Also known as: WOA!! * World Population Awareness * population-awareness.net
A health care worker in Bangladesh gives a young pregnant woman a birthing kit for a safer delivery. It contains a sterile razor to cut the cord, a sterile plastic sheet to place under the birth area, and other simple, sanitary items - all which help save lives. The health care worker asks the young woman to come back with her baby for a post natal check after the birth. At that time, she asks the mom if she wants to have another child right away or if she wants to space her children. Usually the mom wants to wait, and gladly accepts contraception. The worker is prepared to give her pills, an injection, implants, or an IUD. The mother is instructed to come back if the baby shows signs of diarrhea or pneumonia, common infant killers.
People's Rights, Planet's Rights - Holistic Approaches to a Sustainable Population (pdf) Suzanne York, Institute for Population Studies
Art Elphick's Pop- ulation Slide Show
Important Videos, Media
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Seeks to protect the global environment, preserve natural resources for future generations, and foster healthy communities by advancing sustainable development solutions by:
- promoting increased access to voluntary family planning and reproductive
health information and services
- advocating for women's and girls' basic rights, including health care, education, and economic opportunity
- raising public awareness of wasteful resource consumption in the context of social and economic equity
- empowering youth leaders
Wise Giving Guide
If we don't halt population growth with justice and compassion, it will be done for us by nature, brutally and without pity - and will leave a ravaged world. Nobel Laureate Dr. Henry W. Kendall
Climate News is Getting Hot!
Click on a red arrow to summarize an article (You may have to register with WOA! first). I give "Global Demographic Trends and Future Carbon Emissions" the highest priority.
In the past couple of weeks, leaders of the G7 agreed to a decarbonization of the global economy over the course of this century, Pope Francis released his long-awaited encyclical on climate change, and Morocco and Ethiopia joined the U.S., European Union and other countries in putting forward its plans for post-2020 climate action. More countries are expected to release their own post-2020 climate commitments in the coming months, and all of these actions set the stage for a new international climate agreement to be finalized at the COP 21 climate summit in Paris in December 2015.
The top 10 emitters contribute 72% of global greenhouse gas emissions (excluding land use change and forestry). On the other hand, the lowest 100 emitters contribute less than 3%. While universal climate action is necessary, significant mitigation actions are needed by the largest emitters, taking into account that they have different capacities to do so.
A new report reveals an uptick in the destruction of Brazil’s rainforestsMay 19, 2015, Scientific American By: Richard Schiffman
In Brazil, the problem of deforestation had plummeted because of environmental regulations and a ban on the sale of soyeans gown on rainforest cleared land. Between 1990 and 2010 clearing of tropical forests had increased 62% worldwide, but in Brazil, such destruction plummeted from 2004 to 2011
But after 2011, deforestation has come back, according to a satellite analysis of the Amazon.
Most of the increase is due to cattle grazing land spurred on by higher prices for beef. The new president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has called for new hydroelectric dams and a new highway which would cut through the heart of the Amazon.
Brazil's National Institute for Space Research has shown that atmospheric moisture has migrated to the south. Scientists say that the change is a possible factor in a severe drought that has necessitated rationing of water in Brazil's largest metropolis, São Paulo.
Chief Sealth International is a Seattle public school is in a diverse neighborhood on the southwest end of the Seattle. In the school-based health center students can get treatment for sore throats bandages for sprained ankles, and IUDs, as well as other forms of birth control .
The American College of Obstretricians and Gynecologists formally recommended LARC's -- Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives -- as the best ways for teen girls to avoid unwanted pregnancies. And Seattle's public health department decided these should be available in school based medical clinics.
LARC's are the most costly of birth control. These are made possible by a state medicaid program to be available to minors.
In-school LARC placement was made possible in part by Take Charge, a Washington State Medicaid program that's specifically targeted toward minors seeking contraceptive services. Because of Take Charge, girls under 19 who don't want to use their parents' private insurance to get birth control have a way to get contraception in school at no cost.
The clinic as a very supportive, confidential environment where students can come in on their own terms and get counseling for birth control methods based on efficacy and what makes sense for their own bodies.
One of the greatest benefits of the clinic is the degree to which it's opened up the conversation around birth control in the school. Girls will openly trade stories about what kind of contraception they're using.
When people hear "climate change," they think of the gases surrounding our planet. But the surface of the ocean and the atmosphere interact to form a single system. We now produce about 10 billion tons of CO2 per year, about 40% of which stays in the air, with the rest split about equally between land and the ocean.
Dr. Richard Feely -- senior scientist at NOAA's (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle -- has made more than 50 voyages in three years to chart how humans are altering the ocean's chemistry. He calls ocean acidification (OA) global warming's Evil Twin. The term first turned up in scientific literature in 2001. It became more widespread in 2003 when a paper in the journal Nature ran with this stark prediction: "The coming centuries may see more acidification than the past 300 million years."
But our understanding of OA and its effects on sea life is still rudimentary. In a 2004 cover article for Science, Feely and his co-authors for the first time presented an overview of OA's impact. Feely says we are lowering the ocean's pH (increasing it acidity) about 100 times faster than at any time in the last 800,000 years. Since humans first began burning fossil fuels on a large scale, the ocean has increased its acidity by 30% and the rate of increase is accelerating. "If we continue on the same trajectory," he cautions, by 2100 we will see a 100-to-150% increase in ocean acidity.
Some species, like sea grasses, could benefit from the change. But the situation is very different for corals, snails, clams and oysters. These organisms produce a calcium carbonate shell. Acidity makes it harder for marine creatures like oysters to build and maintain their shells, a change that threatened to wipe out the oyster industry in the Pacific Northwest. This was first noticed in 2006, when oyster larvae in hatcheries had difficulty producing shells and often died within their first two days of life.
By 2009, the problem became a crisis for the Washington's shellfish industry, with sales of $100 million per year. After U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Washington, obtained $500,000 to find out what was killing the larvae, researchers traced the cause to high acidity and fixed the problem by adding sodium carbonate to the water. Feely called this a "stopgap measure" because enclosed hatcheries can control water chemistry. This solution does nothing to help the shellfish farmers who work in the wild.
Coral reefs won't stand a chance. The combined effects of warming and acidity are worse than either one on its own. Researchers have found that acidity makes corals more prone to rapid bleaching, a potentially fatal condition in which the coral polyps expel their food-producing symbiont. Acidity also appears to affect the neurotransmitters of some fish, causing changes in behavior responses that make them more vulnerable to predators.
OA also impairs reproductive success in other marine creatures, and it interferes with respiration in squids. In their first year of life, fish such as salmon rely on a diet that includes pteropods, tiny marine snails, to survive. Pteropods build calcium carbonate shells so delicate that they're transparent and are tremendously sensitive to acids. Their shells are already dissolving. "That," says Feely, "doesn't bode well for the entire food chain in the ocean."
Ocean chemistry, including pH level, varies depending on several factors including water temperature and salinity. For example, cold water more readily absorbs CO2, so pteropods and other creatures at high latitudes are affected sooner than similar organisms in warmer waters. The Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) is a recent internationally coordinated effort to monitor levels of carbon in the ocean around the world.
Scientists have been coordinating ocean observations since the U.N. Intergovernmental Conference on Oceanographic Research, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1960. Roger Revelle, then-director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, stressed the need for such an international effort. More than two decades before anthropogenic climate change entered public discourse, Revelle called for international cooperation and coordination in taking the observations and recording the results.
Revelle wanted to learn whether the absorbed CO2 remain in the surface layers or spread throughout the debths. By 2010, researchers like Feely were recording 1 million measurements a year. Today, participants use sensors on ocean buoys, dedicated research vessels, and ships to collect daily readings from several countries.
Feely directs the U.S. West Coast monitoring system for NOAA, working with states and eight federal agencies while also working to expand monitoring efforts internationally. But many regions still lack the necessary infrastructure to monitor acidity. "That's the next big push," says Feely. And the stakes, Feely emphasizes, couldn't be higher. "One in seven people on the planet depend on seafood for protein."
Hans Schellnhuber, a climate scientist who spoke when Pope Francis unveiled his climate change encyclical on June 18, once said the world is overpopulated by 6 billion people.
Schellnhuber is the Founding Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Chairman of the German Advisory Council on Global Change. He once called for an Earth Constitution that would transcend the U.N. Charter and a "Global Council ... elected by all the people on Earth" and a "Planetary Court ... with respect to violations of the Earth Constitution."
At the 2009 Copenhagen climate conference, Schellnhuber said: "In a very cynical way, it's a triumph for science because at last we have stabilized something - namely the estimates for the carrying capacity of the planet, namely below 1 billion people." He also said that if greenhouse gas buildup caused a rise of 9° F of global temperatures, six billion people would die and much life on earth would be threatened.
Skeptics of man-made climate change have critical concern about the encyclical, in part due to Schellnhuber's role. But many on the left hoped Pope Francis' encyclical would link the global warming fight to religious obligation, Breitbart.com notes. With Schellnhuber, one of the world's most aggressive climate change scientists, the left may be getting what it hopes for.
Employers who provide prescription drug coverage were not compelled to cover prescription birth control before 2000. Since then the Affordable Care Act (ACA) enacted a mandate requiring insurers to cover birth control with no co-pay.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said in 2012 that oral contraceptives are safe enough to be available over the counter because they carry less medical risks than pregnancy and have fewer side effects than many medicines already available over the counter at grocery stores. New laws already enacted in a few states allow women to buy some oral contraceptives without a prescription. That would seem to improve access except where women must buy them without insurance.
Senate Bill 1438, introduced by U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) would incentivize drug companies to apply for FDA permission to make their prescription contraceptives available over the counter by giving the drugs priority review and waiving the fee to apply. But the bill would also repeal the ACA's ban on using a flexible spending account for non-prescription medications. The problem is that ACA only requires insurers to cover prescription drugs, not over-the-counter medications. After having to pay nothing for contraceptives under ACA, many -- if not all -- women would have to pay out of pocket. If the FDA approves making oral contraceptives available over the counter, Congress should continue to require insurers to cover its cost.
Opponents of the bill, including the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have pointed out that affordability is necessary to make birth control truly accessible. Oral contraceptives can cost the uninsured as much as $600 a year. Furthermore, the bill would bar anyone younger than 18 from purchasing the pills over the counter (although they could still get them with a doctor's prescription).
To resolve such problems, Senate Bill 1532, introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) calls for complete insurance coverage of any oral contraceptive after it goes from prescription to over the counter, and it sets no age requirement for purchase. The Senate should enact this bill. If the FDA approves making oral contraceptives available over the counter, Congress should continue to require insurers to cover the cost.
Two studies published by Water Resources Research and the Journal of the American Geophysical Union indicate that population growth and climate change have caused over-pumping of vital aquifers. People are overdrawing water from some of the world's largest groundwater basins that serve more than 60 million people.
Measurements taken by NASA's twin Grace satellites indicate that the most stressed groundwater basins are found in the driest regions. The Arabian Aquifer System in the Middle East is considered the world's most stressed aquifer followed by the Indus Basin aquifer of northwestern India and Pakistan. The farm-rich Central Valley in California is also highly stressed. Researchers from the University of California, Irvine say it's unclear how much water remains in these aquifers.
When the Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby chain (with 22,000 employees) went to the Supreme Court over the ACA's (Affordable Care Act) mandate requiring insurance policies to cover birth control without a copay, it was not the only company to sue.
According to the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), since 2012 seventy-one other for-profit companies have challenged the mandate. Most of these cases are still pending. NWLC's Gretchen Borchelt says that the outcomes of many of these cases may hinge on the pro-Hobby Lobby verdict. The ruling could have a far-reaching impact, potentially dismantling corporate laws that have long shielded CEOs and board members from lawsuits or paving the way for companies to claim religious exemptions from other federal regulations.
Some of the suing companies had already covered birth control under their insurance plans, but they oppose the ACA's drug Plan B, which they say supports abortions. The Thomas More Law Center, a law firm "dedicated to the defense and promotion of the religious freedom of Christians," has filed 11 cases on behalf of 33 plaintiffs. The center asserts in an amicus brief supporting Hobby Lobby that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects employers fighting the mandate "from being 'forced,' under threat of ruinous government fines, to fund products and services that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs." (The term "forced" overlooks the fact that employers can provide no employee health insurance if they pay a tax that helps to subsidize employee coverage obtained through the exchanges or Medicaid.)
On a list of other cases, NWLC's Borchelt was surprised to see the Michigan-based Eden (organic) Foods listed because of its outstanding record of social and environmental responsibility. The company eventually lost its case at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey wrote in her opinion that the owner's "deeply held religious beliefs more resembled a laissez-faire, anti-government screed." Reporter Irin Carmon interviewed CEO Michael Potter last April. Calling the mandate government over-reach, he said, "This lawsuit does not block, or intend to block, anyone's access to health care or reproductive management. This lawsuit is about protecting religious freedom and stopping the government from forcing citizens to violate their conscience. Borchelt sees it differently. "These companies are not hiring based on the religious beliefs of the workers. Imagine ... applying for a warehouse position at an organic food company. Why would you ever think, 'Oh, I need to research this owner's religious beliefs to know whether or not I'm going to get access to birth control insurance'?"
The Michigan company Trijicon makes optics equipment for weapons and holds at least $8.9 million in active military contracts. In its August 2013 lawsuit, Trijicon claimed that the company "and its shareholders have a deeply held religious belief that life begins at conception/fertilization." The company's website states: "We believe that America is great when its people are good. This goodness has been based on biblical standards throughout our history and we will strive to follow those morals." The outcome of Hobby Lobby could mean no more birth control coverage for the company's 212 insured employees.
Two Catholic Gilardi brothers, Philip and Frank Jr., who hold controlling interests in the Ohio-based produce processor Freshway Foods and produce distributor Freshway Logistics, say "they conduct their businesses in a manner that does not violate their sincerely-held religious beliefs or moral values, and they wish to continue to do so." In 2011 a former Freshway employee first complained, then later sued the company for sexual harassment. She was suspended then fired after injuring herself at work. Freshway denied the sexual-assault allegations but settled the case with an undisclosed payout.
Whether in states where abortions are difficult to get, or in states where abortion rights are protected, the number of abortions are down since 2010.
Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life suggested that the broad decrease in abortions reflected a change in attitudes among pregnant women. "There's an entire generation of women who saw a sonogram as their first baby picture," she said. "There's an increased awareness of the humanity of the baby before it is born."
The teen pregnancy rate in 2010 reached its lowest level in decades. The teen birth rate has also continued to drop.
A total of 267 abortion restrictions have been enacted in 31 states since 2011. Among them are measures that ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, impose hospital-like physical standards on abortion clinics, and require doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, according to Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute.
Abortions increased in only two states: Louisiana by 12% and Michigan by 18.5%. These two states have passed laws intended to restrict abortion. In both states, the increases were due in part to women coming from other states where new restrictions and clinic closures have sharply limited abortion access. Many Ohio women were going to Michigan and many Texas women to Louisiana.
A Michigan Planned Parenthood representative argued that one factor in Michigan's increase was inadequate public funding for family planning.
Hawaii saw the biggest percentage decrease - 30% - in abortion. A representative from Planned Parenthood in Hawaii, said more women there were getting access to health insurance and affordable contraception. She also credited the state's policies on sex education in public schools, which includes information to help teens avoid unplanned pregnancies.
Judy Tabar, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, said the declines in Connecticut and Rhode Island were due in part to expanded access to long-lasting contraception methods that are now fully covered by health insurers under the federal Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion and other initiatives.
Planned Parenthood says its nationwide health centers report a 91% increase since 2009 in the use of IUDs and contraceptive implants.
"Better access to birth control and sex education are the biggest factors in reducing unintended pregnancies," said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "More restrictive abortion laws do not reduce the need for abortions."
Advocates for abortion rights said the figures demonstrate that restrictive laws are not needed to reduce the number of abortions significantly. That can be achieved, they said, by helping more women obtain affordable, effective contraception, including long-lasting options such as IUDs and hormonal implants.
The US has increased its use of energy at a rate of 2.9% per year since 1650. Continuation of this energy growth rate in any form of technology will lead to an unbearable heating of our planet in just a few hundred years.
GWP (gross world product) grew at a rate consistent with that of energy growth -- 2.9% -- until 1950, after which the economy has outpaced the energy growth rate at 5%. The increase is attributed to non-manufacturing activity: finance, real estate, innovation, and other aspects of the "service" economy.
This brings up the question: Will this type of economic growth last? From 1950 to the present is too short a period to be an indicator of the future.
Does the impossibility of indefinite physical growth (i.e., in energy, food, manufacturing) mean that economic growth in general is also fated to end or reverse?
Exponential economic growth means that a 5% growth in any given year will have an economy 5% larger than the year before. Such growth would eventually use so much energy that we will have a thermal reckoning in just a few hundred years. If we tried to make our growth linear instead, so that we increase by a fixed absolute amount every year, the percentage of growth would go down every year, until, after a century, our economic growth would be only 1%, which would "starve the economic beast, and would force us to abandon our current debt-based financial system of interest and loans".
We could make our energy production and usage more efficient, with the goal to allow continued economic growth even given a no-growth raw energy future. The idea is to come up with efficiency improvements which would allow us to drive further, light more homes, manufacture more goods than the year before -- all on a fixed energy income. Because market forces favor greater efficiency, we are already enjoying the constant drum-beat toward higher efficiency. If we could continue this trick forever, we could maintain economic growth indefinitely, and all the institutions that are built around it: investment, loans, banks, etc.
However, except for heat pumps and perhaps, if ever a perpetual motion machine is invented, we must always settle for an efficiency of less than 100%. If a device starts out at 50% efficiency, there is no way to squeeze more than a factor of two out of its performance. For example, refrigerators use half the energy that they did about 35 years ago. The family car that today gets 40 miles per gallon achieved half this value in the 1970′s. This figures to be a 2% per year improvement. On the other hand, the Boeing 747 established a standard for air travel efficiency in 1970 that has hardly budged since.
Electric motors, pumps, battery charging, hydroelectric power, electricity transmission are already at near perfect efficiency (often around 90%). Power plants that run on coal, natural gas, or nuclear reactions have seen only marginal gains in efficiency in the last 35 years: well less than 1% per year. This all adds up to about only 1% a year or the equivalent of doubling every 70 years.
Many of our large-scale applications of energy use heat engines to extract useful energy out of combustion or other source of heat. These include fossil-fuel and nuclear power plants operating at 30-40% efficiency, and automobiles operating at 15-25% efficiency. Heat engines therefore account for about two-thirds of the total energy use in the U.S. Doing the math shows that a heat engine operating between 1500 K (hot for a power plant) and room temperature could at most achieve 80% efficiency, so doubling efficiency for heat engines is not possible.
On the other hand, heat pumps - such as air conditioners, refrigerators, and some home heating systems -- which uses a little bit of energy to move a lot, can theoretically achieve 1100% efficiency. Lighting has dramatically improved in recent decades, going from incandescent performances of 14 lumens per Watt to compact fluorescent efficacies that are four times better, at 50-60 lumens per Watt. LED lighting currently achieves 60-80 lumens per Watt.
Effective efficiency for gasoline-powered vehicles can be improved significantly by transitioning to electric drive trains. While a car getting 40 mpg may have a 20% efficient gasoline engine, a battery-powered drive train might achieve something like 70% efficiency. But only if the input electricity does not comes from a fossil-fuel power plant.
Given that two-thirds of our energy resource is burned in heat engines, and that these cannot improve much more than a factor of two, more significant gains elsewhere are diminished in value. For instance, replacing the 10% of our energy budget spent on direct heat (e.g., in furnaces and hot water heaters) with heat pumps operating at their maximum theoretical efficiency effectively replaces a 10% expenditure with a 1% expenditure. A factor of ten sounds like a fantastic improvement, but the overall efficiency improvement in society is only 9%. Likewise with light bulb replacement: large gains in a small sector. The most we might expect to achieve is a factor of two net efficiency increase before theoretical limits and engineering realities clamp down. At the present 1% overall rate, this means we might expect to run out of gain this century.
There may be new technology to come along that will substitute for less efficient energy, but there are still the show-stopper thermodynamic limits: The continued growth of any energy technology -- if consumed on the planet -- will bring us to a boil.
Why can't we consider solar, wind and other renewables to be more efficient than fossil fuel power, since the energy has free delivery? We have to look at the energy returned on energy invested when the panels were made with fossil fuels. Fossil fuels still have a higher EROEI (20) than solar (10) or wind (18), and solar panels are only 15% efficient.
We cannot deny that environmental and reproductive justice are intertwined, or that reproductive justice has influence on the quality of life of women and families and on the sustainable health of the entire planet.
Providing family planning for those who want it could result in up to 29% of needed reductions in carbon emissions, scientists say. Voluntary family planning would also help our planet be more sustainable. However 225 million women lack access to modern methods of contraception.
Empowering women and promoting their right to choose what is best for them and their families is also one of the most effective pathways to reduce unintended pregnancies and improve maternal and child health. Providing access to [and information about] contraception would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies by 70%, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
A woman who is able to decide if and when to have children and how many, tends to go further in school, is empowered as a decision-maker in her household and is more adaptable and resilient during times of hardship. She is more likely to invest money back into her family, her family is more likely to prosper and her community and our planet thrive because of it.
Investments in these sexual and reproductive health services have been slow in coming from the international community, even though the cost would be low. For example, in Latin America and the Caribbean only $31 per year would provide a woman with these needed services.
The number of U.S. oil rigs in operation fell to 868, the lowest level since January 24, 2003, according to data from driller Baker Hughes.
Combined oil and gas rigs fell to 875.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil traded at around $57.92 per barrel. The US benchmark slid this week from above $61.
Goldman Sachs had identified $60 per barrel as a price level around which producers would ramp up production, as they are "increasingly comfortable at the current costs/revenue/funding mix."
Family size has become the great unmentionable of the campaign for more environmentally friendly lifestylesFebruary 12, 2010 By: Oliver Burkeman
When, over a decade ago, American author Bill McKibben published a short book entitled Maybe One: A Personal And Environmental Argument For Much Smaller Families, he was trying overly hard to be tentative, emphasising that he isn't seeking to dictate other people's choices, and doesn't think he has all the answers. The "maybe" is right there in the title, after all. With the reaction that he got, he might as well have called for the enforced sterilisation of all men and women of procreating age, along with the outlawing of Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy. The New York Times called him "sanctimonious" and the Wall Street Journal labelled him an "extremist."
Much has changed since then, in terms of the consensus on the threat posed by climate change, and our willingness to make sacrifices in the face of it. But you still won't hear any major environmental group arguing that, in addition to flying less and recycling more, middle-class westerners should be having fewer children to save the planet. Family size has become the great unmentionable of the campaign for more environmentally friendly lifestyles.
The basic facts are clear. If you live in developed countries like the U.S. or Britain, there is nothing you can do to reduce your impact on the environment that even comes close to the effects of having one fewer child.
In 2009 Paul Murtaugh and Michael Schlax, researchers at Oregon State University, set out to quantify the idea of "carbon legacy." If a woman and a man have a baby, they're each responsible for 50% of that child's lifetime carbon dioxide emissions; and if that child has its own child, the original two parents each bear 25% of the responsibility for their grandchild's emissions, and so on down the generations.
For how many tons, on average, would each original parent end up being responsible? For fertility rates, they used UN population predictions. For per capita emissions, they used three different scenarios: an optimistic one, in which per capita emissions fell, a pessimistic one in which they rose, and a compromise one, in which they stayed constant.
Under the constant scenario, an American who forgoes having a child would save 9,441 tons of CO2 - almost six times, on average, the amount of CO2 they would emit in their own lifetime, or the equivalent of 2,550 roundtrips flying between London and New York. If the same American drove a more fuel-efficient car, drastically reduced his or her driving, installed energy-efficient windows, used energy-efficient lightbulbs, replaced a household refrigerator, and recycled all household paper, glass and metal, he or she would save fewer than 500 tons.
Under the "optimistic scenario" - an American could still save 562 tonnes of CO2 by having one fewer child, while a Japanese person could save 233 tons.
John Sauven, the executive director of Greenpeace UK, concedes that it's a "no-brainer" that a smaller population would place a smaller burden on the planet. But Greenpeace did not run a smaller family campaign because among environmentally conscious people in his demographic, "nearly all of us have had two children or fewer". Also "10:10 is a populist campaign. It's about doing the easy things first."
If you try to talk about population levels with people who don't believe in climate change, then your actions would appear to be busybodyish meddling. If you talk to people who are strongly committed to reducing their own environmental impact, it's awkward, because raising the issue seems to shift responsibility from the developed countries, which bear most historical responsibility for climate damage, to the developing world, where population growth is most rapid
Family size seems such an intensely personal matter, beyond the legitimate scope of politics or public campaigns. Just mentioning it feels somehow inappropriate.
There's another awkward truth: predictions of catastrophic population explosions have gone wrong in the past, from Malthus in the 1700s, to Paul Ehrlich in the 1960s, to the UN Population Fund, which predicted in 1987 that a world population of 5bn would mean the world "could degenerate into disaster."
Coercion is another troubling matter: China's "one-child policy", has resulted in numerous reports of forced sterilization and abortion. And on the other side, trying to achieve a sustainable population by voluntary means, by making family planning more widespread, draws attacks from pro-life campaigners, who fear a surge in abortions.
A study by the Optimum Population Trust (now Population Matters) estimated that saving a ton of CO2 costs only $7 if the money is spent on family planning; to achieve the same with solar power would cost $51.
Prejudice remains against the idea of having only one child, even though McKibben's book is at its strongest in his tour of the research that shows no evidence that a singleton childhood is detrimental.
It is possible that, in Britain at least, the issue will resolve itself naturally, since both no-child and one-child families are becoming much more common: a record one-fifth of all women turning 50 in Britain in 2010 have no children, while the percentage of children without siblings was 26% in 2007, having steadily increased from 18% in 1972.
In Alan Weisman's 2007 bestseller, The World Without Us, he argues that the world would easily heal, if each person brought a maximum of one child into it. By 2075, the human presence on earth would have been reduced by half.
Some scientists raised an alarm that large quantities of methane (CH4) might be liberated by widespread destabilization of climate-sensitive gas hydrate deposits trapped in marine and permafrost-associated sediments
Even if only a fraction of the liberated methane were to reach the atmosphere, its potency as a greenhouse gas and the persistence of its oxidative product (CO2) heightened concerns that the disassociation of gas hydrate (an ice-like substance formed when methane and water combine at low temperature and moderate pressure) could represent a slow tipping point for Earth's contemporary period of climate change.
An estimated 99% of gas hydrates in the world occurs in the sediments of marine continental margins at saturations as high as 20% to 80% in some formations; the remaining 1% is mostly associated with sediments beneath areas of high-latitude, continuous permafrost. Warming a small volume of gas hydrate can liberate large volumes of gas.
Methane is twenty time more potent that carbon dioxide. But after ten years in the atmosphere, it will oxidize into carbon dioxide.
CH4 concentrations have risen by ~150% since pre-industrial times. Present-day methane emissions are dominated by wetlands, ruminants, fossil fuel production, and rice cultivation.
Republicans continue to seek the erosion of reproductive rights with a series of measures at the federal and state level. Last week the Republican-controlled House approved a bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks. The vote came months after Republicans were forced to withdraw their initial version following dissent from women in their own party.
The new revised measure drops a requirement that rape and incest survivors who seek an exemption must first report to police. But it instead imposes a mandatory waiting period for such women of at least 48 hours before they can have an abortion. The so-called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based on the medically debunked contention that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
This animation shows the global pattern of human land use over the last eight thousand years, a time when human populations began expanding following the origins of agriculture. The earliest areas of human land use are in Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent areas of southwest Asia, followed by increasing areas of land use in China, India, and Europe.
Watch for the areas of intensive land use developing in India, especially along the Ganges River plane, and in Northern China along the lower Yellow and Yangtze rivers.
As time goes on, you will see areas of land use developing in South America, along the Andes, and in Africa, especially in the Sahel region.
By classical times, land use in Europe is very intense with up to 60% of the land under human uses, but we start to see fluctuations around this time too, with some areas abandoned corresponding with wars, famine, and other historical events that affected human populations. As time continues through the Middle Ages and Renaissance, land use in Europe and Chine increase greatly following the development of cities and towns.
Now pay careful attention to South America. Following the first contact with Europeans around 1500, nearly 90% of the indigenous people of the Americas were killed, mainly by disease. This collapse in populations led to massive regrowth of natural vegetation, especially forests in the Amazon, Andes, and Mesoamerica.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, released in stages between September 2013 and November 2014, concluded that the upward global surface temperature trend from 1998-2012 was markedly lower than the trend from 1951-2012. This apparent observed slowing or decrease in the upward rate of global surface temperature warming was nicknamed the "hiatus."
However, NOAA scientists have since made significant improvements in the calculation of trends and now use a global surface temperature record that includes the most recent two years of data, 2013 and 2014--the hottest year on record. Their finding shows an increase in global warming in the last 15 years.
There has been an improvement in measurements and a correction from data from buoys and on site data. incomplete spatial coverage, particularly in the Artic, also led to underestimates of the true global temperature change previously reported in the 2013 IPCC report. The number of weather stations available for analysis has more than doubled.
Today the House Appropriations Committee completed work on the Fiscal Year 2016 State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.
In it, funding for family planning programs in the developing world were cut by almost $150 million, leaving funding for international family planning programs to "not more than $461 million.
The bill also bans any U.S. contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) despite its work to expand access to birth control, to prevent and treat obstetric fistula, to eliminate female genital mutilation, to ensure access to basic reproductive health care to women in emergency situations, to end the practice of child marriage, and to eliminate coercive practices in China.
In addition the bill calls for a reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule, which bans family planning aid to foreign health care agencies that use other, private funding to provide legal abortion, to offer counselling or referrals on legal abortion, or that publicly support a policy of legal abortion within their own countries.
This, in effect, disqualifies the most effective, experienced, and respected family planning providers in the developing world from receiving U.S. aid. The results are disastrous. When it was in effect from 2001 to 2009, clinics were forced to close, services had to be cut back, and contraceptive supplies ran dry. AS a result, abortions in several African countries affected by the policy doubled, according to researchers from Stanford University.
Some women ask their doctors to provide reversible contraception, like an intrauterine device right after childbirth. But normally they are told to return for contraception six weeks after giving birth - after fully half of them have already resumed sexual relations.
Recently a study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who received IUDs during cesarean sections were far more likely to be using them six months later than women who were told to return to the doctor's office to receive one.
Receiving the IUDs after birth could reduce unintended pregnancies and the number of babies conceived within 18 months after a previous birth, thus mitigating a number of infantile risks, including prematurity.
Even though participants in the study received free IUDs and were paid nominally for visits, a quarter of women assigned to get an IUD at six weeks never showed up, probably because the months after childbirth are "an intense, busy, hard time for most women," according to Dr. Erika E. Levi, the study's lead author.
A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility recently found in-hospital insertion of an IUD prevented an estimated 88 unintended pregnancies per 1,000 women over a two-year period, compared with routine placement between six and eight weeks.
A 2010 review of nine randomized trials in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that immediate insertion of an IUD after both vaginal and cesarean deliveries appears to be safe and effective. But a higher percentage of those IUDs are expelled, compared with those placed later.
In the new trial, 8% of women who got IUDs in the hospital during their cesareans lost the devices, compared with only 2% of women who got an IUD later.
Nevertheless, nearly 20% more of the in-hospital group still had IUDs at six months.
The biggest barrier to getting an IUD just after delivery remains a lack of reimbursement. Delivery costs are bundled in a package, so hospitals are not paid for implanting an IUD, which can range from $625 to $900.
In the past few years, at least 12 states, including California, have changed their Medicaid policies to allow hospitals and physicians to be reimbursed separately for in-hospital IUDs. Most private insurers have yet to follow suit.
While use of IUDs has increased nationwide, only 8.5% of women ages 15 to 44 used them in 2009, says the Guttmacher Institute.
The goal of "Improving Nutrition and Food Security Through Family Planning" is to raise awareness and understanding among decision makers about how family planning can help improve key measures of nutrition for mothers, infants, and children, as well as improve food security on a broader scale. Ultimately, the aim is to start a critical policy dialogue to encourage integration of family planning into nutrition and food security policies, strategies, action plans, and programs throughout the world, particularly in Asia and Africa. As such, this presentation can be used as a tool to not only raise awareness, but also to mobilize political commitment and resources.
Developed under the USAID-funded Informing DEcisionmakers to Act (IDEA) project, this presentation is part of a series of ENGAGE presentations that examine the relationship between family planning and the Millennium Development Goals in developing country contexts.
‘Shocking’ revelation finds $5.3 trillion subsidy estimate for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governmentsMay 18, 2015, Guardian By: Damian Carrington
Fossil fuel companies are benefiting from global subsidies of $5.3 tn a year - 6.5% of global GDP. - according to the International Monetary Fund. The figure is an "extremely robust" estimate of the true cost of fossil fuels, IMF says. The subsidies are largely due to polluters not paying the costs imposed on governments by the burning of coal, oil and gas. These include the harm caused to local populations by air pollution as well as to people across the globe affected by the floods, droughts and storms being driven by climate change.
Ending subsidies for fossil fuels would cut global carbon emissions by 20%, slash the number of premature deaths from outdoor air pollution by 50%, eliminate the need for subsidies for renewable energy, and, by freeing resources, drive economic growth and poverty reduction through greater investment in infrastructure, health and education.
Coal, the dirtiest fuel due to local air pollution and climate-warming carbon emissions, is the greatest beneficiary of the subsidies, with just over half the total. Oil, heavily used in transport, gets about a third of the subsidy and gas the rest.
China, with its large population and heavy reliance on coal power, provides $2.3tn of the annual subsidies. The US is the next at $700bn. Russia, the EU, India,and Japan follow.
The costs due to climate change driven account for about a quarter of the IMF's total. The direct subsidizing of fuel for consumers, by government discounts on diesel and other fuels, account for just 6% of the IMF's total. Other local factors, such as reduced sales taxes on fossil fuels and the cost of traffic congestion and accidents, make up the rest. The IMF says traffic costs are included because increased fuel prices would be the most direct way to reduce them.
Reform of the subsidies would increase energy costs but existing fossil fuel subsidies overwhelmingly go to the rich, with the wealthiest 20% of people getting six times as much as the poorest 20% in low and middle-income countries. With oil and coal prices currently low, there is a "golden opportunity" to phase out subsidies and use the increased tax revenues to reduce poverty through investment and to provide better targeted support.
Subsidy reforms are beginning in dozens of countries including Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco and Thailand. In India, subsidies for diesel ended in October 2014. Coal use has also begun to fall in China for the first time this century.
David Coady, the IMF official in charge of the report, said: "If we get the pricing of fossil fuels right, the argument for subsidies for renewable energy will disappear. Renewable energy would all of a sudden become a much more attractive option."
Shelagh Whitley, a subsidies expert at the Overseas Development Institute, said: "Compounding the issue, our research shows that many of the energy subsidies highlighted by the IMF go toward finding new reserves of oil, gas and coal, which we know must be left in the ground if we are to avoid catastrophic, irreversible climate change."
Vitor Gaspar, the IMF's head of fiscal affairs and former finance minister of Portugal, said that each nation will directly benefit from tackling its own fossil fuel subsidies. "The icing on the cake is that the benefits from subsidy reform - for example, from reduced pollution - would overwhelmingly accrue to local populations," he said.
World Energy Production at 18 Terawatts and Still RisingJune 7, 2015, Facebook By: Bodhi Paul Chefurka
In ultra-high-power groups like human civilization, with our related activities of politics and economics., everything we do bears the imprint of the Maximum Power Principle, and supports its operation either directly (e.g. through energy companies) or indirectly through such activities as our political and legal systems. any society that does not (or cannot) follow this law will in the long run be swept away by its neighbours that do. this is, in fact, the mechanism by which higher-powered empires succeed lower powered ones - as the sails of the Spanish gave way to British coal, which yielded in turn to American oil and nuclear power.
In the end all that matters is power mobilization; all else is window dressing. At 18 Terawatts of total power production and climbing, I'd say Homo colossus is doing just fine in the world MPP sweepstakes. With that kind of power production it's scant wonder that the world's wild species don't stand a chance against us.
In 2009, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation donated over $23 million to the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, a five-year program that offered 30,000 participants low-income teenage girls and young women long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) -- IUDs or hormonal implants -- at no cost.
These devices have a 1% failure rate because they no further action once inserted and remain effective for years. The Pill failure rate under real use is 10 times higher. Unfortunately, the upfront cost of a LARC can be as high as $1,200. Two other barriers: 1) many teens fear the insurance claim forms sent to their parents would reveal they are sexually active, 2) many women don't know about LARCs and assume the cheaper pills available at clinics are their only option.
The participants in the Initiative, where they were given the opportunity to make an informed decision at no cost, chose LARCs. This resulted in a 40% decline in teen births, and a 34% decline in teen abortions. And for every dollar spent on the program, the state saved $5.85 in short-term Medicaid costs, in addition to other cost reductions and the enormous social benefit of freeing low-income teens from unwanted pregnancies and what too often follows: dropping out of school, unready motherhood, and poverty.
Because Colorado's state government was in Democratic hands when the program began, and the initiative enjoyed some bipartisan support, the foundation picked Colorado for its pilot program. The idea was that the state would take it over if the initiative showed positive results. But Republicans won control of the State Senate last November and GOP lawmakers killed it. So much for the party of fiscal responsibility.
Republican State Senator Kevin Lundberg said using an IUD could mean "stopping a small child from implanting."
Dr. David Turok, a leading expert on the IUD, said that a massive amount of scientific evidence shows that the devices work by preventing fertilization. It is "theoretically possible" that IUDs can prevent implantation, Turok said, "but the chances are infinitesimally small."
"We're providing this long-term birth control and telling girls, 'You don't have to worry. You're covered,'" said Representative Kathleen Conti. "That does allow a lot of young ladies to go out there and look for love in all the wrong places."
Has the fear of pregnancy worked well enough to keep girls virginal?
Others claimed: IUDs cause breast cancer (unproved). STD rates are up (actually, they've stayed the same, which strongly suggests LARCs don't increase sexual activity). Republican Senator Ellen Roberts wanted to know why -- since no-cost birth control is already provided by the Affordable Care Act -- should the state pay for the program? Because the ACA doesn't cover everyone; it doesn't guarantee teens' privacy; and the fine print has allowed insurance companies to refuse to cover the more expensive, more effective methods.
"The place where efforts to provide LARCs get distorted is that you have to acknowledge that human beings have sex, and some are young and some are not married," said Turok.
Note: earlier WOA carried a story from the New York Times titled 'The Unrealized Horrors of Population Explosion' ( http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-06-01/why-paul-ehrlich-s-population-bomb-finally-bombed ) which disparages Paul R. Ehrlich and his 1968 book, "The Population Bomb," for having predictions that did not come true. The following is the latest of a series of replies to the NYT article.
Since it is difficult to make predictions, we should cut some slack for Paul Ehrlich, who forecast the imminent breakdown of the world's ability to feed itself.
"Not that Ehrlich himself makes this easy to do." ... "The now-83-year-old Stanford biologist says insufferable things like, "One of the things that people don't understand is that timing to an ecologist is very, very different from timing to an average person." Uh, then why did you write a book clearly aimed at average people that confidently predicted that in the 1970s hundreds of millions would die of famine?," Justin First writes. First decided to finally read Ehrlich's book and was surprised to find that half of Ehrlich's prediction came true. He forecast that population would double by 2005, and, indeed, it went from about 3.5 billion in 1968 to 7 billion in 2011 -- he was only 6 years off.
But Ehrlich turned out to be wrong when he said that the planet's carrying capacity would not be enough to feed the world's people. Just as Ehrlich was finishing his book per-acre grain yields went up much faster due to the Green Revolution came along. Ehrlich was aware of the new technology, and he was "hopeful" about the prospects for an "agricultural revolution," but there were all kinds of things that could go wrong, so he didn't think anybody should bank on it. Productivity bursts, in agriculture as in other economic endeavors, have always been hard to predict.
While Ehrlich dismissed the possibility that populations might start shrinking in the absence of government coercion, but those population declines have been swamped by increases elsewhere, so overall Ehrlich still got it right.
When it came to people and their reproductive rates Ehrlich went over the edge "Population control, of course, is the only solution to population growth," he wrote. Slowing population growth in a few developed countries was nothing more than "short-term fluctuations". He endorsed forced sterilization of fathers of three or more children in India, adding, "Coercion? Perhaps, but coercion in a good cause."
United Nations' latest population projections show that, if high fertility rates continue, global population will pass 10 billion in 27 years and 15 billion in 73 years. It is only if the trend toward having fewer children continues and spreads to many more countries that population will stabilize or even drop.
This means that, instead of coercion, we can rely on college tuition and expensive urban real estate to keep fertility rates in check. Will it turn to out to be any more accurate? Not sure. Predicting is hard. Especially about the future.
Sixty percent of large wild herbivores (body mass ≥100 kg) are threatened with extinction. Nearly all threatened species are in developing countries, where major threats include hunting, land-use change, and resource depression by livestock. Loss of large herbivores can have cascading effects on other species including large carnivores, scavengers, mesoherbivores, small mammals, and ecological processes involving vegetation, hydrology, nutrient cycling, and fire regimes. The rate of large herbivore decline suggests that ever-larger swaths of the world will soon lack many of the vital ecological services these animals provide, resulting in enormous ecological and social costs.
The combined impacts of hunting, encroachment by humans and their livestock, and habitat loss could lead to the extinction of a suite of large herbivores relatively soon.
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 44 of the 74 largest terrestrial herbivores are listed as threatened with extinction (including 12 critically endangered or extinct in the wild), and 43 ( 58%) have decreasing populations.
The most-threatened large herbivore species are found in southern Asia, throughout much of extreme Southeast Asia, as well as Ethiopia and Somalia of eastern Africa. The ecoregions with seven threatened large herbivore species are the Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests, the Sunda Shelf mangroves, and the peninsular Malaysian rain forests. Hunting for meat is the predominant threat in all ecoregions containing at least five threatened large herbivore species. These ecoregions fall mostly within the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome (20 of 30 ecoregions), but biomes containing combinations of grasslands, shrublands, savannas, mangroves, or other forest types represent the other 10 ecoregions with at least five threatened large herbivore species.
The white rhinoceros follows one of the greatest success stories in the history of modern conservation: the recovery of the southern white rhino from a single population of fewer than 100 individuals in the early 1900s to about 20,000 today. Even with the current crisis of rhinoceros poaching, this illustrates that, with sufficient protection, recovery is possible for relatively slow-breeding species that are highly prized by poachers.
Many of the largest herbivore species have ranges that are collapsing. On average, these species currently occupy only 19% of their historical ranges. This is exemplified by the elephant, hippopotamus, and black rhinoceros, all of which now occupy just tiny fractions of their historical ranges in Africa. Many of these declining species are poorly known scientifically, and badly in need of basic ecological research. Scientific research effort has been much greater for nonthreatened than threatened species, and greater overall for species in developed countries. Indeed, those that have been most studied are primarily game species in wealthy countries.
The main threats to large herbivores are hunting, competition with livestock, and land-use change such as habitat loss, human encroachment, cultivation, and deforestation. Extensive overhunting for meat across much of the developing world is likely the most important factor in the decline of the largest terrestrial herbivore. Slow reproduction makes large herbivores particularly vulnerable to overhunting. The largest- and slowest-to-reproduce species typically vanish first, and as they disappear, hunters turn to smaller and more fecund species. In synergy with changes in land use, hunting for meat has increased in recent years due to human population growth, greater access to wildlands due to road building, use of modern firearms and wire snares, access to markets, and the rising demand for wild meat. Demand for wild meat is intensifying, supply is declining, and protected area management budgets for protecting wildlife from overhunting are often inadequate, particularly in developing nations.
Hunting large herbivores for body parts is also driving down populations of some species, especially the iconic ones.
Livestock continues to encroach on land needed for wild grazers and browsers, particularly in developing countries where livestock production tripled between 1980 and 2002. There are an estimated 3.6 billion ruminant livestock on Earth today, and about 25 million have been added to the planet every year for the last 50 years. This upsurge in livestock has resulted in more competition for grazing, a reduction in forage and water available to wild herbivores, a greater risk of disease transmission from domestic to wild species, and increased methane emissions. In central Asia, the expansion of goat grazing for cashmere wool production for international export has reduced habitats available to large herbivores with consequent impacts on their predators including snow leopards.
In many pastoral settings in Africa, domestic livestock are abundant but not regularly consumed for subsistence, and are instead kept as a means of storing wealth, as a status symbol, or for consumption on special occasions. Livestock is a private good, and so, people invest significant energy to protect it, whereas wild herbivores are typically a public good, often resulting in weak incentives for their conservation and in many cases open access to the resource, both of which commonly result in overuse.
Habitat loss is a significant threat to large herbivores in parts of Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. The causes of this threat have important drivers originating in developed countries due to demand for agricultural and other products. Southeast Asia has the highest rate of deforestation among tropical regions, and if trends continue, Southeast Asia could lose 75% of its original forests and nearly half of its biodiversity by the end of this century. Habitat loss is typically asymmetrical with respect to quality, with remaining habitat generally being less productive. Additionally, the greater area requirements of larger species make them unable to persist in smaller fragments of habitat, which may still support smaller herbivores. Their larger area requirement also makes larger species that persist in fragments increasingly susceptible to conservation challenges that affect small populations. This suggests a greater likelihood of extinction among the larger rather than smaller herbivores.
Other threats to large herbivores include human encroachment (including road building), cultivation of crops, and civil unrest, all of which contribute to population decline.
There are much more items of interest in this article.
Tennessee representative Scott DesJarlais opposes abortion, has run repeatedly as a pro-life candidate, and routinely votes in favor of restricting reproductive rights. In early May DesJarlais voted in favor of the 20-week abortion ban. Yet in 2012 a tape surfaced of a conversation DesJarlais had recorded between himself and his mistress back in 2000 where he pressured her to get an abortion. This raised a scandal which coincided with his reelection campaign. DesJarlais denied that there was a pregnancy.
A divorce trial transcript from 2001 demonstrated that DesJarlais had also supported his ex-wife's decision to get two abortions before their marriage. The first was a "therapeutic" abortion because she was on medication that could cause birth defects and retardation. The second was because "things were not going well between us" and the abortion was a "mutual decision."
Polls have shown repeatedly the same sort of dynamic, where people who identify as pro-life support abortion when it's discussed as an individual decision rather than an abstract judgment between right and wrong. When Jon Pennington interviewed people while working on his Ph.D. on the pro-life movement: a woman he interviewed said, "Most pro-life women oppose abortion with four exceptions: rape, incest, the life of the mother, and me."
In the Space of Only One Year, 276,000 Under-Age Girls Were Married and 109,000 Teenagers Gave Birth in IranJanuary 14, 2015, Justice For Iran
The number of Iranian girls who got married between the ages of 10 and 14 reached its highest level in 2013-2014 after the country saw a continuous growth in under-age marriages during the previous five years.
More than 8% of women who gave birth during the last five years ( 2009-2014) were between 15 and 19 years of age.
The number of girls who became mothers while younger than 15 also rose. The last official statistics published in Iran reveal that 10% of the babies born to mothers between 10 and 12 years of age die. Also the last official census in Iran shows that the mortality rate of babies born to mothers younger than 15 is higher than for all other age groups in Iran.
1,289 mothers gave birth at age 14 during 2012-2013. There were another 275 births to 13-year-old mothers.
During 2013-2014, the number of girls who got married between the age of 10 and 15 accounted for 5.44% of all marriages in Iran.
Two bills currently in the parliament whose generalities have been approved are: "The Bill to Increase Fertility Rates and Prevent Population Decline" and "The Comprehensive Population and Exaltation of Family Bill" contain laws which would potentially directly violate the right of women to gain access to information on temporary and permanent methods of contraception, family planning services, legal and safe abortion and follow-up care.
The side effects of these strict rules place women from the poorest households at greatest risk, including many young brides, who will be denied access to free contraception pills and general education.
Any activity including education and consultancy in the sphere of family planning and promotion of contraceptive devices can be regarded as a crime.
Stopping or limiting family planning programs will affect hardest those young girls who, when entering early marriages, have little knowledge about contraception and insufficient control over the arrangement of sexual relations related to the spacing of pregnancies. More than other women, they are at risk of unwanted pregnancies and repeated childbearing. In addition to bearing the social and psychological consequences of early and repeated births, their physical health will be at risk during the time of giving birth and in the long term as well.
The funding for the Family and Population Planning Programme has already been eliminated from the March 2012-2013 budget. Free family planning services, which included free distribution of condoms and contraception pills, were stopped and the majority of health centres and pharmacies refrain from presenting condoms as the easiest and safest method of contraception.
On the eve of the second session of the Universal Periodic Review on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, which took place on 31 October 2014 at the headquarters of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Justice for Iran asked other countries to present recommendations aimed at stopping early marriages in Iran.
Despite eight countries -- Germany, Italy, Israel, Sierra Leone, Poland, South Korea and Montenegro -- providing recommendations for the Islamic Republic of Iran during this session to reform the law on forced and early marriage, the Islamic Republic failed to accept any of these recommendations.
The Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights in Iran is an important mechanism of the United Nations within which each country is obliged to present a report to the international community on its situation of human rights. All other countries then participate in a session held at the headquarters of the UN Human Rights Council and provide their recommendations to the country under review.
Iran is a member of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Charter on Civil and Political Rights. Both of these forbid early marriage as well as marriages without real consent. The UN rapporteur on slavery described forced marriage as a form of modern slavery. However, Article 1041 of the Iranian Civil Code determines the age of marriage for girls as 13 years or even lower on condition that the father or the paternal grandfather win the approval of a judge.
"No Más Bebés," a new documentary about Los Angeles County General Hospital's sterilization abuse against Latinas in the early '70s, is set to premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival this month. The film tells the story of 10 Mexican-American women who had been sterilized after having emergency Cesarean sections. This year is the 40th anniversary of the lawsuit - which was filed in 1975.
Some of the women didn't know that they'd undergone tubal ligations until Antonia Hernandéz, a Latina lawyer just one year out of law school, began contacting them. She'd gotten their names from a young white L.A. County resident who witnessed and condemned the abuse.
The most important point of the film is the idea of the framework of reproductive justice, that a woman has a right to not have children if she chooses, or to have a child and raise that child in dignity. We need to make sure that people listen to the needs and the voices of poor women, women of color and immigrant women who've been marginalized.
State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) introduced the Health for All bill (Senate Bill, or SB 4) that will allow low-income immigrant families in California to get medical care through the state's health insurance program for low-income people called Medi-Cal (California's name for Medicaid). Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California. "It will make a big impact on our health care system and on our economy."
The bill would also allow undocumented immigrants whose incomes are above the Medi-Cal eligibility limit to purchase insurance through Covered California, the state's online marketplace.
About one-third of California's estimated 500,000 undocumented residents can afford to purchase insurance through the marketplace on their own, according to Lara.
If SB 4 is signed into law, the state would seek a federal waiver to allow undocumented immigrants to purchase insurance on the marketplace, but without providing them the federal subsidies now available to documented consumers.
The $40 million approved by the Senate Budget Subcommittee Thursday represents only a fraction of what it would need, but it would help get SB 4 off the ground.
SB 4 is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee and is likely to come up for a vote on May 28. If it passes, it would go before the full Senate in early June and from there on to the Assembly.
Nationalist monks are behind new powers enabling authorities to ‘organise’ family planning among groups with high birth rates such as RohingyasMay 24, 2015, Mail and Guardian By: Sara Perria
Burma has introduced a birth control law to "organise" women to have a gap of 36 months between births. The laws was driven by nationalist Buddhist monks who fear that the Muslim population is growing too quickly.
Muslim and non-Buddhist communities have been subject to birth-control policies in the past.
The Health Care for Population Control act does not identify any specific group within Burma's web of ethnic communities and religions. But as the plight of thousands of Rohingya Muslim fleeing persecution unfolds, the US and human rights organisations have stepped up their criticism.
US deputy secretary of state Antony Blinken said the population law could be enforced in such a way as to undermine the reproductive rights of minorities.
Members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy opposed the bill.
Extremist Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu said "If the bill is enacted, it could stop the Bengalis that call themselves Rohingya, who are trying to seize control." "[The bill] was drafted for healthcare. The World Health Organization also advised a three-year interval between each child."
The three other laws would impose restrictions on religious conversion and inter-religious marriage and prohibit extra-marital affairs.
"ctivists with a racist, anti-Muslim agenda pressed this population law so there is every reason to expect it to be implemented in a discriminatory way," Human Rights Watch Asia director Brad Adams said.
Rights groups complain that they have not seen the final text of the law but earlier drafts instruct authorities in designated "health zones" to "organise" married couples to practise birth spacing. The bill does not contain explicit guarantees that contraceptive use should be voluntary with consent of the user. It does not specify punishments either, nor does it mention abortion.
The hardline minority of Buddhist monks say that the ancient religion of Burma must be defended against an advancing tide of radical Islam, with the Muslim population growing more swiftly within the country and entering as illegal immigrants from without.
A 2013 report commissioned by the government concluded that "the extremely rapid growth rate of the Bengali population also contributed to fear and insecurity ... The growth was not only due to high birth rates, but also to a steady increase of illegal immigration from neighbouring Bangladesh".
Khon Ja, a member of the Kachin Women's Peace Network said "The target is the Rohingya," referring to the Muslim minority. "But the law could affect anyone," she added.
Activists still hope that even after becoming law the government will fail to follow up with the specific directives that would activate the population controls. If Aung San Suu Kyi's party wins the elections in November and is allowed to form a government they could then influence that process and clarify the law.
Note: WOA does not agree with this article from New York Times, however, if you look at the video that accompany the article, it does show lowering fertility by voluntary family planning.
In 1966 a science fiction novel titled "Make Room! Make Room!" sketched a dystopian world in which too many people scrambled for too few resources. Later the book became the basis for a 1973 film about a hellish future, "Soylent Green." However, no one was more influential than Paul R. Ehrlich, in his 1968 book, "The Population Bomb," which said that humankind stood on the brink of apocalypse because of human overpopulation. He later went on to forecast that hundreds of millions would starve to death in the 1970s, that 65 million of them would be Americans, that crowded India was essentially doomed, that odds were fair "England will not exist in the year 2000." He warned in 1970 that "sometime in the next 15 years, the end will come," with "an utter breakdown of the capacity of the planet to support humanity."
Population is twice what it was when the book was written yet humanity has managed to hang on.
Dr. Ehrlich still asserts that the end is still nigh, and still insists that 'population control' is required, preferably through voluntary methods. But if necessary he would endorse eliminating "tax benefits for having additional children." Allowing women to have as many babies as they wanted, he said, is akin to letting everyone "throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor's backyard as they want."
Stewart Brand, founding editor of the Whole Earth Catalog said, "How many years do you have to not have the world end" to reach a conclusion that "maybe it didn't end because that reason was wrong?"
The world figured out how to feed itself despite its rising numbers, thanks to Norman E. Borlaug, whose breeding of high-yielding, disease-resistant crops led to the Green Revolution [which saved millions of lives].
Julian L. Simon, an economist who established himself as the anti-Ehrlich, argued that "whatever the rate of population growth is, historically it has been that the food supply increases at least as fast, if not faster."
Fred Pearce, a British writer who specializes in global population, is worried about population decline.
Because of improved health standards, birthing many children is not the survival imperative for families that it once was. In cramped cities, large families are not the blessing they were in the agricultural past. And women in many societies are ever more independent, socially and economically; they no longer accept that their fate is to be endlessly pregnant. If anything, the worry in many countries is that their populations are aging and that national vitality is ebbing.
Pearce blames overconsumpton. "Let's look at carbon dioxide emissions, the biggest current concern because of climate change," he continued. "The world's richest half billion people - that's about 7 percent of the global population - are responsible for half of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile, the poorest 50 percent of the population are responsible for just 7 percent of emissions."
With more than 8,500 fatalities, the two earthquakes that struck Nepal on April 25 and May 12 have yielded catastrophic repercussions that many overlook. Due to criminals seeking to take advantage of orphans and increased rape, there will be a significant surge in child marriage and trafficking rates, which are already high in Nepal.
According to Anand Tamang, the director of CREHPA, a Nepalese organization against child marriage, children will become more vulnerable in the aftermath of the earthquakes. "Rape is taking place. Almost every week we have a case of a young girl being raped... Parents who have young girls... will think the best way to ensure her safety will be to marry her," he said. In addition to concerns about safety, families will also marry off young girls with the expenses or destruction of schools.
Child marriage increases the probabilities of childbirth complications and sexual and domestic abuse. Tamang describes child marriage as "a social evil [that deprives] the chance to enjoy the life of an adolescent... of her education and her aspirations." This is not only an issue in Nepal; throughout the world, more than 700 million women today were married before they were 18, with one in three girls in developing nations married before the age of 18.
'So What If I'm on the Dole'?' Mother of Ten Children by Five Fathers Now Wants 50 Grandchildren to Keep Benefits Rolling inMay 19, 2015, Daily Mail By: Martin Robinson
A single mother with ten children by five fathers has said she wants 50 grandchildren so they can become Britain's biggest benefits family. Mandy Cowie, 49, has lived on benefits for 30 yr., and her own children have been following the same jobless path. She receives about £22,000-a-year in government handouts and encourages her children to have 5 babies each so the checks will keep pouring in.
Ms Cowie has spent £2,000 on tattoos, including one that says: "Only God can judge me." In a recent TV show, her children describe how to milk the system to gain as much cash from the state as possible.
The United Nations Population Division has dramatically revised its projections for the next 90 years. The new statistics, based on in-depth survey data from sub-Saharan Africa, tell the story of a world poised to change drastically over the next several decades. Most rich countries will shrink and age, poorer countries will expand rapidly and Africa will see a population explosion nearly unprecedented in human history.
Here is the story of the next 90 years as predicted by UN demographic data and explained in nine charts. The charts are interactive. Click on the link in the headline to see the charts.
In 2100 today's dominant, developed economies will be increasingly focused on supporting the elderly and Africa, for better or worse, will be more important than ever.
In Africa there will four times the workforce, four times the resource burden, four times as many voters. The rapid growth itself will likely transform political and social dynamics within African countries and thus their relationship with the rest of the world.
Nigeria will have almost a billion people by 2100 and will be within range of surpassing China in population. Nigeria is only about the area of Texas and the country is already troubled by corruption, poverty and religious conflict. The government that can barely serve its population right now. How will it respond when the demand on resources, social services, schools and roads increases by a factor of eight. The country's vast oil reserves could certainly help - the rapidly growing workforce could theoretically deliver an African miracle akin to, say, China's.
Right now, many African countries aren't particularly adept at either governance or resource management. If they don't improve, exploding population growth could only worsen resource competition -- and we're talking here about basics like food, water and electricity -- which in turn makes political instability and conflict more likely. The fact that there will be a "youth bulge" of young people makes that instability and conflict more likely.
Tanzania, one of the poorest countries in the world, went from 34 million people in 2000 to 45 million today. By 2100 it is projected to reach 276 million. Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo have similar projections.
If Tanzania remains as poor and troubled as it is today, water and food resources will only get scarcer as it's divided among more and more people, as will whatever money the government makes exporting natural resources. That typically leads to instability and a higher risk of conflict. But if Tanzania puts its growing population to work building the economy, its future in 2100 could be promising.
The "dependency ratio" is the ratio of people under age 15 or over age 64 to the number of people age 15 to 64. The idea is that people who are very young or very old are dependent on others to provide for them. In Africa only 56% Africans are working-age, and the dependency ratio is 80%. That's a huge burden on society and a big contributor to poverty. But as the birth rate slows and those young dependents enter the work force, the dependency ratio is going to fall, dropping to 60% by 2055. There will be a lot of young men who could be employed, (creating a 'demographic dividend') but if resources are scarce, this can create political instability.
Europe, as it continues to shrink, will get the worst of the economic problems, with the average dependency ratio hitting an Africa-style 76% in 2055.
South America is expected to reach a deeply worrying 82% dependency ratio by 2100. Its population will rise until about 2050, at which point it will begin its own gradual population decline.
Asia's population growth, already slowing, is expected to peak about 50 years from now then start declining. Its dependency ratio, currently low, will stay low until it starts to rise around 2050.
In China, when the current generation retires, there will be a rapidly growing pool of retirees just as the workforce starts to shrink. Those aging retirees will be an enormous burden on the Chinese economy, which is just beginning to slow down.
North America continue to grow at a slow, sustainable rate, surpassing South America's overall population around 2070.
Because the United States can expect healthy, sustained growth, mostly due to immigration, it will continue to be a leader economically. Immigration helps the U.S. to do what very few other countries, including China, has yet figured out: how to be a rich country with a growing population.
Effective in June, a 2013 California law (SB 493) lets any pharmacist write prescriptions for contraception and sell the prescription without involving a physician. When women request contraception, the pharmacist must follow a protocol filed with state regulators by the California Board of Pharmacy. Before receiving the contraception a woman must complete a health questionnaire, undergo a blood pressure test, and consult with the pharmacist on dosage and other information.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other medical groups support over-the-counter contraception. A study published last year in Contraception found that the practice could cut unintended pregnancies by 25%. For uninsured women, dealing only with a pharmacist's is likely to cost less and take less time than physician visits. For those insured under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148), insurers must cover all forms of FDA-approved contraceptives, including those prescribed by pharmacists.
California Pharmacists Association CEO Jon Roth noted that while major retail chains can advertise the service, consumers may take a while to notice how the pharmacists' role has changed.
The Afghan Institute of Learning's Mobile Literacy Program Uses Texting to Teach and Expands CommunitiesMay 15, 2015, Global Fund For Women
At the Afghan Institute of Learning, women and girls are taught to read and write using mobile phones and text messaging (SMS). SMS not only increases literacy levels, it allows program participants to develop self-confidence and to connect with their communities.
The Afghan Institute of Learning program is a four-month curriculum that involves classroom instruction, interactive teaching methods, and hands-on practice. The classes, which typically consist of two teachers and 30-35 students, combine AIL's proven literacy curriculum with text messaging to accelerate the pace of learning.
At the beginning of the program, about 80% of the women and girls participating cannot read or can only recognize the basic alphabet. By the end of the four-month program, 80% are able to read at the fourth grade reading level or higher. In a traditional classroom setting this kind of progress typically takes 18 months. The difference is attributed to the use of technology! So far, almost 1,000 women and girls have completed the program.
Most of the girls who participate in the program have limited social circles and live very far away from each other. Text messaging allows them to be in touch with one another. AIL believes this helps support an accelerated learning process.
Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that lung and adrenal lesions found in dead bottlenose dolphins stranded along the Gulf of Mexico between June 2010 and December 2012 are consistent with the types of damage that marine mammals sustain from exposure to petroleum products after an oil spill.
The findings are the latest results from the Deepwater Horizon National Resource Damage Assessment, an ongoing investigation by NOAA into the spill, the largest offshore oil spill in United States history. Combined with previous studies by the agency, this paper provides additional support to a link between the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 and mass dolphin deaths in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.
"These dolphins had some of the most severe lung lesions I have ever seen in wild dolphins throughout the United States," said Dr. Colegrove, author of the study.
BP, which owned the well that blew out denied the conclusions of the study, saying "the data we have seen thus far, including the new study from NOAA, do not show that oil from the Deepwater Horizon accident caused an increase in dolphin mortality."
In the summer of 2013, a high-profile battle over a proposed package of abortion restrictions in Texas sparked huge protests, dominated national headlines, and spurred Wendy Davis to run for governor. But that was only the beginning.
New abortion restrictions have forced at least half of the state's clinics to close their doors. These came on top of a growing health crisis impacting Texas' nearly 27 million residents that occurred after the GOP-controlled state legislature in 2011 slashed funding for family planning services by two-thirds and dismantled the state's network of family planning providers in an effort to exclude Planned Parenthood.
A survey by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project -- based at the University of Texas at Austin -- reports that more than half of Texas women have faced at least one barrier to getting the reproductive health services they need. 76 women's health clinics have been forced to close, leaving low-income and rural women struggling to access basic preventative services like Pap smears, STD tests, and birth control consultations. Impoverished immigrant communities living in rural parts of the state have recently starting organizing in an effort to hold Texas officials accountable for what they say are human rights violations.
Women in one of the largest states in the country are struggling to get to a clinic for their gender-based health needs. Respondents reported that they lacked childcare, lacked transportation, or had difficulty taking time off of work or school to make the trip.
Texas is one of the GOP-controlled states that continues to refuse to accept Obamacare's optional Medicaid expansion, leaving more than one million people locked out of affordable health care coverage altogether. Since Texas has such a high population of uninsured residents and such stringent eligibility requirements for its Medicaid program in the absence of expansion, the Lone Star State is home to 25% of the people across the country who fall into this coverage gap.
Many immigrant women in Texas report that they're not receiving culturally competent care and therefore struggle to build trust with their doctors. Other issues are that they can't pay for the services they need or have issues getting their clinic visits covered, as well as having to look for new doctors.
After the state's health department projected a sharp rise in unintended births as a direct result of the budget cuts, Texas lawmakers have attempted to take some steps to restore the funding for family planning services. But it will take years for Texas to truly recover from the damage wrought by the deep cuts to its family planning network.
Meanwhile, legislators show no signs of slowing down the ongoing assault against reproductive health access, for example, slashing cancer screenings for low-income women and banning insurance plans from offering any type of coverage for abortion services.
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Population Connection: Please Join Us to Help End the Global Gag Rule
Even though President Obama lifted the Global Gag Rule in his first week in the White House, the policy continues to undermine family planning programs around the world.
The Wilberforce Award
Australian businessman Dick Smith has announced a $1 million prize (Australian dollars) to anyone under 30 years of age who can show leadership in communicating an alternative to growth. Those who are interested, should follow Dick Smith's instructions by clicking the link in the headline of this article.
The Fake Environmentalists and Their Pretend-Game
Regional planners, under the direction of their political overlords---the proxies of developers - are trying to shove tens of thousands more people into the North Vancouver Island region. And they don't want people to grasp the full implications of their devious plans. What is transpiring here is transpiring across Canada and the continent of North America--and elsewhere. New subdivisions are sprouting up all over the map in place of greenbelts, woodlands and marshes and the people have little say in the matter.
Birth Control Matters! Petition - One Million Voices for No-Cost Birth Control
The time has come to provide birth control at no cost to every woman who wants it.
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg Calls 'choice' An Empty Concept for Poor Women Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the concept of "choice" is an ephemeral one for low-income women who live in states that pass laws limiting access to abortion, as they may not be able to afford to travel to a state with less onerous restrictions. The lack of reproductive freedom is a remaining barrier to gender parity, the justice said at a Duke Law event Wednesday evening. Advocacy organizations and groups that fund abortions hav...
No Really, How Sustainable Are We? Ever since the writing of Thomas Malthus in the early 1800s, and especially since Paul Ehrlich's publication of "The Population Bomb" in 1968, there has been a lot of learned skull-scratching over what the sustainable human population of Planet Earth might "really" be over the long haul. This question is intrinsically tied to the issue of ecological overshoot so ably described by William R. Catton Jr. in his 1980 book "Overshoot:The Ecological ...
The Attack on Planned Parenthood, a View From Inside Alec I thought I knew something about courage, but what I learned at PPWI was that I knew nothing about it. The staff and physicians who walk into a health center every day, who are targeted and harassed while their workplace is sometimes vandalized and threatened, are the heroes. And they do it every day because there are thousands of women in our state who simply wouldn't have access to birth control, cervical and breast cancer screens or testing an...
Scientists More Worried Than Public About World's Growing Population When the English scholar Thomas Malthus published An Essay on the Principle of Population in 1798, the number of people around the world was nearing 1 billion for the first time. "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man," he wrote then. World Population GrowthSkip ahead to 1968, when the world's population had risen to around 3.5 billion and the annual rate of growth peaked at 2.1...
Lawmakers Ask Attorney General to Investigate Sham Group Attacking Planned Parenthood Four House Democrats are calling for an investigation into the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) as the group's deceptively edited video attacking Planned Parenthood continues to fall apart under public scrutiny. Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) sent a letter on Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and California Attorney General Kamala Harris asking them to investigate whet...
Catholic Nun Explains Pro-life in a Way That Will Stun Many (especially Republican Lawmakers) In one simple quote, Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B. sums up the hypocrisy in the 'pro-life' movement: "I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's ...
Global Population Set to Hit 9.7 Billion People by 2050 Despite Fall in Fertility Despite a continuing slowdown in the rate of population growth, it is "almost inevitable" that the number of people on the planet will rise from 7.3 billion today to 9.7 billion in 2050, according to the latest UN projections. Ten years ago, the world population was growing by 1.24% annually; today, the percentage has dropped to 1.18% - or roughly another 83 million people a year. The overall growth rate, which peaked in the late 1960s, has been...
Study Finds 40% of World's Population Hasn't Heard of Climate Change Using data from the largest cross-sectional survey of climate change perceptions ever conducted, researchers report the first global assessment of factors underlying climate change awareness and risk perception. They say results indicate that to be most effective, climate-related messages must be tailored to public awareness and perceptions specific to each nation. Co-author Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Comm...
New Who Guidelines Could Reduce Heavy Unsafe Abortion Death Toll On Wednesday 29 July the World Health Organisation (WHO) released some of its most ground-breaking guidance yet in the field of safe abortion. They are recommending nurses and midwives be allowed to perform surgical abortions and post-abortion care. Although WHO have released guidelines before this is the first time they have issued firm, evidence-based justifications for involving a wider range of health workers Among their many recommendations...
Report Documents Unmet Need for Expanded Family Planning Services at Chcs As part of a unique survey of nearly 2,000 women of childbearing age who receive health care at the nation's community health centers, 90 percent reported that they were not actively seeking to become pregnant in the next 12 months. Yet more than 3 out of 10 were not using contraceptives at the time of the survey. The survey's findings signal a clear unmet need for more comprehensive family planning services at health centers, according to a repo...
A Fully Transparent Solar Cell That Could Make Every Window and Screen a Power Source Scientifically, a transparent solar panel is something of an oxymoron. Solar cells, specifically the photovoltaic kind, make energy by absorbing photons (sunlight) and converting them into electrons (electricity). If a material is transparent, however, by definition it means that all of the light passes through the medium to strike the back of your eye. This is why previous transparent solar cells have actually only been partially transparent - a...
Sockeye Fishing Closure Considered as Half of Upper Columbia's Run Apparently Dies in Warm Waters Despite an early facade of excellent sockeye fishing success, the third-largest run on record is in dire straits and Washington fish managers are considering a possible early closure of the prized season in the upper Columbia River. About half the sockeye run appears to have perished in the low flows and warm water conditions they've endured this year in their taxing migration up the Columbia toward spawning areas, says Jeff Korth, Washington De...
Synchronous Failure: the Emerging Causal Architecture of Global Crisis Recent global crises reveal an emerging pattern of causation that could increasingly characterize the birth and progress of future global crises. A conceptual framework identifies this pattern's deep causes, intermediate processes, and ultimate outcomes. The framework shows how multiple stresses can interact within a single social-ecological system to cause a shift in that system's behavior, how simultaneous shifts of this kind in several largely...
No Wealth Without Health, Especially for Kenyan and Ethiopian Women He is correct, of course. One of the greatest factors affecting a girls' ability to complete her education, or a woman's ability to enter the workforce-especially the formal sector-is her access to quality sexual and reproductive health information and services. We know for example, that a young woman who can avoid an unintended pregnancy is more likely to stay in school and to later command higher wages. A woman with 17 years of education -rough...
Anti-choice Laws Grow, U.S. Maternal Deaths Rise Now is the time for reproductive justice activists, including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, to begin the battle for the hearts and minds of the American public. The polls tell us repeatedly that most American people support access to abortion. Nevertheless, a sizable minority consistently manages to pass laws and policies that limit abortion's availability, especially for women and teens who need it most. This is literally killi...
Obama Condemns Anti-women Traditions in Final Speech of Kenya Visit - Video US president Barack Obama condemns anti-women traditions in the final speech of his Kenya visit. Speaking in front of a crowd of 5,000 in Nairobi, Obama says there is 'no excuse' for sexual assualt, domestic violence, forced marriage, or other ...
"i Couldn't Bear to Lose Another Woman": Three Stories of Quiet Courage That also means that, when you go into labor, you might decide that your best option is to give birth at home - the same thing your mother did when you were born. Of course, there is a lot that can go wrong when a woman gives birth at home without the help of a doctor or midwife or access to lifesaving drugs and medical equipment. So it's very possible that, long after your contractions begin, you realize that the labor isn't progressing as i...
World Minimum Marriage Age: Chart Shows the Lowest Age You Can Legally Get Married Around the World On Friday, the Spanish government announced it was to raise the marriage age from 14 to 16 to bring it into line with the rest of Europe. Estonia now has the lowest marriage age in Europe with teenagers able to get hitched at 15 with parental approval. Globally, the average legal age of marriage for boys is 17 and 16 for girls but many countries permit them, particularly girls, to marry much younger. Several places, including the state of Mas...
6 Reasons Why Birth Control Should Be More Accessible in the United States In most countries in the world, women are able to access birth control without a prescription. However, today, women in the United States are unable to get birth control over-the-counter. But in two states this is about to change. California and Oregon are two states that have passed laws to expand access to contraceptives. In both states, women will be able to get birth control directly from their pharmacists without a prescription from a docto...
Pope Francis is Not a Feminist: Why Catholicism's Liberal Icon Falls Far Short on Women's Issues What self-respecting progressive doesn't love Pope Francis? Though Francis's popularity among conservatives has nosedived of late, his ratings among liberals remain sky-high. Liberal journalists seem the most enamored of all. For the past two years, they've produced a steady stream of gushing tributes to Francis, praising him as "visionary," a "flaming liberal" and even "radical." Just last week, Naomi Klein wrote a glowing encomium to Francis...
Offset Your Carbon Impact with Popoffsets Thanks for reading. Richard View this email in your browser Offset Your Carbon Impact with PopOffsets We all benefit from fossil fuels. As a consequence we all cause carbon emissions, and thus contribute to climate change. Is it possible to compensate for our greenhouse gas emissions? "Yes and no" is the answer. Once CO2 is in the atmosphere it is almost impossible to take it out. Fortunately there are some actions we can take to decrease our imp...
Only 100 Tigers Left in Bangladesh's Famed Sundarbans Forest Only around 100 tigers remain in Bangladesh's famed Sundarbans forest, far fewer of the endangered animals than previously thought, according to a census. Some 440 tigers were recorded during the previous census in 2004 in the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest and one of the last remaining habitats for the big cats. But experts said better methodology was the reason for the huge drop in the numbers, saying hidden cameras used this...
A Population Explosion Could Destabilize These Countries in the Next 30 Years There's a stark demographic divide in the world. On one side, countries in Europe, North America, Latin America and East Asia are seeing declining mortality and fertility rates, such that nations like Germany and Japan are struggling to maintain their population numbers (at least without immigration). On the other, countries in Africa and parts of South Asia and the Middle East are seeing slight falls in mortality but ongoing high fertility. Acco...
Report: Teen Use of Morning-after Pill is Climbing More than 1 in 5 sexually active teen girls have used the morning-after pill - a dramatic increase that likely reflects that it's easier now for teens to buy the emergency contraceptive. A report released Wednesday shows teen use of the morning-after pill rose steadily from a decade earlier, when it was 1 in 12. Now, all teens can buy it without a prescription. The finding comes from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey that's co...
Museletter 278: Sustainability Metrics, Growth Limits, and Philanthropy Ecological footprint analysis tells us that we are presently using 1.5 Earths' worth of resources annually. We are able to do this only by drawing down renewable resources at a rate that exceeds their ability to regenerate; in other words, by stealing from the future. Planetary Boundaries analysts have identified nine crucial parameters that define a safe operating space for humanity within the global ecosystem. We are currently operating outside...
Study is First to Measure Global Population-energy Relationship If you've lived between the year 1560 and the present day, more power to you. Literally. Tags: John DeLong biological sciences population growth energy use research Arts and Sciences That's one of several conclusions reached by University of Nebraska-Lincoln ecologist John DeLong, who has co-authored the first study to quantify the relationship between human population growth and energy use on an international scale. The study compile...
One of the Worst Sources of Methane Emissions May Shock You What causes bubbling brooks to bubble is actually methane, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin, and the same is true for the belching of cattle. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says methane has a 20 percent larger impact on the environment than CO2 does. But rice? This grain is so important to human nutrition that it is second only to corn in its volume of production. Yet it turns out to be one of the chief sources o...
Population: the Forgotten Problem In all the recent activity that we have witnessed on the economic front, representing a continuous attempt to free the economy from the clutches of red-tape, statism and rampant bureaucracy, there is one factor which finds no mention at all either in the official vocabulary or among the Opposition. It is almost as in the famous couplet of Faiz Ahmed Faiz: Woh bâât sare fasâne mein jiskâ jikr na thâ Woh bâât unko bahut nâgawâr gujri hai. ...
The Dog in the Laudato Si' Room Back when television was black and white, an advertisement for dog food in the United States provided a phrase that took on a life beyond the commercial. In the ad, a paddling of talking ducklings approaches a Great Dane that is eating its dinner. The ducklings invade the dog's bowl and start feeding. One duckling asks if anyone thinks the dog will mind. The answer, even as they are climbing over the huge canine, is, "What dog? I don't see a do...
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Photos: the Fate of Electronic Waste Old age, overheating, a blue screen, a spilled cup of coffee. These are just some of the paths that lead our electronics to meet their inevitable fate, when a product has reached the end of its useful life, or EOL. As electronics further permeate every aspect of human living, their own life spans shorten, leaving the question: Where do electronics go when they die? For tons of e-waste annually, the last stop is one of the most polluted places on ...
What Some Pregnancy Centers Are Really Saying to Women with Unplanned Pregnancies By Meaghan Winter 6k Shares SHARE TWEET PIN E-MAIL Three hundred fifty miles of cattle pasture and cornfields and single-stoplight towns separate Rapid City, near the western edge of South Dakota, from Sioux Falls, near its eastern border. That distance takes on new significance when a woman living in Rapid City needs an abortion. The state's only abortion clinic is in Sioux Falls. In 2011, state lawmakers began requiring women to wait 72 ...
African Schoolgirls: Dropped Out, but Not Left Behind We face tremendous problems keeping girls in school as they transition through adolescence. In Sierra Leone, 30% of reported rapes take place in the school environment, and a recent ruling banned "visibly pregnant" girls from school. When the school itself becomes a hostile setting, it should come as no surprise that dropout rates shoot up. Education programmes tend to fall short when it comes to dropouts. Brac schools have raised primary and pr...
Climate Scientist Warns Sea Levels Are Rising Faster Than We Thought Limiting climate change to 2°C is not going to protect us from devastating sea level rise, a new report has found. According to the research, freshwater from land-based ice sheets melting into the oceans is inducing feedback that is accelerating the melting of ice shelves - a loop that indicates sea level rise will continue and could be devastating at much lower temperature changes than previously thought. The study, authored by well-known clima...
Earthquakes Shake Alberta Town's Faith in Fracking With dirty pickup trucks in nearly every driveway, advertisements for energy service companies hanging at the local baseball diamond and work camps scattered nearby, Fox Creek cannot hide the fact it is a one-industry town. One of nearly a dozen communities built during Alberta's oil rush of the 1950s and 1960s, Fox Creek is at the centre of a hydraulic fracturing boom. The process, known as fracking, injects a high-pressure fluid into a well to...
When the End of Human Civilization is Your Day Job As a leading climatologist who spent many years studying the Arctic at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at Ohio State, Box knew that this breezy scientific detachment described one of the nightmare long-shot climate scenarios: a feedback loop where warming seas release methane that causes warming that releases more methane that causes more warming, on and on until the planet is incompatible with human life. And he knew there were simila...
Having Kids is Terrible for the Environment, So I'm Not Having Any "Do you have children?" It's a question I've gotten repeatedly in my travels, as cultures everywhere celebrate children and women's ability to produce them. I don't, nor do I plan to for reasons both personal and environmental. But not wanting to spark an awkward exchange, I'd usually demur with, "Not yet." I found it difficult to be up front about my choice because citing overpopulation and its environmental implications as a reason not to pro...
Bill That Lets Bosses Fire Single Women for Getting Pregnant Gains Steam WASHINGTON -- In wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage, Republicans are pushing legislation that aims to protect Americans who oppose these unions on religious grounds. But critics say the language is so broad, the bill creates a license to discriminate that would let employers fire women for getting pregnant outside of wedlock. The First Amendment Defense Act prohibits the federal government from taking discrimin...
Undercover Video Sting of Planned Parenthood is Off-base, as Usual ere appears to be no end to the creative deviousness of people looking to harm Planned Parenthood, America's most important reproductive healthcare provider. A few years ago, a UCLA student named Lila Rose posed as a teenager impregnated by an adult partner at various Planning Parenthood clinics around the country. Her surreptitious videos attempted to prove that despite its own policies about protecting minors, Planned Parenthood refuses to rep...
Continued Destruction of Earth's Plant Life Places Humans in Jeopardy Unless humans slow the destruction of Earth's declining supply of plant life, civilization like it is now may become completely unsustainable, according to a paper published recently by University of Georgia researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "You can think of the Earth like a battery that has been charged very slowly over billions of years," said the study's lead author, John Schramski, an associate professor in...
May 4 - National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (U.S.)
May 5 - International Day of Midwives
May 9 - National Women's Health Week (U.S.)
May 14 - Mother's Day
May 15 - International Day of Families
May 22 - International Day for Biodiversity
June 5 - World Environment Day
June 8 - World Ocean Day
July 11 - World Population Day
August 12 - International Youth Day
August 19 - Earth Overshoot Day - (2014) the day when humanity has consumed all the resources the planet will produce this year (advances every year)
September 4 - World Sexual Health Day
September 26 - World Day for Universal Access to Contraceptives
September 28 - Day of Action to Decriminalise Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean
Karen Gaia's Sustainability & Family Planning Travel Study
South Asia 2000
South Asia 2001