth to 2050 will be in the
Countries that maintained the family planning
developing world, the area least equipped to deal
momentum such as Botswana, Morocco, and
with the strains such an expansion will put on infra-
Namibia are today enjoying low population growth
structure, basic services and resources.
rates and higher social development indicators.
Reducing family size brings enormous benefits.
Several studies show that almost a quarter of all
Parents with fewer children have more time, ener-
married women would like to delay their next preg-
gy and resources to devote to their offspring and
nancy or not carry any at all.
place less of a burden on health services.
Unfortunately, their needs are not met because of poorly funded and low key family planning programs characterized by frequent product stock-outs.
Third World parents are not unwilling to be educated about family planning. Contraceptive knowledge is essential to maternal
A higher investment today in effectively helping
health. The Canadian government would not shy
families attain their desired sizes could make a signif-
away from providing Canadian women with infor-
icant impact in the attainment of the Vision 2030
mation that would improve their health; it should do
and the Millennium Development Goals.
no less for the women of the Third World.
â€”Editorial Excerpt, April 11, 2010
â€”Editorial Excerpt, March 28, 2010
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One Way to Change the World We hope youâ€™ll consider Population Connection as you plan your estate. You can also participate in other forms of planned giving. Charitable Gift Annuities provide guaranteed life income along with significant tax advantages. If you or your financial advisor have any questions, please feel free to contact Natalie Widel, Development Associate, at 800-767-1956 or 202-332-2200.
If youâ€™ve already included Zero Population Growth (ZPG) in your estate plans, there is no need to change any language. We proudly maintain the name and the mission.