Facebook Twitter



PMC and Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere Co-Hosting Conference March 23 & 24

March 6th, 2014 | Add a Comment

MAHB Logo

On March 23 and 24, 2014, Population Media Center and the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere will co-host a conference in Washington, DC. The goal of the workshop is to develop innovative strategies for increasing broad based public engagement in the population imperative. It will engage experts from various population and environmentalist groups, foundations, and universities, as well as policy makers and civil society leaders.

Read the rest of this entry »

Satire — Report: Good Thing World Has Unlimited Quantity Of Oil

March 6th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Report: Good Thing World Has Unlimited Quantity Of Oil
See: http://www.theonion.com/articles/report-good-thing-world-has-unlimited-quantity-of,35422/?ref=auto

WASHINGTON-According to a report published Monday by the Department of Energy, given current consumption habits and the dramatic projected increases in demand from developing countries, it is extremely fortunate that the planet has an inexhaustible supply of crude oil.

“Oil is the lifeblood of the world’s economies and global transportation networks, so the fact that our reserves are limitless, even in the face of exponential population growth, is exceptionally fortuitous in terms of maintaining our way of life and increasing our standard of living indefinitely,” the report read in part, while also noting how favorable it is that the world’s oil is spread evenly across the globe, thus eliminating any competition among nations who might otherwise squabble or even skirmish over the valuable yet thankfully infinite natural resource.

“Skyrocketing prices, geopolitical crises, and costly, arduous transitions to potentially unviable alternative fuels are luckily issues that neither we nor any subsequent generations will ever have to experience thanks to the bottomless supplies of fossil fuels that exist beneath our feet.”

The report also marveled at how fortunate it is that such an abundant energy source is so safe and easy to extract, transport, and burn that we need not give such practices a second thought whatsoever.

City approves three-year Strategic Plan with focus on population growth

March 6th, 2014 | Add a Comment

City approves three-year Strategic Plan with focus on population growth
See: http://www.swbooster.com/News/Local/2014-03-04/article-3633783/City-approves-three-year-Strategic-Plan-with-focus-on-population-growth/1

Swift Current City Council gave unanimous approval to a three-year Strategic Plan as the start of a longer term strategy which is aiming to grow Swift Current’s population to 25,000 by 2025.

The document builds on some of the themes introduced in the former three-year Strategic Plan which expired at the end of 2013, with the new plan envisioning growth by establishing the policies and priorities to grow the community.

“We decided that as a Council we want to set a high bar. Not only for the remainder of this term but for Council’s in the future, that we’re a community that’s very serious about growing our population. Because obviously with that comes greater opportunities in employment and amenities and quality of life,” Mayor Jerrod Schafer said following the approval of the new Strategic Plan. “We want the world to know that we’re open for business, that we want to attract business, and that we offer a high quality of life for all demographics.”

The 18 page plan covers a series of strategic directions the City is looking to follow from 2014 to 2016, and City of Swift Current Chief Administrative Officer Susan Motkaluk feels by having a clear vision for how to proceed with a growth focussed agenda it provides a clear direction for administration.

“It was a lot of discussion internally with the administrative team. Is this achievable? Is this a dream? Is this something that we can do? And of course very lengthy discussions with City Council as well. We really want to reach for that growth and we want to reach high. So the concept of a goal and a vision of 25,000 we certainly feel like it’s achievable but we also know it’s going to be tough to get there,” Motkaluk said.

See: http://www.swbooster.com/News/Local/2014-03-04/article-3633783/City-approves-three-year-Strategic-Plan-with-focus-on-population-growth/1

Ocean acidification bill advances in legislature

March 5th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Ocean acidification bill advances in legislature

See: http://www.boothbayregister.com/article/ocean-acidification-bill-advances-legislature/29575

A proposal to address how changing ocean chemistry can damage Maine’s coast, shellfish industry and jobs won unanimous support from the Marine Resources Committee on Monday.

LD 1602, a measure sponsored by Rep. Mick Devin, D-Newcastle, would establish a commission to look at the effects of ocean acidification and its potential effects on commercial shellfish harvested along the Maine coast.

“Maine’s history and way of life are tied to our coast,” said Devin, a marine biologist. “If the health of our ocean waters is at risk, so are thousands of jobs, the seafood and tourist industries and the seafood we eat.”

The commission would be tasked with recommending policies and steps to respond to the adverse effects of ocean acidification on commercially important shellfish fisheries and Maine’s shellfish aquaculture industry.

“Ocean acidification is a reality we ignore at our peril,” said Sen. Chris Johnson, D-Somerville, the Senate chairman of the committee. “By studying how ocean acidification is impacting and will impact our coastal and marine resources, we will be able to identify strategies to reduce the negative effects of ocean acidification.”

Ocean acidification results from the increased absorption of carbon dioxide emissions. It causes the formation of carbonic acid, which dissolves the shells of shellfish.

“I am happy to see recognition of ocean acidification as an issue that needs further study and potential action,” said Rep. Walter Kumiega, D-Deer Isle, House chairman of the committee.

See: http://www.boothbayregister.com/article/ocean-acidification-bill-advances-legislature/29575

Acidic water blamed for West Coast scallop die-off

March 5th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Acidic water blamed for West Coast scallop die-off

Nanaimo-based Island Scallops has shut down its processing plant and laid off a third of its workforce

See: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Acidic+water+blamed+West+Coast+scallop+caused/9550861/story.html

Ten million scallops that have died in the waters near Qualicum Beach due to rising ocean acidity are the latest victims in a series of marine die-offs that have plagued the West Coast for a decade.

Human-caused carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere are being absorbed by the ocean and may have pushed local waters through a “tipping point” of acidity beyond which shellfish cannot survive, according to Chris Harley, a marine ecologist at the University of B.C.

Rising ocean acidity is a global phenomenon, made worse by higher natural acidity in local waters, Harley said.

“I’ve seen pH measured down to about 7.2, so this is very much within the realm of possibility, though unfortunate and extreme,” he said. “We are in a hot spot in the Pacific Northwest.”

The lower the pH, the higher the acidity. Local waters are typically a much-less-acidic 8.2.

High acidity interferes with the ability of baby scallops to form a protective shell, forcing them to expend more energy and making them more vulnerable to predators and infection.

See: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Acidic+water+blamed+West+Coast+scallop+caused/9550861/story.html

New Population Group Lands in Texas

March 4th, 2014 | Add a Comment

SHELBURNE, VT. — Everything may be bigger in Texas, but even the Lone Star State has to balance its large and rapidly growing population with limited natural resources – or so says the Texas state chapter of international non-profit organization, Population Media Center (PMC).

“Our Texas Chapter grassroots membership is concerned with population growth in Texas and around the world,” says Bill Ryerson, founder and president of PMC. “The need for our efforts in Texas is great.”

Ryerson will be giving a lecture at Southern Methodist University’s Hughes Trigg Student Center in the Forum room on Thursday, March 6th at 6:30pm and will describe PMC’s international work, which involves improving the health and well-being of people around the world. PMC uses entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 15 years of field experience using the Sabido methodology of behavior change communications, impacting more than 50 countries around the world.

“Texas is adding population at the fastest rate in the country – growing by about 1,000 people per day,” says Keith Annis, PMC’s Texas chapter executive director, “and this growth is placing stress on already limited state resources, especially water.”

Additionally, Annis notes that Texas received a ‘F’ grade on the Washington DC based Population Institute’s 50-State Report Card for the status of reproductive health and rights in the state, with particularly poor scores in the areas of unintended and teen pregnancy and access to healthcare and sex-education.

“Texas has big problems in the areas of both women’s rights and unsustainable population growth,” notes Annis. “We are working to reverse these situations with the PMC Texas chapter.”

The emphasis of the PMC’s work is to educate people about the benefits of small families, encourage the use of effective family planning methods, elevate women’s status, and promote gender equity.

ABOUT POPULATION MEDIA CENTER (PMC):

Population Media Center is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 15 years of field experience using the Sabido methodology of behavior change communications, impacting more than 50 countries around the world.

Malawi: Neno Chief Registers 900 Pregnancies in Four Months

March 4th, 2014 | Add a Comment

Malawi: Neno Chief Registers 900 Pregnancies in Four Months

See: http://allafrica.com/stories/201402180073.html

Neno — Senior Traditional Authority Symon of Neno said he registers over 900 expectant mothers in his area within four months.

The chief said he gathers such data through his community safe motherhood groups which he has established in his area.

Chief Symon said he has been gathering such data from the months of October to December, 2013 which he said also alarmed him because it indicates that the population in his area is increasing at an alarming rate.

Explained Symon; “I have been collecting such data to check out on how my subjects are adhering to family planning services because my area is rated one of high populated area in Neno and the figures have shown just that.”

The chief therefore asked government through the Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) to open an office in his area to advocate for family planning services.

“I would like to ask the government to consider me a special family planning office to promote and assist me on how best we can contain the population increase in the area,” said Symon.

See: http://allafrica.com/stories/201402180073.html

The NSA, Planned Parenthood and Your Right to Privacy

March 3rd, 2014 | 1 Comment

The NSA, Planned Parenthood and Your Right to Privacy
See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-conn/the-nsa-planned-parenthoo_b_4886630.html

Not a week seems to go by without more revelations about how the NSA (or recently the UK’s GCHQ) monitors our electronic communications. Who knew that all the time I waste watching old movie clips on YouTube was so interesting to the guardians of our national security.

And not a week goes by it seems without some state legislature in some Republican-controlled state considering yet another bill to intrude on and harass women who need to get abortions. Indeed, to judge by the sheer number of such bills since 2011 you might conclude that women’s pregnancies constitute the biggest problem that the nation faces. There is apparently no need to regulate the financial industry, or toxic chemicals that spill into rivers or the shale drilling business, whose rail cars keep blowing up — those things will sort themselves out. But pregnant women gone wild… they’re the ones the state needs to restrict.

On the face of it these two phenomena don’t have much in common with each other. But they are, in fact, connected by a crucial Constitutional conundrum: Is there a “right to privacy?”

The privacy question has come up mostly in our discussions of the NSA and the new digital world we all inhabit. Beyond the problem of whether our surveillance laws, written during the age of rotary phones, are hopelessly outdated, we have discussed what kind of privacy any of us can now expect when virtually everything we do (or is that everything we virtually do?) leaves an electronic footprint.

But privacy, at least as a legal matter, is also at the center of the debate over abortion and family planning more broadly.

In the 1965 case “Griswold v. Connecticut” which overturned that state’s ban on the sale of contraceptives, the Supreme Court found that there was a basic right to privacy in the “penumbras” of the Constitution. Those “penumbras” included the 9th amendment’s language that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” and in the definition of personal liberty found in the 14th amendment.

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-conn/the-nsa-planned-parenthoo_b_4886630.html

Health care law’s results breed hope among doctors for birth control access

March 3rd, 2014 | Add a Comment

Health care law’s results breed hope among doctors for birth control access
See: http://triblive.com/news/healthnews/5660379-74/women-birth-control#axzz2utw50oOi

Sex education hasn’t ended them. Neither have public service campaigns or family planning services.

But unplanned pregnancies should begin to decline more rapidly during the next several years because the federal health care law allows cheaper, easier access to birth control, women’s health scholars say. About half of pregnancies in the United States are unintended, an overall figure that’s nearly unchanged in two decades.

“I think it will make a dent. How much is to be determined,” said Dr. Sonya Borrero, an assistant professor of medicine in women’s health at the University of Pittsburgh. “I think all of us are really hopeful this will alleviate some of the barriers to contraceptive use.”

Borrero and other health advocates note promising early indicators. The number of privately insured women who pay no out-of-pocket fees for contraception ballooned last year under the Affordable Care Act, according to the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute in Washington.

By spring, 40 percent of privately insured women on birth control pills paid nothing, up from 15 percent in fall 2012. Among women who use a contraceptive ring, the number climbed from 23 percent to 52 percent, Guttmacher reported.

The pattern should make it easier for women to choose and stick with birth control methods that are most effective for them, crushing “cost barriers” that can keep more useful and lasting contraceptives out of reach, said Adam Sonfield, a Guttmacher analyst.

See: http://triblive.com/news/healthnews/5660379-74/women-birth-control#axzz2utw50oOi

Food security in a perfect storm: using the ecosystem services framework to increase understanding

March 3rd, 2014 | Add a Comment

Food security in a perfect storm: using the ecosystem services framework to increase understanding
See: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1639/20120288.full

ABSTRACT
Achieving food security in a ‘perfect storm’ scenario is a grand challenge for society. Climate change and an expanding global population act in concert to make global food security even more complex and demanding. As achieving food security and the millennium development goal (MDG) to eradicate hunger influences the attainment of other MDGs, it is imperative that we offer solutions which are complementary and do not oppose one another. Sustainable intensification of agriculture has been proposed as a way to address hunger while also minimizing further environmental impact. However, the desire to raise productivity and yields has historically led to a degraded environment, reduced biodiversity and a reduction in ecosystem services (ES), with the greatest impacts affecting the poor. This paper proposes that the ES framework coupled with a policy response framework, for example Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR), can allow food security to be delivered alongside healthy ecosystems, which provide many other valuable services to humankind. Too often, agro-ecosystems have been considered as separate from other natural ecosystems and insufficient attention has been paid to the way in which services can flow to and from the agro-ecosystem to surrounding ecosystems. Highlighting recent research in a large multi-disciplinary project (ASSETS), we illustrate the ES approach to food security using a case study from the Zomba district of Malawi.

EXCERPTS:
…Agricultural ecosystems are managed by humans largely to optimize provisioning ecosystem services (ES), such as food, fibre and fuel…

…Agriculture currently accounts directly for approximately 19-29% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is also the leading driver of deforestation and forest degradation globally, which accounts for an additional 17% of global carbon emissions [10]. For example, between 1980 and 2000, 83% of new croplands and pastures in the tropics were created at the expense of natural forests [11]…

…Flows of ES are shaped by complex and dynamic systems that operate over multiple temporal and spatial scales and often exhibit stochastic behaviour [53]. This complexity often makes it difficult to resolve an appropriate course of collective action to pursue sustainable livelihoods…

Read the rest of this entry »