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Battle of perspectives over Africa’s 2050 population boom

August 19th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Battle of perspectives over Africa’s 2050 population boom

See: https://www.devex.com/news/battle-of-perspectives-over-africa-s-2050-population-boom-84098

No one doubts that Africa’s population will grow meteorically in the next decades.

The continent is expected to go from being home to 15 percent of the world’s population at present to 25 percent of the global population in 2050. Nevertheless, opinions differ with regard to Africa’s projected growth.

In one camp, Africa has its proponents. From that perspective, Africa is “rising,” “emerging,” and “on the move,” and Africa’s population growth could spell opportunity. In the other camp, analysts tracking African demographics lament the lack of a substantive drop in fertility in east, west, and central Africa. These observers apprehensively speak of Africa’s future infrastructure needs, where the prospects of supporting massive populations look grim.

See: https://www.devex.com/news/battle-of-perspectives-over-africa-s-2050-population-boom-84098

When Fewer is Better

August 19th, 2014 | Add a Comment

When Fewer is Better

See: http://www.project-syndicate.org/print/adair-turner-makes-the-economic-case-for-demographic-stabilization

LONDON – Is a shrinking population always a bad thing? Judging by the lamentations of some economists and policymakers in the advanced economies, where people are living longer and birth rates have fallen below replacement levels, one certainly might think so. In fact, the benefits of demographic stability – or even slight decline – outweigh any adverse effects.

To be sure, an aging population poses obvious challenges for pension systems. And, as economists like Paul Krugman have suggested, it could also mean that advanced economies face not only a slow recovery, but also the danger of “secular stagnation.”

With slower population growth, the need to invest in capital stock diminishes. Meanwhile, people planning for longer retirements may save more to ensure adequate pensions. If these savings exceed investment needs, they could lead to inadequate aggregate demand, depressing economic growth.

But the policy challenges associated with these demographic shifts are manageable. And, perhaps more important, the benefits of increased longevity and reduced fertility are considerable.

Rising life expectancy is the welcome product of medical and economic progress, and additional increases are almost certain. Indeed, the average life expectancy for children born in prosperous countries could soon exceed 100.

See: http://www.project-syndicate.org/print/adair-turner-makes-the-economic-case-for-demographic-stabilization

UNICEF Report: Africa’s Population Could Hit 4 Billion By 2100

August 19th, 2014 | Add a Comment

UNICEF Report: Africa’s Population Could Hit 4 Billion By 2100 

See: http://tpr.org/post/unicef-report-africas-population-could-hit-4-billion-2100

“The future of humanity is increasingly African.”

That’s the prediction in a new UNICEF report, which estimates that by the end of this century, 40 percent of the world’s people will be African – up from 15 percent now. The continent’s population currently sits at roughly 1.2 billion but will soar to more than 4 billion by 2100. Nearly 1 billion will live in Nigeria alone.

In a report released Wednesday, UNICEF projected the growth of Africa’s child population within the next century. And the numbers are staggering.

An estimated 1.8 billion births will take place in Africa in the next 35 years, the authors predict. By 2050, Africa will have almost 1 billion children under 18, making up nearly 40 percent of kids worldwide.

Lead author David Anthony tells NPR’s Melissa Block on All Things Considered that even the researchers were surprised by the findings. “[We] knew that the world’s population was swinging toward Africa,” he says. “But there have been new estimates released by the U.N. population division … that shows an even stronger swing than we have anticipated.”

See: http://tpr.org/post/unicef-report-africas-population-could-hit-4-billion-2100

Dick Smith challenges ‘faith’ in benefits of population and economic growth

August 19th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Dick Smith challenges ‘faith’ in benefits of population and economic growth
See: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/dick-smith-challenges-faith-in-benefits-of-population-and-economic-growth-20140813-3dmx0.html

Dick Smith has warned against unchecked population growth but says Australia’s politicians are not “game” enough to talk about the issue.

In an address to the National Press Club on Wednesday, the businessman said endless population and economic growth was like a “religious faith” for graduates of university degrees in economics and questioning whether these two things were beneficial for Australians was something of a taboo in public discussion.

Mr Smith singled out politicians, economists and journalists for restricting debate about the costs of “endless compound growth in population” and said a Senate inquiry might be needed to break open a conversation.

“It’s almost like a religious faith that growth, don’t even discuss it, it will just go on forever when it obviously can’t and I’m absolutely surprised at that,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said, left unchecked, Australia’s population would hit “80 to 100 million by the end of the century if we keep growing”.

He said that kind of perpetual growth would only serve wealthy Australians, while the majority of the population would suffer a decline in living conditions and be worse off.

“The cake is a certain size, mainly coming from our mineral reserves and our primary production from farming, and double the population, I believe everyone’s worth half as much,” he said.

 See: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/dick-smith-challenges-faith-in-benefits-of-population-and-economic-growth-20140813-3dmx0.html

 

Not Yet?

August 19th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Not Yet?

See: http://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/not-yet/

The summer 2014 issue of CALIFORNIA, the magazine of the University of California Alumni Association, was touted as the “Apocalypse Issue.” It contained articles, mostly excellent, on a series of potential California and global problems: asteroid collision, epidemics, extinction, climate disruption and earthquake.  In stark contrast, though, was a summary article, “Apocalypse Later” by Brendan Buhler, interim Science Editor for the issue.

Buhler’s essay hinges around two assertions about the future.  On the one hand he asserts that apocalypse is something that is at worst far off in the future.  It is “not yet”; there is time.  Time for what?  For the technological solutions that he asserts are just around the corner.  To advise a wait-and-see attitude when it comes to confronting severe threats to us and our descendants, and a thoughtless confidence when it comes to future breakthroughs in technology, is a lethal combination; it is not the advice we and many of our scientist colleagues offer up in the classroom.

See: http://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/not-yet/

Call for Entries for the Population Institute’s 35th Annual Global Media Awards

August 12th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Call for Entries for the Population Institute’s 35th Annual Global Media Awards 

See: http://www.populationinstitute.org/programs/gma/
Each year PI honors journalists, filmmakers, radio and television show hosts, and editorial cartoonists from around the world who write about population issues. The awards are designed to promote accurate and broader media coverage of population and development issues.

The awards honor those who have contributed a greater public awareness of the various challenges related to population and reproductive health. The awards serve to encourage editors, news directors, and journalists to acquire a more in-depth knowledge of population issues and to stimulate higher journalistic standards for reporting on global population issues.

In evaluating the entries, the judges look to determine whether the reporting is accurate and fair, easily understood by the targeted audience, and contributes to a healthy public debate over population and reproductive health.

Category Definitions

  • Best Article: For the journalist or journalists who best discuss family planning or population-related issues in an article, series of articles, or opinion piece appearing in printed or online news sources, including magazines.
  • Best Book: For the author or authors of the best book on family planning or population-related issues.
  • Best Radio Show:
    For the radio show, including serial drama, that best highlights population-related issues or family planning. The show must have been produced for radio broadcast or online use.
  • Best Film, Video or Documentary: For the best film, video, or documentary that discusses family planning or population-related issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Planetary health: a call for papers

August 12th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Planetary health: a call for papers 

See: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61289-7/fulltext

We live in the Anthropocene era when humanity’s impact on both biological and geophysical systems is becoming increasingly dominant. Environmental trends, including large-scale changes to climate, water, and natural habitats, pose important challenges to sustaining the biosphere in a state conducive to the advancement of health and flourishing of humanity. Those challenges also threaten the very viability of human civilisation.1
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has assessed the risks to health from climate change, but much less has been written on the health effects of the other environmental changes or on the implications for health from interactions between different types of environmental stress. Biodiversity loss, freshwater withdrawals, cropland and pasture conversion, coastal buffer degradation, and ocean acidification have major implications for human health through effects on a range of health outcomes that include: water-related and vector-borne diseases; impacts of increased frequency and intensity of extreme events, such as floods, droughts, and heatwaves; and food security and undernutrition. Beyond these direct and ecologically mediated impacts, cultural and aesthetic deprivation, livelihood losses, population displacement, conflict, poverty, and ultimately collapse of our civilisation are of added concern. There is evidence, for example, that increased thermal stress will substantially reduce labour productivity in tropical and subtropical regions and earnings of subsistence farmers because of declining crop yields, thus increasing poverty.2 However, the nature and extent of many of these indirect pathways have yet to be successfully quantified.

See: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61289-7/fulltext

Announcing World Vasectomy Day, 2014

August 12th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Announcing World Vasectomy Day, 2014 

See: http://worldvasectomyday.org/

On October 18th, 2013 we launched World Vasectomy Day. Our purpose was to bring attention to the issue of population on the planet and work together across borders to make a real impact.  In fact, we surpassed our goal; 100 doctors in 25 countries doing 1000 vasectomies while bringing global attention to the issue.

To reach the widest possible audience our focus and full attention is on getting men to shoulder more responsibility for family planning. It’s the right thing to do for ourselves, our partners, our families and our future.

So, on November 7th, 2014, we’re committed to inspiring 250 doctors in 30 countries to do 1500 vasectomies in 24 hours!  We’ve already hit 26 countries and have signed up close to 150 vasectomists, so we’re well on our way.  That said, WVD is not only about numbers of vasectomies, but the quality of conversations we help inspire.

Headquarters will be in Florida at a spanking new Planned Parenthood facility.  We’ll be live streaming again, sharing stories from male patients and their partners from throughout the world, live vasectomies, conversations about the most salient issues and words of wisdom from leaders in family planning. Already, the American Urological Association has sent out notices, events are popping up across the US, in Cuba and Colombia and alliances with other family planning organizations are being explored. For our part, we’re working with the participating vasectomists worldwide to help each and everyone have a successful WVD.

Please join our cause. If you’re a vasectomist, sign up and be counted. If you know someone who might be ready for the snip, let him now about WVD2014.  If you can support us at all, reach out; we’d love new ideas for how to reach a wider audience, help in getting vasectomists to sign up, bloggers who care about the issue of family planning, and any resources you can spare. Together we will make WVD 2014 a success!

Uganda Teen Pregnancies’ Plan Under Fire

August 12th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Uganda Teen Pregnancies’ Plan Under Fire 

See: http://allafrica.com/stories/201407270016.html?viewall=1

Kampala – A new Ugandan sex-education campaign to reduce teen pregnancy, maternal mortality among young women and girls, and the cost of post-abortion medical care, is generating heated debate.

The one year campaign “Let Girls Be Girls” was officially launched on 13 July by the Health Ministry and UN Population Fund (UNFPA). It aims to address the growing vulnerability of girls to early pregnancy and birth related complications, and hopes to reduce deaths among young mothers aged 15-24 from the current 24 percent to 15 percent by July 2015.

The programme provides free contraceptives to adolescents in schools, and sex education to local communities, parents, pupils and teachers on the rights children have to a safe and secure environment within their homes, schools and communities.

“Our campaign is ‘Let Girls Be Girls’ and not young wives or mothers. Our emphasis is on sex education and empowering girls and boys to say no to early sex before marriage and to report men and boys disturbing them,” Zainab Akol, principal medical officer, family planning, at the Ministry of Health, told IRIN.

“We want them [girls] to preserve their fertility and not do abortions. We also want all those who get pregnant to return and complete school,” she said.

According to the 2011 Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS), 24 percent of female teenagers are either pregnant or have given birth already. About 14 percent of young women and 16 percent of young men had their first sexual encounter before the age of 15, while 57 percent of young women had their first encounter before the age of 18, the survey found.

See: http://allafrica.com/stories/201407270016.html?viewall=1

My Turn: Raising awareness about population issues

August 12th, 2014 | Add a Comment

My Turn: Raising awareness about population issues

See: http://www.taosnews.com/opinion/article_66d419b4-18d0-11e4-97c2-001a4bcf887a.html

On July 11 people around the world took part in World Population Day to raise awareness about population issues. But here in the United States, we don´t talk enough about the specific effects our exploding numbers have on wildlife, the planet and our own future. Instead, our ultra-conservative United States Supreme Court is telling us our employers can decide for us, based on the employer’s religious beliefs, whether we can have access to birth control through our health care plans.

There are more than 7 billion people on the planet, and we´re adding 227,000 more each day. Every eight seconds another person is born in the United States. U.S. citizens are the worst of all humans when it comes to consumption of resources and destruction of habitat for wildlife. If every human on earth consumed like we do, it would take 4.4 Earths to sustain our current world population.

We destroy a great deal of wildlife habitat in producing our food, then we waste about half of the food we produce. We foul our air and water, the most fundamental necessities of life, then we pat ourselves on the back for being the most intelligent creatures on Earth.

See: http://www.taosnews.com/opinion/article_66d419b4-18d0-11e4-97c2-001a4bcf887a.html