We the people of the USA consume per capita 4 times the World average consumption, and 2 times the #2 consumer EU (European Union)! [One bright note, USA is the ONLY top consumer to reduce recently!] We can do better, by conserving. How? Drive more efficient cars and drive less (or public transport/bike/walk), make our homes more efficient (insulation, shading) and use HVAC heating/cooling wisely (dress appropriately for climate), line-dry clothing instead of machine, use shower water volume control to take ‘Navy Shower’, grow a garden and buy local/regional, and many more. Conservation is fun, and good for our country and planet.
Happy Earth Day, April 22, 2012, everybody! Please pledge to be a better steward of our wonderful planet, Gaia, Mother Earth.
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
There’s a lot of interest in environmental and green issues these days. Much of it is focused on recycling, alternative energy, reducing consumption of natural resources, organic gardening, and many more. It’s great to see so many concerned people getting involved in reducing their impact on our planet’s environment, but it seems as though there’s one issue that does not get much attention: human overpopulation. It’s ironic because this should be our main concern, one that stands out in front of all others. The world human population is now 6.9 million people. According to the United Nations, the global population could be as high as 11 billion in 2050. Countries are becoming more modern and industrialized, and people are consuming more resources and polluting more. Population growth stretches natural resources to their limits. Deforestation, food and water shortages, and climate change are all intensified by the addition of nearly 80 million people a year to the world’s population.
Since 1968, Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth or ZPG) has been America’s voice for population stabilization. On their about page:
“We are the largest grassroots population organization in the United States. Population Connection has 130,000 members, supporters, and participating educators. We educate young people about unsustainable population growth through K-12 lesson plans that reach 3 million students a year. We inform constituents across the country about their congressional representatives’ stances on population growth and family planning. And we work directly with Congress and the White House to inform family planning policy.
The global population has grown from 3.5 billion when ZPG was founded, to nearly 7 billion today. Population growth rates have fallen around the world because of the success of voluntary family planning programs. But the global fertility rate is 2.5 – still higher than the “replacement level” of 2.1 children per woman.
Population Connection works to ensure that every woman around the world who wants to limit her childbearing has access to the health services and contraceptive supplies she needs in order to do so. Typically, when woman have access to affordable birth control, they have fewer children, regardless of income or educational levels.”
You might be asking what you can do about it? Well, good question. Just by reading this, you have taken a step in the right direction. Awareness is the foundation of wisdom and understanding. From this we can build a better future. The best way to change the future is to teach the children to become good adults, by being good role models for them. We can make a conscious effort to reproduce less or not at all, and we can encourage others to do the same. We can support organizations like Population Connection, and others. One person’s behaviors may not change the world, but if enough of us become aware and unified, we can make a difference on the future of Planet Earth.
Following are four graphs illustrating some statistics of global population.
This first one shows the rapid explosion of global population in recent centuries.
Human Population Density. Note the high densities of India, Japan and Europe.
Fertility rates. Note the high rates in central Africa, south Arabia and Afganistan.
Net migration rate. Orange shows more people leaving (emigration), blue more coming in (immigration).
Works Cited:Population Connection. “Protecting the Planet.” Aug2011.
Population Connection. “About Us.” Aug2011.
Wikipedia. “Overpopulation.” Aug2011.
Wikipedia. “Immigration.” Aug2011.