Ken Weiss, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist and editor for the L.A. Times, emailed PMC yesterday to announce a major special feature report, which is the result his travels with staff photographer Rick Loomis. The two men traveled across Africa and Asia to document the causes and consequences of rapid population growth. They visited Kenya, Uganda, China, the Philippines, India, Afghanistan and other countries.
There are numerous stories, maps, photos, narrated graphics and videos on the L.A. Times website, and the content certainly seems worth your time. An excerpt of the text of the first major article, which is merely the first of a five part series, is pasted below. You are strongly encouraged to click through, however, because numerous videos and graphics are embedded in the story on the website and are not reproduced here. The remaining articles in the series will be published in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and wrapping up next Sunday, July 29.
In the meantime, you can access the main L.A. Times web-portal here:
Fertility rates fall, but global population explosion goes on
Global birthrates are falling. But with many in their fertile years and political and cultural forces against contraception, the population explosion is far from over.
By Kenneth R. Weiss, Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2012
First of five parts
JAIPUR, India – Ramjee Lal Kumhar and his bride, Mamta, first laid eyes on each other inside a billowing wedding tent festooned with garlands of marigolds.
He was 11 years old. She was 10.
Their families had arranged the marriage. The couple delighted their parents by producing a son when they were both 13. They had a daughter 2½ years later. To support the family, Ramjee gave up his dream of finishing school and opened a cramped shop that sells snacks, tea and tobacco on the muddy road through his village.
At 15 and finally able to grow a mustache, Ramjee made a startling announcement: He was done having children.
“We cannot afford it,” he said, standing with arms crossed in the dirt courtyard of the compound he shares with 12 relatives, a cow, several goats and some chickens in the northern state of Rajasthan.
Horrified, his mother and grandmother pleaded with him to reconsider.
“Having one son is like having one eye,” his grandmother said. “You need two eyes.”
How many children to have is an intensely personal matter, often a source of family debate. But the decisions made by Ramjee, Mamta and others their age will have repercussions far beyond their own families and villages.
They are members of the largest generation in history – more than 3 billion people worldwide under the age of 25. About 1.2 billion of them are adolescents just entering their reproductive years.
If they choose, collectively, to have smaller families than their elders did, the world’s population – now 7 billion – will continue to grow, but more slowly.
According to United Nations projections, the number will rise to 9.3 billion by 2050 – the equivalent of adding another India and China to the world.
To read the article in full, please click here: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/population/la-fg-population-matters1-20120722-html,0,7213271.htmlstory