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Earth Days

April 25th, 2010 | Add a Comment

Thanks to Joyce Tarnow for this link to Global Media Award winner Robert Stone’s film, Earth Days. The film looks at the history of the environmental movement from its early post war beginnings in the 1950s to the publication of Silent Spring to the first Earth Day in 1970 and the action that followed. The film pays special attention to the early links between the environmental and population movements. If you have two hours to spare, link to http://video.pbs.org/video/1463378089/.

We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction

April 25th, 2010 | 1 Comment

Thanks to Steve Kurtz for this article.
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All measures to thwart the degradation and destruction of our ecosystem will be useless if we do not cut population growth. By 2050, if we continue to reproduce at the current rate, the planet will have between 8 billion and 10 billion people, according to a recent U.N. forecast. This is a 50 percent increase. And yet
government-commissioned reviews, such as the Stern report in Britain, do not mention the word population. Books and documentaries that deal with the climate crisis, including Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” fail to discuss the danger of population growth. This omission is odd, given that a doubling in population, even if we cut back on the use of fossil fuels, shut down all our coal-burning power plants and build seas of wind turbines,
will plunge us into an age of extinction and desolation unseen since the end of the Mesozoic era, 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs disappeared.

For full article, visit:
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22181.htm

POPULATION: Poorest Countries to Bear Brunt of Growth

April 24th, 2010 | Add a Comment

Thanks to Dave Simcox for this article from Inter Press Service. The author discounts the UN projection of significantly reduced fertility rates by 2050. It is probably unrealistic to assume no decline in fertility rates, but the UN median projection may also be based on unrealistic assumptions. The major determinant of the outcome by 2050 will be what the donor community does to support family planning information and services.
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The world’s population – already at least 6.7 billion people – will double in the next 40 years if current growth rates are left unchecked, warns the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The effects of overpopulation are being felt across the globe, but the fastest growing regions are also some of the poorest. Sub-Saharan Africa has the most rapid overall growth, exacerbating existing problems like famine, disease and violent conflict over resources.

“What we see is countries like Kenya, which had stabilised its growth, are now growing faster again,” Alex Ezeh, executive director of the Africa Population and Health Research Centre, told IPS. “By 2050 Kenya is projected to have 87 million people.”

For full article, visit:
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=47587

Innovation of the Week: Highlighting Population Media Center

April 23rd, 2010 | Add a Comment

The following article appeared in the Leader to Leader Institute’s April newsletter.

Innovation of the Week: Highlighting Population Media Center
http://www.leadertoleader.org/newsletters

As a graduate student in ecology at Yale in 1968, William Ryerson became interested in the relationship between population and global sustainability. “The world’s population grows by nearly 80 million people annually, the equivalent to a new Egypt every year. Population seemed a lot more compelling than insects,” Ryerson recalled.

Compelling enough for Ryerson to focus his energy and create Population Media Center (PMC), a social sector organization that works worldwide using entertainment-education to bring about social change. PMC’s work is concentrated on entertainment broadcasting, particularly long-running serial dramas, or soap operas, in which characters evolve into role models for adoption of family planning, delayed marriage and childbearing, elevation of women’s status, avoidance of HIV/AIDS, and related social and health goals.
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Uttering the “P” Word on Earth Day

April 22nd, 2010 | 3 Comments

By: Robert Walker
Executive Vice President, Population Institute

The Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com

When the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, there was much discussion about population growth and its strain on Mother Earth. World population at that time was 3.7 billion. Today, with world population at 6.8 billion and still growing, nary a word is being said about population and its impact on the planet. What gives?

Thomas Hayden in reviewing three new ecology books for the Washington Post this week writes “Bizarrely, none of these authors discusses population growth in any kind of depth, if at all.” Julia Whitty writing for the May/June edition of Mother Jones magazine calls discussion of population “the last taboo.”
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The Earth has its own set of rules

April 22nd, 2010 | Add a Comment

Thanks to Jane Roberts for sending me this editorial from the Los Angeles Times. One of its authors, F. Herbert Bormann, was a professor of forestry when I was a graduate student at Yale University in the 1960s.
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Early in our history it didn’t make any difference how we viewed our environment. We could change it, and if we didn’t like what we did to it, we could move and natural processes would soon obliterate whatever we had done. Over the years, models of our relationship to the environment have been based on religious views, with the world provided for us to dominate and subdue as described in Genesis, and philosophical views, seeing wisdom and virtue in nature as described by Thoreau.

But by far our most prevalent view of nature derives from a rudimentary human desire for more. This is the basis of the economic model that currently directs our relationships with one another and with our environment. It has produced stupendous human population growth and dramatic, deleterious effects on nature. Recognizing these effects, efforts have been marshaled to change the self-serving economic model with notions of Earth “stewardship,” eloquently advanced decades ago by then-Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, and, most recently, to infiltrate the economic model with “ecosystem services” by assigning monetary values to functions performed by the Earth that are beneficial to people.

For full article, visit:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mahall2-2010mar02,0,6899831.story

Help Bring Earth Day Back to its Roots

April 22nd, 2010 | Add a Comment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2010

Contact: Katie Elmore
Director of Communications
Tel: 802-985-8156 ext. 205
elmore@populationmedia.org

Help Bring Earth Day Back to its Roots

Shelburne VT — In honor of Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, Population Media Center encourages environmentalists worldwide to draw attention to the urgent and critical need to stabilize population numbers in order to create a sustainable future for our planet and all of the inhabitants that rely upon it for survival. As one of Earth Day’s founders, Gaylord Nelson stated, “There is no way in the world we can forge a sustainable society without stabilizing the population.”

Since the first Earth Day in 1970, human population has ballooned 84%, from 3.7 billion to more than 6.8 billion today; and its net growth continues at 2.5 people every second. While population stabilization was seen as fundamental to conservation goals 40 years ago, it has become increasingly forgotten since. Even as environmental concerns have been heightened over the past 5 years with the looming threat of climate change, the issue of population growth has been nearly entirely ignored. There are several different reasons that the population issue has been marginalized, including religious opposition to family planning, reaction to coercive population policies in China, and the financial interests of the real estate industry.
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BeMobile Sponsors UN MDGs Radio Drama Campaign in Papua New Guinea

April 21st, 2010 | 1 Comment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2010

Contact: Katie Elmore
Director of Communications
Tel: 802-985-8156 ext. 205
elmore@populationmedia.org

BeMobile Sponsors UN MDGs Radio Drama Campaign in Papua New Guinea

Port Moresby, PAPUA NEW GUINEA – The United Nations in Papua New Guinea in cooperation with the Population Media Center (PMC) is pleased to announce a groundbreaking partnership with local mobile phone company, BeMobile. BeMobile has signed on as the major private sector sponsor of two social change radio serial dramas to be developed for public broadcast in Papua New Guinea in Pidgin and English.

“The United Nations is delighted that BeMobile has taken on a role as a corporate partner for development in PNG. Through this support, BeMobile is developing a legacy of civic participation and helping PNG move towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” said United Nation’s Resident Coordinator David McLachlan-Karr.
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Earth Day founder disappointed in followers for neglecting overpopulation

April 20th, 2010 | Add a Comment

This month, America celebrates the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, founded in 1970 by the late U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.), one of our greatest environmental heroes of the 20th century. Yet few of the multitudinous articles, exhibits, parades and speeches will dare — or bother — to broach the one issue that worried Nelson perhaps more than any other: human overpopulation.

I know this because I collaborated closely with Nelson on several projects during the last decade of his life.

By the time he died in 2005 at the age of 89, Nelson had become deeply disappointed with the wholesale retreat of the environmental establishment from advocating limits to population growth. Rather, a new generation of more pragmatic (expedient?) campaigners preferred to prattle on about safer and sexier topics like tropical deforestation, overfishing, oil and water shortages, urban sprawl, traffic congestion, power plant pollution, toxic waste, marine “dead zones,” proliferating dams, roads and power lines, destruction of wildlife habitat, endangered species, and of course, climate change.

For full article, visit:
http://www.mnn.com/home-blog

Ngelawu Nawet and Conal Keele : First radio serial dramas in Wolf and Pulaar for health

April 20th, 2010 | Add a Comment

The following article appeared in the March/April 2010 publication of Santé Tropic’.
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Ngelawu Nawet and Conal Keele : First radio serial dramas in Wolf and Pulaar for health
By: Mohamed Kébir Tijani KANE

A few months ago, RTS and selected community radio stations in Senegal began broadcasting two radio serial dramas in Wolof and Pulaar. The Wolof program, titled Ngelawu Nawet (“Winds of Hope”) and the Pulaar program, titled Conal Keele (“Harvesting the Seeds of Life”), both have a unique characteristic: they are written, produced and acted by Senegalese, using a methodology for behavior change communication developed by Miguel Sabido of Mexico.

These programs are the work of the American non-governmental organization Population Media Center (PMC). PMC formed a partnership in 2006 with a local Senegalese organization (Réseau pour l’Appui de l’Education Sanitaire – RAES) and the University of California at Los Angeles to promote the use of this behavior change communication methodology in Senegal. The US Agency for International Development (USAID), through an agreement with its local social marketing firm, the Agence pour le Développement du Marketing Social (ADEMAS) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) funded the project through the aegis of the Senegalese Ministry for Health and Prevention. This is the first experience in Senegal of the use of entertainment-education, which has already proven extremely successful in other countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the United States.
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