The Link between Population Size and Economic Wellbeing

October 8, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Rob Dietz for this article from Earth Island Institute

It’s highly unlikely that life as we know it – or want it — can continue for long unless we rein in population growth. Too many measures indicate that the great mass of us burning fossil fuels, gobbling up renewable resources, and generating toxic trash is overloading our life support ecosystems. In the central North Pacific Ocean gyre, swirling plastic fragments now outweigh plankton 46 to one. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is far higher today than at any point in the past 650,000 years, and climbing. Nearly one in four mammals is threatened with extinction, as is one in three amphibians and a quarter of all conifers. In many parts of the world, including the High Plains of North America, human water use exceeds annual average water replenishment; the United Nations predicts that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity. Unsustainable farming practices cause the destruction and abandonment of almost 30 million acres of arable land each year. The list runs far too long.

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