Helping Ourselves through Conservation

Helping Ourselves through Conservation

I heard an amazing speaker last month here in Redlands CA – Peter Raven – a world leader in conservation who TIME Magazine has described as a “Hero for the Planet.” Awarded the highest U.S. award for scientific accomplishment (Medal of Science), Raven is the long-time president of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, oldest botanical garden in the U.S., a former Stanford University professor renowned in botany. [Read more...]

Educating Women–the Most Effective Population Control

Educating Women–the Most Effective Population Control

This may be too political for some but I feel strongly about this:

If nature could talk, it would yell “Stop your rate of populating.”

I clipped two editorials from The Los Angeles Times on population growth this year: one, an op-ed by Paul Ehrlich (author of the 1968 book “The Population Bomb”) wasn’t too surprising, but the LA Times editorial said the following: “No matter how efficient we become at growing food, the Earth cannot provide for an infinitely increasing population.”

Here are things that grabbed my attention from the two articles and a talk I attended recently:

  • The highest rates are in poverty-stricken countries with low education levels (Nigeria and Yemen are two expecting  quadruple growth). The number of children drops with more education: Women with no schooling have an average of 4.5 children. With one more year of schooling, that drops to 3.
  • Due to funding cuts of family planning overseas,  one-fourth of African women have NO access to birth control methods.
  • One in five births result in unwanted pregnancies. Without these, fertility would be below the replacement level, the rate needed to maintain the current population.

From Ehrlich’s op-ed:

  • Whatever your cause, it’s a lost cause without population control.
  • Get out in nature, even if it’s in your backyard. Learn where food comes from – not the supermarket.
  • The importance of strong leadership – It would take guts but imagine an American president saying, “Patriotic Americans stop at two [children].”

Takeaways for me:

  • Support education of women
  • If population control is taboo because it brings up religious beliefs,  intimate choices and/or government control, look at your consumption and try to reduce that.
  • Consider charity donations.  

Two I like: 34 Million Friends.  I’ve met and highly respect the co-founder Jane Roberts, who started the organization in 2002 after $34 million was withheld from the UN Family Planning Association (UNFPA). Their goal is to get $1 from 34 million people to make up for the shortfall at the time (which by the way, ended up at $224 million!)  They’ve well over $4 million.

Remember ZPG – it’s now Population Connection: