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Maasai Harmonial Mission: To improve the livelihoods and health of the impoverished pastoral people of Emburbul Village and to empower the girls and women of Emburbul to control their own reproduction, their own lives, and their own bodies.
Transition Earth Promotes human rights and nature's rights in a world of unsustainable population and economic growth and advocates for global systems change to enable the shift to a sustainable planet for all
Population Media Center Strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change."
EngenderHealth For 65 years, Engenderhealth has improved the lives of men, women, and families through its work in family planning, maternal health, HIV, and AIDS, gender equality, and many other programs
Central Asia Institute Mission: To promote and support community-based education, especially for girls, in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. 'Three Cups of Tea' is the inspiring book about the founder of this organization
Sierra Club Global Population and Environment Program
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
Center for Biological Diversity - Population and Sustainability "Through the empowerment of women, education of all people, universal access to birth control, and a societal commitment to ensuring that all species are given a chance to live and thrive, we can reduce our own population to an ecologically sustainable level. This will decrease human poverty and crowding, increase our standard of living, and sustain the lives of plants, animals, and ecosystems everywhere." .... Follow the link to a beautiful presentation on Overpopulation.
Global Footprint Network Our mission is to promote a sustainable economy by advancing the Ecological Footprint, a measurement tool that makes the reality of planetary limits relevant to decision-makers.
WOA!s Population Impacts and Solutions (Youtube playlist) The consequnces of overpopulation could be catastrophic, and resources are already being seriously depleted, but if we spend more money on the various and already successful programs for education and voluntary family planning, we have a good chance to soften the damage.
Our Origins Are Our Destiny Bob Walker of Population Institute discusses the origins of population growth and its implications for the future, covering social change, scarcity, and environmentalism along the way.
Population Media Center: Power of Stories Population Media Center (PMC) works worldwide using entertainment-education for social change. PMCs programs encourage positive behavior change among the audience.
Warren Buffett: We Only Have One Planet Terre Blair interviewing an extraordinary group of leaders to find solutions to some of the most urgent challenges facing humanity: global climate change, financial mayhem, nuclear attacks, cyber threats, political paralysis (and population). Here is an excerpt with Warren Buffett, Ted Turner, the Dalai Lama and Thomas Friedman.
When Abortion was Illegal: Untold Stories (1992) This Academy Award-nominated film features compelling first person accounts which reveal the physical, legal, and emotional consequences during the era when abortion was a criminal act.
Saving Lives by Saving Trees to the rainforest and to the villagers who lived within it. Today, the clinic she founded provides affordable healthcare for the communities of Gunung Palung, and has not just improved the lives of residents, but also introduced alternative income sources and dramatically reduced illegal logging of the rainforest.
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Note: not all articles align with WOA!s position
Cape Town Could Become the First Major City to Run Out of Water in Three Months Unless the city adopts widespread rationing, the government says, the taps "will be turned off" on April 22, 2018, because there will be no more water to deliver. The city is asking residents to restrict their water use to 87 liters per person per day. That's roughly the equivalent of a four-minute shower using a regular shower head, or an eight-minute shower using a low-flow shower head.
How Abortion is Portrayed on TV and in Movies Actually Matters So Much Emergency contraception, which is often called the "morning after pill," can be taken within 72 hours of having sex and works by preventing an egg from being released, so that it never even meets sperm and a pregnancy can't even occur.
Protecting Fragile Progress in Family Planning According to FP2020's progress report, 309.3 million women and girls in the world's poorest countries use a modern method of contraception, as of July 2017. That means 38.8 million more women and girls are using contraception now than in 2012, the year of FP2020's launch. Between July 2016 and July 2017, use of family planning averted 26 million unsafe abortions, prevented 84 million unintended pregnancies, and avoided 125,000 maternal deaths.
Tanzania Slammed for Arresting Pregnant Schoolgirls Tanzania has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy rates in the world, with widespread sexual violence and many girls exchanging sex for school fees, food and shelter. Tandahimba's district commissioner Sebastian Waryuba last month ordered the arrests of 55 other girls who gave birth over the past two years and their parents.
Iowa is Becoming a Contraceptive Desert Last legislative session, the GOP-controlled Iowa Legislature forced the state to forfeit federal family planning money dedicated to, among other things, helping to cover the cost of birth control for uninsured women. The result: Planned Parenthood has closed clinics in Bettendorf, Burlington, Keokuk and Sioux City, which collectively served about 15,000 patients. In 2010, 23,000 Iowa residents experienced an unintended pregnancy. Those pregnancies cost the state and federal governments about $176 million.
Policy Trends in the States, 2017 States continued their assault on abortion in 2017, with 19 states adopting 63 new restrictions on abortion rights and access. During the year, 21 states adopted 58 new proactive measures, a sharp increase from the 28 enacted in 2016.
Venezuela Pill Shortage Triggers Rise in Teenage Pregnancies The price of condoms in Venezuela has gone up 200%. Recent research suggests that three-quarters of Venezuelans lost weight in the past year, an average of 9kg (20lb). There are no official statistics but paediatrician Dr Huniades Urbina Medina, the president of the Venezuelan Society of Childcare and Paediatrics, says that of the births he attends, the vast majority are now unplanned.
Strengthening Conservation Through Stories
Population Media Center's (PMC) entertaining stories bring conservation storylines into people's homes and communities. This video highlights some of our work -- protecting species, planting trees, and entertaining huge audiences.
Malawi's Fearsome Chief, Terminator of Child Marriages A 2012 United Nations survey found that more than half of Malawi's girls were married before the age of 18. It ranked Malawi 8th out of 20 countries thought to have the highest child-marriage rates in the world. Malawi is considered as one of the world's poorest places, ranking 160th out of 182 nations.
Reducing the Barriers to Family Planning Globally, more women who want to avoid pregnancy are using an effective contraceptive method. The number who weren't using modern contraception was estimated to be 225 million in 2014 but is 214 million now. In 2008 in the USA, 51 % of pregnancies were unintended. Now, it's just 45 %.
From Polio To Poverty To Sex Ed: 9 Predictions For 2018 Over half of the world's 7.3 billion people lack access to essential health services, like prenatal care, vaccines and treatment for high blood pressure.
How TV is Tackling Abortion and Pregnancy in Trump's America
Given the daily deluge of political attacks on women’s rights and the female body, it’s no surprise that stories of women choosing to keep or terminate their pregnancies are being elevated on TV. In the last few years, we've seen more diverse portrayals of abortion and pregnancy, from shows like Jane the Virgin to Alias Grace. In America, abortion is still—at best—considered taboo, but reproductive rights are gaining more visibility thanks to creators offering real-life scenarios on screen .
Of course, a woman's right to choose has popped up on television for decades, like on Maude as early as 1972. But these storylines have always come few and far between and are often displayed as shocking, haunting moments. Today, more female creators are showing these narratives in nuanced ways, which feels like a response to the current administration's crusade against reproductive rights.
Downsizing is an Audacious but Uneven Sci-fi Fable About an Impending Environmental Apocalypse
The premise of Downsizing is a great one: Scientists in Norway come up with the technology to reduce humans safely and efficiently down to about the size of your thumb. Small people, the thinking goes, generate less waste, consume fewer resources, and take up less space than their full-sized counterparts. On an overpopulated planet that’s becoming overrun with waste, more and more expensive, and gradually less inhabitable, downsizing could be what saves everyone.
The unintended consequences will quickly present themselves to the average viewer: What happens if everyone shrinks down in a world that is still very much full-sized? Doesn’t a world overrun by, say, regular-sized house pets become Jurassic Park? Wouldn’t the economic benefits eventually disappear?
How Did Half of the Great Florida Coral Reef System Disappear? The great Florida coral reef system is the world's third largest, and nearly 1,400 species of plants and animals and 500 species of fish have been recorded there. But last year marine scientists found nearly half the reef was missing. The world's reefs may only cover 2% of the ocean floor but they are thought to be home to up to a quarter of the world's 500,000 known species living in the oceans.
Abortion Law Could Block Thousands of Women in Arkansas From Safe Procedure, Planned Parenthood Says Planned Parenthood asked the Supreme Court to assess the constitutionality of Act 577, a law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges to a local hospital in order to offer patients even a non-surgical abortion procedure that allows women to end a pregnancy with two pills.
What Will it Really Take to Avoid Collapse? In 2016, the hottest year on record, when the Paris agreement was signed and presidential candidates held widely differing opinions on climate change, the entire year's climate coverage by all network news services in the U.S. amounted to less than an hour: a paltry 50 minutes, representing a 66 percent drop from the previous year. Well-developed plans to avert climate breakdown include a state-by-state and nation-by-nation pathway to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050.
Poland Tells Young People to 'breed Like Rabbits' to Solve Declining Population, Rejecting Mass Migration Poland has seen its fertility rate fall from three children per woman in 1960 to 1.3 in 2015, according to World Bank figures. In the United Kingdom, 75 % of population growth is down to immigration, with mothers born abroad being responsible for 28 % of births in 2016 in England and Wales.
Losing the Wilderness: a 10th Has Gone Since 1992 - and Gone for Good In the past two decades, 10% of the earth's wilderness has been lost due to human pressure. Over the course of human history, there has been a major degradation of 52% of the earth's ecosystems, while the remaining 48% is being increasingly eroded. Only 20% of the earth's surface now survives as wilderness.
Half of Young People Do Not Use Condoms for Sex with New Partner - Poll Almost half of sexually active young people do not use a condom when sleeping with someone for the first time, and more than one-third of young people think carrying protection is a sign someone is promiscuous. Despite the high rates of sexually transmitted infections among young people, 58% said the main reason for using condoms was to avoid pregnancy, compared with 29% for avoiding infections.
Healthy Women, Healthy Families: Saving Money and Lives with Faith-based Family Planning 225 million women worldwide who want to space or prevent pregnancy do not have the means to do so, and therefore face an increased risk of health complications, poverty, and even death. In Nepal, ADRA's educational outreach boosted the number of married men who use modern contraception by 12.9 %. Every year, 16 million girls around the world aged 15-19 and 1 million girls under the age of 15 give birth.
Tens of Thousands of Households Will Have to Give Up Car as Zero-growth Policy Kicks in With zero growth, my own conservative estimate is that more than 100,000 families who had a car in 2013 will no longer have one by 2023. With Singapore's resident population continuing to grow, the near-term car ownership figure could be nearer 25 per cent, and in the long term, 20 per cent.
Population Growth Rate Threatens Water Security: Aziz An estimated annual population growth rate of 2.4 % is set to outstrip the supply of fresh water in Pakistan, already classified as a water scarce nation, if current levels of consumption continue. Per capita water availability in Pakistan has declined to 1,000 cubic meters per capita from 5,000 cubic meters at the time of its independence.
Don't Listen to the New York Times-birth Control Isn't Dangerous In the United States, about 800 women each year die from complications of pregnancy and childbearing (that is one pregnant woman in 5780), and tens of thousands are left with short-term or permanent health impacts.
Scientists Just Presented a Sweeping New Estimate of How Much Humans Have Transformed the Planet 450 billion tons of carbon is contained in Earth's current vegetation. The amount of carbon that could reside in the world's vegetation, if humans somehow entirely ceased all uses of land and allowed it to return to its natural state, is 916 billion tons. Scenarios that limit global warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees require not only rapid cessation of greenhouse gas emissions but also removal of somewhere between about 100 and 300 billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere.
Faith and Planning in the Sahel: Tensions and Cooperation Sahel has the world's highest fertility rates and fastest growing population, with an average of 5.5 children per woman. Use of modern contraceptives is low and about 25 % of married women age 15-49 would like to space or limit births but are not using modern contraceptive methods, often because family planning services are not available.
Iran in Transition: the Implications of the Islamic Republic's Changing Demographics Despite the Iranian government's latest attempts to encourage higher fertility, recent analysis of the country's 2016 census suggests that Iran's total fertility rate remains near two children per woman. Some Iranian officials estimate that 150,000 educated Iranians emigrate abroad annually, costing the country over $150 billion per year.
Health Professionals Urged to Educate Prospective Family Planning Clients Mrs Wasila Taibu, the Regional Family Planning Coordinator, said the region was not doing well in FP acceptance as from January to June this year, the region achieved 34.5 % of acceptance rate as compared to 36 % last year. She attributed the non-acceptance and decline to misconceptions of the public about FP, saying many people believe that once they start practicing FP, they would not be able to have children.
Refugees in Uganda Being Sensitized on Family Planning An average of 4,000 refugees have crossed the borders from South Sudan into Uganda. 51% of South Sudanese refugees are in Uganda and they now total over 1 million of whom 82% of them are women and children, 61% under the age of 18.
Kids Aren't Enough: the Consequences of a Shrinking Population The latest official estimate-taken from two-year-old data-puts the U.S. fertility rate at 1.84. In 2014, a whopping 40 % of mothers nearing the end of their childbearing years say they have fewer kids than they would have liked.
Kenya: Creating Jobs in Times of Population Growth At the current job creation rate, Kenya would have more than 700,000 young people every year without employment. Kenya is headed for a population that can't be lower than 116 million in 2090.
Integrating Population, Health and Environment for Sustainable Development in Kenya
“Integrating Population, Health, and Environment for Sustainable Development in Kenya” is a new ENGAGE presentation that serves as an advocacy tool to promote integrated population, health, and environment (PHE) approaches, and the value of family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) investments by decisionmakers in health and nonhealth sectors, such as natural resource management and conservation.
World Demographics Are Changing Profoundly: What Does it Mean for the 21st Century? The world's population of 7.6 billion is growing at 1.1 percent annually, or approximately 83 million people. World population is projected to reach 8 billion by 2023, 9 billion by 2037, 10 billion by 2055 and 11 billion by 2087. Nearly all of the world's annual population growth -- about 96 % -- is taking place in developing countries.
Jakarta is Sinking So Fast, it Could End Up Underwater Jakarta is sinking faster than any other big city on the planet, faster, even, than climate change is causing the sea to rise. About 40 % of Jakarta now lies below sea level.
The Paradox of Paul Ryan’s Request for Americans to Have More Babies In nearly half of the US, childcare can cost more than college, and with no government option to take care of their young children, nearly 60% of parents say they can't find reliable, affordable childcare near their house. The average cost of raising a child has risen to over $300,000 -without accounting for college costs.
A Different Dimension of Loss: Inside the Great Insect Die-off In 2015, a team of American and Mexican scientists argued that animal species are going extinct "up to 100 times" faster than they would without us - a pace of disappearance on a par with the extinction that took out the dinosaurs. A troubling new report from Germany has shown a 75% plunge in insect populations since 1989.
Nigerian Govt Laments Population Growth Rate, Says Amenities Might Be Insufficient Experts has also warned that by 2040, Nigeria's population growth would be four times ,without commensurate facilities and employment to sustain it.
Why You Shouldn't Obsess About "overpopulation" Even if US population stopped growing at around 325 million people in 2017 and flatlined out, it would produce at best a marginal change in global emissions. On the other hand, even if US population rises over 500 million people, the impact on the world is barely noticeable. Meanwhile, lowering US carbon intensity by about a third, to around the level of manufacturing-superpower Germany today, has a bigger effect than preventing 100 million Americans from existing.
Nigeria: Racing Against Future Scourge Nigeria currently has an estimated figure of 180 million people. Nigeria will be the world's third most populous country by the year 2050 as its population rises to 398 million. There are over 36.3million youths in Nigeria's labour market out of which about 13.6 million or 31 per cent are either underemployed or unemployed.
Ryan: Americans Need to Have More Babies In 2016, the United States saw a record low fertility rate. There were 62 births for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44, down about 1 percent from a year earlier,.
Decades of Data on World's Oceans Reveal a Troubling Oxygen Decline Oxygen levels started dropping in the 1980s as ocean temperatures began to climb. The trend of oxygen falling is about two to three times faster than what is predicted from the decrease of solubility associated with the ocean warming.
Global Warming's Terrifying New Chemistry Between 2002 and 2014, the data showed that US methane emissions increased by more than 30 %, accounting for 30 to 60 % of an enormous spike in methane in the entire planet's atmosphere.
Even in States with Progressive Policies, Shame Can Contribute to Reproductive Health-care Obstacles
“If I was pregnant because I wasn’t taking care of myself, I’d have to just suck it up and say, ‘This is your mistake, you have to live with it.'”
This was just one of the stories I heard while interviewing women in rural California in 2016, when I was a social work PhD student whose research focused on reproductive justice. Contrary to frequent misconception, despite the state’s robust family planning program and overall progressive policy stances on reproductive health, I found that it is not enough to have laws in place that protect a person’s right to make decisions about her body. Many women, especially women of color and poor women, are locked out of health-care systems because they don’t have transportation, money, or the support of their partner to access those services. Furthermore, internalized shame can contribute its own obstacles toward access.
Accelerating Uganda's Development: Educating Girls and Ending Child Marriage and Early Childbearing Ending child marriage today could generate $3 billion per year for Uganda by 2030. One in three girls still marry before the age of 18 in Uganda, whether through formal or informal unions and almost three in ten girls have their first child before the age of 18.
Unknown Problems of Increasing Population Nearly 220,000 people are added to the planet every day - mostly in poor and developing nations. In 2016, Pakistan is still ahead of yearly population growth with 2.0% as compare to 1.2% in India and 1.1% in Bangladesh. According to World Bank data, an average woman in Pakistan is giving birth to more than 4 children.
Teen Pregnancy, Abortion Rates Plummet in Colorado Thanks to Contraception Program Colorado's teen pregnancies have dropped by more than 50% over eight years thanks largely to a program that provides no- or low-cost intrauterine devices and long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) implants at 75 Colorado family planning clinics. The state's teen abortion rate fell even more, by 64 %.
FP2020 Reports Progress on Family Planning, but Faces An Uphill Battle As of July 2017, approximately 310 million women and girls in the 69 FP2020 focus countries are using a modern method of contraception, an increase of 38.8 million since 2012 when the partnership launched. An estimated 214 million women and girls in developing countries who want to delay or avoid pregnancy are still without access to contraception.
Read This Before You Have a Baby (especially If You're a Woman) On an average day, women who have children spend 54 minutes less of their time on job-related work than women who don't have children. But men with kids work 25 minutes more each day than men that don't. Men with children under the age of six spend an extra one hour 32 minutes each day "caring for and helping household members" compared with childless men. But for women, having young children seems to add an extra two hours 10 minutes to their daily responsibility routine.
Access to Contraception Benefits Girls - Even If They're Not Using It, New Study Finds The girls who grew up with the longest lifetime exposure to family planning had the best outcomes in educational attainment, with girls nabbing an additional 1.2 years of schooling on average compared to girls in areas with no family planning. Girls raised in areas with family planning access were 19 % more likely to be getting paid for work at age 26 (and 45 % more likely to still be doing so at age 39).
Doubtful Science Behind Arguments to Restrict Birth Control Access In 2011, the unintended pregnancy rate hit a 30-year low. And the teenage pregnancy rate and teenage birthrate right now are at record lows in the United States. The unintended pregnancy rate among women who earn less than the federal poverty line was two to three times the national average in 2011. The proportion of women who had to pay out of pocket dropped from more than 20 % before Obamacare to fewer than 4 % in 2014. Women saved more than $1.4 billion in 2013 because of this change.
U.S. Abortion Rate Fell 25 Percent From 2008 to 2014; One in Four Women Have An Abortion The biggest decline in abortions, of 46 %, was in women ages 15 to 19 years of age, and there has been strong evidence that contraceptive use. Abortion rate was the highest among women with incomes less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level - or about $19,790 for a family of three. About 49 % of all abortion patients in the United States in 2014 were poor.
7 Myths About Birth Control We've All Heard, but They Actually Make No Sense Approximately 62 % of women of a childbearing age are consistently using some form of contraception. Around one in 1,000 women develops a blood clot from birth control each year. To put this in perspective, your risk of getting a blood clot is actually higher when you're pregnant than when you're on birth control. The IUD is the most effective contraceptive, with less than a one % failure rate, but the pill rests around a 90 % rate of effectiveness for most women.
Why Climate Change is Creating a New Generation of Child Brides In 2015 the United Nations Population Fund estimated that 13.5 million children would marry under the age of 18 in that year alone - 37,000 child marriages every day - including 4.4 million married before they were 15. Across the whole of Africa, Unicef warned in 2015 that the total number of child brides could more than double to 310 million by 2050 if current trends continue. Given that there are about 4 or 5 million girls at risk of getting married in Malawi, around 1.5 million girls are at risk of getting married because of climate change related events.
Carrying Capacity, Overshoot and Species Extinction By 1989 the population was expanding by about 88 million people per year. Then by the year 2000 population growth had slowed to about 77 million per year. Then the slowdown stopped and started to increase again. it stands at about 79 million per year. The wild animal portion of the terrestrial vertebrate biomass, by 1900, had dropped to about 20% of its historical value. Then by 2000, it had dropped to half that amount. Then by 2050, we expect that 2000 value to be cut in half again.
New Study Reaches a Stunning Conclusion About the Cost of Solar and Wind Energy While solar and wind have dropped dramatically in price since 2009, nuclear power has simply priced itself out of the market for new power.
Population Bomb is 'ticking' Pakistan is reportedly among the 10 largest countries in the world whose population has been projected to exceed 300 million by 2050. Pakistan's current total population has touched 207.744520 million with an average annual growth of 2.4 % from the calendar year 1998.
When a Woman Can Control When She Has Children, She Can Control Her Future There are 214 million women in the developing world who don't want to have a child right now but don't have access to family planning.
Today we have an oil glut, produced at a very high cost. However, there is also a huge disparity of wealth.
Most consumers cannot really afford high-priced oil products. If consumers could not afford $100+ prices back in 2013, how would it be possible for oil prices to rise to something like $97 per barrel by the end of 2018?
We cannot expect oil prices to rise to the level they did in July 2008, without recession causing oil prices to crash back down.
But low-priced oil products are bad for producers (because they produced it at such high cost).
Equity markets rallied amidst a volatility void in the lead-up to the Great Recession. Markets would make new all-time highs in late 2007 before collapsing in 2008, marking the worst annual returns (-37%) since the infamous 1937 correction.
The S&P 500 rose in 22 of 23 months between April 1935 and February 1937, in response to government spending aimed at jumpstarting the economy. By late 1937, the economy was again back in recession.
After having trillions of dollars spent on them, wind and solar make up only a tiny (1%) share of world energy supply, according to the International Energy Agency. Wind and solar are great disappointments, when total costs, including the cost of mitigating intermittency on the grid, are considered. They do not appear to be solutions on any major scale.
The world economy badly needs rising energy consumption per capita. Plans to raise interest rates and sell QE securities, when the economy is already "at the edge," are playing with fire. If we are to keep the world economy operating, large quantities of additional energy supplies need to be found at very low cost. It is hard to be optimistic about this happening. High-cost energy supplies are worthless when it comes to operating the economy because they are unaffordable.
At the dawn of agriculture, just ten thousand years ago, human beings accounted for less than 1% of the total mammalian biomass on the planet. Today, human beings account for about 32 - 35%of the total biomass of mammals. So, humans have gone from less than 1% of the total biomass to over 98.5% of an increased biomass.
The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention.September 13, 2017, Politico By: Helena Bottemiller Evich
Irakli Loladze, a mathematician with an interest in biology, discovered in 1998 that zooplankton -- microscopic animals that float in the world's oceans and lakes -- were getting less nutrients when the algae that they were feeding on got more lot, even though the additional light caused the algae to grow more. In other words, the zooplankton had plenty to eat, but their food was less nutritious, and so they were starving.
Loladze used his math training to help measure and explain the algae-zooplankton dynamic and published a paper in 2000. But he soon discovered that the application of his model was wider than he imagined, and he started to think about human nutrition.
The problem with crops, isn't that crops are suddenly getting more light: It's that for years, they've been getting more carbon dioxide. Plants rely on both light and carbon dioxide to grow. If shining more light results in faster-growing, less nutritious algae -- junk-food algae whose ratio of sugar to nutrients was out of whack -- then it seemed logical to assume that ramping up carbon dioxide might do the same.
For the next 17 years Loladze scoured the scientific literature for any studies and data he could find. He found that "Every leaf and every grass blade on earth makes more and more sugars as CO2 levels keep rising." ... "We are witnessing the greatest injection of carbohydrates into the biosphere in human history -- injection that dilutes other nutrients in our food supply."
In agricultural research it's been understood for some time that many of our most important foods have been getting less nutritious. Measurements of fruits and vegetables show that their minerals, vitamin and protein content has measurably dropped over the past 50 to 70 years.
We've been breeding and choosing crops for higher yields, rather than nutrition, and higher-yielding crops tend to be less nutrient-packed.
In 2004, a landmark study of fruits and vegetables found that everything from protein to calcium, iron and vitamin C had declined significantly across most garden crops since 1950.
The researchers concluded this could mostly be explained by the varieties we were choosing to grow.
Before the industrial revolution, the earth's atmosphere had about 280 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Last year, the planet crossed over the 400 parts per million threshold; scientists predict we will likely reach 550 parts per million within the next half-century -- essentially twice the amount that was in the air when Americans started farming with tractors.
Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican who chairs the House Committee on Science, recently argued that people shouldn't be so worried about rising CO2 levels because it's good for plants, and what's good for plants is good for us.
An experiment in which researchers create large open-air structures that blow CO2 onto the plants in a given area has shown scientists that plants change in important ways when they're grown at elevated CO2 levels. Within the category of plants known as "C3" -- which includes approximately 95% of plant species on earth, including ones we eat like wheat, rice, barley and potatoes -- elevated CO2 has been shown to drive down important minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc and iron. The data we have show these important minerals drop by 8%, on average. The same conditions have been shown to drive down the protein content of the same crops, with wheat and rice dropping 6% and 8%, respectively.
Now new studies are coming out that attempt to estimate what these shifts could mean for the global population. Plants are a crucial source of protein for people in the developing world, and by 2050, they estimate, 150 million people could be put at risk of protein deficiency, particularly in countries like India and Bangladesh. Researchers found a loss of zinc, which is particularly essential for maternal and infant health, could put 138 million people at risk. They also estimated that more than 1 billion mothers and 354 million children live in countries where dietary iron is projected to drop significantly, which could exacerbate the already widespread public health problem of anemia.
Recently Lewis Ziska, a plant physiologist at the Agricultural Research Service (USDA) headquarters in Beltsville, Maryland, decided to look at golden rod, a wildflower considered an important source of protein for bees as they head into the harshness of winter.
Since goldenrod is wild and humans haven't bred it into new strains, it hasn't changed over time as much as, say, corn or wheat. And the Smithsonian Institution also happens to have hundreds of samples of goldenrod, dating back to 1842, in its massive historical archive -- which gave Ziska and his colleagues a chance to figure out how one plant has changed over time.
They found that the protein content of goldenrod pollen has declined by a third since the industrial revolution -- and the change closely tracks with the rise in CO2. Scientists have been trying to figure out why bee populations around the world have been in decline, which threatens many crops that rely on bees for pollination. Ziska's paper suggested that a decline in protein prior to winter could be an additional factor making it hard for bees to survive other stressors.
In 2014, Samuel Myers, a doctor turned climate researcher at Harvard University who leads the Planetary Health Alliance, a new global effort to connect the dots between climate science and human health published a large, data-rich study in the journal Nature that looked at key crops grown at several sites in Japan, Australia and the United States that also found rising CO2 led to a drop in protein, iron and zinc.
Also in 2014, Loladze published his own paper, the result of more than 15 years of gathering data on the same subject. It was the largest study in the world on rising CO2 and its impact on plant nutrients. He had found that his 2002 theory -- or, rather, the strong suspicion he had articulated back then -- appeared to be borne out. Across nearly 130 varieties of plants and more than 15,000 samples collected from experiments over the past three decades, the overall concentration of minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron had dropped by 8% on average. The ratio of carbohydrates to minerals was going up. The plants, like the algae, were becoming junk food.
What that means for humans -- *whose main food intake is plants -- is only just starting to be investigated. Researchers who dive into it will have to surmount obstacles like its low profile and slow pace, and a political environment where the word "climate” is enough to derail a funding conversation. It will also require entirely new bridges to be built in the world of science -- a problem that Loladze himself wryly acknowledges in his own research. When his paper was finally published in 2014, Loladze listed his grant rejections in the acknowledgements.
A new study renews fears that oil palm plantations could drive the legendary cats extinctDecember 10, 2017, National Geographic magazine By: Stephen Leahy
Despite successful anti-poaching efforts, the Sumatran tiger population has declined about 17% since 2000, to just 600 animals left in the wild. Between 2000 and 2012, some 17% of prime tiger habitat was torn down, mainly for oil palm plantations, which covers nearly 30 million acres of the country. Sixty years ago Sumatra likely had a dozen of these secure source populations across the island. Today there are just two.
In the Middle East and North Africa fresh water has fallen by two-thirds over the past 40 years and per capita availability of fresh water in the region is now 10 times less than the world average, reports the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
This sharp water scarcity not only affects the provision of drinking water for most of the region's 22 countries, home to nearly 400 million inhabitants, but also the availability of water for agriculture and food production for a fast growing population.
FAO predicts that by the end of this century higher temperatures may shorten growing seasons in the region by 18 days and reduce agricultural yields a further 27% to 55% less by the end of this century. Fresh water resources in this region are among the lowest in the world, and are expected to fall over 50% by 2050.
90% of the total land in the region lies within arid, semi/arid and dry sub/humid areas, while 45% of the total agricultural area is exposed to salinity, soil nutrient depletion and wind water erosion.
Agriculture in the region uses around 85% of the total available freshwater. Moreover, over 60% of water resources in the region flows from outside national and regional boundaries.
FAO's director general Jose Graziano da Silva said that access to water is a "fundamental need for food security, human health and agriculture", and its looming scarcity in the North Africa and Middle East region is a huge challenge requiring an "urgent and massive response".
In the Nile Delta -which hosts the most fertile lands in Egypt- almost 100 million people will be exposed to the danger of losing substantial parts of the most productive agriculture land due to salinization.
A study published in the journal Nature concludes that conditions in the Persian Gulf region, including its shallow water and intense sun, make it "a specific regional hotspot where climate change, in absence of significant mitigation, is likely to severely impact human habitability in the future."
In Australia we often take the access to contraception for granted. We have to talk about the right to reproductive choice for women globallyNovember 27, 2017, Guardian By: Chris Turner
The author, who works for the NGO Marie Stopes, tells us that reproductive rights are not guaranteed anywhere.
In urban areas people come to Marie Stopes clinics and in rural or remote settings Marie Stopes take their services to the people. In Papua New Guinea the author has spoken to women who were afraid for their lives because they knew someone who had died during childbirth. One woman had been told by a local health worker she would "probably die" if she became pregnant again. The author has met men who worried deeply about conflict in their villages as the population grew and land became scarce. In Cambodia he has met young factory workers who can only afford to keep their children in school as long as they can keep working. In Myanmar he has met aspirational students who are the first in their families to go to university and are not at all ready to get married. The need to control their own fertility, and the challenge to do so, binds this diverse group together.
In Australia, senator Cory Bernardi recently introduced a motion intended to undermine abortion rights for Australian women. His series of proposals covered abortion funding, greater scrutiny of the activist group GetUp, and White Ribbon Australia's support for abortion, including late-term terminations. In the US, employee rights to contraception in their healthcare coverage have been rolled back and support to family planning programs in developing countries slashed.
We need to fight to keep our current rights but should also fight to extend that franchise to others. Family planning is fundamental to both individual empowerment and national development and yet is somehow regularly overlooked by bureaucracies or targeted for elimination by conservative forces. There are 214 million women in the developing world who don't want to have a child right now but don't have access to family planning. As a result they are less able to control their futures. Their health, education, employment prospects and very standing in society will all be impacted by something Australians so often take for granted - the ability to choose.
It is appropriate that we focus on women and girls because of the persistent and debilitating gaps in global access to education, health care, and economic opportunity between the genders.
However, there is also a gap in funding and research to engage men, which not only makes overall family planning objectives more elusive, but puts even greater stress and pressure on women to shoulder the burden of contraception on their own.
The majority of family planning options are designed for women, and options for men are limited to condoms, vasectomies, and the withdrawal method of contraception.
However, World Vasectomy Day has shown that. when provided thorough information through compelling stories, men will, in fact, participate in family planning, including opting for a vasectomy.
DKT International, DKT Mexico, the National Center for Gender Equity and Reproductive Health and the Mexico City Ministry of Health, have joined forces to celebrate World Vasectomy Day on its fifth anniversary.
With 1,200 vasectomists in 50-plus countries participating, World Vasectomy Day is the largest male-focused family planning event ever, using creative media to dispel vasectomy myths, raise awareness, and promote broader positive masculinity.
The government has embraced this anniversary in tandem with their 40th anniversary celebrations of Mexico's Family Planning Program.
Investing limited family planning resources in male options is not only good for family planning, but it is necessary for a healthy society. When men are involved in family planning and sexual health programs, men are more likely to participate in household work and childcare, financial resources are more readily allocated for female contraceptives, and domestic violence decreases.
Research has shown that bringing men into the family planning conversation actually increases overall contraceptive use while making broader and critical strides toward increasing gender equality.
Here are three tips for involving men.
1. Instead of opening conversations by asking men whether they want to get a vasectomy, shoot for the big-picture: How important is it that the quality of life of your children be better than your own? From there, conversations naturally cover the impact of large family sizes on ability to provide, and their desire to be part of the decision-making process. When vasectomies are seen as a tool to achieve desired family sizes and a way to care for the children they already have, men are extremely receptive.
2. DKT has found that using dynamic, open, and fun social marketing techniques dramatically increases the uptake of the nonprofit condom brand, Prudence, in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Emphasizing that good sex and being responsible lovers are not mutually exclusive might be considered scandalous by some - but it works.
The makers of Prudence have eroticized their condom messaging, celebrated sexuality, and used humorous vernacular without any medical jargon. DKT also offers resources to men for questions about sexual health through major events such as concerts, school functions, and health care fairs, and through its social media, Red-DKT call center, and Whatsapp mobile chat service.
3. The strategy of asking men to get a vasectomy as part of a public ritual celebrated globally transforms the common fear that a vasectomy leads to a loss of manhood into an increased sense of heroic purpose, all the while demystifying the procedure itself. World Vasectomy Day uses videos and media products to dispel myths while cultivating community through shared stories of real patients before, during, and after their vasectomies. Since adopting the World Vasectomy Day program, Mexico has seen an 18.1% increase in vasectomy acceptance.
By involving men in family planning programs, raising awareness of vasectomies as a simple and effective method, and celebrating the men who take part, we can truly shake up the stagnant growth in contraceptive use and global gender equality.
It took 200,000 years for our human population to reach 1 billion-and only 200 years to reach 7 billion. But growth has begun slowing, as women have fewer babies on average. When will our global population peak? And how can we minimize our impact on Earth's resources, even as we approach 11 billion?
Women who get intra-uterine devices (IUDs) for birth control appear to face a one-third lower risk of getting cervical cancer, the third most common cancer in women worldwide, said the review in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, which included 16 previous studies spanning more than 12,000 women around the globe.
Lead author Victoria Cortessis, associate professor of clinical preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, part of the University of Southern California said: "The possibility that a woman could experience some help with cancer control at the same time she is making contraception decisions could potentially be very, very impactful."
One theory as to why the risk of cervical cancer drops so much, is that the devices stimulate an immune response that helps fight off cancer-causing infections like the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Another possibility is that when women have the devices removed, precancerous cells are scraped away that might otherwise grow into tumors.
Cervical cancer kills about 270,000 women per year and infects more than 528,000, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
In a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers in Denmark report that women taking hormonal contraceptives - like birth control pills, the patch, the ring and hormonal IUDs - have up to triple the risk of suicide as women who never took hormonal birth control., and last year these same researches suggested that hormonal contraceptives were linked to a 70% higher risk of depression, which itself is associated with suicide.
However, the absolute risk of suicide associated with hormonal contraceptives is still extremely low, say the researchers.
They agree that the findings aren't robust enough to discourage women from using hormonal contraceptives. But they say the results should prompt doctors to discuss the potential side effects of contraceptives and to pay more attention to women who might be at higher risk, like those who have a history of depression or mood disorders.
But some scientists say the study may not have accounted for all of the potential reasons why women who use contraceptives differ from those who do not. For example, women using contraceptives are more likely to be in relationships, and that may predispose them to a higher likelihood of emotional challenges - especially for younger women, "For them, they are still more insecure in relationships and may suffer more from breakups, unhappy events and things like that," speculates Karin Michels, professor and chair of epidemiology at University of California Los Angeles.
Health ministry releases video praising the healthy lifestyle and reproduction of rabbits to encourage couples to have more childrenNovember 8, 2017, Guardian
The Polish government is encouraging citizens to go forth and multiply - like rabbits.
The health ministry of Poland has put out a short YouTube video praising rabbits for producing a lot of offspring.
It is the latest step by the conservative government in this mostly Catholic country of 38 million to reverse a shrinking population. European Union figures show that Poland's birth rate was 1.32 children per woman in 2015. Portugal had a lower fertility rate, and Spain and Greece were almost as low as Poland.
A recent UNICEF report tells of both the potential of Africa's young population and the immense groundwork necessary to translate population shifts into economic prosperity. A large share of the population will be under age 18 by 2050.
Half of the world's population will live in Africa by 2050. The continent will need to train 5.8 million teachers and 5.6 million health workers by 2030.
Most African countries are now seeing a decline in birth and death rates and a shift in working-age populations that could accelerate economic growth.
"Human potential needs to be invested in to be realized," David Anthony, co-author of Generation 2030 Africa 2.0 and UNICEF head of policy analysis, said. "That means three things: you need to be healthy, educated, and empowered."
The report recommends a scale up essential services in health, social welfare, and protection to meet international recommendations; a transformation of educational, skills, and vocational learning systems through curriculum reform and access to technology; and the protection of Africa's women and children from abuse and harmful cultural practices.
Government expenditures on education in Africa range from 5% in countries such as Kenya to 2.5 % in Sierra Leone. The global average is 4.7%. Spending on health care is also generally below the global average of 10% of GDP.
The African Union named 2017 the "year of harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in youth," and has held high-level policy meetings, donor roundtables, and youth forums to promote employment, entrepreneurship, education, skills development, health, rights, governance, and youth empowerment.
While the continent has seen a significant decrease in under 5 mortality and an increase in the number of births overseen by skilled attendants, on the other hand, 26% of women have unmet family planning needs and about 39% of girls are child brides, serving as a bleak reminder of areas that need improvement.
If not adequately harnessed, population transitions could have a devastating impact on development efforts and stability, said Anthony.
The report also said that educational systems must prepare youth for the current and future job market.
Anthony said reaping a demographic dividend will require a balance of sound strategies, enhanced implementation capacity, financing, and political will.
"It's more of an issue of prioritization,” he said. "We would encourage governments ... to refocus attention on investments on children and youth, which are by far their greatest assets - much more than oil and agriculture.”
Tanzania is doing well in economy in Africa but needs to improve water resource management, according to the latest World Bank report.November 7, 2017, Daily News
In Tanzania water resources have remained the same while the population has doubled and the size of the economy has more than tripled over the last 25 years. Water resources recently dropped below 1,700 cubic meters per capita meaning that the country has joined the ranks of the world's water stressed countries.
"This is still well in excess of the 1,000 cubic metres per person that is internationally considered to be threshold for absolute scarcity, but it is below the 1,700 cubic metres level that the United Nations considers countries to be water stressed," World Bank expert, William Rex said.
The figure will continue to decline, reaching around 1,400 by 2025, he said.
Most rain falls in two to three months of the year and after accounting for environmental flow requirements, national demand in Tanzania is already 150% of accessible water during dry periods.
Agriculture currently uses 89% of the total water of Tanzania's utilized water resources. The global average is around 70%.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Prof Kitila Mkumbo said measures include coordination of institutions dealing with water management for coordinated efforts on water resource management. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Southern Agricultural Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), Geoffrey Kirenga said enforcement of regulations governing water use and management was vital to improve management of water.