An e-report on the critical issues of population growth - why it is important & how it should be discussed within a holistic framework.
What is the project?
The goal of this project will be an electronic report called Let's Talk Population: It Affects Everything and Everyone! It will cover the latest thinking on addressing the pressing issues of population growth, and why it is important and why it should be discussed. The report will incorporate a rights-based and holistic framework – for people, communities and the planet. As I attend population presentations at the Aspen Ideas Festival (see below), I plan to interview leading thinkers and policy-makers as part of my research on how we can get population back on the national and global agenda.
Let's get people talking about population issues. If you think population growth, human rights, and human impacts on the environment are important, please read on!
I write on issues related to global population growth - environment, women’s empowerment, human rights, family planning, unsustainable consumption, and alternative economies, to name a few topics. I work for the Institute for Population Studies, aka HowMany.org? in Berkeley, CA and my articles may be seen at www.populationgrowth.org.
Recently, the Aspen Institute came across one of my articles and invited me to cover their prestigious conference, the Aspen Ideas Festival 2012. Population issues are a main theme. “The Aspen Institute has been the nation's premier gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times.” It’s a big deal; participants include or have included Sandra Day O’Connor, Thomas Friedman, David Gergen, Katie Couric, Pervez Musharraf, and Henry Paulson.
Through the Ideas Festival, the Aspen Institute seeks to engage a broader audience in a discussion of some of the critical ideas and issues that affect all parts of our society.
The official description of the population segment is:
Our Planet: Life in a World of Seven Billion
The world’s population is now at — and quickly passing — seven billion. With burgeoning youth populations in the poorest parts of the world and rapidly growing middle classes elsewhere, demands on natural resources, transportation systems, health services, and housing raise pressing challenges regarding water, energy, urban design, and quality of life. What are the best ideas for tackling this global explosion?
Most subjects, or tracks, last 3 days. However, the Aspen Institute considers population to be of great importance and will include this track for the entire week-long conference.
Why is population growth and sustainability important issues to cover?
Our numbers are still growing and our demands on the planet are increasing every year, yet we only have one Earth. Every year about 135 million people are born and 55 million people die, adding 80 million to our global population. The UN projects world population could hit 10 billion by 2050. Our world is experiencing ecological overshoot, and according to the Global Footprint Network, consuming commodities and natural resources at a rate of 1.5 times the earth’s capacity to supply them sustainably. Consumption in the developed world has to be addressed, and in developing countries too that are beginning to follow the same unsustainable consumption and lifestyle patterns.
Why should I support this project?
Population has been a taboo subject for too many years. The world cannot afford to not talk about it. By addressing population growth, we can improve lives and protect ecosystems.
There is no need for any draconian or coercive policies on population. For starters, there is a huge unmet need for family planning. Today there are 215 million women in developing countries who wish to avoid getting pregnant but lack access or the means of buying effective contraceptives. Strategically spending funds on education, access to family planning, and promoting reproductive health programs can go a long way and aid in overcoming socio-cultural barriers.
It comes down to education, empowerment, rights, and choice. Educate and promote reproductive health and rights, and empower families to make the best choices for themselves – choices which will at the same time lead to globally lower carbon emissions and reduced consumption. Those will be positive steps to improve the well-being of people and the planet. If we choose to ignore the effects of population growth and drag our feet on doing what is necessary to cope with the impacts of climate change, then we will leave behind a sad legacy for future generations.
I need your support!
As you may be aware, Aspen is an expensive place to visit. I plan to not use a car and take advantage of staying in downtown Aspen by taking the conference shuttle service to the site.
What your pledges go toward:
Airfare to Aspen (or Denver)
Food (to help me write, blog, tweet, FB about population issues so more people start talking about why stabilizing population growth via empowering people is good for the environment.)
THANK YOU FOR ANY SUPPORT YOU CAN GIVE!
(Donations for this project are made through my organization, the Institute for Population Studies)
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $1,200 goal
seconds to go
May 30, 2012 - Jun 20, 2012 (21 days)
Pledge $25 or more
In appreciation of your support, your name will be listed in the publication as a critical contributor to the e-report!Estimated delivery: Sep 2012