Friday, June 5, 2015


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).

Years it took for the human population to grow from 1 billion to 2 billion:  123;
Years it took to grow from 6 billion to 7 billion: 22 .  From YES! (Summer 2013).

What’s at stake:  June 2013, C02 reached 400PPM after 10,000 years nearly constant at 280ppm, and atmospheric temperature continues to rise and is approaching 2 degrees centigrade higher than the average at the beginning of the industrial revolution. 
I asked Art for his epitome of the Stake:   ‘The long-term historical picture is much worse than you portray.  And I would change the date a little.  I guess I would say it like this:  

April 2014 was the first full month when CO2 concentrations exceeded 400 ppm.  This is more than 100 ppm higher than at any other time during the past million years.  The last time CO2 concentrations were this high was during the Pliocene era, several million years ago and long before the era of the ice ages.  During the Pliocene, temperatures were 18 Fahrenheit degrees warmer and sea levels 70 feet higher than they are today.  We are creating a new geological age.  

My blog:
War Department/Peace Department
See:    abortion.doc, OMNI Climate Change Forums. doc, Planned Parenthood, OMNI Population Poverty Hunger Watch.doc (these should be one with OMNI population warming watch.doc), Sierra Club Population Project, Worldwatch Institute , OneWorld US, Population Action International, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Contents Nos. 1-4 at end.

UN’s Christina Figueras, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
       Change, Planet Has Exceeded Its Carrying Capacity
Ten Billion: a Scientist’s One-Man Show
Brown, et al., Beyond Malthus
Jamieson, Reason in a Dark Time
Dick, Breaking the Silence
Art, Why the Silence.  Dick, Note on Sierra Club.
The Last Taboo?
NWA Reaches 500,000
Weisman, Countdown
Chris Mooney’s Review of Countdown
Mazur, A Pivotal Moment, Environmental Justice
Paul Glilding, The Great Disruption
Reports on Contraception
Damon/Foster Film, Elysium, Everywhere so crowded, everything needful so
      scarce, the wealthy take off to another planet

See Population #4 and earlier newsletters for more.
Sarah Thompson, Planned Parenthood Voters of Arkansas
Negative Population Growth (NPG)
Population Connection
Population Connection: the Oceans
Center for Biological Diversity:  Human Overpopulation =Species Extinction

    George Monbiot


United Nations: Planet Has Exceeded Its Carrying Capacity.  Interview of Christiana Figueres
 Posted on April 12, 2015 by Intellihub
(INTELLIHUB) —At a recent Climate One conference, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, made clear that a leading solution to global warming includes extreme depopulation.
Speaking to the organization’s founder Greg Dalton, Figueres had a carefully worded yet startling answer to his question on world population.
Dalton: A related issue is fertility rates and population, a lot of people in energy and environmental circles don’t want to go near that because its politically charged, it’s not their issue, but isn’t it true that stopping the rise in population could be one of the biggest levers in driving down the rising green house gases.
Figueres: We all know, we expect 9 billion by 2050, so yes obviously less people would exert less pressure on the natural resources
Dalton: So is 9 billion the forgone conclusion.. no way to change that?
Figueres: Again there is pressure in the system to go towards that, we can get them to change though, we can definitely change those numbers and really should make every effort to change the numbers because we are already today, exceeding the planetary carrying capacity.

Climate change: how theatre delivered a dramatic warning about the planet's future
Ten Billion – Stephen Emmott, a scientist's one-man show on environmental woes – has been an unexpected sell-out hit.  Written with Katie Mitchell.
Review by Robin McKieThe Observer, Saturday 11 August 2012.
British actor Stephen Emmott performs du
Stephen Emmott in Ten Billion. It's a spare, chilling and compelling work written by him and Katie Mitchell. Photograph: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images
Stephen Emmott is an unlikely candidate for a star of a sell-out London theatre hit. He currently uses crutches after recently losing a disc in his spine and until last month he had never trod the boards. Yet the 52-year-old academic has just completed a majestic run at the Royal Court. For the past three weeks, he has filled the seats of the company's Jerwood Theatre Upstairs with audiences, mostly young, flocking to see his solo performances of Ten Billion, a brutal but careful dissection of the likely impact of humanity's swelling numbers on our planet.
People queuing for return tickets have been turned away in their dozens and a restaging of the show now looks inevitable, possibly in the Royal Court's main theatre next year. Emmott, a professor of computational science at Oxford University and head of Microsoft's Computational Science laboratory in Cambridge, has also been besieged with offers from TV companies and documentary makers who want to put his work on screen. We have not seen the last of Ten Billion, it would seem.
And that can only be good news. Ten Billion – a co-operation between Emmott and the distinguished director Katie Mitchell, whose past works have included A Woman Killed With Kindness at the National Theatre – is the most effective theatrical work that has attempted to illustrate our planet's environmental woes that I have seen. It is spare, chilling, moving and cunningly staged and unravels with compelling, impeccable logic.
Forget the hunt for the Higgs boson, Emmott tells audiences. Scientists may think that this was the greatest experiment ever performed, but it is nothing compared to the one humanity is now carrying out on our own planet as we pump more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, melt icecaps, destroy precious ecosystems and eradicate species in their thousands. The end result is "one of the most disturbing evenings I have ever spent in a theatre," wrote the Guardian's Michael Billington.
By contrast, previous theatrical attempts to tackle the issues of global warming, rising sea levels and the ecological mayhem we face have been confused and tame. The National Theatre's Greenland, staged last year, was chaotic and unfocused, for example, while the Bush's The Contingency Plan, a double bill by Steve Waters, although highly enjoyable and intelligently written, only touched on the depth of the crisis we face.
Certainly neither work produced the gasps that greeted the close of Emmott's Ten Billion. We face a future in which billions will starve, he states. Britain, which could come off relatively lightly when 6C rises in global temperature take effect, will be turned into a military outpost dedicated to preventing waves of immigrants reaching our shores. (Disturbingly, senior army officers have recently become a common sight at climate conferences, says Emmott, although this at least suggests that the military perceives the dangers we face, even if politicians do not.)
So can we do anything to halt the devastation that lies ahead? Emmott asks as he reaches the end of his show. "In truth, I think we are already fucked," is his answer. Then he quotes the response he got when he asked one of his younger colleagues what measures he planned to take to ward off the worst effects of the mayhem that lies ahead. "Teach my son how to use a gun," he was told. Cormac McCarthy would be proud.
The fact we have had to wait so long for a stage production that effectively tackles the most important issue now facing our species – the destruction of Earth's entire ecosystem – is perhaps surprising. The theatre has never shied away from facing up to hard or awkward subjects as the Royal Court's history attests. Edward Bond's Saved – an attack on modern poverty in which a baby is stoned to death – was first staged here in 1965, while Bruce Norris's scorching indictment of middle-class racism, Clybourne Park, had its UK premiere at the Royal Court two years ago.
So why the lack of dramatic action when it comes to planetary degradation? The answer has much to do with the complex nature of the subject. When you are trying to outline the impact of swelling populations, rising middle-class aspirations, increases in carbon dioxide outputs and melting icecaps, the issues of character and narrative can get confused. Ten Billion succeeded by simply avoiding them. There is no action.
Emmott merely stands in front of a desk within a set that is a recreation of his own office, right down to the slowly ageing tangerine that he has left in one corner. "I am a scientist, not an actor – as will quickly become clear," he announces. Then he proceeds with his analysis with the help of some neat video graphics. The result is more lecture than play, though I would argue that this is a perfectly reasonable theatrical mechanism, one that has been deployed recently in London by the Tricycle theatre in its staging of the public inquiry into the Stephen Lawrence case and by the Finborough theatre in its depiction of recent events in Syria.
In Emmott's case, his main concern is the ecological costs that underlie our daily lives: the billions of barrels of oil drilled each year, the billions of passenger miles flown and billions of tonnes of carbon pumped into the atmosphere. Two years ago, Russia halted its grain exports after its harvest failed. As a result, there were food riots in many countries, including several in the Middle East. The Arab Spring erupted in their wake. Today, an even greater harvest failure is threatened in the United States, where scorching temperatures have devastated crops. The implications for civil unrest across the planet are profound. Add to this the prospect of even greater temperature rises, triggered by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases that are in turn fed by our undiminished urge to burn fossil fuels and you begin to get a feel for the troubles we face. Populations are soaring but our capacity to feed ourselves is dwindling as the heat is turned up on our planet.
There is nothing explicitly new in this analysis. What is fresh is its measured, uninterrupted exposition. Emmott remains remarkably calm throughout his performance although you can still sense his concealed fury at our failure to take action. There are no Paxmans to quibble over details and no climate gainsayers to make arcane or inaccurate objections. And that is the real lesson of Ten Billion. Without the clamorous voices of climate change deniers who constantly question the minutiae of scientists' research or cherry-pick data, Emmott has shown that it is possible to make a straightforward, telling demonstration of the dreadful problems we face. We need a lot more sober, pithy work like this.
Emmott believes it is too late now to prevent our planet burning. Others, myself included, believe there is still time to take action. Making sure that the message of Ten Billion is not lost would be. . . .

 A good, brief, older book is Beyond Malthus: Nineteen Dimensions of the Population Challenge, by the Lester Brown, with Gary Gardner and Brian Halweil (Norton, 1999).  It's quite an eye-opener.  I've always thought that environmentalists should pay more important to the planet's overpopulation.  We should aim for an eventual long-term stable population of two to four billion.  Cheers - Art 
On 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.

Top of Form
Beyond Malthus: Nineteen Dimensions of the Population Challenge (The Worldwatch Environmental Alert Series) 
by Lester R. Brown (Author) , Gary T. Gardner (Author) , Brian Halweil (Author)

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 Illustrated.

·         Table of Contents
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·         From Our Blog
Cover for 
Reason in a Dark Time
Reason in a Dark Time
Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future by Dale Jamieson
·         Not a "save the earth" book but a sober diagnosis of why we have failed and a proposal for concrete steps for how to move ahead
·         Argues that common sense notions of responsibility are inadequate for moralizing acts that contribute to climate change
·         Reflects on how we, as individuals, can live meaningful lives in the face of climate change
·         Treats the scientific, historical, economic, and political dimensions of climate changes as well as the philosophical ones

Bottom of Form

Dick, Breaking Through the Silence

     Population growth was claimed as a significant danger to the planet by Paul and Anne Ehrlich in The Population Bomb (1968), which was falsely represented in the mass media.    Population and warming/climate change were connected as early as 1975 by the Republican Ford Administration in NSS Memorandum 200, which was suppressed.    Little attention has been given to these connections by the mass media, and strong business and religious denial has also silenced official and public discussion and action.  Now at last, strengthened by books and articles like that of Alan Weisman’s Countdown, which give comprehensive analysis (human numbers and consumption), significant progress can be made against the harms of population growth.
     Several books read for OMNI350 Climate Change Forums included attention to the necessity of stopping population growth.  Here are two of them.   Richard Heinberg, The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality (we must end economic and population growth quickly before massive suffering occurs, pp. 212-215, and elsewhere)Mark Hertsgaard, Hot (p. 282: “need to curb both human appetites and human numbers”).  We did not discuss Firor and Jacobsen, The Crowded Greenhouse (p. 189:  two revolutions are necessary “if human beings are to flourish safely on Earth”—social and technical).  See below for more books.

In Countdown Weisman discusses a published report by 28 scientists on the “nine planetary boundaries, beyond which the world would enter a phase shift that could prove cataclysmic for humanity” (409).   Three of the boundaries have already been breeched:  climate change, nitrogen siphoned from the atmosphere, and biodiversity loss.  The nine do not include population growth, which Weisman explains as follows:  “Behind each of these was the same unspoken cause: cumulative human presence, for which they did not hazard a boundary.  A decision to limit one’s own species is so emotionally loaded that the very idea is as troubling to scientists as it is to any human.”

Many liberals are wary of any talk about global overpopulation, while other liberals (among whom I count you and me) are quite concerned about overpopulation and consider it one of the underlying threats to the planet.  The reason for this split among liberals is immigration, and perhaps political correctness.  The “wary” liberals fear that any strong action on overpopulation will have implications for immigration into the US and other countries, because (1) immigration increases the US population and it is US overconsumption (partly) that is devouring the planet, and (2) all nations (e.g. Mexico) need to keep their own populations down rather than shipping them abroad.  Liberals such as the late “exponential growth” expert Al Bartlett (and me) who are extremely concerned about overpopulation would prefer that immigration into the US be reduced, on overpopulation grounds.  So I conjecture that those who object to Weisman’s book “Countdown" are in the “wary” camp of liberals who regard talk of overpopulation as code for immigration reductions or even for xenophobia.   It’s important:  This split has partly ruptured the Sierra Club.  Many liberals, including Al Bartlett and me, have been quite annoyed with the national leadership of Sierra Club because they will not recognize overpopulation as a leading cause of environmental degradation.  The reason, again, is that Sierra Club also supports immigration, and they detect a conflict between the two.   I quit Sierra Club over this issue and switched to the NRDC.  I am deeply concerned about overpopulation, including U.S. overpopulation.  

The Sierra Club now pushes the importance of population in the latest no. of Sierra.   
Jake Abrahamson.  “Fighting Climate Change with Family Planning.”  Sierra (May/June 2012), pp. 48-49.   Recall Lester Brown’s recognition of the significance of population:  “stabilize climate, stabilize population.”  Jake Abrahamson’s conclusion:  “A concerted, worldwide family-planning campaign can be just as effective at reducing C02 ouput as conserving electricity, trapping carbon, or using alternative fuels.”   Two dramatic graphs make the case for the importance of stopping population growth, showing the steady increase of CO2 emission each year from 1962 to 2012 (9 billion tons) and projecting the tonnage in the year 2062 to be 18 billion  (from Pacala and Socolow of Princeton’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative).   The author also presents “Five Ways to Stabilize Population Growth.”  --Dick

THE LAST TABOO?  Why Can’t We Talk About Overpopulation?
Mother Jones
PopulationThe Last Taboo · Environment. → International ... There are 7 billion humans on earth, so why can't we talk about population? —By Julia Whitty.
Overpopulation is a *taboo* topic because it makes people uncomfortable. ... fear are targeting vulnerable families after last month's devastating earthquake.

Liberals and Klein’s This Changes Everything
See my newsletter on the book and analysis of the review by Foster and Clark, which examines “liberal” reviews of Klein.

“Our region officially surpassed the mark of 500,000 residents,” which “can attract the attention of location agents and corporations looking for places to do business.  We already know Northwest Arkansas has a lot to offer.  This new number will hopefully open some eyes to it.”  AD-G (April 6, 2015).  The relentless, cheerful, blind, and lethal commitment to growth remains little changed despite our efforts.   What more must we do, what new tactics use?  We can press the UofA more.  Ask them why are they so silent.   Write and call the Chancellor, the relevant departments.  You are a member of a public organization—Rotary, Democrats or Republicans, etc.?  Push at them to discuss and take action.  Carry around a copy of Weisman’s Countdown to loan.  --Dick

 Only a few months ago we were trying to digest the indigestible even with Lolly’s remarkable help:  two excellent anthologies containing together 57 essays.  But although we did not discuss them, did not try to sort out the very important from the less important, rushing on to another book, they did accomplish one important thing resoundingly, combined with the many books we had read previously:  we could feel we had covered the field comprehensively.   On the other hand, we were left scattered in many directions, and despite eight years of discussion, we still had not grasped one or more directions for advocacy and action.  (Our excellent fee/dividend campaign is a separate activity.)
     Heinberg’s latest book is another anthology, shorter than the Worldwatch collections, but still demanding the shift of our attention and capacity fifteen times.  And again we will be left in the learning mode, still exploring the paths and roadways, while atmospheric temperature rises.  And equally troubling is my sense, from the glimpse at Heinberg’s Contents, that we have already covered the topics of his book, or most of them.  His essays go back four years.
      So I want to suggest, before we discuss Klein again, that each of us give time to considering the books and ideas we have discussed to choose one or two we did not discuss enough.   If we are to believe the scientists, the time is short for action, it’s time to focus. 
      And since I am proposing, I’ll do what I suggest—choose a book about a major cause of warming and cc which we discussed cursorily. 
     My first choice is Klein’s This Changes Everything Her massive personal and scholarly research of the harms from our economic system provides a solid foundation for all responses by individuals and groups, for our fee/dividend task force for example.  However, because we are in the middle of discussing the book, I’ll turn to another book, one we have discussed, to recommend for our next book after Klein.
     That book is Alan Weisman’s on population growth--Countdown: Our Last Best Hope for a Future on Earth.   Recent UN studies project the rise of population by 2050 at 9 to 10 billion people and by 2100 at 12 billion.  Weisman explains the urgent need to curb population growth now, how enormously much our actions today will affect future population growth, because fertility rates today determine population size in the future.  The editor of Population Connection writes:  “the more children people have today, the more adults there will be in the future who will have their own children, and so on.  Populations grow exponentially, and the larger the base, the longer it will take to slow the momentum created by rapid population growth today.”   (World population has grown by more than 810 million—two and a half times the size of the US—since 2005.) 
      That is, we do not have time for education and economics to stop and reverse population growth.  In addition we must make a real, rapid investment in family planning, especially in contraception.   Fortunately, medical science has provided us with a long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), and its success is already proven: its global use nearly doubled from 2006 to 2013; its failure rate is less than 1 percent; and user error is not a factor (set it and forget it).  LARC’s potential for a rapid decrease in the fertility rate is possible now.  See Population Connection (April 2015).  Also see Population Connection (Dec. 2014), “Pediatricians [the American Academy of Pediatrics] Endorse LARC Methods for Teens” (p. 6).
     I urge us to return to support the international effort to stabilize populations by increasing family planning and contraception by rereading Weisman and urging others to read his book, subscribing to Population Connection, and supporting universal access to voluntary contraception.   Practically, this would mean the creation of another task force complementary to our Book Forum and  Fee/Dividend campaign with CCLDick

·         Home    Video    Photos    Reviews   Alan Weisman   Events   Talking with Alan
COUNTDOWN wins a Los Angeles Times Book Prize!
Read the announcement 
Countdown is a gripping narrative by a fair-minded investigative journalist who interviewed dozens of scientists and experts in various fields in 21 countries. “ –The Wall Street Journal
A new book by the author of THE WORLD WITHOUT US. “A riveting read….a major work…rigorous and provoking.” —Booklist (starred review)
With a million more of us every 4½ days on a planet that's not getting any bigger, prospects for a sustainable human future seem ever more in doubt. For this long awaited follow-up book, Alan Weisman traveled to more than 20 countries to ask what experts agreed were the probably the most important questions on Earth-and also the hardest: How many humans can the planet hold without capsizing? How robust must the Earth's ecosystem be to assure our continued existence? Can we know which other species are essential to our survival? And, how might we actually arrive at a stable, optimum population, and design an economy to allow genuine prosperity without endless growth?

The result is a landmark work of reporting: devastating, urgent, and, ultimately, deeply hopeful. By vividly detailing the burgeoning effects of our cumulative presence, Countdown by Alan Weisman reveals what may be the fastest, most acceptable, practical, and affordable way of returning our planet and our presence on it to balance.  

     A penetrating, page-turning
     tour of a post-human Earth
In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity's impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us.

In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; what of our everyday stuff may become immortalized as fossils; how copper pipes and wiring would be crushed into mere seams of reddish rock; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.
The World Without Us reveals how, just days after humans disappear, floods in New York's subways would start eroding the city's foundations, and how, as the world’s cities crumble, asphalt jungles give way to real ones. It describes the distinct ways that organic and chemically-treated farms would revert to wild, how billions more birds would flourish, and how cockroaches in unheated cities would perish without us. Drawing on the expertise of engineers, atmospheric scientists, art conservators, zoologists, oil refiners, marine biologists, astrophysicists, religious leaders from rabbis to the Dalai Lama, and paleontologists – who describe a pre-human world inhabited by megafauna like giant sloths that stood taller than mammoths – Weisman illustrates what the planet might be like today, if not for us.
From places already devoid of humans (a last fragment of primeval European forest; the Korean DMZ; Chernobyl), Weisman reveals Earth's tremendous capacity for self-healing. As he shows which human devastations are indelible, and which examples of our highest art and culture would endure longest, Weisman's narrative ultimately drives toward a radical but persuasive solution that doesn't depend on our demise. It is narrative nonfiction at its finest, and in posing an irresistible concept with both gravity and a highly-readable touch, it looks deeply at our effects on the planet in a way that no other book has.

Can We Finally Have a Serious Talk About Population?
Alan Weisman, best-selling author of "The World Without Us," tackles the world's exploding human population in his new book, "Countdown."
—By Chris Mooney in Mother Jones
| Fri Sep. 27, 2013
·  view of Sao Paulo, Brazil, one of the world's largest megacities with nearly 20 million people. Giuliano Colliva/Zuma Press
Climate Desk has launched a new science podcast, Inquiring Minds, cohosted by contributing writer Chris Mooney and neuroscientist and musician Indre Viskontas. To subscribe via iTunes, click here. You can also follow the show on Twitter at@inquiringshow, and like us on Facebook.
Today, as the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases its latest megareport, averring a 95 percent certainty that humans are heating up the planet, there's an unavoidable subtext: The growing number of humans on the planet in the first place.
The figures, after all, are staggering: In 1900, there were just 1.65 billion of us; now, there are 7.2 billion. That's more than two doublings, and the next billion-human increase is expected to occur over the short space of just 12 years.According to projections, meanwhile, by 2050 the Earth will be home to some 9.6 billion people, all living on the same rock, all at once.
So why not talk more about population, and treat it as a serious issue? It's a topic that Mother Jones has tackled directly in the past, because taboos notwithstanding, it's a topic that just won't go away.
The bestselling environmental journalist Alan Weisman agrees. In this episode of Inquiring Minds (click above to stream audio), he explains why, following on his 2007 smash hit The World Without Us, he too decided to centrally take on the issue of human population in his just-published new book Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?
Cover of Countdown, the new book by Alan Weisman
The new release by Alan Weisman, bestselling author of The World Without Us.Little, Brown & Co.
"Population is a loaded topic, and people who otherwise know better, great environmentalists, often times are very, very timid about going there," Weisman explains on the podcast. "And I decided as a journalist, I should go there, and find out, is it really a problem, and if so, is there anything acceptable that we can do about it?"
The World Without Us imagined a planet rapidly returning to a natural state in the absence of humans. Where that book represented an ambitious thought experiment, Weisman's new book is an experience. He traveled to 21 countriesfrom Israel to Mexico, Pakistan to Nigerto report on how different cultures are responding to booming populations and the strain this is putting on their governments and resources.
Strikingly, he found that countries are coping (or not coping) with this problem in vastly different ways. For instance:
• Pakistan: Current population: 193 million. "By the year 2030, they're going to have about 395 million people," Weisman says. "And they're the size of Texas." (Texas' population? Twenty-six million.)
• The Philippines: Current population: nearly 105 million. "As the rest of the planet's population quadrupled in a century, the head count here quintupled in half that time," Weisman writes in Countdown.
• Iran: Current population: nearly 80 million. Yet unlike Pakistan and the Philippines, Weisman says, Iran managed its population growth with "probably the most humane program ever in the history of the planet. They got down toreplacement rate a year faster than China, and it was a totally voluntary program. No coercion at all." (Note, though, that as Weisman explains in his book, there was one Iranian government "disincentive" to having a large number of children: "elimination of the individual subsidy for food, electricity, telephone, and appliances for any child after the first three.")
Alan Weisman in Golestan National Park, Iran
Alan Weisman in Golestan National Park, Iran Beckie Kravetz
Weisman is well aware of the controversy his book invites. In particular, political libertarians are very fond of refuting the concerns of population crusaders, from the Reverend Thomas Malthus to the ecologist and Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich, with the claim that human ingenuity has a history of proving them wrong. The key episode: the Green Revolution of the late 1960s, led by plant geneticist Norman Borlaug, in which dramatic new agricultural technologies and crop strains were credited with averting what might otherwise have been mass famines.
But Weisman has his response ready (he chronicles Borlaug's life and triumphs in the book). "Everybody says that Norman Borlaug, the great plant geneticist, he disproved Malthus and Ehrlich forever," he explains. "It's kind of cherry-picked, because the part that they neglect to add, Norman Borlaug's Nobel acceptance speech, he didn't sit there congratulating himself—as he was congratulated by others—for saving more lives than any other human in history. He said, 'We have bought the world some time, but unless population control and increased food production go hand in hand, we are going to lose this.'"
So what's Weisman's solution? Importantly, he is no supporter of coercive population control measures such as China's infamous one-child policy. Rather, Weisman makes a powerful case that the best way to manage the global population is by empowering women, through both education and access to contraception—so that they can make more informed choices about family size and the kind of lives they want for themselves and their children.
"The libertarians are going to like the solution that ultimately comes up," Weisman says. "And that is, letting everybody decide how many children they want, which means giving every woman on Earth—and then every man, because male contraceptives are coming—giving them universal access to contraception, and letting them decide for themselves."
You can listen to the full show here:
This episode of Inquiring Minds also features a discussion of the latest myths circulating on global warming, and the brave new world of gene therapy that we're entering—where being rich might be your key ticket to the finest health care.
To catch future shows right when they release, subscribe to Inquiring Minds viaiTunes. You can also follow the show on Twitter at @inquiringshow and like us on Facebook.
CHRIS MOONEY Chris Mooney is the author of four books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science. He was a science journalist and podcaster for Mother Jones and host of Climate Desk Live from 2012 to 2014. He is now a staff writer at The Washington Post.
·         Population: The Last Taboo
What unites the Vatican, lefties, conservatives, environmentalists, and scientists in a conspiracy of silence?
Readers—and experts—hash it out in an online forum. Join the fray.
Audio: Enviro journalist Fred Pearce talks to PBS Need to Know.

A Pivotal Moment: Population, Justice, and the Environmental Challenge – October 16, 2009,
by Laurie Ann Mazur (Editor).

With contributions by leading demographers, environmentalists, and reproductive health advocates, A Pivotal Moment offers a new perspective on the complex connection between population dynamics and environmental quality. It presents the latest research on the relationship between population growth and climate change, ecosystem health, and other environmental issues. It surveys the new demographic landscape—in which population growth rates have fallen, but human numbers continue to increase. It looks back at the lessons of the last half century while looking forward to population policies that are sustainable and just.

A Pivotal Moment embraces the concept of “population justice,” which holds that inequality is a root cause of both rapid population growth and environmental degradation. By addressing inequality—both gender and economic—we can reduce growth rates and build a sustainable future.

THE GREAT DISRUPTION: why the climate crisis will bring on the end of shopping and the birth of a new world by Paul Gilding.  Bloomsbury, 2011. 
[An optimistic take on the world 2010.  I haven’t read the book, and the reviews I have seen don’t mention family planning.]]
Paul Gilding’s book The Great Disruption was released around the world over 2011 to wide acclaim. It is now being translated into various languages. The Dutch edition has been released (see here) with the German version due for release in late 2012.
A bracing assessment of the planetary crisis that we can no longer avoid-and the once-in-an-epoch chance it offers to build a better world.
“One of those who has been warning me of [a coming crisis] for a long time is Paul Gilding, the Australian environmental business expert. He has a name for this moment-when both Mother Nature and Father Greed have hit the wall at once-‘The Great Disruption.’ ”
– Thomas Friedman in the New York Times
It’s time to stop just worrying about climate change, says Paul Gilding. We need instead to brace for impact because global crisis is no longer avoidable. This Great Disruption started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological changes, such as the melting ice caps. It is not simply about fossil fuels and carbon footprints. We have come to the end of Economic Growth, Version 1.0, a world economy based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond the means of our planet’s ecosystems and resources.
The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces-yet also a deeply optimistic message. The coming decades will see loss, suffering, and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid; however, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer: compassion, innovation, resilience, and adaptability. Gilding tells us how to fight-and win-what he calls The One Degree War to prevent catastrophic warming of the earth, and how to start today.
The crisis represents a rare chance to replace our addiction to growth with an ethic of sustainability, and it’s already happening. It’s also an unmatched business opportunity: Old industries will collapse while new companies will literally reshape our economy. In the aftermath of the Great Disruption, we will measure “growth” in a new way. It will mean not quantity of stuff but quality and happiness of life. Yes, there is life after shopping.

STOPPING AND REDUCING POPULATION GROWTH: ARTICLES and REPORTS ON CONTRACEPTION  (in chronological order mainly 2010-2013, selected from Weisman’s bibliography for Ch. 17 and Epilogue)
Cohen, Susan.  “The United States and the United Nations Population Fund…”
     The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, 2, 1 (Feb. 1999).
Moreland, Scott, et al.  “World Population Prospects and Unmet Need for Family
     Planning.”  Washington, DC: Futures Group, April 2010.
Engelman, Robert.  “Population, Climate Change, and Women’s Lives.”  World
     Watch Report 183, Worldwatch Institute, 2010.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Annual Report: 2010.
“Obama Administration: Health Insurers Must Cover Birth Control with No
     Copays.”  Huffington Post (August 1, 201l).
Report to Prohibit Funding to the United Nations Population Fund.  U.S. House of
     Representatives, 112th Congress, 2d Session, Jan. 17, 2012, 112-36.
Cabal, Louisa.  “Regressive Contraception Polices ‘Failing Women’ in EU.” 
     Public Service Europe (March 23, 2012).
“The U.S. Government and International Family Planning & Reproductive
     Health.”  Fact sheet, U.S. Global Health Policy, The Henry J. Kaiser Family
     Foundation, April 2012.
“Melinda Gates’ New Crusade. . . .”  Daily Beast (May 7, 2012).
Temmerman, M., et al.  “A Call for a Family Planning Surge.”  FVV in ObGyn, 4,
     1 (2012): 25-29
“Rio+20 Conference Rejects Calls to Support Abortion, Population Control.” 
     Catholic World News (June 20, 2012).
Sethi, Nitin.  “Reproductive Rights Fail to Find Mention in Rio Declaration.” 
     Times of India (June 22, 2012)
Singh, S. and J. E. Darroch.   Adding It Up: Costs and Benefits of Contraceptive
     Services –Estimates for 2012. 
NY: Guttmacher Institute and UNMPF United
     Nations Population Fund.
“’233 Million Women’ Lacking Contraception in 2015.”  Agence-France Presse
(March 11, 2013). 
Alkema, Leontine, et al.  “National, Regional, and Global Rates…Between 1990
     and 2015…”  Lancet (March 12, 2013).

FILM, ELYSIUM, Matt Damon, Jodie Foster
In 2159, two classes of people exist.  The wealthy live on Elysium, a man-made space station and the rest live on an overpopulated and destroyed earth.   Damon plays a man who strives to bring equality to these polarized worlds.
Roger Ebert’s reviews: “The film is set in 2154, when the planet has been ravaged by disease, pollution, and overpopulation” (causing ravaging scarcity of all live-giving things).
Roger Ebert’s review:

See Pop #4 and earlier newsletters.

Sarah B. Thompson, Board Member, , 479-957-8892

Negative Population Growth
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More Nonsense on Inexhaustible Resources from The Wall Street Journal
by Leon Kolankiewicz
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. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment.

We urgently need, therefore, a National Population Policy with the goal of eventually stabilizing our population at a sustainable level, far below today's, after an interim period of negative growth.

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 is a mathematical absurdity on a finite planet. There must be limits. Science is demonstrating that human population and consumption in the United States and the world are already too large and are destroying the natural systems that support us. We must not simply stop population growth; we must turn it around.

Since 1972, NPG has been making that case. We do not simply identify the problems, we propose solutions.

A New Series: We are introducing a new series of articles under the title The President's Column. As they appear the articles will be listed chronologically in this section "News and Commentary".

An Introduction to the President’s Column
by Don Mann, President, NPG, Inc.

Since NPG was founded over 40 years ago I have been convinced that NPG at bottom is an economic theory: namely, that our goal should be to maximize per capita income and wealth for all, in a way that would be sustainable for the very long term, and that the only way to achieve that goal is by a negative rate of population growth until our economy has been reduced to a sustainable size.

Read More.

New NPG Paper Sees State of the Union As Touting Further Population Growth
by NPG          on February 11, 2015 in Press Releases            Comments
Analysis of recent State of the Union address finds it “missed a real opportunity” to educate and mobilize the American public on major troublesome trends.
Alexandria, VA (February 3, 2015) – In response to President Obama’s January 20th State of the Union address, Negative Population Growth (NPG) will release a new Forum[…]

Continue Reading →
State of the Union Address: Touting More Growth with More People
by David Simcox      on February 11, 2015 in Forum Papers   Comments
State of the Union Address:  Touting More Growth with More People INTRODUCTION The President’s annual laundry-listing State of the Union address on January 20, 2015 has already been parsed and probed for advantages and potential traps by major media, political think tanks, interest groups and lobbies. But what might the current and prospective government programs […]

Continue Reading →
Negative Population Growth Offering Over $10,000 in 2015 Scholarships
by NPG          on February 3, 2015 in Press Releases  Comments
Funds to be awarded to Essay and Photography Contest winners.
Alexandria, VA (February 3, 2015) – Negative Population Growth (NPG), the nation’s premier organization dedicated to educating Americans regarding the damaging effects of overpopulation, is seeking students interested in competing for academic scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,500.[…]

10 Principles for Responsible Population

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1.  Population Connection, Google Search, Feb. 14, 2014, First page
This map shows Total Fertility Rate (number of children a woman will have in her lifetime) across our planet, where the most rapid population growth will occur in ...
Zero Population Growth (ZPG) was co-founded in 1968 by Paul ...
Contact Us. Office Headquarters: 2120 L Street NW, Suite 500 ...
About Us. Since 1968, Population Connection (formerly Zero ...
Indonesia Population Approaching U.S. Revives Birth Control ...
When Population Connection was founded as Zero Population ...
Population Connection magazine. Check out the latest issue of ...
Population Connection is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington D.C., United States that attempts to stop what they believe is an unsustainable rate of ...
Loading USA population. ... Japan's Aging Population: 4 Reasons Why This is Good News ... Population Education is a program of Population Connection |.
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Population Connection - "World Population" .... New World Order Plan to Kill 90% of the Worlds Populationby ...
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Population Connection, formerly Zero Population Growth or ZPG, was founded in 1968 as the national grassroots population organization that educates young ...

Thanks Dick.  PP is a wonderful organization, but I hardly ever go to meetings.   Omni's climate change events (book forums, demonstrations mainly) are among the very few exceptions.  Al Gore is certainly right, overpopulation is important--although I would change "must" to "should" in his statement.  The main thing that must be done is to put a realistic price on carbon emissions.  I don't know of any good recent books that stress the overpopulation problem.

POPULATION CONNECTION SPECIAL NUMBER ON OCEANS    “’Man’s Reckless Abuse of the Planet” Threatens Oceans”
     (December 2014)


“The Oceans After Rachel Carson” by Robert K. Musil.  Carson became the mother of the movement to protect the oceans with her trilogy of best-selling ocean books (Under the Sea-Wind, The Sea Around Us, The Edge of the Sea).  In the preface of the 1961 edition of The Sea Around Us she warned of dangers of nuclear testing to human health and why dumping radioactive waste at sea was foolhardy.  

“The Disaster We’ve Wrought on the World’s Oceans May Be Irrevocable” by Alex Renton.  An excellent survey of the causes of the disaster:  climate change, carbon dioxide, changing ocean biogeochemistry, acidification, dead zones, pollution, over-fishing.  Solutions?  “…above all, simply stopping the burning of fossil fuels.”

“Our Ocean,” Conference, June 16-17, 2014, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.  Remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry and Leonardo DiCaprio.   Nearly 90 nations represented, resulting in over $800 million in conservation commitments.  DiCaprio recently gave $3 million and pledged $7 million more to supporting ocean conservation projects. 

Also articles on the possible impacts of the Republican election victory on family planning programs, teaching about endangered oceans, editorials from newspapers on contraception, and more.

 Center for Biological Diversity
Human Overpopulation, Species Extinction
The world population has hit a whopping 7 billion. Join our new national campaign to get the word out about human overpopulation and the species extinction crisis.



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Get Pop X, the Center’s newsletter on human overpopulation.
Top 10 U.S. Endangered Species Threatened by Overpopulation

Our planet has reached a staggering milestone: On October 31,2011,  the world population reached 7 billion people eking out a living. By the end of the century, it’ll top 10 billion.

Overpopulation and overconsumption are the root causes of environmental destruction. They’re driving species extinct, destroying wildlife habitat, and undermining the basic needs of all life at an unprecedented rate. It has to stop.

That’s why the Center for Biological Diversity has launched an ambitious new national campaign, 7 Billion and Counting.

And we need your help. By hosting and attending local events, handing out Endangered Species Condoms, writing letters to the editor and taking this discussion online, you can play an important role in highlighting the connection between overpopulation, overconsumption and the extinction of plants and animals around the globe.

We’re also giving you a way to understand this global crisis at a local level. Our new interactive map quickly shows which endangered species live where you do — and are threatened by the effects of overpopulation.

So take action today to speak out about 7 billion, watch our video ad that’s reaching more than a million people a day in New York City’s Times Square, and then sign up for Pop X, our monthly e-newsletter on overpopulation and the species extinction crisis.

The world’s human population has doubled since 1970 and shows no signs of letting up. After hitting a harrowing new high of 7 billion on Oct. 31, 2011, it has continued to skyrocket — and will do so for the rest of the century.

Our planet is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. Hundreds of plant and animal species are disappearing from our planet every day, never to return. In fact, scientists say species today are going extinct 100 to 1,000 times faster than normal. They’re going extinct because of us — people.

We’ve already witnessed the devastating effects of overpopulation on biodiversity: Species abundant in North America just two centuries ago — from the woodland bison of West Virginia and Arizona’s Merriam’s elk to the Rocky Mountain grasshopper and Puerto Rico’s Culebra parrot — have been wiped out by growing human numbers.

The Center for Biological Diversity is the world’s only environmental group working full-time to raise awareness about the link between booming human population growth and wildlife extinctions happening around the world.

In 2010, the Center — working through a network of more than 5,000 volunteers — gave away 350,000 Endangered Species Condoms. The colorfully packaged condoms are a lively way to get conversations started about how overpopulation is crowding out other forms of life — and reducing the quality of our own.

Through our new 7 Billion and Counting campaign, we’re giving away 100,000 more condoms as a way to keep the conversation going about overpopulation.

Join our growing movement of people committed to elevating awareness of this ecological and human crisis. Learn more from our FAQ page, get in-depth information on our resources page, get talking points in our fact sheet, join the discussion on Facebook and take action in our campaign to mobilize people on this critical issue.

Talking about overpopulation means talking about saving species around the planet, whether it’s polar bears, wolves, bluefin tuna, penguins or the Miami blue butterfly.

All of them — and all of us — are counting on you.

Donate to and or join a good population organization—Planned Parenthood, etc.  Subscribe to its magazine.  Urge others to join and subscribe.

Organize a Forum at another town.

Purchase another copy of Weisman’s book to pass around.

Publicize the new LARC IUD and how important and cheap are contraceptives for voluntary population control.

George Monbiot, Population Growth AND


“It’s the Rich Wot Gets the Pleasure,” Posted: 27 Oct 2011.    PDT.    Population is much less of a problem than consumption. No wonder the rich are obsessed by it.   By George Monbiot. Published on the Guardian’s website, 27th October 2011.   It must rank among the most remarkable events in recent human history. In just 60 years the global average number of children each woman bears has fallen from 6 to 2.5. This is an astonishing triumph for women’s empowerment, and whatever your position on population growth might be, it is something we should celebrate. But this decline in fertility, according to the report the United Nations published yesterday, is not the end of the story. It has now raised its estimate of global population growth. Rather than peaking at about 9 billion in the middle of this century, the UN says that human numbers will reach some 10 billion by 2100, and continue growing beyond that point. That’s the middle scenario. The highest of its range of estimates is an astonishing 15.8bn by 2100. If this were correct, population would be a much greater problem – for both the environment and human development – than we had assumed. It would oblige me to change my views on yet another subject. But fortunately for my peace of mind and, rather more importantly, for the prospects of everyone on earth, it is almost certainly baloney. Writing in the journal Nature in May, Fred Pearce pointed out that the UN’s revision arose not from any scientific research or analysis, but from what appeared to be an arbitrary decision to change one of the inputs it fed into its model. Its previous analysis was based on the assumption that the average number of children per woman would fall to 1.85 worldwide by 2100. But this year it changed the assumption to 2.1. This happens to be the population replacement rate: the point at which reproduction contributes to neither a fall nor a rise in the number of people. The UN failed to explain this changed assumption, which appears to fly in the face of current trends, or to show why fertility decline should suddenly stop when it hit replacement level, rather than continuing beyond that point, as has happened to date in all such populations. I expected yesterday’s report to contain the explanation. I expected wrong. It appears to have plucked its fertility figure out of the air. Even so, and even if we’re to assume that the old figures are more realistic than the new ones, there’s a problem. As the new report points out “the escape from poverty and hunger is made more difficult by rapid population growth.” It also adds to the pressure on the biosphere. But how big a problem is it? If you believe the rich, elderly white men who dominate the population debate, it is the biggest one of all. In 2009 for example, a group of US billionaires met to decide which threat to the planet most urgently required their attention. Who’d have guessed? These men, who probably each consume as many of the world’s resources in half an hour as the average African consumes in a lifetime, decided that it was population. Population is the issue you blame if you can’t admit to your own impacts: it’s not us consuming, it’s those brown people reproducing. It seems to be a reliable rule of environmental politics that the richer you are, the more likely you are to place population growth close to the top of the list of crimes against the planet. The new report, inflated though its figures seem to be, will gravely disappoint the population obsessives. It cites Paul Murtaugh of Oregon State University, whose research shows that: “An extra child born today in the United States, would, down the generations, produce an eventual carbon footprint seven times that of an extra child in China, 55 times that of an Indian child or 86 times that of a Nigerian child.”And it draws on a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which makes the first comprehensive assessment of how changes in population affect carbon dioxide emissions. This concludes that: “slowing population growth could provide 16 per cent to 19 per cent of the emissions reductions suggested to be necessary by 2050 to avoid dangerous climate change”. In other words, it can make a contribution. But the other 81-84% will have to come from reducing consumption and changing technologies. The UN report concludes that “even if zero population growth were achieved, that would barely touch the climate problem.”This should not prevent us from strongly supporting the policies which will cause population to peak sooner rather than later. Sex education, the report shows, is crucial, so is access to contraception and the recognition of women’s rights and improvement in their social status. All these have been important factors in the demographic transition the world has seen so far. We should also press for a better distribution of wealth: escaping from grinding poverty is another of the factors which has allowed women to have fewer children. The highly unequal system sustained by the rich white men who fulminate about population is one of the major reasons for population growth. All this puts conservatives in a difficult position. They want to blame the poor for the environmental crisis by attributing it to population growth. Yet some of them oppose all the measures – better and earlier sex education, universal access to contraception (for teenagers among others), stronger rights for women, the redistribution of wealth – which are likely to reduce it. And beyond these interventions, what do they intend to do about population growth? As the UN report points out: “Considerable population growth continues today because of the high numbers of births in the 1950s and 1960s, which have resulted in larger base populations with millions of young people reaching their reproductive years over succeeding generations.”In other words, it’s a hangover from an earlier period. It has been compounded by another astonishing transformation: since the 1950s, global life expectancy has risen from 48 to 68. What this means is that even if all the measures I’ve mentioned here – education, contraception, rights, redistribution – were widely deployed today, there will still be a population bulge, as a result of the momentum generated 60 years ago. So what do they propose? Compulsory sterilisation? Mass killing? If not, they had better explain their programme. Yes, population growth contributes to environmental problems. No, it is not the decisive factor. Even the availability of grain is affected more by rising livestock numbers and the use of biofuels – driven, again by consumption – than by human population growth. Of course we should demand that governments help women regain control over their bodies. But beyond that there’s little that can be done. We must instead decide how best to accommodate human numbers which will, at least for the next four decades, continue to rise.

From the White House:  Write or Call

President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history. That begins with taking comments and questions from you, the public, through our website.

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Contents: Over-Population Newsletter #4, June 28, 2014
FORUM ON WEISMAN’S COUNTDOWN, Sunday July 6, 2014, 1:30
July 11, United Nations World Population DAY

Alan Weisman, Countdown, a Review by Nathaniel Rich in NYTBR
Datz, C02 vs. Food

United Nations Population Fund
Population Connection
Population Connection Magazine of Population Connection (formerly ZPG)

Angus and Butler, Too Many People? A Review by Bill Hopwood  (stresses negative effects of consumption, class prejudice against the poor, capitalism).  Comment by Dick.

Contact President Obama
Contents 1-3


1 comment:

Highly recommended KRW Personal Injury Lawyer said...

Under the mainline UN estimates, global population will grow for the rest of this century, but slowly, and this will be the last century with a growing population. The UN has an impressive track record in this area, but some European analysis groups think that the UN is estimating fertility that’s higher than realistic, and that population numbers will fall much sooner. It should be clear by 2030 who is correct.

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)