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Sunday, June 10, 2018

OMNI OVERPOPULATION NEWSLETTER #11


OMNI
OVER-POPULATION, GROWTH, CONSUMPTION,  WARMING, CLIMATE CHANGE  NEWSLETTER #11,   June 10 , 2018.
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology
(#1 July 8, 2010; #2 April 23, 2012; #3 April 4, 2014; #4 June 28, 2014; #5, June 5, 2015; #6, July 16, 2015; #7, Nov. 5, 2015; #8 Jan. 8, 2016, #9 March 17, 2016; #10 July 8, 2016).


At stake:  “Population growth can cancel out everything we do to limit the build-up of GHGs (Attenborough 2009), and population continues to increase at a rapid rate.”  Scott McNall, Rapid Climate Change (2011, 58).         


CONTENTS: OVER-POPULATION NEWSLETTER #11
Introduction:  Art Hobson
Organizations:
Negative Population Growth (NPG)
Population Connection (formerly ZPG)
    PC’s Training Conference in Arkansas
    Dick: Population Connection Magazine (June 2018)
Books Partly or Wholly Making the Case for Limiting Population Growth: 
(Two Early Books on Population and the Limits to Growth
Donella Meadows, et al.  The Limits to Growth.  1972
William Catton, Jr.  Overshoot.  1982.)
RECENT BOOKS in Chronological Order (1999 to 2017)
Lester Brown, Beyond Malthus
Lindsey Grant, Too Many People: The Case for Reversing Growth
Lester Brown, Plan B 3.0
Robert Engelman, More
Lester Brown, Full Planet, Empty Plates
James H. Kunstler, Too Much Magic
Peter Seidel, There Is Still Time
Seager and Polansky, eds.  The Good Crisis
     
Dick:  Seager in Population Connection Magazine (Sept. 2016)
Overpopulation in Chesapeake Bay Area









TEXTS
Introduction by Art Hobson
Art Hobson, ahobson@uark.edu
NWA Times, 6 June 2017

Our overpopulated planet

          Henderson Island, an uninhabited South Pacific atoll, is so isolated as to be practically untouched, ever, by human presence.  Yet according to scientists who studied it in 2015, this island is the final resting place for 38 million pieces of mostly plastic trash, with 3,500 pieces washing up daily.  The garbage comes from China, South America, Europe, USA--from the world.  Ocean plastic entangles marine mammals and fish, is ingested by birds, never degrades, and floats for decades.  Humans dispose of 8 million tons of plastic in the oceans every year.  That's 200,000 large interstate truck loads per year--and only a tiny fraction of humankind's total trash load on the planet.  
          Northwest Arkansas' groundwater consumption is now unsustainable, according to the 2016 Arkansas Groundwater Protection Report.  Important underground aquifers in eastern Arkansas are being drained down at twice their sustainable rate.  According to 2010 data, Arkansas was second in the nation in total groundwater usage, behind California and ahead of Texas--an amazing fact in view of Arkansas' relatively small population.  Agricultural experts are concerned about the wells running out, but it's difficult to predict when this will happen.
          Arkansas' 16,000 miles of highway are deteriorating from use and mostly congested with traffic, especially in Northwest Arkansas.  Our state lacks the $150 million per year needed just to maintain what we have.  Yet experts predict our 4-county region will experience a 52% population increase by 2040. 
          These examples are only a few straws in the wind of a trend that is at once the world's most dangerous yet least discussed:  Overpopulation.  Global problems such as trash, resource use, and climate change are roughly proportional to global population, but even tragedies such as warfare and violent religions are exacerbated by population pressures.  For example, the genocidal massacre of nearly one million Rwandans in 1994 stemmed largely from a population that rose from 1.9 million to 7.5 million during 1948 to 1992, a ruinous 3.2 percent annual increase that turned Rwanda into Africa's most densely populated nation.  As topsoil eroded and food production dropped, people became desperate and looked for scapegoats.  
          America is arguably the world's most overpopulated nation in the sense that our per-capita burden on the planet is largest.  We represent only 5 percent of Earth's population yet we use 25 percent of its energy, consume 30 percent of its raw materials, and create 25 percent of global warming.  Acclaimed biologist Edward O. Wilson calculates that, if everybody consumed as much as Americans, we would need four more Earths.  Our population growth rate of nearly 1 percent per year is high among developed nations and unsustainable even though two-thirds of it arises from immigration.  This growth is unhealthy for the world because of each American's heavy impact, and it's unhealthy for America where national population growth drives many social problems. 
          After global population increased by over 400% during the 20th century, reaching an unsustainable 7.3 billion today, growth is finally turning the corner; it's projected to rise by "only" 50 percent to 11 billion by 2100--nearly 4 billion more people than we have today.  4 billion is 3 times the population of China.  How will we grow the food, produce the energy, create the infrastructure, etc. for three more Chinas? 
          We can significantly limit overpopulation.  The number of children born per couple makes a big difference.  For one small comparison, you can reduce your lifetime carbon dioxide emissions by 150 tons by deciding to drive a car that gets 30 instead of 20 miles per gallon, but you can reduce the emissions of your children by 9000 tons by deciding to have two children instead of three.  Your biggest environmental decision is the number of children you will have.
          Some readers might believe, on general pro-life grounds, that it's always desirable to maximize the number of births.  To them, I would argue that today's overpopulation is likely to produce a disastrous long-run future that will reduce the number of humans born over the long term. 
          It would save enormous suffering if, for example, if we could bend the population curve down to "only" 10 billion by 2100 instead of 11 billion.  The world needs to use its brains instead of its feelings in matters regarding population.  The planet is bursting at the seams.  Additional sex education would help, widespread promotion of birth control would help, a cultural norm of "stopping at two" (excepting adopted children) would help, and advocating the advantages of stopping at zero or one would help.


ORGANIZATIONS
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This ad appeared in the Washington Times Weekly starting April 16, 2018.
As America prepares to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd, you have a huge responsibility to make sure that large and small
policies and actions on the federal, state and local level give top priority to environmental concerns.
With our nation’s population continuing to soar by tens of millions of people each decade – and set to approach 400 million
by 2050 – we members of Negative Population Growth appeal to you to do all you can to create a workable and responsible
national population policy.[…]
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This ad appeared in the USA Today Green Living Green, April 17th, 2018 and the Washington Times Weekly on April 23th, 2018.
The best way to protect our nation from greater environmental damage is to reduce our population size and growth.
U.S. population now exceeds 327 million people and we are on track to add another 70 million by mid-century. In order to preserve our quality of life for future generations, we […]

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This ad appeared in the Harper’s magazine, March 27, 2018. Please click the photo to view the add as it appeared in the Harper’s magazine. CELEBRATE EARTH DAY! SIGN ON TO HELP CONFRONT THE FRIGHTENING ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGE THAT OUR NATION CAN NO LONGER IGNORE. From its very founding in 1970, Earth Day has stood as a […]
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“Bold Claims for Renewable Energy Simply Do Not Hold Up”
Does the answer to winning the battle against climate change lie in turning over great swaths of land and coastal waters to massive solar and wind farms?  According to a newly released study by Negative Population Growth (NPG) the answer is a definite “NO!” […]

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Negative Population Growth, Inc. (NPG) is a national nonprofit membership organization. It was founded in 1972 to educate the American public and political leaders about the devastating effects of overpopulation on our environment, resources and standard of living. ... Since 1972, NPG has been making that case.
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Most politicians, big business and its supporting economists call for growth as a solution to all our problems. Apparently, they believe in perpetual growth, which ...
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Multiple Prizes from $750 to $2,000! The submission period has closed for 2018. Winners will be announced online at www.NPG.org by July 10, 2018.

Population Connection: America’s Voice for Population
Stabilization  
http://www.populationconnection.org/
Since 1968, Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth or ZPG) has been America’s voice for population stabilization. We are the largest grassroots population organization in the United States—we have over 500,000 members, supporters, and participating educators!
Population Connection works to ensure that every woman around the world who wants to delay or end childbearing has access to the health services and contraceptive supplies she needs in order to do so.

PC’S POPULATION EDUCATION IN “THE NATURAL STATE”

Arkansas’ Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Hosts Leadership Institute
 “Every citizen has the duty to be informed, to be thoughtfully concerned, and to participate in the search for solutions.”   – Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller (Arkansas 1967-1971)
These words grace the foyer of the Show Barn Hall, part of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute (WRI) in Morrilton, Arkansas, and site of our 26th Annual Summer Population Education Leadership Institute (July 14-16, 2017). Once the governor’s cattle farm, WRI is now a gathering place for groups of educators and thought leaders. The pastoral setting atop Petit Jean Mountain was an excellent venue for our group of PopEd facilitators-in-training to engage in hands-on activities, share classroom experiences, and discuss the importance of preparing young people for a sustainable future.
While participants traveled from as far as Puerto Rico and Phoenix to join us in central Arkansas, most of the participants represented campuses, school districts, and county governments in the southeast and south-central states (Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas).
Two-thirds of the attendees were teacher educators at colleges and universities, large (University of Arkansas and Ole Miss) and small (Point University, a Christian college in Georgia, and Texas A&M University-Texarkana). The others were committed middle and high school science and social studies teachers, administrators, and non-formal educators.
By way of introduction, we asked each person to share a “fun fact” about themselves. We soon learned that our 28 participants brought a wealth of experience from within and out of the classroom: Samantha teaches at a university that was once her grandmother’s alma mater when it was the Cherokee National Female Seminary. Eliezer worked in national parks from Alaska to the Caribbean. Robert is a Ugandan prince. Mike is certified to operate a cotton gin. What they all shared was the enthusiasm of life-long learners and the desire to help their students search for solutions to big global challenges.
These new trainers will now join our network of over 600 PopEd facilitators across the United States and Canada. Volunteer trainers present three-quarters of all PopEd workshops and serve as important local resources for their communities and state associations. Last year, network members gave $327,600 in contributed services of their time and expertise. More information about our trainers’ network, workshops, and upcoming Leadership Institutes is available at PopulationEducation.org.
 “Words cannot express how energizing and inspiring the weekend was for me! Thank you for the opportunity.”   – Anita Lewis, 6th grade social studies teacher, Friendswood, TX
“I thoroughly enjoyed getting to be a part of the training, and I look forward to sharing the knowledge I gained by hosting Population Education workshops in Northwest Arkansas and beyond.”   – Leah Saffian, Washington County Environmental Affairs, Fayetteville, AR.   “I am looking forward to working with Population Education. The people your organization attracts are truly inspiring.”    – Cherry Watts, Ph.D., The University of Tennessee at Martin.

Population Connection Magazine 50.2 (June 2018) by Dick Bennett
An excellent introduction to PC on its 50th anniversary, whose mission is to stabilize human population to zero population growth, and to educate world about pop growth as the chief cause of climate chaos.

Don’t miss JOHN SEAGER’s PRESIDENT’S NOTE
JUNE 2018 
http://www.populationconnection.org/article/presidents-note-june-2018/   Population growth as chief cause of climate chaos.

Dramatic timeline from 1960 to present of the 50 years of PC’s work for family planning.
Illuminating data trends graphs of 50 Years of Population Connection since founding as ZPG in 1968 (info. from the UN’s World Population Prospects, the 2017 Revision).   While Teen Birth Rate, Maternal Mortality, Infant Morality declined, total world population more than doubled, forest cover and per capita fresh water declined, and total carbon emissions and global temperature increased (my summary).
Several articles on struggle for birth control by both women and men.
Articles on consequences of overpopulation; e.g., “Population Growth Spurs Deforestation in Cambodia.”


BOOKS: 1999 to 2017


Beyond Malthus: NINETEEN DIMENSIONS OF THE POPULATION CHALLENGE. The Worldwatch Environmental Alert Series.  Lester R. Brown (Author, Earth Policy Institute), Gary T. Gardner (Author, Worldwatch Institute), Brian Halweil (Author, Worldwatch Institute).  Norton, 1999.
In the bicentennial of Malthus's legendary essay on the tendency for population to grow more rapidly than the food supply, the question facing the world is not whether population growth will slow, but how.
Human demands are pressing up against more and more of the Earth's limits. This book from the Worldwatch Institute examines the impacts of population growth on global resources and services, including food, fresh water, fisheries, jobs, education, income, and health. Despite the current hype of a "birth dearth" in parts of Europe and Japan, the fact remains that human numbers are projected to increase by over 3 billion by 2050. Rapidly growing nations are likely to outstrip the carrying capacity of their natural support systems. Governments worn down by several decades of rapid population growth often cannot mobilize the resources necessary to cope with emerging threats such as new diseases, food and water shortages, and mass unemployment. Already, in several African nations, hunger, disease, and social disintegration are leading to rising death rates, checking the rapid growth of population. Either nations with surging populations will quickly shift to smaller families or nature will impose its own, less humane limits to growth. As the world enters the new millennium, no challenge is perhaps so urgent as the need to quickly reduce population growth. Pakistan's population is projected to increase from 148 million to 357 million, surpassing that of the United States before 2050. Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, and Swaziland, where over one-fifth of the adult population is infected with HIV, will likely reach population stability shortly after the year 2000, as AIDS-related deaths offset soaring birth rates. A Worldwatch Environmental Alert book. Newsmaking press conference on publication National press and television coverage

 

Lindsey Grant.  Too many people: The Case for reversing Growth.  2000.

Negative Population Growth
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Too Many People: The Case for Reversing Growth by Lindsey Grant .   January 7, 2001. 
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This book explores a fundamental but seldom asked question: has the recent growth of human numbers and economic activity imperiled our well-being, social justice and even the natural support systems on which we and other creatures depend? Challenging a nearly universal enthusiasm for endless growth, Grant makes the unassailable point that perpetual material growth on Earth is a mathematical absurdity. Growth, moreover, is already an unrecognized root of environmental and social problems, not simply a potential danger.
Grant summarizes the evidence concerning food, water, land, climate change, the energy transition, chemicals and pollution and their threat to living systems. He observes that most people object to crowding — but without identifying the source. He recognizes – indeed emphasizes — the limits of our knowledge, but he suggests, in broad terms, what world population might be sustainable at a decent standard of living. The numbers are something like those the world passed two or three generations ago.
We are already at war with the biosphere that supports us. More than any other proposed solution, a solution on the demand side — population — offers an effective way to end or ameliorate the problems I have described… and, remarkably enough, it will save money rather than demanding more investments. (p.71)
Politicians, planners and environmentalists usually treat population growth as an independent variable to which they must adjust, rather than as a factor that must be changed if a real solution to their problem is to be found. Grant turns the problem around and asks: what population size is compatible with achievement of our goals? And he suggests how we can get there. He applauds Europe’s population turnaround though he warns of the limits.
The book is readable and will appeal to inquiring minds of all ages, but it is aimed particularly at college undergraduates. Grant is a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment and Population Affairs and author of Elephants in the Volkswagen and Juggernaut: Growth on a Finite Planet.
All great truths begin as heresy. Lindsey Grant is a heretical prophet. He proves it again by his new book. When the histories of these times are written, they will show him to be one of the few people understanding the future.  Richard D. Lamm, Governor of Colorado, 1975-87
… unbiased but somber… I look forward to using Too Many People… as a supplementary text in my course on Environmental Policy.   David Pimentel, Professor of Ecology and Agricultural Sciences,
Cornell University
Lindsey Grant is a retired Foreign Service Officer; he was a China specialist and served as Director of the Office of Asian Communist Affairs, National Security Council staff member, and Department of State policy Planning staff member. As Deputy Secretary of State for Environmental and Population Affairs, he was Department of State coordinator for the Global 2000 Report to the President, Chairman of the interagency committee on Int'l Environmental Committee and US member of the UN ECE Committee of Experts on the Environment. His books include: Too Many People, Juggernaut, The Horseman and the Bureaucrat, Elephants in Volkswagen, How Many Americans?
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LESTER BROWN.  PLAN B 3.0: MOBILIZING TO SAVE CIVLIZATION. Earth Policy Institute.  Norton, 2008.
“With time running out, the urgency of moving simultaneously on both fronts [eradicating poverty and stabilizing population] is clear” (133). 
“Lester Brown tells us how to build a more just world and save the planet . . . in a practical, straightforward way. We should all heed his advice.” —President Bill Clinton “. . . a far-reaching thinker.” —U.S. News & World Report “It’s exciting . . . a masterpiece!” —Ted Turner “In tackling a host of pressing issues in a single book, Plan B 2.0 makes for an eye-opening read.” —Times Higher Education Supplement “Lester Brown should receive a Nobel Peace Prize for his new book.” —The Herald Mexico “A great book which should wake up humankind!” —Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum “Lester R. Brown, one of the world’s preeminent ecoeconomists. . . has a solution for dealing with the threat... Plans must be periodically revised and refined, which Brown has done with insight and foresight in this volume.” —Ode “. . . a highly readable and authoritative account of the problems we face from global warming to shrinking water resources, fisheries, forests, etc. The picture is very frightening. But the book also provides a way forward.” —Clare Short, British Member of Parliament “Lester R. Brown gives concise, but very informative, summaries of what he regards as the key issues facing civilization as Praise for Plan B continued... a consequence of the stress we put on our environment....a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate.” —The Ecologist “An enormous achievement—a comprehensive guide to what’s going wrong with earth’s life support system and how to fix it.” —Grinning Planet “Plan B has three parts: restructuring the global economy, working to eradicate poverty and reversing environmental destruction. Tall orders, to be sure: but Plan B is here thoughtfully laid out to achieve the seeming impossible—and with an understanding of world trends and cultures too.” —The Midwest Book Review “The best big-picture summary of our environmental situation— both the problems and the solutions—I’ve ever read.” —Grist “Lester R. Brown… offers an attractive 21st-century alternative to the unacceptable business-as-usual path that we have been following with regard to the environment (Plan A), which is leading us to ‘economic decline and collapse.’” — Thomas F. Malone, American Scientist “Brown’s overall action plan is both comprehensive and compelling.” —Caroline Lucas, Resurgence “This book is an excellent update to the 2003 edition of Plan B and a valuable resource for understanding the challenges facing all people on Earth. Highly recommended.” —S.J. Martin, Choice “A great book about ways to improve the environment and sustain economic progress.” —St. Petersburg Times PLAN B 3.0 OTHER NORTON BOOKS BY LESTER R. BROWN Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble Outgrowing the Earth: The Food Security Challenge in an Age of Falling Water Tables and Rising Temperatures Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble The Earth Policy Reader with Janet Larsen and Bernie Fischlowitz-Roberts Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth State of the World 1984 through 2001 annual, with others Vital Signs 1992 through 2001 annual, with others Beyond Malthus with Gary Gardner and Brian Halweil The World Watch Reader 1998 editor with Ed Ayres Tough Choices Who Will Feed China? Full House with Hal Kane Saving the Planet with Christopher Flavin and Sandra Postel Building a Sustainable Society Running on Empty with Colin Norman and Christopher Flavin The Twenty-Ninth Day In the Human Interest Earth Policy Institute® is a nonprofit environmental research organization providing a plan for building a sustainable future. It seeks to reach a global constituency through the media and the Internet. In addition to the Plan B series, the Institute issues four-page Plan B Updates that assess progress in implementing Plan B. All of these can be downloaded at no charge from the EPI Web site. Web site: www.earthpolicy.org PLAN B 3.0 Mobilizing to Save Civilization EARTH POLICY INSTITUTE NEW YORK LONDON W • W • NORTON & COMPANY Lester R. Brown Preface xi 1. Entering a New World 3 A Massive Market Failure 6 Environment and Civilization 9 China: Why the Existing Economic Model Will Fail 13 Mounting Stresses, Failing States 14 A Civilizational Tipping Point 18 Plan B—A Plan of Hope 20 I. A CIVILIZATION IN TROUBLE 2. Deteriorating Oil and Food Security 27 The Coming Decline of Oil 29 The Oil Intensity of Food 34 The Changing Food Prospect 36 Cars and People Compete for Crops 38 The World Beyond Peak Oil 42 Food Insecurity and Failing States 45 3. Rising Temperatures and Rising Seas 48 Rising Temperature and Its Effects 49 The Crop Yield Effect 51 Reservoirs in the Sky 53 Melting Ice and Rising Seas 56 More-Destructive Storms 61 Cutting Carbon 80 Percent by 2020 64 4. Emerging Water Shortages 68 Water Tables Falling 69 Rivers Running Dry 75 Lakes Disappearing 77 Farmers Losing to Cities 78 Copyright © 2008 by Earth Policy Institute
here is a newer edition of this item:

In this updated edition of the landmark Plan B, Lester Brown outlines a survival strategy for our early twenty-first-century civilization. The world faces many environmental trends of disruption and decline, including rising temperatures and spreading water shortage. In addition to these looming threats, we face the peaking of oil, annual population growth of 70 million, a widening global economic divide, and a growing list of failing states. The scale and complexity of issues facing our fast-forward world have no precedent

With Plan A, business as usual, we have neglected these issues overly long. In Plan B 3.0, Lester R. Brown warns that the only effective response now is a World War II-type mobilization like that in the United States after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Robert Engelman.   More:  Population, Nature, and What Women Want.   2008.  320 pages
   In the capital of Ghana, a teenager nicknamed “Condom Sister” trolls the streets to educate other young people about contraception. Her work and her own aspirations point to a remarkable shift not only in the West African nation, where just a few decades ago women had nearly seven children on average, but around the globe. While world population continues to grow, family size keeps dropping in countries as diverse as Switzerland and South Africa.
   The phenomenon has some lamenting the imminent extinction of humanity, while others warn that our numbers will soon outgrow the planet’s resources. Robert Engelman offers a decidedly different vision—one that celebrates women’s widespread desire for smaller families. Mothers aren’t seeking more children, he argues, but more for their children. If they’re able to realize their intentions, we just might suffer less climate change, hunger, and disease, not to mention sky-high housing costs and infuriating traffic jams.
   In More, Engelman shows that this three-way dance between population, women’s autonomy, and the natural world is as old as humanity itself. He traces pivotal developments in our history that set population—and society—on its current trajectory, from hominids’ first steps on two feet to the persecution of “witches” in Europe to the creation of modern contraception. Both personal and sweeping, More explores how population growth has shaped modern civilization—and humanity as we know it.
   The result is a mind-stretching exploration of parenthood, sex, and culture through the ages. Yet for all its fascinating historical detail, More is primarily about the choices we face today. Whether society supports women to have children when and only when they choose to will not only shape their lives, but the world all our children will inherit.


Full Planet, Empty Plates: THE NEW GEOPOLITICS OF FOOD SCARCITY.  Lester R. Brown (Author, Earth Policy Institute).  Norton, 2012.
Overview | Formats | Inside the Book

With food supplies tightening, countries are competing for the land and water resources needed to feed their people.
With food scarcity driven by falling water tables, eroding soils, and rising temperatures, control of arable land and water resources is moving to center stage in the global struggle for food security. “In this era of tightening world food supplies, the ability to grow food is fast becoming a new form of geopolitical leverage. Food is the new oil,” Lester R. Brown writes.

What will the geopolitics of food look like in a new era dominated by scarcity and food nationalism? Brown outlines the political implications of land acquisitions by grain-importing countries in Africa and elsewhere as well as the world’s shrinking buffers against poor harvests. With wisdom accumulated over decades of tracking agricultural issues, Brown exposes the increasingly volatile food situation the world is facing.
ENDORSEMENTS & REVIEWS


James Howard Kunstler.  Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation.  Atlantic Monthly P, 2012.
“A population rising remorselessly above the capacity of agriculture to provide for it and weather conditions that push agriculture to the margins of its limits to provide is a very bad combination” (210).

“Meanwhile the Malthusian equation of population growth exceeding the expansion of the food supply has final caught up with the human race after the head fake of the so-called green revolution.”  Kunstler continues that the “revolution” is attributable “largely to cheap oil and natural gas.”  “In effect, the world has been eating oil transformed into wheat, rice, and soybeans.”  And we are running out of fossil fuels, and  population continues to increase.  “Malthus was right after all.  Human beings reproduce exponentially and food production does not.  The combination of reduced oil and gas by-products, an extreme shortage of phosphates, less capital available for industrial-scale growers, and soil degradation is colliding with climate change to produce the perfect conditions for food shortages” (212).

Then Kunstler adds the factor of decreasing water.  “The result will be a collapse of agricultural output, sooner rather than later, even while the population continues to grow—remember, even hungry people have sex” (213).


There is Still Time by Peter Seidel.  2015.
NPG Booknote by David Simcox, Feb. 2, 2016.   Peter Seidel, a longtime advocate of population reduction and friend and supporter of Negative Population Growth, has released a new book: There is Still Time (360 Editions; Cincinnati, Ohio, 2015 .  (I shortened Simcox’s review considerably to focus on overpopulation.  –D)
This short book asks and answers critical questions for all of us concerned about humanity’s future on this planet: in the face of increasingly evident signs of impending global environmental collapse, what keeps humanity and its political leadership from mobilizing to prevent it?
Seidel has given years of thought to his subject.  He first explored this troubling question in a 1998 book, Invisible WallsWhy We Ignore the Damage We Inflict on Our Planet — and Ourselves. 
The title of Seidel’s latest, There is Still Time, implies a cautious optimism that man can learn to restrain his consumption, his numbers and his predation in time to avoid planetary environmental collapse. But some political and scientific leaders looking at the limited indifference toward environmental degradation in our governance may have seen a questioning title – such as Is There Still Time? – as more appropriate given the earth’s parlous state.  
Indeed, an alarming number of concerned scientists and environmentalists believe that time has already run out: humanity’s uncaring ways of overpopulating the planet and abusing its support systems have already wreaked irreparable damage to our habitat. Thus, even without further damage, past excesses may well trigger calamitous feedback loops. Seidel himself accepts at least the possibility that environmental damage may have passed the tipping point (P. 101). But while the accumulated damage is grave, he still believes – or hopes – that with critical changes in human behavior and in man’s outlook toward the environment that sustains him, the destruction can be mitigated in time to preserve adequate resources for a smaller number of our descendants.
As Seidel sees it, a profound shaping factor in modern man’s outlook is his retention of the instincts of his hunter-gatherer ancestors. Survival then was a day-to-day struggle and life was brutish and short. Humans had no place for long-term concerns about resources, cooperation for mutual benefit with other hunter bands, or imagining rational, alternative future ways of surviving. In an era of short time horizons and high child mortality, population growth was seen as a mark of biological success and divine favor.
But what is needed now is rational thought to replace our prevailing “groupthink.” 
Getting There from Here
Siedel’s prescription demands an epochal change in human beliefs and behavior. His diagnosis calls for a near war-time mobilization of environmentalists, churches and civic bodies and their organizations and supporters. We must reform and expand teaching about man’s place in nature. We must educate media and political leaders on the severity of the crisis and press for action. And we must pressure our economic leaders and policymakers to abandon economic growth and consumption as ends in themselves and move toward a world economy that is sustainable for the long haul.In what might be a mandate for us all, Seidel summarizes eloquently the essential goals of this fundamental re-ordering on humanity’s behavior:“…to halt the downward spiral we are now in by significantly reducing the burdens we are placing on the world, stopping waging war on each other, sharing resources equitably, and recognizing what we really makes us happy, a smaller population can lead rewarding, enjoyable lives on Earth far into the future.”

JOHN SEAGER AND LEE POLANSKY, EDS.  THE GOOD CRISIS: HOW POPULATION STABILIZATION CAN FOSTER A HEALTHY U.S. ECONOMY.  Population Connection, 2016.   http://www.populationconnection.org/pathways/the-good-crisis/
In many developed countries—Japan, South Korea, Italy, Spain, Germany, Canada, and the United States among them—fertility rates are below replacement rate. It’s far from cause for alarm despite claims by “birth dearthers” that we face social and economic catastrophe due to lower birth rates. With global population still growing at a rate of 1.1 percent, the world continues to add some 83 million people a year.
Offering insights and guidance from prominent academics and journalists, The Good Crisis: How Population Stabilization Can Foster a Healthy U.S. Economy (Population Connection; 2016) takes on one of today’s most pressing challenges: keeping our aging population healthy, productive, and prepared for today’s technologically-focused jobs. At the same time, today’s youth must be prepared for productive futures through education, skills training, and delayed parenthood.
Dispelling anxieties about the impact of slowing population growth on Social Security, commerce, and society, this collection of essays presents innovative and practical solutions to issues from labor shortages to fossil fuel dependence. Backed by extensive research and real-world examples, The Good Crisis presents a path to a more productive, sustainable world.    Chapters include:     How population stabilization is one key step in the direction of a more sustainable world at a time when natural resources are being depleted at an unprecedented and unsustainable rate.   
John Seager is President and CEO of Population Connection, the nation’s largest grassroots population organization. He regularly speaks to environmental, religious, and community groups across the country. Seager has been a guest lecturer at more than 50 colleges and universities, including MIT, Duke University, Brandeis University, University of Pennsylvania, and UCLA. A veteran political strategist, Seager was chief of staff for a Democratic member of Congress. Before coming to Population Connection he was at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has authored numerous op-eds and articles on various aspects of population dynamics and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Seager holds a B.A. in Political Science from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
Population Connection, September 2016.
John Seager, “President’s Note.”  The “most transformative invention of the past 1,000 years”?  Modern contraception.  Birth control pills have worked well, but long-lasting reversible contraception, called LARC, is “20 times more effective.”  “A 40-percent reduction in unplanned births in the U.S. could well put us on the pathway to zero population growth.” [ Seager’s interest is to empower women and men to gain control of their lives through family planning.  But the goals of Population Connection parallel those who seek mitigation of and adaptation to climate catastrophe.   Contraception, which empowers women, is a major climate adaptation.   –Dick]

John Greer.  Dark Age America.  New Society, 2016.  Pp. 4-49. 
“…today’s seriously overpopulated North America will become the sparsely populated continent of the coming dark age” (40).



NPG Population Update: Growth in the Chesapeake Bay

Recent articles in Politico and the Bay Journal have called attention to the significant environmental stress within the Chesapeake Bay area.  One article references "The war over Chesapeake Bay," when discussing the controversial clean-up plan launched by the Obama administration several years ago.  In another, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy highlights a "discouraging lack of progress" in some areas to protect the nation's largest estuary.

NPG has long warned of the dangers of population growth to environmental treasures such as this.  In 2013, NPG published the Forum paper Revisiting the Chesapeake Bay:  The Effect of Population Growth on America's Largest Estuary.  Bay area expert Tom Horton gives his insight on how growth in the watershed area has contributed to its downfall. 

In an effort to engage our nation's next generation of leaders and environmental activists - we also regularly publish educational materials for America's classrooms, such as our highly-popular Chesapeake Bay Poster
 Designed to foster greater understanding of overpopulation and its impact on the environment, these valuable resources remain FREE OF CHARGE thanks to the generous support ofmembers like you.  https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif


Contents: Stabilizing Population Newsletter #10, July 9, 2016

Contexts:  Brown’s Plan B (World on the Edge, 2011)
What we can do

Population Today
Endless Growth Watch NWA

Seeking Stabilization:

Individuals
Katha Pollitt: If Pope Francis Really Wanted to Fight Climate Change

Monbiot, Don’t Overlook Overconsumption

Books
Robert Malthus, Rereading the Principle of Population
Two Books by Alan Weisman
Angus and Butler, Too Many People?  Don’t Overlook Consumption

Organizations (see earlier newsletters)
Population Connection
Questions Answered by PC personnel




   END OVER-POPULATION NEWSLETTER #11 

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