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Posts Tagged ‘Population growth’

Population growth must stop, says Sir David Attenborough

Posted by Admin on April 24, 2011

http://talesfromthelou.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/population-growth-must-stop-says-sir-david-attenborough/

By Liz Thomas
21st April 2011

Warning: Sir David Attenborough encouraged population growth controlWarning: Sir David Attenborough encouraged population growth control

Sir David Attenborough has warned that population growth must be stopped in order to offer a ‘decent life’ for all.

The wildlife broadcaster said people were shying away from accepting that the world’s resources cannot sustain current levels of population growth.

‘There cannot be more people on this Earth than can be fed,’ he writes in the New Statesman.

‘The sooner we stabilise our numbers, the sooner we stop running up the down escalator – and we have some chance of reaching the top; that is to say, a decent life for all.’

Sir David, 84, said the global population is over six billion and will hit nine billion in 30 years, but ‘there seems to be some bizarre taboo around the subject’.

He warned of a ‘perfect storm of population growth, climate change and peak oil production’, leading to ‘insecurity in the supply of food, water and energy’.

‘We now realise that the disasters that continue increasingly to afflict the natural world have one element that connects them all – the unprecedented increase in the number of human beings on the planet,’ he added.

‘All these people, in this country and worldwide, rich or poor, need and deserve food, water, energy and space. Will they be able to get it? I don’t know.’

Sir David said there was a ‘taboo’ tackling the subject and that people shied away from stating the fact that a world’s resources cannot sustain current levels of population growth.

He said: ‘There seems to be some bizarre taboo around the subject. This taboo doesn’t just inhibit politicians and civil servants who attend the big conferences.

‘It even affects the environmental and developmental non-governmental organisations, the people who claim to care most passionately about a sustainable and prosperous future for our children.’

Crowded: The global population is now more than six billion and is predicted to hit nine billion within 30 yearsCrowded: The global population is now more than six billion and is predicted to hit nine billion within 30 years

The 84-year-old praised controversial 18th century demographer Thomas Malthus, who argued that populations increase until they are halted by ‘misery and vice’.

He added: ‘The population of the world is now growing by 80 million a year. One and a half million a week. A quarter of a million a day.

‘The government’s chief scientist and the last president of the Royal Society have both referred to the ‘perfect storm’ of population growth, climate change, and peak oil production, leading inexorably to more and more insecurity in the supply of food, water and energy.’

Expert: Wildlife presenter Chris Packham spoke of ‘too many’ people

The global population is now in excess of six billion and is predicted to hit nine billion within 30 years.

Experts have predicted that the British population – which is currently around 62million – will increase to 70million by 2029.

A report by the sustainable development group Forum For The Future said Britain would struggle to handle such growth. The increase in population would be ‘catastrophic’ and put unsustainable pressure on housing, schools and hospitals as well as natural resources.

Current trends will see a city the size of Bristol added to the population of the UK every year for the next two decades.

Sir David’s comments follow a similar warning from BBC wildlife expert Chris Packham.

The Springwatch presenter suggested offering Britons tax breaks to encourage them to have smaller families.

He effectively endorsed China’s controversial one-child policy, which sees couples who adhere to the rule given a lump sum on retirement.

But he stopped short of suggesting people should be penalised for having too many children.

Packham, 49, who has no children of his own, told Radio Times: ‘By 2020, there are going to be 70million people in Britain. Let’s face it, that’s too many.’

He added: ‘There’s no point bleating about the future of pandas, polar bears and  tigers when we’re not addressing the one single factor that’s putting more pressure on the ecosystem than any other – namely the ever-increasing size of the world’s population.’

Controversial: A woman and her child walk by a birth control propaganda poster in China, which has a one-child policyControversial: A woman and her child walk by a birth control propaganda poster in China, which has a one-child policy

Packham suggested offering couples a financial incentive as ‘a carrot’ to persuade them to have fewer – or no – children.

He said: ‘I would offer them tax breaks for having small families: say, 10 per cent off your tax bill if you decide to stick with just one child. And an even bigger financial incentive if you choose not to have a family at all.’

‘I question the way, for example, people have two children with one partner, then split up and have two with their next partner, just to even up the score.

‘Fact is, we all eat food, breathe air and require space, and the more of us there are, the less of those commodities there are for other people and, of course, for the animals.’

Population growth must stop, says Sir David Attenborough | Mail Online.

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Earth could be ‘unrecognizable’ by 2050, experts say

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2011

World population curve. A log scale is used fo...

World Population Growth Curve

http://in.news.yahoo.com/earth-could-be–unrecognizable–by-2050.html

Yahoo! India News – Tue, Feb 22, 2011 4:15 PM IST

The earth could become “unrecognizable” by 2050, if a growing affluent global population keeps consuming more resources, researchers warned at a major US science conference.

“By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable” if the global population continues to increase, said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, “with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia,” said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.

Meanwhile, as income is expected to rise over the next 40 years — tripling globally and quintupling in developing nations, people tend to consume more meat, eggs or dairy products, which would cost more grains to produce, adding more strain to global food supplies.

“We want to minimize population growth, and the only viable way to do that is through more effective family planning,” said John Casterline, director of the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State University.

It takes around seven pounds (3.4 kilograms) of grain to produce a pound of meat, and around three to four pounds of grain to produce a pound of cheese or eggs, AFP reported.

“More people, more money, more consumption, but the same planet,” Jason Clay told AFP, urging scientists and governments to start making changes now to how food is produced.

Population experts called for more funding for family planning programs to help control the growth in the number of humans, especially in developing nations.

[Agencies]

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