Population Story Potpourri

October 14, 2013 • Daily Email Recap

UB researcher plunges into hot teen webnovela “East Los High”
See:  http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2013/10/026.html

She will study the show’s impact on safe sex and teen pregnancy prevention
By Pat Donovan, October 11, 2013 

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Armed with a one-year $56,265 grant from the Population Media Center, Hua (Helen) Wang, PhD, assistant professor of communication at the University at Buffalo, is about to dive into Hulu’s popular teen Latino webnovela “East Los High.”

Wang, her collaborator Arvind Singhal PhD, Samuel Shirley and Edna Holt Marston Endowed Professor of Communication at the University of Texas at El Paso, and their team will work with the show’s Hollywood writers, producers and their NGO partners to assess the viewers’ narrative experience, the effectiveness of webnovela and transmedia entertainment formats, dynamics among the series’ fans on social media and positive changes the show has provoked in Latino communities all across the country.


As Roaring Fork Valley’s population grows, so do conflicts between recreation and wildlife
See: http://www.aspentimes.com/news/8397547-113/wildlife-basalt-parks-trails

The inherent conflicts between wildlife and a growing, outdoor-oriented population in the Roaring Fork Valley spurred Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials to take one of their toughest stances to date recently in a debate in Basalt.

Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will wrote a strongly worded letter to Basalt urging the town to reconsider major thrusts in its Parks, Open Space and Trails Master Plan – a document designed to guide town actions on its lands for years to come.

“It is understandable that this document focuses on recreation for the residents of Basalt, but this should not come at the expense of wildlife and the surrounding environment,” Will’s letter said.


Can Christianity and population control co-exist?
See: http://theconversation.com/can-christianity-and-population-control-co-exist-18981

Despite the views of some church leaders – such as George Pell – who deny global warming, most Christians understand the need to care for the natural world and have embraced the scientific consensus on global warming.

The Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I is known as the “green patriarch” and Popes Francis and Benedict XVI have regularly called for care for the world. Many Catholic bishops’ conferences and Protestant churches have also taken up the challenge.

But there is one thing that stymies Christians regarding the ecological crisis: they find it almost impossible to confront the issue of population.


Population control: keeping the masses in check
See: http://thetigernews.com/news.php?aid=8833&sid=2

We’ve all been affected by it – the crowds in the hallways, the 20 minute wait in line at dining halls, disappointing letters stating you’ve been accepted to live in the not-so-cool dorm (also known as overflow housing) or the search for a seat on the CAT Bus, in Cooper and now in a class you’re registered for. That’s right people, we’re saying what some are too afraid to say: We’re overcrowded, and Clemson, we don’t like it.

For the past few years, Clemson has broken records in the acceptance and enrollment of freshmen students. Freshmen, it’s not your fault that you’re fabulous, smart and that Clemson wanted you. I mean, why wouldn’t they? However, we have received a record-breaking freshman class almost every year, and everyone has to suffer the consequences. Some upperclassman have to bribe other students in the commuter parking lots just to get a parking spot; students have to wait in line until they grow old for a slice of pizza; others have to leave their dorms or apartments 30 minutes earlier than they used to for class, so they can get a seat because too many students are enrolled for that section. Clemson’s student overpopulation not only adds to the pain of looking for extra room or waiting longer for certain services, but it also devalues our college experience because it takes away from Clemson’s small town atmosphere and provides extra worries that are not necessary.


Preparing for A Boom
See: http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/255758-preparing-for-a-boom.html


While the average population growth rate in the world is two to three percent, the population of Qatar has increased by an alarming 10.3 percent in the past one year. Although the growth rate dropped to 1.14 percent in 2010 and was only 2.23 percent in 2012, the figure went up this year due to a huge influx of migrant workers.

The current rise in population picked up in late 2012, when it began increasing at an average rate of 8.4 percent.


Four million people food insecure in Madagascar after reduced harvest – UN agencies
See: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=46224&Cr=food+security&Cr1=#.UlV0q9Iw1vA

9 October 2013 – Some four million people in rural Madagascar are food insecure after rice and maize production took a bad hit this year from erratic weather and a locust invasion, two United Nations agencies said today.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) warned in a news release that an additional 9.6 million people are at risk of food insecurity.

A joint assessment conducted in June/July by the two Rome-based agencies said the poor agricultural season was due to a combination of factors: erratic weather conditions last year, cyclones early this year – causing flooding – followed by a period of poor rains.

Another factor was the devastation caused by a locust plague that both damaged crops and discouraged farmers from planting. The south of the island – already a chronically food-insecure area – has been particularly badly affected.

The production of rice – the country’s staple – declined by 21 per cent this year, resulting in a national rice deficit of 240,000 metric tons for the 2013/14 marketing year.


We’re Addicted to Economic Growth and It Will Be the Death of Us
The idea that economies must keep growing is an underlying cause of the climate crisis.
See: http://www.alternet.org/environment/were-addicted-economic-growth-and-it-will-be-death-us

On November 14, 2012, just days after his re-election and two weeks after Hurricane Sandy flooded New York City, President Obama was asked by the New York Times about climate policy, specifically the possibility of a carbon tax:

I think the American people right now have been so focused, and will continue to be focused on our economy and jobs and growth, that if the message is somehow we’re going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don’t think anybody is going to go for that. I won’t go for that.

This short statement reveals the raw political calculus that prevents the Obama Administration–and really, most every national and international political body–from meaningfully addressing the climate crisis. Obama’s comments reflect the underlying assumptions of politicians on both sides of the aisle (at least those who recognize that there is a climate problem) and conventional thinking across virtually all sectors of society.


Enough labouring over the nation’s wombs
See: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/enough-labouring-over-the-nations-wombs/article14692783/?cmpid=rss1

Facing stalled economies and less-than-optimistic political futures, leaders of many countries have been lashing out at the wombs of millions of women. Impotently unable to control their economies, they are desperately trying to nudge up their labour forces demographically.

Listen, for example, to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He has devoted much of this year, when he has had much else on his plate, to a pointless campaign to populate his country’s wombs.

“Come, please donate to this nation at least three children,” he told party supporters in August. Earlier this year, he explained the logic behind this demand: “One or two children mean bankruptcy. Three children mean we are not improving but not receding either. So, I repeat, at least three children are necessary in each family, because our population risks aging.”

And this week, he amplified it: “Three children are not enough,” he told women: “Have four.”

This is a moment when Turkey, along with many other Middle Eastern countries, should be celebrating the end of out-of-control population growth. Turkey’s fertility rate has dropped to a non-growth 2.06 children per woman, the same as France. It already has 74 million people. This should be celebrated.


Home builders respond to growing population
See: http://impactnews.com/houston-metro/sugar-land–missouri-city/home-builders-respond-to-growing-population/

New communities to meet housing demand

Several new master-planned communities are under development in Sugar Land and Missouri City, as area builders are working to keep up with an increased demand for housing.

Fort Bend County is projected to be the fastest growing county in the Greater Houston area by 2025 with a more than 100 percent increase in population, employment levels and the number of households-which is expected to rise above 40,000 by 2025, according to a 2013 Houston-Galveston Area Council report.

“For the last 10 years, whether in a recession or otherwise, our population in Fort Bend County has grown by about 22,000 people annually,” said Jeff Wiley, president and CEO of the Fort Bend County Economic Development Council. “When people come here, they look for amenity-rich environments, and Fort Bend County has a large amount of that. While we only represent a portion of the population, we represent 20 percent of growth in the region.”


Terrestrial ecosystems at risk of major shifts as temperatures increase
See: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-10/egu-tea_1100713.php

Over 80% of the world’s ice-free land is at risk of profound ecosystem transformation by 2100, a new study reveals. “Essentially, we would be leaving the world as we know it,” says Sebastian Ostberg of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany. Ostberg and collaborators studied the critical impacts of climate change on landscapes and have now published their results in Earth System Dynamics, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

The researchers state in the article that “nearly no area of the world is free” from the risk of climate change transforming landscapes substantially, unless mitigation limits warming to around 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

Ecosystem changes could include boreal forests being transformed into temperate savannas, trees growing in the freezing Arctic tundra or even a dieback of some of the world’s rainforests. Such profound transformations of land ecosystems have the potential to affect food and water security, and hence impact human well-being just like sea level rise and direct damage from extreme weather events.

The new Earth System Dynamics study indicates that up to 86% of the remaining natural land ecosystems worldwide could be at risk of major change in a business-as-usual scenario (see note). This assumes that the global mean temperature will be 4 to 5 degrees warmer at the end of this century than in pre-industrial times – given many countries’ reluctance to commit to binding emissions cuts, such warming is not out of the question by 2100.


A Vision for a Better World, Part 2
See: http://www.motherearthnews.com/blogs/beautiful-and-abundant.aspx#axzz2fpzeTvHX

Abundance is necessary to creativity. In business, we measure abundance in financial capital. Without sufficient capital, we can’t be creative, because we can’t try anything that isn’t certain to work. Similarly, we need surplus capital – food, open space, clean air and water – if we are to help all people live rich, creative lives.

Two variables affect abundance in our world. The first is supply. We depend on the planet’s natural resources, and those resources are limited. The second variable is demand. Demand we can control.

Two primary variables also influence demand for resources. The efficiency of our usage determines how much of the world’s natural bounty each of us requires. We can improve efficiency, to some extent. The second variable affecting demand is population. No matter how much we improve efficiency, the number of people our planet can support is ultimately finite.
Once I acknowledge that limitation, I find myself thinking, well, why are we always talking about the inevitable growth of human population? Why not envision an ideal population instead?

Current World Population


Net Growth During Your Visit