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overpopulation
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News stories about "overpopulation," with punchlines: http://apocadocs.com/d.pl?overpopulation
Related Scary Tags:
climate impacts  ~ food crisis  ~ water issues  ~ global warming  ~ health impacts  ~ anthropogenic change  ~ carbon emissions  ~ corporate farming  ~ holyshit  ~ contamination  ~ invasive species  



Wed, Sep 3, 2014
from Guardian:
Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse
The 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse some time this century, has been criticised as doomsday fantasy since it was published. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg consigned it to the "dustbin of history". It doesn't belong there. Research from the University of Melbourne has found the book's forecasts are accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book's scenario, expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon.... The book's central point, much criticised since, is that "the earth is finite" and the quest for unlimited growth in population, material goods etc would eventually lead to a crash.... It's essentially resource constraints that bring about global collapse in the book. However, Limits to Growth does factor in the fallout from increasing pollution, including climate change. The book warned carbon dioxide emissions would have a "climatological effect" via "warming the atmosphere". As the graphs show, the University of Melbourne research has not found proof of collapse as of 2010 (although growth has already stalled in some areas). But in Limits to Growth those effects only start to bite around 2015-2030. ...


We can safely ignore such absurdities. Once discredited by deniers, a work is forever tainted as wrong. Right?

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Jul 25, 2014
from Global Oceans Commission, via DesdemonaDespair:
Global fishing fleet capacity and productivity, 1975-2005
The main drivers leading to overfishing on the high seas are vessel overcapacity and mismanagement. However, measures to improve management alone will not succeed without solving the problem of overcapacity caused by subsidies, particularly fuel subsidies. Overcapacity is often described as "too many boats trying to catch too few fish". Indeed, the size of the world's fleet is currently two-and-a-half times what is necessary to sustainably catch global fish stocks. But it is not only the number of vessels that is of concern, it is also the type of vessel. Many argue that having fewer vessels, when they have larger engines and use more-destructive industrial fishing gear, is of equal weight to the number of vessels fishing as a driver of overcapacity. ...


We call that "aspirational infrastructure."

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jun 12, 2014
from Mother Jones:
Is It "Madness" to Rebuild a Flu Virus That Wiped Out 50 Million People?
Remember the Spanish Flu of 1918? Of course you don't. That's the freakishly deadly influenza strain that swept the globe in 1918 and 1919, wiping out 30 million to 50 million people. It infected about one in four Americans and killed about 675,000. It didn't just kill little kids and the elderly, either, like most flu strains. This one was unusually devastating in young, healthy people--although why the "mother of all pandemics" behaved as it did is not fully understood.... "To assess the risk of emergence of a 1918-like virus and to delineate the amino acid changes that are needed for such a virus to become transmissible via respiratory droplets in mammals, we attempted to generate an influenza virus composed of avian influenza viral segments that encoded proteins with high homology to the 1918 viral proteins," he and his coauthors wrote. Needless to say, some of Kawaoka's scientific peers think he's insane to do such a thing. ...


Well, we could stand to lose a little weight. Say, a billion or two.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Nov 14, 2013
from Ensia/Scientific American:
14 humans fed/acre vs. 3 humans fed/acre. It's Time to Rethink America's Corn System
... For corn-fed animals, the efficiency of converting grain to meat and dairy calories ranges from roughly 3 percent to 40 percent, depending on the animal production system in question. What this all means is that little of the corn crop actually ends up feeding American people. It's just math. The average Iowa cornfield has the potential to deliver more than 15 million calories per acre each year (enough to sustain 14 people per acre, with a 3,000 calorie-per-day diet, if we ate all of the corn ourselves), but with the current allocation of corn to ethanol and animal production, we end up with an estimated 3 million calories of food per acre per year, mainly as dairy and meat products, enough to sustain only 3 people per acre. This is lower than the average delivery of food calories from farms in Bangladesh, Egypt and Vietnam. In short, the corn crop is highly productive, but the corn system is aligned to feed cars and animals instead of feeding people. ...


Careful. You're messing with the Free Market, here.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Sep 3, 2013
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Population growth increases climate fear
...For various reasons, linking the world's rapid population growth to its deepening environmental crisis, including climate change, is politically taboo. In the United States, Europe and Japan, there has been public hand-wringing over falling birthrates and government policies to encourage child-bearing. But those declining birthrates mask explosive growth elsewhere in the world. In less than a lifetime, the world population has tripled, to 7.1 billion, and continues to climb by more than 1.5 million people a week. A consensus statement issued in May by scientists at Stanford University and signed by more than 1,000 scientists warned that "Earth is reaching a tipping point." An array of events under way - including what scientists have identified as the sixth mass extinction in the earth's 540 million-year history - suggest that human activity already exceeds earth's capacity. ...


Congratulations on your cute new carbon emitter!

ApocaDoc
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Tue, May 21, 2013
from Reuters:
Drop in U.S. underground water levels has accelerated: USGS
Water levels in U.S. aquifers, the vast underground storage areas tapped for agriculture, energy and human consumption, between 2000 and 2008 dropped at a rate that was almost three times as great as any time during the 20th century, U.S. officials said on Monday. The accelerated decline in the subterranean reservoirs is due to a combination of factors, most of them linked to rising population in the United States, according to Leonard Konikow, a research hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey. ...


What's this? There's fur in my aquifer.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jan 22, 2013
from London Daily Mail:
Sperm quality has declined by 38 percent in a decade
Sperm counts are falling at an alarming rate - up to 38 per cent in a decade - with diet and lifestyle largely to blame. A Spanish study has found that even in young men, sperm concentration fell by an average of two per cent a year - and could soon hit levels where fertility is compromised. A ten year-study of more than 200 men found the average concentration went from 72 million spermatozoids per millilitre in 2001 to 52 million/ml in 2011.... It is believed the trend is linked to diet, lifestyle and 'gender bender' chemicals - and possibly even tight underwear.... The findings also confirm research over the past 20 years that has shown sperm counts declining in many countries across the world. ...


Could be Mother Nature's way of phasing humans out of the equation.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Nov 30, 2012
from Live Science:
US Birth Rate Hits New Low
The rate of babies born in the United States hit a record low in 2011, a new analysis shows. Researchers say the drastic drop in the birth rate among immigrants has greatly contributed to the overall decrease. Based on preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the Pew Research Center calculated that the overall birth rate -- the annual number of births per 1,000 women between 15 to 44 -- was 63.2 last year. That's the lowest since such reliable record collection began in 1920 and close to half the birth rate in 1957, amid the Baby Boom years. ...


From baby boom to baby bust.

ApocaDoc
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Thu, Jun 7, 2012
from Agence France-Press:
Environmental collapse now a serious threat: scientists
Climate change, population growth and environmental destruction could cause a collapse of the ecosystem just a few generations from now, scientists warned on Wednesday in the journal Nature. The paper by 22 top researchers said a "tipping point" by which the biosphere goes into swift and irreversible change, with potentially cataclysmic impacts for humans, could occur as early as this century. The warning contrasts with a mainstream view among scientists that environmental collapse would be gradual and take centuries. ...


These must be mainscream scientists.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, May 28, 2012
from Public Library of Science :
New Type of Male Contraceptive?
A new type of male contraceptive could be created thanks to the discovery of a key gene essential for sperm development. The finding could lead to alternatives to the conventional male contraceptives that rely on disrupting the production of hormones, such as testosterone. These treatments can cause side-effects such as irritability, mood swings and acne. Research, led by the University of Edinburgh, has shown how a gene -- Katnal1 -- is critical to enable sperm to mature in the testes. If scientists can regulate the Katnal1 gene in the testes, they could prevent sperm from maturing completely, making them ineffective without changing hormone levels. ...


Think we could slip it into beer?

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Feb 7, 2012
from Bloomberg News:
Peak Everything
By 2030, the global middle class is expected to grow by two-thirds. That's 3 billion more shoppers. They'll all want access to goods, including water, wheat, coffee and oil. Is there enough for everybody? Can business satisfy demand and avoid hitting "peak everything?" ...


Only thing not peaking is denial.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jan 31, 2012
from Reuters:
World lacks enough food, fuel as population soars: U.N.
The world is running out of time to make sure there is enough food, water and energy to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population and to avoid sending up to 3 billion people into poverty, a U.N. report warned on Monday. As the world's population looks set to grow to nearly 9 billion by 2040 from 7 billion now, and the number of middle-class consumers increases by 3 billion over the next 20 years, the demand for resources will rise exponentially. ...


Too many people; pythons in the Everglades could soon be running out of food. Synergy here?

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Jan 3, 2012
from Washington Post:
Spaceship Earth: A new view of environmentalism
Spaceship Earth enters 2012 belching smoke, overheating and burning through fuel at a frightening rate. It's feeling pretty crowded, and the crew is mutinous. No one's at the helm. Sure, it's an antiquated metaphor. It's also an increasingly apt way to discuss a planet with 7 billion people, a global economy, a World Wide Web, climate change, exotic organisms running amok and all sorts of resource shortages and ecological challenges. More and more environmentalists and scientists talk about the planet as a complex system, one that human beings must aggressively monitor, manage and sometimes reengineer. Kind of like a spaceship. ...


Sounds like we are lost in space.

ApocaDoc
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Want more context?
Try reading our book FREE online:
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Fri, Dec 9, 2011
from Reality TV Magazine:
19 Kids and Counting's Michelle Duggar Suffers Miscarriage
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, star of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting, announced today that Michelle has suffered a miscarriage. During a routine doctor's visit to find out the sex of her 20th child, the doctor did not detect a heartbeat and concluded that a miscarriage had occurred. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar announced that they were expecting their 20th child in November. Thrilled and excited, Michelle Duggar thought her days of being pregnant had come to an end. Their reality show underwent a name change in 2009 with the arrival of the Duggar's 19th child, Josie. ...


On the plus side, they don't have to rename the show.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Nov 28, 2011
from Associated Press:
A quarter of world's farmlands highly degraded, says UN
The United Nations has completed the first-ever global assessment of the state of the planet's land resources, finding in a report today that a quarter of all farmland is highly degraded and warning the trend must be reversed if the world's growing population is to be fed. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that farmers will have to produce 70 per cent more food by 2050 to meet the needs of the world's expected nine billion-strong population. That amounts to 1 billion tonnes more wheat, rice and other cereals and 200 million more tons of cow and other livestock. But as it is, most available farmland is already being farmed, and in ways that actually decrease its productivity through practices that lead to soil erosion and wasting of water. ...


Cropalypse!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Nov 9, 2011
from Access Hollywood:
Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar Expecting 20th Child
The Duggars have their 20th child on the way! "19 Kids and Counting" stars Michelle and Jim Bob will welcome their next child in the spring, People reported. "We are so excited," the Duggar mother, 45, who is three-and-a-half months along, told the mag. "I feel good. I am past the sickness stage now." The couple's most recent child, Josie, born on Dec. 10, 2009, is doing well after being born premature at just 25 weeks.... The season finale of "19 Kids and Counting" airs tonight at 9 PM on TLC. ...


They should be required to buy carbon offsets.

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Tue, Nov 1, 2011
from Live Science:
7 billion and counting: Should the world adopt a 'one-child' policy?
The world population has hit a whopping 7 billion, and researchers suggest it could reach 10 billion within the next century. On the one hand, this means we're a great success -- after all, the goal of any species is to expand and conquer. But, on the other hand, all that expansion means more mouths to feed, which requires more space and energy, which increases the demand on resources and the environment, perhaps too large a demand for Earth to support. So Life's Little Mysteries asks: How can we curb this growth? Should there be a global one-child policy, like the one enforced in China? ...


More like "half a child" policy.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Oct 26, 2011
from London Guardian:
India is the most likely place for the seventh billionth child to be born
...No one knows exactly who will be the seventh billionth person on Earth, to be born on the last day of this month, according to United Nations statisticians. But the chances are he or she will be born in northern India -- perhaps even in Madanpur Khadr. Here, narrow, rubbish-strewn lanes are filled with young children and scores of heavily pregnant women. India is home to nearly a fifth of the world's population and around 2020 it is projected to overtake China as the most populous nation on Earth. ...


Propagategate.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Oct 18, 2011
from Associated Press:
7 billion humans and rising rapidly
As of Oct. 31, according to the U.N. Population Fund, there will be 7 billion people sharing Earth's land and resources. In Western Europe, Japan and Russia, it will be an ironic milestone amid worries about low birthrates and aging populations. In China and India, the two most populous nations, it's an occasion to reassess policies that have already slowed once-rapid growth. But in Burundi, Uganda and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, the demographic news is mostly sobering as the region staggers under the double burden of the world's highest birthrates and deepest poverty. The regional population of nearly 900 million could reach 2 billion in 40 years at current rates, accounting for about half of the projected global population growth over that span. ...


At least 4 billion of them will be in costume.

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Aug 23, 2011
from Reuters:
Water systems at risk from growing demand for food - expert
Efforts to feed an extra 2 billion people by mid-century could lead to widespread destruction of forests, wetlands and other natural systems that protect and regulate the world's water, researchers warn. But finding ways to boost agricultural production while protecting nature could produce big benefits, including reduced poverty and hunger in some of the world's most fragile countries and hikes in food production that are sustainable beyond 2050... The question is particularly urgent as water runs short in some of the world's most important food-producing regions, including the plains of northern China, India's Punjab and the western United States, as well as in a broad swath of the Middle East and North Africa. ...


We might also rethink our rampant reproductive rates.

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jun 8, 2011
from New York Times:
In Update on Sperm, Data Show No Decline
It is one of the most fraught topics in environmental health. Are men becoming less fertile, with declining sperm counts and diminishing sperm quality? If they are, then sperm might be an early warning sign of environmental dangers. And the prime suspects have been substances like plastics and pesticides that can have weak estrogenlike effects on cells. But now 15 years of data from 18-year-old Danish men taking their military physicals show no decline in sperm counts, after all. ...


Danes? They studied Danes?? Danes' sperm is indestructible!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Jun 1, 2011
from BBC:
Rising food prices increase squeeze on poor - Oxfam
Rising food prices are tightening the squeeze on populations already struggling to buy adequate food, demanding radical reform of the global food system, Oxfam has warned. By 2030, the average cost of key crops could increase by between 120 percent and 180 percent, the charity forecasts. It is the acceleration of a trend which has already seen food prices double in the last 20 years. Half of the rise to come will be caused by climate change, Oxfam predicts. ...


I'll just eat half as much.

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Feb 7, 2011
from Christian Science Monitor, Editor:
As world population heads toward a peak, Malthusian worries reemerge
Food and people. Thomas Malthus posed them as two forces rarely in balance. Plentiful food encourages population growth. A booming population devours more food than can be produced. Famine and other ugliness follow. Population crashes. Students who learn of Malthus's grim prediction usually take away two lessons. The first is the sharp contrast between arithmetic and geometric progression. Food supplies grow slowly, Malthus said. But consumers multiply like rabbits. A geometric progression outstrips an arithmetic one every time. The second lesson is about why Malthus's catastrophe hasn't occurred. Most scholars think it is because the 19th-century Anglican parson didn't have sufficient regard for technology and innovation. From the "green revolution" to global trade, from drip irrigation to entrepreneurial ingenuity, Homo sapiens learn and improve. We farm better, manage resources more carefully, and as education increases, birthrates fall. A wise species - which is what "sapiens" means, after all - avoids a crash. That's the story so far.... We have about 40 years before the jury renders its final verdict on Malthus. The population of the planet is currently 6.9 billion. By 2050, it will hit 9.2 billion, according to the US Census Bureau. ...


The commons just goes on forever. That's quantum progression.

ApocaDoc
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Fri, Feb 4, 2011
from SciDev.net:
Threat of urban epidemics looms
An unprecedented alliance of urban planners, doctors and scientists is needed to better prepare for "the looming threat of explosive urban epidemics" in an increasingly urbanised world, according to a review paper in The Lancet. The world's urban population will double by 2050 and most of this increase will be in developing countries, according to UN estimates. But how this will affect infectious diseases is poorly understood. Better research, surveillance, urban planning and policy are needed.... Millions of people live in slums with no access to clean water and regular rubbish disposal. They "build their own dwellings from flimsy, scrounged materials and with no concern for vector hygiene," the paper says. And high population density in cities means there is a "looming threat of explosive urban [disease] epidemics", including Ebola, chikungunya, yellow fever and dengue, according to the paper. "Urban epidemics can reach unprecedented scales and quickly become uncontrollable," especially in African cities where disease surveillance is weak. ...


Aren't you being a little high-falutin' with your vector hygiene? Soap and water's good enough for me.

ApocaDoc
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Sat, Jan 22, 2011
from London Independent:
2.4 billion extra people, no more land: how will we feed the world in 2050?
The finite resources of the Earth will be be stretched as never before in the coming 40 years because of the unprecedented challenge of feeding the world in 2050, leading scientists have concluded in a report to be published next week. Food production will have to increase by between 70 and 100 per cent, while the area of land given over to agriculture will remain static, or even decrease as a result of land degradation and climate change. Meanwhile the global population is expected to rise from 6.8 billion at present to about 9.2 billion by mid-century. ...


Too many people, too little food... solution seems rather obvious to me!

ApocaDoc
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Mon, Jan 3, 2011
from National Geographic News:
"Mining" Groundwater in India Reaches New Lows
Nearly a third of India is suffering from chronic water shortages, and making up for it with "the world's largest groundwater mining operation," according to experts. A band of land stretching across northern India, at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains, is one of the most heavily populated and intensely irrigated regions in the world. The area is chronically short of water. But the region still has a limited supply of it in underground aquifers, according to water resources expert Shama Perveen of Columbia University. According to a new study by Perveen and her colleagues, Upmanu Lall and Naresh Devineni, some parts of India are using groundwater three times faster than it's being replenished. ...


Pretty soon, all that'll be left in those aquifers... is fur.

ApocaDoc
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You're still reading! Good for you!
You really should read our short, funny, frightening book FREE online (or buy a print copy):
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
We've been quipping this stuff for more than 30 months! Every day!
Which might explain why we don't get invited to parties anymore.
Mon, Dec 13, 2010
from Guardian: Opinion:
Climate change: human numbers don't add up
Save the planet? Somehow it seems so last year. Cancun - a climate change summit of modest achievement - rates 81 sparse lines of coverage in the Sunday Times, while Chris Huhne's apparent decision not to move in with his mistress rates 118. The BBC, having overspent on Chile's miners, duly hacked back on coverage of Mexico's major meeting. I didn't see one global warming placard in Parliament Square the other day. Protesting youth has other things on its mind. You can explain the fading of interest - and fear - in many ways, of course. Too much snow in November. Too many lectures from the pope. Too much concentration on the here and now of pinched pocketbook politics. Too many XYZ factors.... China's "one child" policy - which may have stopped 250-400 million births, on official calculations - is not a polite subject for discussion anywhere in the west. Indeed, it's often lumped into Beijing's long list of human rights abuses.... It costs 5 pounds on family planning to abate a tonne of CO2 - against 15 pounds for wind power and 31 pounds for solar power. In short, too many happy events equal global misery. It's the harsh truth where Cancun communiques fall silent. ...


If our population continues to grow into a collapsing world, the ApocaDocs will have A Modest Proposal...

ApocaDoc
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Tue, Oct 12, 2010
from Los Angeles Times:
Slowing population: Would it curb climate change?
Ever since belching smokestacks arose during the Industrial Revolution, greenhouse gases and human population have climbed in lockstep to higher and higher levels. And while scientists warn that humanity must dramatically slash future carbon-dioxide emissions to avert extended droughts, floods and other climate catastrophes, they have generally avoided a rigorous examination of how slowing population growth would help. Now, an international team of scientists has done the math. If global population were to grow by less than a billion by midcentury, instead of by more than 2 billion, as expected, it would be the equivalent of cutting as much as 29 percent of the emissions reductions needed by 2050 to keep the planet from tipping into a warmer, more dangerous zone. By the end of the century, it could cut fossil fuel pollution by 41 percent. ...


I love solutions where I don't have to actually do something!

ApocaDoc
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Wed, Sep 8, 2010
from Scientific American:
Report: 21 percent of Africa's freshwater species threatened with extinction
More than a fifth of Africa's freshwater species are threatened with extinction, and their disappearance could threaten livelihoods across the continent, according to a new study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The study, conducted for the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species, assessed 5,167 African freshwater species over a five-year period. Two hundred scientists contributed to the report, which covers fish, mollusks, crabs, aquatic plants and aquatic insects such as dragonflies and damselflies.... [A]n introduced species (the Nile perch, Lates niloticus) have caused a reduction in the lake's native species over the last 30 years and as a result threatened traditional fisheries that any in the region depend upon for their livelihoods and food supplies. According to the study, 45 percent of the 191 fish species in Lake Victoria are threatened or even thought to already be extinct. Lake Victoria is located between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Sometimes overfishing is the problem, thanks to Africa's growing population. In Lake Malawi (located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania), the population of one important fish species, Oreochromis karongae, has declined 70 percent in just the past 10 years. The IUCN has listed the species as endangered since 2004. ...


Why, that glass is three-quarters full!

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Sat, Sep 4, 2010
from Seed Magazine:
All consuming
...are the world's environmental ills really a result of the burgeoning number of humans on the planet -- growing by more than 150 people a minute and predicted by the United Nations to reach at least 9 billion people by 2050? Or are they more due to the fact that, while human population doubled in the past 50 years, we increased our use of resources fourfold?...Ultimately, the problem isn't the number of people, necessarily. It's what those people do. The average American (just one of 309 million) uses up some 194 pounds of stuff -- food, water, plastics, metals and other things -- per day, day in and day out. We consume a full 25 percent of the world's energy despite representing just 5 percent of global population. And that consumerism is spreading, whether it be the adoption of cars as a lifestyle choice in China or gadget lust in the U.S. "Consumerism is now spreading around the world," says Erik Assadourian, a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute. "Is this going to keep spreading? Or are countries going to start recognizing that this is not a good path?" ...


I'll give these questions my undivided attention when I return from copulating at the mall.

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Thu, Sep 2, 2010
from Associated Press:
Discovery Channel hostage-taker hated programming
A gunman police shot to death after he took hostages at Discovery Channel's headquarters said he hated the company's shows such as "Kate Plus 8" because they promote population growth and its environmental programming because it did little to save the planet. Three hostages -- two Discovery Communications employees and a security guard -- escaped unhurt after the four-hour standoff Wednesday in Silver Spring, just outside the nation's capital. After several hours negotiating with the gunman, tactical officers moved in when authorities monitoring him on building security cameras saw him pull out a handgun and point it at a hostage, Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger said. ...


Thank goodness they killed him before he got to Fox Studios!

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Wed, Aug 18, 2010
from New York Times:
Cape Cod Waterways Face Pollution Crisis
Rising nitrogen levels are suffocating the vegetation and marine life in saltwater ponds and estuaries on Cape Cod, creating an environmental and infrastructure problem that, if left unchecked, will threaten the shellfishing industry, the tourist economy and the beaches that lure so many summer visitors. More than 60 ponds and estuaries on the cape and a few elsewhere in the region have been choked by algae and seaweed. The culprit is nitrogen, much of it leaching out of septic system wastewater that runs through sandy soil into the estuaries. Faced with a federal mandate to fix their polluted waterways, Cape Cod towns have spent years creating plans to clean up the wastewater, largely through sewers and clustered septic systems.... The root of the problem lies in the popularity and unchecked growth of Cape Cod over the last 30 years. Towns chose not to install sewers when the government helped subsidize them in the 1960s and '70s, fearing that it would lead to an influx of people. Newcomers arrived anyway and sprawled out, using individual septic systems to get rid of waste. "We've reached capacity for the watershed," said Lindsey B. Counsell, executive director of Three Bays Preservation, a preservation group in Barnstable. "We're a victim of our own geology." ...


Cape Cod? As a metaphoric microcosm??

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Tue, Aug 17, 2010
from London Guardian:
Artificial meat? Food for thought by 2050
Artificial meat grown in vats may be needed if the 9 billion people expected to be alive in 2050 are to be adequately fed without destroying the earth, some of the world's leading scientists report today. But a major academic assessment of future global food supplies, led by John Beddington, the UK government chief scientist, suggests that even with new technologies such as genetic modification and nanotechnology, hundreds of millions of people may still go hungry owing to a combination of climate change, water shortages and increasing food consumption. ...


I'm going to start hoarding my Spam right now!

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Sat, Aug 14, 2010
from Reuters:
FDA OKs new "morning-after" pill
Health officials on Friday approved a new, longer-lasting "morning-after" pill to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. The prescription drug, called ella, is made by French company HRA Pharma and will be sold in the United States by Watson Pharmaceuticals. It is the first emergency contraceptive approved since a five-year battle under the Bush administration ended with limited over-the-counter sales and age checks by pharmacists for a rival pill. Ella has been shown to prevent pregnancy for up to five days after unprotected sex. ...


Ella, our completely overwhelmed planet thanks you.

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Sun, Aug 1, 2010
from London Guardian:
Insects could be the key to meeting food needs of growing global population
Saving the planet one plateful at a time does not mean cutting back on meat, according to new research: the trick may be to switch our diet to insects and other creepy-crawlies. The raising of livestock such as cows, pigs and sheep occupies two-thirds of the world's farmland and generates 20 percent of all the greenhouse gases driving global warming. As a result, the United Nations and senior figures want to reduce the amount of meat we eat and the search is on for alternatives. ...


Now where is my bbq dipping sauce?

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Sat, Feb 27, 2010
from Shanghai Daily News:
Country's infertility rate 'on the rise': Shanghai
The country appears to be suffering from rising infertility levels, with a number of regional surveys showing up to 10 percent of couples who have regular sex being unable to conceive within a year, reproduction experts have said. No nationwide epidemiology surveys on infertility have been conducted yet, but experts have estimated that the infertility rate stood at 3 percent in the early 1980s. For women, childbirth after 35 years of age and previous abortions were often to blame for increasing infertility, said Zhou Canquan, director of the department of obstetrics and gynecology under the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University. Male infertility was on the rise as well, with sperm counts decreasing from 100 million per ml on average in the 1970s to 40 million per ml currently, Zhou said on Friday. ...


It's a dweam come twue.

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Fri, Jan 29, 2010
from Mongabay:
Will it be possible to feed nine billion people sustainably?
Sometime around 2050 researchers estimate that the global population will level-out at nine billion people, adding over two billion more people to the planet. Since, one billion of the world's population (more than one in seven) are currently going hungry -- the largest number in all of history -- scientists are struggling with how, not only to feed those who are hungry today, but also the additional two billion that will soon grace our planet. ...


We can do it -- especially if we are willing to BE food.

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Tue, Dec 29, 2009
from London Guardian:
Change beckons for billionth African
The baby's name and nationality are not known. The child will grow up innocent of having a place in history. But somewhere, this year, that child became the billionth person in Africa, the continent with the fastest growing population in the world. Climbing from 110 million in 1850, Africa's headcount reached this threshold in 2009, according to the United Nations, although patchy census data in many countries means that no one can say where or when. By 2050, the population is projected to almost double, to 1.9 billion. Pessimists predict a human tide that will put an unbearable burden on food, jobs, schools, housing and healthcare. Yet optimists sense an opportunity to follow billion-strong China and India in pursuing economic growth. ...


What do ya wanna bet it's the optimists who continue to reproduce.

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Sat, Nov 21, 2009
from Genetics Society of America, via EurekAlert:
New discovery may lead to heartier, high-yielding plants
In a research report published in the November 2009 issue of the journal GENETICS (http://www.genetics.org), scientists show how a family of genes (1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase, or ACS genes) are responsible for production of ethylene. This gas affects many aspects of plant development, and this information lays the foundation for future genetic manipulation that could make plants disease resistant, able to survive and thrive in difficult terrain, increase yields, and other useful agronomical outcomes.... "Ethylene gas is best known for causing fruit to ripen," said Mark Johnston, Editor-in-Chief of the journal GENETICS, "but the molecule is critical to development and growth of plants. By revealing how plants regulate the amount of ethylene they produce, this study gives scientists an entirely new genetic approach for developing heartier, more productive crops. This is becoming increasingly important as our planet warms and our population grows." ...


Go GMO, or the starving kid dies.

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Thu, Nov 5, 2009
from Daily Climate:
Rapid change threatens foundations of human health
Rapid changes already underway to the Earth's climate, ecosystems and land cover threaten the health of billions, undermining key human life-support systems and threatening the core foundations of healthy communities worldwide, according to a new report released Wednesday. There's been this extraordinary ballooning of the whole human enterprise. When you put climate change on top of that, we're looking at further destabilization of an already tenuous situation between people and their life-support systems. The disruption represents the greatest public health challenge of the 21st century and leaves poor populations mostly in developing nations most vulnerable – even though they contribute the least to many of the problems... The report outlines a series of public health threats – food and water scarcity, altered distribution of infectious diseases, increased air pollution, natural disasters, and population displacement – that collectively threaten large segments of the human population. ...


Thy shit is on a sure trajectory, fan-ward.

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Sun, Oct 18, 2009
from Toronto Star:
European cod stocks collapsing
Cod is slipping closer to disappearing from key European fishing grounds, officials warned Friday, saying that only steep catch cuts will prevent the disappearance of a species prized for centuries for its flaky white flesh. The European Union's executive body called for sharp cuts in the amount of cod fisherman can catch next year -- up to 25 per cent in some areas. The European Commission said recent studies showed cod catches in some areas are far outstripping the rate of reproduction of a fish that fed coastal communities for centuries. ...


Cod help us all.

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Sun, Sep 27, 2009
from New Scientist:
Population: Overconsumption is the real problem
THERE is a pervading myth that efforts to fight climate change and other environmental perils will be to no avail unless we "do something" about population growth. Even seasoned analysts talk about the threat of "exponential" population growth. But there is no exponential growth. In most of the world fertility rates are falling fast, and the countries where population growth continues are those that contribute least to our planetary predicament.... Yet the arguments still don't fit the reality. The population "bomb" is fast being defused. Women across the poor world are having dramatically fewer babies than their mothers did -- mostly out of choice, not compulsion. Half a century ago, the worldwide average for the number of children a woman had was between five and six. Now she has 2.6. In the face of such a fall it is hard to see what more "doing something" about global population might achieve.... Even if the world population does stabilise soon and starts to glide downwards, that won't solve the world's environmental problems. The real issue is not overpopulation but overconsumption -- mostly in rich countries that have long since given up adding substantial numbers to their population. ...


Overconsumption leads to growth, and that's what the economy needs, right?

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Thu, Sep 24, 2009
from TIME Magazine:
How Much Human Activity Can Earth Handle?
...as human population has exploded over the past few thousand years, the delicate ecological balance that kept the Long Summer going has become threatened. The rise of industrialized agriculture has thrown off Earth's natural nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, leading to pollution on land and water, while our fossil-fuel addiction has moved billions of tons of carbon from the land into the atmosphere, heating the climate ever more. Now a new article in the Sept. 24 issue of Nature says the safe climatic limits in which humanity has blossomed are more vulnerable than ever and that unless we recognize our planetary boundaries and stay within them, we risk total catastrophe....Stay within the lines, and we might just be all right. ...


Humans just aren't all that good at staying within the lines...

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Tue, Sep 22, 2009
from Times Online (UK):
President Hu Jintao commits China to carbon-cutting deal
China pledged yesterday to slow the growth of its emissions despite the rapid expansion of its economy. President Hu Jintao told nearly 100 leaders at a UN summit on climate change that China would cut carbon dioxide emissions by a notable margin by 2020. "We have taken and will continue to take determined and practical steps to tackle this challenge," he said. China, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is overwhelmingly dependent on coal. Mr Hu said that it would "vigorously develop" renewable and nuclear energy, try to increase the share of non-fossil fuels to 15 per cent by 2020 and plant 40 million hectares of forest to absorb carbon emissions. The speech is the clearest indication yet that Mr Hu would be prepared to sign a binding international agreement on emissions. China previously rejected carbon emissions caps or cuts. ...


OMG! 1/6 of humanity, distilled to one person, commits to change!

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Tue, Sep 22, 2009
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Let the panda die out 'with dignity', says BBC expert Chris Packham
The zoologist, who has replaced Bill Oddie as a presenter on BBC's Springwatch, risked criticism from wildlife conservationists in an interview with the Radio Times in which he describes the giant panda as a "T-shirt animal" on which too much conservation money is wasted. "Here is a species that, of its own accord, has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac. It's not a strong species," he said. "Unfortunately, it's big and cute and a symbol of the World Wide Fund for Nature and we pour millions of pounds into into panda conservation. "I reckon we should pull the plug. Let them go, with a degree of dignity."... He added: "Chris has taken an irresponsible position. Pandas face extinction because of poaching and human pressures on their habitat. They have adapted to the area in which they live and if left alone, they function perfectly well. "However, he is right in his assertion that we must secure habitat in order to protect endangered species. This is exactly what we work to achieve in the case of the giant panda. ...


Cute logos never die -- they just fade away.

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Sat, Sep 19, 2009
from Christian Science Monitor:
Severe drought affects 1.3 million in Syria
The acute drought that has driven an estimated 300,000 Syrian farmers, herders, and their families to abandon home for makeshift urban camps may not be the worst in the region's history; the Fertile Crescent has often experienced cycles of drought. But now climate change, an exploitation of water resources, and higher food prices brought about by the global financial crisis have all severely sharpened the impact of this dry spell, now in its fourth year. The numbers of Syrians affected an estimated 1.3 million, 803,000 of whom have entirely lost their livelihoods point to a serious humanitarian crisis. With Syria's population expected to triple by 2025, the severity of the drought presents yet another challenge for a leadership isolated internationally and struggling at home to maintain a broken state system while slowly introducing capitalism. ...


Perhaps they should rethink that whole "tripling the population" plan, eh?

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Tue, Sep 15, 2009
from Washington Post:
When It Comes to Pollution, Less (Kids) May Be More
To heck with carbon dioxide. A new study performed by the London School of Economics suggests that, to fight climate change, governments should focus on another pollutant: us. As in babies. New people. Every new life, the report says, is a guarantee of new greenhouse gases, spewed out over decades of driving and electricity use. Seen in that light, we might be our own worst emissions. The activist group that sponsored the report says birth control could be one of the world's best tools for fighting climate change. By preventing the creation of new polluters, the group says, contraceptives are a far cheaper solution than windmills and solar plants. ...


As long as people don't leave those dang rubbers lying around everywhere!

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Fri, Sep 11, 2009
from IRIN News (UN):
MALAWI: Mayi Chambo, 'We have destroyed a lot in a short period'
Degradation of the environment is reaching alarming levels in Nkaya in southern Malawi, where people have to walk ever greater distances to collect firewood and water. Mayi Chambo, a village head in Nkaya, blamed charcoal makers for the deforestation. This is her story. "In the 1980s we had lush forests here. The rains used to come in time, the soil was fertile and water was not a problem. It was after 1994 when we started experiencing problems that have to do with the environment. People from other areas began settling here in search for fertile soil and products from our forests. "Soon the trees started to disappear -- people wanted rafters for their newly built houses. Even the demand for fuel wood increased because the population had also increased. People began to clear forests for new fields.... "They are lured by the money they generate from selling charcoal in the cities, especially in Blantyre [Malawi's second city]. But should we let these people destroy everything because of a bag of charcoal that costs K500 (US$3.57) only? That is not acceptable.... "If we continue to destroy our forests at the pace we are going, we will soon have a desert here. The signs are already showing. We do not get the rains in good time, and when we have the rains they are always associated with flooding. The soil needs a lot of fertilizer for the crops to produce, but how many families can afford fertilizer here? Most of us are poor. "We have destroyed a lot in a short period of time and we are paying heavily for that." ...


Microcosms within microcosms...

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Fri, Aug 28, 2009
from Times of India:
Swine flu toll touches 15 in Pune, India's death toll 23
Pune: Five people, including two septuagenarian women and an AIDS patient, today died of swine flu here taking the death toll in the city to 15.... Another senior citizen, Bharati Goyal, who was suffering from fever and breathlessness for the last four days, had been on ventilator when she died today of suspected swine flu, sources said. 37-year-old Archana Kolhe, who was shifted to government-run Sassoon Hospital on August 10 with fever and acute respiratory problems from a private hospital, succumbed to the flu in the afternoon, Pune Municipal Corporation Commissioner Mahesh Zagade told reporters. ...


But... What's the true market opportunity? are these people "influentials"?

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Mon, Aug 17, 2009
from London Guardian:
Asia facing unprecedented food shortage, UN report says
Asia faces an unprecedented food crisis and huge social unrest unless hundreds of billions of dollars are invested in better irrigation systems to grow crops for its burgeoning population, according to a UN report published today. India, China, Pakistan and other large countries avoided famines in the 1970s and 1980s only because they built giant state-sponsored irrigation systems and introduced better seeds and fertilisers. But the extra 1.5 billion people expected to live on the continent by 2050 will double Asia's demand for food, says the report from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Bank-funded International Water Management Institute (IWMI). A combination of very little new land left for cultivation, an increasingly unpredictable climate and water supplies stretched to the limit means the only realistic option to feed people in the future will be better management of existing water supplies, according to the report. ...


Maybe that population should reconsider its plan to burgeon.

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Sun, Aug 9, 2009
from Times Online (UK):
Green grass of steppes falls victim to West's stampede for cashmere
Fly over Mongolia in summer and the steppes look as green as they must have done when Genghis Khan and his armies galloped across the land -- but the switch is startling as the flight crosses the border into China's Inner Mongolian region. The ground suddenly turns brown. The danger facing Mongolia is that its steppes may be transformed into a desert similar to the one eating away at neighbouring China. The culprit is the humble goat -- and the fascination of fashionistas for cashmere. The money to be earned from "diamond fibre" cashmere, so prized among wealthy shoppers in Europe and the US, has resulted in Mongolia's population of cashmere goats soaring to 40 million in 2007 from 25 million in 1993. The World Bank warned of grave consequences for the environment and for farmers. "Mongolian herds will be at greater risk of severe weather conditions if growing livestock populations and deteriorating pastureland is not reversed," it said in a report. A combination of the sharp hooves of the goats and their voracious consumption of all greenery -- including roots -- is harming the steppes. ...


Just one more steppe down the road to helle.

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Fri, Jun 26, 2009
from University of Wisconsin, via EurekAlert:
Projected food, energy demands seen to outpace production
With the caloric needs of the planet expected to soar by 50 percent in the next 40 years, planning and investment in global agriculture will become critically important, according a new report released today (June 25).... "We are at a crossroads in terms of our investments in agriculture and what we will need to do to feed the world population by 2050," says David Zaks, a co-author of the report and a researcher at the Nelson Institute's Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. By 2050, world population is expected to exceed 9 billion people, up from 6.5 billion today. Already, according to the report, a gap is emerging between agricultural production and demand, and the disconnect is expected to be amplified by climate change, increasing demand for biofuels, and a growing scarcity of water. ...


But I'll still be able to have Ho-Ho's, right?

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Fri, May 22, 2009
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Reptiles in Europe more at risk of extinction than birds and mammals
23 per cent of amphibians and 21 per cent of reptiles are at risk of dying out. Most of the pressure the species in danger face comes from human destruction of their habitat, climate change, pollution and the presence of invasive species. The studies, released on International Biodiversity Day, also show that more than half of frog, toad, salamander and newt species (59 per cent) in Europe are suffering declines in their populations. And 42 per cent of reptiles are in decline, the IUCN said.... Dr Helen Temple, programme officer for the IUCN Red List unit, said: "Natural habitats across Europe are being squeezed by growing human populations, agricultural sprawl and pollution. "That is not good news for either amphibians or reptiles." ...


"Not good news" for humans much, either.

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Wed, Apr 22, 2009
from McClatchy Newspapers:
Earth in the balance
...the overall condition of the planet has worsened since 1970, as its human population has nearly doubled to 6.8 billion. Natural resources like fresh water and tropical forests are dwindling, and it's becoming more difficult to hide our waste, much of which is plastic and will be around long after our children -- and theirs -- have lived through future Earth Days. But after nearly 40 years, saving the Earth is finally at or near the forefront of American politics, pushed there by growing awareness of global climate change and a national energy policy that leans too heavily on imported oil and other limited fossil fuels.... ...


On this Earth Day...I ain't feelin' the mirth.

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Wed, Apr 22, 2009
from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry via ScienceDaily:
Worst Environmental Problem? Overpopulation, Experts Say
Overpopulation is the world's top environmental issue, followed closely by climate change and the need to develop renewable energy resources to replace fossil fuels, according to a survey of the faculty at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF)... Overpopulation came out on top, with several professors pointing out its ties to other problems that rank high on the list. "Overpopulation is the only problem," said Dr. Charles A. Hall, a systems ecologist. "If we had 100 million people on Earth -- or better, 10 million -- no others would be a problem." ...


I wonder how we can get 6 and half billion or so people to voluntarily exit...

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Wed, Mar 18, 2009
from Reuters:
Vatican defends pope's stand on condoms as criticism mounts
The Vatican on Wednesday defended Pope Benedict's opposition to the use of condoms to stop the spread of AIDS as scientists and countries including his native Germany criticized it as unrealistic and dangerous. Benedict, arriving in Africa, said on Tuesday that condoms "increase the problem" of AIDS. The comment, made to reporters aboard his plane, caused a worldwide storm of criticism. "My reaction is that this represents a major step backwards in terms of global health education, is entirely counter-productive, and is likely to lead to increases in HIV infection in Africa and elsewhere," said Prof Quentin Sattentau, Professor of Immunology at Britain's Oxford University. "There is a large body of published evidence demonstrating that condom use reduces the risk of acquiring HIV infection, but does not lead to increased sexual activity," he said. The Church teaches that fidelity within heterosexual marriage and abstinence are the best ways to stop AIDS. ...


Aw... the pope's just being a dick again.

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Wed, Mar 18, 2009
from Associated Press:
US births break record; 40 pct out-of-wedlock
Remember the baby boom? No, not the one after World War II. More babies were born in the United States in 2007 than any other year in the nation's history and a wedding band made increasingly little difference in the matter. The 4,317,119 births, reported by federal researchers Wednesday, topped a record first set in 1957 at the height of the baby boom. Behind the number is both good and bad news. While it shows the U.S. population is more than replacing itself, a healthy trend, the teen birth rate was up for a second year in a row. The birth rate rose slightly for women of all ages, and births to unwed mothers reached an all-time high of about 40 percent, continuing a trend that started years ago. More than three-quarters of these women were 20 or older. ...


Remind me: why would population growth be good news?

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Mon, Mar 16, 2009
from Inter Press Service:
Blessed and Cursed by Water
In 2008, the United Nations (U.N.) International Year of Sanitation, it is estimated that 2.16 billion people in developing countries lack that most basic of amenities - a proper toilet. They do not have water conveniently pumped in and out of their homes for use in flush toilets. Many have no choice but to relieve themselves in ditches, behind the house, down the road, or at any other 'convenient' location. The result: "widespread damage to human health and child survival prospects; social misery especially for women, the elderly and infirm; depressed economic productivity and human development; pollution to the living environment and water resources," according to the U.N. report 'Tackling a global crisis'. Of course, water is not only a question of sanitation. This year is also part of the U.N's international decade for water, titled 'Water for Life'. Some more statistics: about 700 million people in 43 countries are affected by water scarcity, according to the U.N. In 2025 the number could be 3 billion. Around 1.1 billion people are said to have no access to safe drinking water. ...


Turns out that
the "real thing"...
is water.

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Thu, Feb 26, 2009
from New Scientist:
How to survive the coming century
ALLIGATORS basking off the English coast; a vast Brazilian desert; the mythical lost cities of Saigon, New Orleans, Venice and Mumbai; and 90 per cent of humanity vanished. Welcome to the world warmed by 4 degrees C. Clearly this is a vision of the future that no one wants, but it might happen. Fearing that the best efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions may fail, or that planetary climate feedback mechanisms will accelerate warming, some scientists and economists are considering not only what this world of the future might be like, but how it could sustain a growing human population. They argue that surviving in the kinds of numbers that exist today, or even more, will be possible, but only if we use our uniquely human ingenuity to cooperate as a species to radically reorganise our world. The good news is that the survival of humankind itself is not at stake: the species could continue if only a couple of hundred individuals remained. But maintaining the current global population of nearly 7 billion, or more, is going to require serious planning. ...


Sorry, but I gotta ask: How come? Why do we have to continue to "grow" as a species.

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Thu, Feb 19, 2009
from Agence France-Presse:
Unchecked economic growth imperils Amazon: study
Unbridled economic development fuelled by globalisation is devastating large swathes of the Amazonian basin, the United Nations warned in a major study released Wednesday. A population explosion concentrated in poorly planned cities, deforestation driven by foreign markets for timber, cash crops and beef, and unprecedented levels of pollution have all taken a heavy toll on the planet's largest forest basin, the United Nations Environment Programme said. The report, which pooled research by more than 150 experts from the eight countries that straddle Amazonia, acknowledged that these governments have individually taken steps to address environmental degradation. But coordinated action is urgently needed to stem and possible reverse the damage, it said. ...


Amazon.... Amagone....

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Thu, Feb 19, 2009
from Associated Press:
Pope tells Nancy Pelosi life must be protected
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI received Nancy Pelosi, one of the most prominent abortion rights politicians in America, and told her Wednesday that Catholic politicians have a duty to protect life "at all stages of its development." The U.S. House speaker, a Catholic, was the first top Democrat to meet with Benedict since the election of Barack Obama, who won a majority of the U.S. Catholic vote despite differences with the Vatican on abortion. On his fourth day in office last month, Obama ended a ban on funds for international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option � a sharp policy change from former President George W. Bush's Republican administration. The Vatican's attempts to keep the Pelosi visit low-profile displayed its obvious unease with the new U.S. administration. Benedict and Bush had found common ground in opposing abortion, an issue that drew them together despite their differences over the war in Iraq. ...


Apparently, ol' Benedict isn't worried about over-Pope-ulation.

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Sat, Feb 7, 2009
from Associated Press:
Octuplet birth doctor under investigation
LOS ANGELES -- The spotlight on the mother of octuplets is turning to the fertility doctor who helped her give birth not once but 14 times by implanting Nadya Suleman with fertilized embryos. The Medical Board of California investigating the doctor -- whom it did not name -- to see if there was a "violation of the standard of care," board spokeswoman Candis Cohen said Friday. She did not elaborate. Suleman, 33, of Whittier, already had six children when she gave birth Jan. 26 to octuplets. The births to an unemployed, divorced single mother prompted angry questions about how she plans to provide for her children. But the backlash seems to have extended as well to Suleman's doctor...."All I wanted was children. I wanted to be a mom. That's all I ever wanted in my life," Suleman said in the portion of the interview that aired Friday. "I love my children." ...


I love my children, too, but I also love the earth!

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Sun, Feb 1, 2009
from London Times:
Two children should be limit, says green guru
Couples who have more than two children are being "irresponsible" by creating an unbearable burden on the environment, the government's green adviser has warned. Jonathon Porritt, who chairs the government's Sustainable Development Commission, says curbing population growth through contraception and abortion must be at the heart of policies to fight global warming. He says political leaders and green campaigners should stop dodging the issue of environmental harm caused by an expanding population. A report by the commission, to be published next month, will say that governments must reduce population growth through better family planning. "I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate," Porritt said. ...


Tell that to the mother of five in California who just gave birth to octuplets!

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Sat, Jan 31, 2009
from Abu Dhabi National:
"The lake doesn't have a future"
Lake Victoria, spanning 68,800 square kilometres and three countries Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda is home to more than 30 million people, a population that depends on this body of water, even as they choke the life out of it. Godfrey Ogonda, an environmental scientist with the Friends of Lake Victoria, describes the assault on the lake as an "integrated" problem. It sounds innocuous enough until he explains that deforestation upstream is speeding soil erosion and washing excessive nutrients into the lake; unplanned settlements are pouring untreated human waste into the mix; overfishing is chronic; climate change is reducing rainfall and raising temperatures; and invasive species are attacking the weakened ecosystem... Named in 1858 after Queen Victoria, the largest tropical lake in the world is the reservoir of the mighty Nile river and it is close to joining the ranks of dying lakes. ...


Perhaps it's time to re-name it Lake Failuria.

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Thu, Jan 29, 2009
from Christian Science Monitor:
Earth's big problem: Too many people.
Are there too many people on Earth? That question is rarely raised today, in part because it conjures up the possibility of governments intruding into the most private and profound decision a couple can make. In a worst-case scenario, authorities could impose discriminatory policies that would limit births based on such criteria as race, ethnic origin, cultural background, religion, or gender. But with huge, vexing questions such as food security, poverty, energy supplies, environmental degradation, and climate change facing humanity, some are asking whether aggressive measures to control population growth should be on the public agenda..."You've got to get a president who's got the guts to say, 'Patriotic Americans stop at two [children],'" says Paul Ehrlich, a professor of population studies at Stanford University. "That if you care about your children and grandchildren, we should have a smaller population in the future, not larger." ...


And you're a SUPERpatriot if you just have one!

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Wed, Aug 13, 2008
from Scientific American:
Population Bomb Author's Fix For Next Extinction: Educate Women
"It's an uncomfortable thought: Human activity causing the extinction of thousands of species, and the only way to slow or prevent that phenomenon is to have smaller families ... according to Stanford University scientists Paul Ehrlich and Robert Pringle... Ehrlich and Pringle call for educating women, which has slowed or stopped population growth in the developed countries of Europe. "Education and employment -- for women especially -- along with access to contraception and safe abortions are the most important components," they write." ...


Well, we know how trying to educate men has worked out!

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Thu, Jun 19, 2008
from Afriquenligne (France):
Research institute warns of African land degradation
Lagos, Nigeria - The survival of more than 250 million people living in the dry lands of the developing countries is being threatened by chronic land degradation, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) said in a statement made available to PANA here Thursday. "Dry lands cover about 41 percent of the earth's surface. The poor people in the dry lands depend mainly on rain-fed agriculture and natural range lands for their survival. Their livelihoods are at risk due to land degradation, which is exacerbated by increasing population growth that is putting considerable pressure on fragile land resources," ICRISAT said. ...


The way we've treated the soil
truly is degrading.

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Tue, May 20, 2008
from TIME Magazine:
What Condoms Have to Do with Climate Change
"As the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Gen. Michael Hayden should have some insight on the biggest threats facing the U.S. But when Hayden recently described what he saw as the most troublesome trend over the next several decades, it wasn't terrorism or climate change. It was overpopulation in the poorest parts of the world. "By mid-century, the best estimates point to a world population of more than 9 billion," Hayden said in a speech at Kansas State University. "Most of that growth will occur in countries least able to sustain it." The sheer increase in population, Hayden argued, could fuel instability and extremism, not to mention worsening climate change and making food and fuel all the more scarce. Population is the essential multiplier for any number of human ills." ...


Malthusian enthusiasts are orgasmic over this speech.

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Mon, Mar 3, 2008
from Reuters:
Yemen Sleepwalks Into Water Nightmare
"BEIT HUJAIRA - Black-clad women trudge across a stony plateau in the Yemeni highlands to haul water in yellow plastic cans from wells that will soon dry up... These women are at the sharp end of what Yemen's water and environment minister describes as a collapse of national water resources so severe it cannot be reversed, only delayed at best...Yemen relies on groundwater, which nature cannot recharge fast enough to keep pace with a population of 22.4 million expanding by more than 3 percent a year. ...


Three percent growth isn't all that bad -- but given the situation, ye men and ye women might want to give it some thought.

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Mon, Dec 10, 2007
from The Daily Star (Bangladesh):
Natural calamities and Bangladesh growth potential
Apart from natural calamities we are facing two other disasters in Bangladesh: (a) our agricultural land is reducing, almost 1 percent per annum. As a result, we would not be able to increase the production of food grains beyond the limits supported currently available by high yield varieties, (b) the high growth of population is hindering all our development plans. If we could control the population growth from the time of our independence, there would not be any people below poverty level at this point in time. ...


Our estimate is that it would take 651,214 George Harrisons to address the problem.

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