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  • August 2, 2001 Hydrogen Rising in Energy Debate: Global Race for "Tomorrow's Petroleum" Heats Up . This report, Hydrogen Futures: Toward a Sustainable Energy System, by Seth Dunn of the Worldwatch Institute, describes the potential for clean, renewable energy from hydrogen. The shift to the use of energy as a source of renewable energy is “being driven in part by rapid improvements in the fuel cell”, which oxidizes molecular hydrogen to produce electricity and water. It is also driven by our need to control urban air pollution, geopolitical instability based on dependence on waning oil supplies and climate change from fossil fuel combustion. Both the auto and energy industries have committed considerable resources to the development of fuel cell technology in their products. DaimlerChrylser, Ford and GM are all in the process of producing cars and/or buses which are run by fuel cells, and Toyota has announced it will sell a fuel cell car in Japan beginning in 2003. “Both Shell and BP have established core hydrogen divisions within their companies;” ExxonMobil, along with GM and Toyota, are developing fuel cells; and “Texaco has become a major investor in hydrogen storage technology”. Fuel cells could “replace not only internal combustion engines, but also central power plants and batteries”. Thus companies marketing these technologies will reap “substantial commercial, political and environmental benefits”. Germany, Japan and Iceland are leaders in their plans to introduce fuel cell technology. One of the important issues at this time is “how to pick the quickest, least expensive path [to a hydrogen based economy] from today’s fossil fuel-based economy”. Although at this time, hydrogen is produced primarily from fossil fuels; ultimately hydrogen will be obtained from the splitting of water using renewable energy from the sun, wind and other sources. Honda has recently opened a solar-hydrogen production and fueling station in Torrance, CA. Dunn discusses “the best route to a renewable energy-based hydrogen economy” and considers government policies which could accelerate this development. .000987
  • August 27, 2001 Sierra Club Calif/Nevada Regional ConservationCommittee New Growth Management Guidelines Call For Actions to Save California's Environment. The Sierra Club's California/Nevada Regional Conservation Committee (CNRCC) has adopted a revised Urban Growth Management Policy Guidelines, calling for actions at the state, regional, and local levels to limit the impacts of growth. Current projections indicate that California's population may grow by another 25 million people by the year 2040. The guidelines recommend a state comprehensive plan, based on analysis of growth projections, environmental constraints, and infrastructure requirements, to guide the conservation and development of the State. The plan should determine what amount of growth is actually supportable, based on environmental and fiscal limits, not only on economic projections, - and recommends recognition of the fact that there are long-term limits to growth in California. The guidelines also recommend urban growth boundaries, strengthening open space elements of general plans to include biodiversity inventories, encouraging infill and compact development, increasing the supply of low-income housing, requiring the availability of all needed public services and facilities before a development project can be approved, improving air quality by encouraging transit and coordinating transportation and land use planning, regional planning, high standards of services and design in all urban areas. The CNRCC plans to advocate a package of bills to carry out these policies in the forthcoming sessions of the California Legislature and is studying a proposal for an Initiative to mandate a State Comprehensive Plan. .001339
  • August 2001 Population Today (PRB) Contraceptive Shortages Loom in Less Developed Countries. Over 1 billion young people are entering their childbearing years in today's world. Thus access to contraceptives represents a challenge of immense proportions, forming a "crisis in the making" - a shortfall in contraceptives and condoms for people in the world's poorest countries, according to author Allison Tarmann. Contraceptives are life-saving devices in developing countries where thousands per day become infected with HIV and up to one in seven women run a lifetime risk of maternal mortality. .001355
  • August 01, 2001  Population Reference Bureau   Children's Environmental Health   There is an array of threats to children's health, resulting in illnesses such as asthma, childhood cancers, lead poisoning, developmental disorders, and endocrine disruption, underscoring children's unique vulnerability to toxicants in the environment.   '000485
  • August 01, 2001  Population Reference Bureau   Search Website for Global Population and Health Data   This database contains data on 85 demographic variables for 221 countries in the world, for 28 world regions and sub-regions, for the world as a whole, for the United States as a whole, and for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Variables include data on family planning, reproductive health, youth sexual activity, breastfeeding, and women's political participation.   '000484
  • August 01, 2001  RMC population listserv   U.S.Pop Growth Hearing on C-Span   The Center for Immigration Studies' Director of Research, Steven A. Camarota, will testify tomorrow before the House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims. The hearing, entitled "The U.S. Population and Immigration", will commence at 10:00 am in 2237 Rayburn House Office Building. Witnesses will be: Steven A. Camarota, Center for Immigration Studies, John Long, U.S. Census Bureau, William Elder, Sierrians for Population Stabilization, Jeffery Passel, Urban Institute. Steven A. Camarota's testimony is on line at: http://www.cis.org/articles/2001/sactestimony701.html#2 . For C-Span's schedule, go to http://www.c-span.org/   '000478
  • August 1, 2001  National Audubon Society   Audubon Forum: What should President Bush Do?   Sixteen scientists and other thinkers were asked a single question: What should President Bush do? .. Martha Marks: Lead America away from fossil fuels and a bright future built upon renewable, clean energy. .. Ralph Nader: Lead the world in solar-energy research and use; launch a solar mission. .. Edward O. Wilson: Start a global conservation movement. Start with the world’s forests. .. Donella Meadows: Campaign finance reform so the environment won’t be outbid. .. Jerry Taylor: End corporate welfare and subsidized flood insurance, farmers off the dole. .. Michael Soule: Mr. Bush, you must consider whether this nation should continue to spurn God's first covenant with all life on earth. You have a chance to save nature again by calling for restraint on natural-resource exploitation and by supporting the conservation of God's capital. .. James Hansen: Appoint a commission to recommend actions to fight climate change. .. Lester R. Brown: We can stabilize climate by restructuring the tax system: reducing income taxes and raising carbon taxes. This will stabilize both oil prices and our climate, by reducing the use of fossil fuels and encouraging the development of alternatives. .. Frank Gill: Make birds a primary indicator of the health of our nation’s wildlife. .. Anne and Paul Ehrlich: Attack two of the three elements that assault the earth: growth in population and growth in per-capita consumption among the rich. .. Peter Huber: Bush should affirm that although private land trusts are the most important element of the conservation movement, at some point the vastness of the White Mountains and the Everglades, of river archipelagoes and coral reefs--at some point the sheer scale of the most ambitious conservation objectives requires a reach to match. .. Joagquisho: Responsible leadership requires vision with a world perspective and the will to look into the future. Responsible leadership requires compassion and respect for all life, for everything that grows, walks, swims, and flies.   '000666 rvs
  • August 20, 2001  BMJ.com - British Medical Journal   Ecological Study of Effect of Breast Feeding on Infant Mortality in Latin America   Exclusive breast feeding of infants aged 0-3 months and partial breast feeding throughout the remainder of infancy could substantially reduce infant mortality in Latin America.   '000672
  • August 2, 2001  The Economist   The Truth about the Environment   by Bjorn Lomborg, author of the book, The Skeptical Environmentalist. Environmentalists claim that 1) natural resources are running out; 2) the population is ever growing, leaving less and less to eat; 3) species are becoming extinct in vast numbers; 4) the planet's air and water are becoming ever more polluted. The main limit on the availability of natural resources is the monetary cost of locating and extracting reserves, not natural scarcity. [Note: the availability of money to locate and extract resources is tied, in the long run, to the availability of natural resources.]    Known reserves of all fossil fuels, and of most commercially important metals, are now larger than they were. [Note: Discoveries of such reserves, however, have dropped off.]     Reserves of oil that could be extracted at reasonably competitive prices would keep the world economy running for about 150 years at present consumption rates. [Note: I heard 80 years. However, current rates will increase due to increased population, both in the world, and in the U.S. where consumption of fossil fuels is already high.]   The price of solar energy has fallen by half in every decade for the past 30 years. In the case of cement, aluminium, iron, copper, gold, nitrogen and zinc, which account for more than 75% of global expenditure on raw materials, the number of years of available reserves has actually grown despite an increase in consumption of these materials of between two- and ten-fold over the past 50 years, and the price has dropped some 80% in inflation-adjusted terms since 1845. Agricultural production in the developing world has increased by 52% per person since 1961. [Note: The 'Greening' of agriculture' has lead to high nitrogen content in streams, rivers, and lakes, salinization of the soils, silting of our waterways and dams, and over-pumping of the earth's groundwater. It is NOT sustainable.]   The daily food intake in poor countries has increased from 1,932 calories in 1961 to 2,650 calories in 1998, and is expected to rise to 3,020 by 2030. Since 1800 food prices have decreased by more than 90%, and in 2000, according to the World Bank, prices were lower than ever before. [Note: Commodities are cheap because we have found cheap energy to produce them: by taking the fossil fuel reserves out of the ground far faster than they are replenished, robbing our grandchildren of their future.]   The growth rate of the human population reached its peak, of more than 2% a year, in the early 1960s. The rate of increase has been declining ever since. It is now 1.26%, and is expected to fall to 0.46% in 2050. The United Nations estimates that most of the world's population growth will be over by 2100, with the population stabilising at just below 11 billion. [Note: To assume that we can feed 5 billion more people is taking a gigantic risk.]   The threat of biodiversity loss is exaggerated. Although species are indeed becoming extinct, only about 0.7% of them are expected to disappear in the next 50 years, not 25-50% as predicted; In the eastern United States, forests were reduced over two centuries to fragments totalling just 1-2% of their original area, yet this resulted in the extinction of only one forest bird. In Puerto Rico, the primary forest area has been reduced over the past 400 years by 99%, yet "only" seven of 60 species of bird has become extinct. All but 12% of the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest was cleared in the 19th century, leaving only scattered fragments. According to the rule-of-thumb, half of all its species should have become extinct. Yet, when the World Conservation Union and the Brazilian Society of Zoology analysed all 291 known Atlantic forest animals, none could be declared extinct. Species, therefore, seem more resilient than expected. And tropical forests are not lost at annual rates of 2-4%, as many environmentalists have claimed: the latest UN figures indicate a loss of less than 0.5%. Analyses show that air pollution diminishes when a society becomes rich enough to be able to afford to be concerned about the environment. In London, air pollution peaked around 1890 and the air is cleaner today than it has been since 1585. When countries grow sufficiently rich they will start to reduce their air pollution. Scientific research usually looks for problems, which tends to exaggerate the number of problems which exist. Also, to keep the money rolling in, scientific projects often exaggerate. Worldwide Fund for Nature in 1977 issued a press release entitled, "Two-thirds of the world's forests lost forever". The truth turns out to be nearer 20%. Newspapers and broadcasters provide what the public wants, which is more bad news than good. The Bulletin of the American Meterological Society said that El Nino caused and estimated $4 billion in damages, but its benefits amounted to some $19 billion: higher winter temperatures saved an estimated 850 lives, reduced heating costs and diminished spring floods caused by meltwaters. If per capita trash output occurs as in the past, and even if the American population doubles by 2100, all the rubbish America produces through the entire 21st century will still take up only the area of a square, each of whose sides measures 28km (18 miles). [Note:How high would the trash be piled?]   Carbon-dioxide emissions are causing temperatures on the planet to warm by and estimated 2?-3?C in this century, costing about $5,000 billion. But it will be far more expensive to cut carbon-dioxide emissions radically than to pay the costs of adaptation to the increased temperatures. A model by Tom Wigley, one of the main authors of the reports of the UN Climate Change Panel, shows how an expected temperature increase of 2.1?C in 2100 would be diminished by the treaty to an increase of 1.9?C instead. Or, to put it another way, the temperature increase that the planet would have experienced in 2094 would be postponed to 2100. The cost of Kyoto, for the United States alone, will be higher than the cost of solving the world's single most pressing health problem: providing universal access to clean drinking water and sanitation. Such measures would avoid 2m deaths every year, and prevent half a billion people from becoming seriously ill. [Note: This problem only becomes worse as you add more and more people to the planet. ... To protest this article as an LTE or an op-ed: mailto:letters@economist.com]   '000665
  • August 14, 2001  Financial Times (London)   Low Water: If Rivers and Lakes are Drained Further, Many Parts of the World may Experience Increased Political Tension, Food Shortages and Environmental Damage   Lake Chad in Africa has been reduced by climate change and irrigation to 20% of its 1960s size. 90% of the Mesopotamian marshlands near the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates, the "fertile crescent", has been lost through drainage and damming. The natural flows of rivers such as the Colorado, Yellow and Amu Darya (Turkistan) no longer reach the sea in the dry season. At the symposium by the International Water Management Institute, held in Stockholm, water experts predicted that about 30% of the world's expected population will live in regions facing severe water scarcity by 2025. Growing the crops needed to feed the world's expanding population accounts for about 70 per cent of all water withdrawals. But increases in pollution are making the water of rivers and lakes of many places unfit even for industrial use. Future water shortages may lead to more famine and war. The UN's Global Environment Outlook last year said: "The world water cycle seems unlikely to be able to cope with the demands that will be made of it in the coming decades." Hans van Ginkel, UN under-secretary- general, has warned that conflicts over water could become "a key part of the 21st-century landscape". But William Cosgrove, vice-president of the World Water Council, says that it is not about having too little water to satisfy our needs. "It is just that we don't manage it well enough," he says. Tony Allan, professor of geography at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London says there is sufficient water to satisfy people's personal needs, but growing food for an individual requires a thousand times as much water as it takes to meet that person's need for drinking water. Water-deficient economies balance their water budgets by importing "virtual water" in the form of grain and other food staples, he says. Arid countries, which are often extremely poor, that may be forced to move away from self-reliance in food production. Sandra Postel of the Worldwatch Institute believes farmers are overpumping 160 billion cubic metres of groundwater a year - enough to produce nearly a tenth of the world's current grain supplies. Irrigation itself has inflicted significant damage on freshwater ecosystems, which provide sustenance for fish and other animals and millions of people. Water use for agriculture, especially irrigation, must be increased 15-20% in the next 25 years to maintain food security, but water use will need to be reduced by at least 10% to protect rivers, lakes and marshes. More than half the water entering irrigation distribution systems never makes it to the crops because of leakage and evaporation. Water-saving techniques include drip irrigation systems, precision sprinklers, water-saving techniques for growing rice, the development of drought-resistant maize and low-cost irrigation technologies that produce higher crop yields because of more intensive cultivation. "A major reason for growing water scarcity and freshwater ecosystem decline is that water is undervalued the world over," according to a paper in Science by researchers at the World Resources Institute.   '000680
  • August 7, 2001  Associated Press   USA: Survey Looks at California Wildlife   59% of California's 232 wildlife migration corridors are threatened by human encroachment, says a 79-page report, Missing Linkages: Restoring Connectivity to the California Landscape sponsored by the California Wilderness Coalition, including The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Geological Survey, Center for the Reproduction of Endangered Species and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. 14% of these links have already been lost. Species such as chinook salmon, bighorn sheep and bald eagles already live on isolated preserves hemmed in by development. The importance of the corridors is tied to preserving genetic diversity and the long-term health of wildlife populations, scientists said. In Southern California, 80% of its corridors used by wild animals are threatened. Rolling back the threat can be as simple and cheap as placing a culvert under a highway project or as complicated and expensive as securing and preserving land slated for development.   '000645
  • August 2, 2001  Africa News Service   Zambia: Maternal Mortality Claims 649 Women Every Year   About 649 women die every year in Zambia due to maternal mortality. Every sixteen women are at risk of dying from pregnancy related complications. Most of the deaths occurred immediately after childbirth and could have been prevented reported Mumba. Including causes such as a shortage of drugs and equipment lack of blood supply for transfusions and skilled care. According to health director-general Dr. Gavin Silwamba, he is looking carefully at the causes of maternal mortality and feels that “giving births should not spell doom to mothers but should be a time of pleasure.” Most of the current deaths occur in developing countries and so there is an urgent need to address the problem. rvs   '000612
  • August 28, 2001 Christian Science Monitor Can Dayak tradition Help Save Forest?. The culture of the Dayaks - a generic term for Borneo's 200 native tribes - is vanishing. Part of the reason is the massive deforestation of the island, which is shared by Indonesia, Malaysia, and the tiny sultanate of Brunei. And not just Dayak culture - a growing body of research has drawn connections between biodiversity, language, and culture around the globe. But Yohanes Terong, the head of Laman Satong village on the border of Gunung Palung National Park in Indonesian Borneo, along with a small group of like-minded village leaders hope that by preserving their culture, they can save the forest. Working with a Dayak group called the Biodamar Foundation - named for the damar resin that Dayaks used to light their lamps - Terong helped successfully oppose new timber concessions by persuading local government officials to recognize adat, traditional rights to the forest. Terong cultivates everything from fish to coffee on his land, in the shadow of low limestone peaks still fringed with jungle. Though his lifestyle has changed, the nearby forest still has a profound influence on his income. Why? "Floods and fires," he says. In 1998, fires laid waste to hundreds of square miles of Borneo. They burned hottest in logged forest. Dayaks do exploit the forest, but over thousands of years, they developed superstitions that preserved the environment. Bungkarai tree, a canopy tree believed to harbor the souls of the dead, is prized by loggers today; it traditionally was left untouched. .000753
  • August 27, 2001 Los Angeles Times* California Supreme Court to Review Catholic Charity's Suit Against State Contraceptive Coverage Mandate. The California Supreme Court will review an appeals court ruling that requires a Catholic charity (in this case, Catholic Charities of Sacramento) to include contraceptive coverage in its health plans that cover prescription drugs. Catholic Charities of Sacramento claims that the 1999 state law mandating contraception coverage is "a violation of religious freedom." But the 3rd District Court of Appeals ruled that the law was "enacted to eliminate discriminatory insurance practices that had undermined the health and economic well-being of women" and would not constrain Catholic Charities from informing employees and the public that it opposes contraceptives. .000999
  • August 2, 2001 Kaiser Weekly Reproductive Health Report World Population to Peak at Nine Billion in 2070. The world's population will peak at nine billion people in 2070 before starting a gradual decline to 8.4 billion by 2100, according to a report from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. Today there are 6.1 billion people in the world. The report was printed in the magazine Nature. The number of people over the age of 60 is expected to quadruple to 40% of the population by the year 2100, adding pressure to social security services and increasing the strain on health care services. In sub-Saharan Africa the AIDS epidemic will decrease life expectancy, but it will not have a "substantial impact" on overall global population because other areas, like northern Africa, which has been "far less" impacted, will see a doubling in population size. .000660
  • August 20, 2001 Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report CIA World Factbook 2001 Now Available. The World Factbook for 2001 has been released by the Central Intelligence Agency, who says it is the agency's "most popular and most widely disseminated product." It provides a "snapshot" of "wide-ranging, hard-to-locate" information -- such as geographic coordinates, economic statistics, political parties, mortality rates and illicit drugs -- for countries "from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe." New this year is a subcategory on HIV/AIDS, which provides HIV/AIDS prevalence rates, number of people living with HIV/AIDS. The factbook is available in print and online. .000977
  • August 2, 2001 Nature magazine Population Set To Decline: The World's Population May Peak By 2070. In order to evaluate the future food supply and the "human impact on the environment" over the next century, policy makers require dependable estimates of population size. Wolfgang Lutz of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria has developed a model which includes "two thousand different simulations of future fertility and mortality rates and look[s] at the distribution of results." Assuming eventual population stabilization at a replacement level of two children per mother, the UN estimated a world population of 10 billion by 2100. However, "most countries with declining populations" in fact have lower fertility rates of 1.5 to 2 children per woman. At this level of fertility, Lutz finds an 85% probability that world population would rise from its current 6 billion to 9 billion in 2070, then drop to 8.4 billion in 2100. Using this model, which incorporates lower birth rates and increasing life expectancy, the population over 60 years old will increase from the current 10% to 34%, creating an enormous problem of caring for this group as China is already learning. The model also predicts a massive geographic redistribution: Europe will decline from 10 to 6% of the world’s population; Africa will rise from 13% to 22%, with incalculable political and economic consequences. Nevertheless, Lutz believes there may be a demographic "window of opportunity" before this increase in the elderly population occurs, during which "both the elderly and child population will be…small" and the work of women without children may support an economic boom. The "Asian tiger economies" may reflect this. Lutz concludes, however, that "the future is very uncertain". .000738
  • August 28, 2001 Business World (Philippines) Philippines: RP Sorely Lacking Effective Population Program. The Philippines needs an effective population control program that will improve the quality of the country's human resource, a critical element in economic growth. In a study by Dr. Alejandro N. Herrin of the UP School of Economics and Dr. Ernesto M. Pernia of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the two economists said the government can curb population by focusing on a three-point strategy which involves: bringing down unwanted pregnancies; reducing desired family sizes via an incentive arrangement that increases a couple's investment per child; and encouraging late marriage and childbearing which will help dampen population growth. The study, titled "Population Growth, Human Resources, and Employment in the Philippines," blames the deterioration in the country's human capital to the government's inability to curb the rapid increase in population." The paper also said that poor child survival and educational performance were the result of the state's inability to curb population growth. This is due to the inability of incomes to finance the health and educational needs of large families. The study said the government can reduce unwanted pregnancies by improving the state family planning services and by expanding the range of contraceptive methods available to couples. .000762
  • August 6, 2001 Time magazine Time Reports on Unexpected Societal Consequences of China's One-Child Policy. The average Chinese woman now has two children, compared to six 30 years ago. The country has solved its population problem," said, Sven Burmester of the U.N. Population Fund's office in Beijing. But the policy has also brought on new problems. The one-child policy has "drastically skewed the nation's gender balance" because of the traditional favoritism Chinese parents show for boys. There are 117 boys born for every 100 girls due to selective abortion and infanticide. Many young men are without partners, resulting in bridal kidnapping. The traditional Chinese Chinese "sense of family obligation" has also been affected by the changing population, with many younger Chinese "refusing to care for their elders," in a nation with no welfare system to support an aging population that is expected to crest in 2040. According to U.N. projections, China's population will start decreasing in 2042. The nation's major cities are already experiencing population declines as many urban couples have opted not to have children. The Chinese parliament has proposed amending the reproductive policy to allow some urban couples to have a second child. Some officials say increasing the number of allowed children will decrease the incidence of abortion and infanticide, but a Peking University professor said a social-welfare system is what needs to be addressed. cs .000661
  • August 02, 2001 Center for Immigration Studies The Impact of Immigration on U.S. Population Growth. U.S. population increased by 32.7 million over the past decade, according to testimony prepared for the House Judiciary Committee, subcommittee on Immigration and Claims by Steven Camarota, the Director of the Division of Research of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). CIS is under contract to the U.S. Census Bureau. This is "the single largest population increase in U.S. history”. The "determinant factor" in this growth was U.S. immigration policy. In the year 2000, there were 30 million legal and illegal immigrants in the U.S. of whom 13-14 million immigrated between 1990 and 2000. This is consistent with an immigration rate of 1.3 million per year, higher than the previous record immigration rate between 1900 and 1910. In this past decade, immigration accounted for "40% of the 33 million increase" in the U.S. population. If the 6.9 million children born to these new arrivals are included, 20 million or just under 2/3 of the 33 million increase is due to immigration. If these trends continue, according to the Census Bureau’s mid-range projections, the U.S. population in 2050 will be 404 million, compared to 328 million without future immigration at the same rate. That is, immigration will account for 63% of the U.S. population growth over the next 50 years. And this estimate maybe too low because 1) the Census Bureau used the 1990, not the 2000, census as a baseline population; 2) the value, 1.2 million immigrants per year, is too low (current immigration is 1.3 million and will probably increase and 3) the Census Bureau has probably overestimated emigration rates. Camarota said that "immigrants who have not yet arrived, but who will come to this country between now and 2050, will add the equivalent of the combined current populations of California, Texas, and New York State, to the United States over the next 50 years." Mr. Camarota, while acknowledging that high immigration would increase equity for real estate owners, said that high immigration rates would take a toll in several areas. An increase of 76 million people over the next 50 years would worsen sprawl and congestion markedly. Such population growth would dramatically increase school enrollment, as it has in the past 20 years, all of which can be attributed to immigrants who arrived since 1970. U.S. population growth would require an increase in the "size and scope of government". U.S. population growth will require greater cutbacks in per capita energy expenditure to meet national CO2 emissions targets, which could impact standard of living as well as competitiveness of U.S. industry. And lastly, in spite of arguments to the contrary, high U.S. immigration rates would not solve social security funding problems. This is so because 1) the average immigrant is not much younger than the average U.S. citizen is; 2) every immigrant will age and require social security benefits himself and 3) the higher fertility of immigrants "increases the number of children in the population who like the elderly must be supported by others". .000904
  • August 8, 2001  Christian Science Monitor   Lessen the Fear of Genetically Engineered Crops   Many Americans oppose the biotech foods because the consumer bears the consequences while companies and farmers reap the benefits. Protesters carrying signs stating "Biocide is Homicide" and shouting concerns about eating genetically engineered foods recently demonstrated outside the biotechnology industry’s annual convention. Inside, the industry spoke of the benefits of future crops like 'golden rice'. Farmers will not plant genetically engineered (g.e.) sweet corn, sugar beets, and apples for fear that consumers will reject the product. Europe and Asia refuse to import US-grown g.e. crops. Some countries require labeling of g.e. ingredients in food. With this development, many food processors have eliminated g.e. ingredients to avoid negative labels. The lack in consumer confidence may also be linked to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) lack of safety regulations. In fact, the FDA has not approved any g.e. crops as safe to eat. The National Academy of Sciences is putting together a recommendation for a precise method of assessment of the g.e. products. There are also environmental concerns. G.E. foods could lead to pesticide-resistant insects and weeds that may contaminate other crops. The Environmental Protection Agency needs to enforce restrictions it has imposed on g.e. crops to prevent the emergence of insecticide-resistant pests. Strong regulations would minimize environmental and safety risks, however they would not boost public confidence and there are not any products that currently benefit consumers. Agricultural biotechnology is not a panacea for all agricultural problems here or abroad, nor is it free from risk. But, with adequate safeguards, it could provide tremendous benefits for an ever-populous, pesticide-drenched, and water-deficient globe. [Note: the conclusion does not reflect WOA!!s opinion] -rvs   '000648
  • August 24, 2001  NGO Networks for Health - At a Glance   Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care Services: Maximizing Access and Quality   Issue No.6 of At A Glance describes MAQ - a joint initiative of USAID, collaborating agencies, and various country partners to Maximize clients' Access to and improve the Quality of family planning and reproductive health services. NGO Networks for Health (Networks) is a USAID funded, five year global health partnership created to meet the burgeoning demand for quality family planning, reproductive health, child survival and HIV/AIDS information and services around the world. [This article needs further summarization for our readers. If you are interested in helping, please contact WOA!! at karen@gaia-s.net]   '000751
  • August 13, 2001   ENN   Brazil Environmentalists Face New Battle on Amazon.  Accelerated destruction of the Amazon jungle looms. Brazilian farmers and environmentalists are getting ready for another battle in front of a special congressional meeting that will vote on September 4th. The bill before them would introduce a zoning study of the Amazon to determine how much forest can be cut down in the future. The Amazon is home to 50% of the world’s animal and plant species and the majority is in Brazil, which is larger than all of Western Europe. The bill would replace a provisional measure by the government that requires 80% of the Amazon to be set aside for protection. A spokesperson for the bill said that it maintains the 80% limit. Environmentalist hope that the current provisional measure will be made permanent. Currently the measure leaves the Amazon at risk of instating other costly permanent measures. The current Micheletto bill is the second in the last six months attempted to be pushed through by the agricultural lobby in Congress. Currently, 25.6% of the Amazon is private land and the rest is protected by nature parks and Indian reserves. Environmentalists also fear that the bill will be carried out by the government and individuals who don’t have the technical know-how to evaluate at risk parts of the Amazon. They fear extended injuries to the already fragile forest. rvs   '000808
  • August 31, 2001   ENN   Environmentalist Campaign Targets Global Hotspots.  The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) wants to motivate individuals to help "BioGems" survive. BioGems are isolated, but important parts of our connected ecosystem. They have a growing list of online activists, ready to take on the bad guys. Some of their successes are: protection of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest from logging, the halting of Mitsubishi’s plans to build the world’s largest salt works in Baja California’s San Ignacio Lagoon. Mitsubishi pulled out of their program after hearing from one million concerned citizens. And in June, after receiving thousand of letters, Brazil closed an illegal road through Iguacu Falls National Park, rainforest off Brazil’s southern border. BioGem will take on the Brazilian government this year because of plans that will threaten the Amazon rainforest such as new highways, power lines, dams and other large projects. The email messages sent to activists allow them to see their progress on campaigns and send letters to those in charge of at risk current projects so they can see their progress and still be involved. Visit http://www.biogems.org for more information. rvs   '000810
  • August 31, 2001   ENN/International Fund for Animal Welfare   IFAW and IBRRC Race to Save Endangered California Brown Pelican from Summer of Crisis.  The California brown pelican, an endangered species since 1971, has been reduced to merely 5,000 breeding pairs. The birds’ numbers are dwindling because they are being hooked by fishermen, most notably in Santa Cruz and Monterey,CA where pier fishing is popular and a large amount of pelican breeding occurs. The pelicans confuse the fishing lures as food and are cut off by fishermen. The lure causes serious, if not fatal injuries to the birds. The IBRRC bird rescue program has rescued more than 100 injured brown pelicans this month and 158 in the last 90 days. A $15,000 grant, in conjunction with International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) helps fund the program. To help out or learn more, visit www.ifaw.org." -rvs   '000811
  • August 20, 2001   ENN/San Francisco Chronicle/Contra Costa Times   Development Threatens California Wildlife Habitat .  Nearly 60% of the secret trails used by California's wildlife to travel between healthy habitat patches are threatened by development, according to a recent report issued by 160 biologists. The routes of mountain lions, bobcats, Pacific fishers, wolverines, badgers, salmon, steelhead and mule deer were studied. Hemmed in by human development, the animals are now reduced to traveling through narrow areas ranging from a few feet to a few miles wide to find mates, hunt prey, and satisfy inborn migration patterns. Southern California is most severely affected. Linkages there even more important to maintain gene flow between isolated populations. Corridors such as the Tahoe Gap and the Altamont Hills are "biodiversity bargains" that should be preserved by conservation easements, culverts under roads, and other measures.   '000673
  • August 20, 2001   U.S. News & World Report   Bangladesh: 10 Muhammad Yunus.  Even though Dhaka, the capitol of Bangladesh has been modernized, the markets teem with men-and only men. Women in this Muslim country traditionally refrain from commercial activities. But in Chandana, a village on the outskirts of Dhaka, a group of women is making progress. One owns a sizable photo-developing shop. Another swapped her cow-milking business for a cellphone, which she rents to friends. She used the profits to make her home larger and more flood-proof. In other areas, women are starting businesses and dragging their families up from hunger and poverty. Grameen Bank and its founder, Muhammad Yunus, has enabled this empowerment, by offering tiny micro-credit loans to the poor. Returning to his newly independent homeland from America in 1972, Yunus the economics professor helped to rebuild the nation. He rescued a poor woman who made bamboo stools from a loan shark by giving her a small loan, which she paid back. He offered small loans to women in roughly 100 rural villages, and they too paid him back. In 1983 he set up an official bank and named it Grameen ("rural"). "Radical groups on the left and right have opposed him, people who are supposed to be revolutionaries," says Syed Hashemi of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest. Grameen has disbursed roughly $3 billion to over 2 million rural Bangladeshi borrowers. Over 90% have repaid their loans. Now there are more than 7,000 micro-finance organizations like Grameen worldwide.   '000718
  • August 17, 2001  Los Angeles Times*   Report Points Up Woes of Internally Displaced Persons   Over 20 million people have been forced to leave their homes due to ethnic war, famine or oppression, but have been unable to leave their own country to seek relief. Norman Kempster of the L.A. Times says that their suffering is a "silent atrocity that the world seems incapable of stopping". Known as 'internally displaced persons,' they are "among the most at-risk, vulnerable populations in the world," said a recent report by the Congressional General Accounting Office. The United States and United Nations often try to meet the needs of refugees, people who flee their countries to escape persecution, but to help internally displaced persons the international community must either obtain permission from a nation's government, often difficult to do, or infringe on its sovereignty, which the US and UN are reluctant to do. Nongovernmental relief organizations try to help but lack the money and authority. "What we need to do is get the issue of [the internally displaced] on the agenda," said Anthony Kozlowski, president of the American Refugee Committee. Displaced persons who face government persecution have the choice of going into hiding and facing disease and starvation, or returning home and risking oppression. There are nearly twice as many internally displaced persons than refugees. Displaced persons are in more than 50 countries, half of them in Africa. The GAO report said they were subject to direct physical attack or the threat of attack in 90% of the countries; in 58%, they were forced to move against their will; in 46%, women and girls were victims of sexual assault; in 46%, employment was taken away; in 35%, the displaced were pressed into military service or forced labor; and in 25%, they had no legal access to health care, education or other services.   '000708
  • August 21, 2001  Brainfood   Nineteen Countries are Now Apparently Past Oil Production "Peak"  
    Nation Peak
    year
    1 US 1970
    2 Canada 2006
    3 Mexico 2005
    North America - 1983
    4 Argentina 1997
    5 Brazil 2003
    6 Colombia 2004
    7 Ecuador 1997
    8 Peru 1979
    9 Trinidad & Tobago 1977
    10 Venezuela 1970
    South & Central America - 2006
    11 Denmark 2004
    12 Italy 1997
    13 Norway 2004
    14 Romania 1976
    15 UK 1999
    Europe - 2006
    Former Soviet Union 1987
    17 Iran 1976
    18 Iraq 2009
    19 Kuwait 2010
    20 Oman 2005
    21 Qatar 2004
    22 Saudi Arabia 2017
    23 Syria 1995
    24 UA Emirates 2009
    25 Yemen 2005
    Middle East - 2009
    26 Algeria 2006
    27 Angola 2002
    28 Cameroon 1985
    29 Congo 2004
    30 Egypt 1993
    31 Equatorial Guinea 2003
    32 Gabon 2004
    33 Libya 1969
    34 Nigeria 2007
    35 Tunisia 1981
    Africa - 2006
    36 Australia 2005
    37 Brunei 1979
    38 China 2007
    39 India 2004
    40 Indonesia 1977
    41 Malaysia 2003
    42 Papua New Guinea 1993
    43 Thailand 2004
    44 Vietnam 2004
    Asia-Pacific -2004
    WORLD PEAK -- 2006
    Note above that 19 out of the 44 Nations are definitely (or likely) past-peak. Moreover: Two of the 7 Regions are definitely past-peak (i.e. North America and the FSU). The production data through 2000 now indicates that a third Region (i.e. Europe) probably peaked in 2000 or 2001. ... Jay -- www.dieoff.org ... Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
      '000730
  • August 14, 2001  The Boston Globe   Condoms: Ounce of Prevention   The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has been the leader for supplying condoms to Africa and disease hotspots to prevent AIDS. In the past, USAID has purchased condoms for 6.3 cents each from companies in the US, but now equally good condoms are 2.5 cents each in Asia. There are a shortage of condoms available and compared to the expensive treatment of antiretrovirus drugs it is a choice that must be made soon. In Brazil, 87% of sexually active persons between 16 and 25 use condoms and has caused the amount of individuals with AIDS to plummet. The disease, however, has killed 22 million in less than 20 years and more than 36 million are currently carrying the infection. US condom maker jobs are on the line. In order for there to be more condoms available, by purchasing from Asia, USAID will have to get a waiver allowing the overseas purchase. -rvs   '000690
  • August 10, 2001  International Planned Parenthood Federation   Boyfriends Key in Whether American Teeage Girls Want a Baby   According to research, teenage girls who believe their boyfriends want a baby are more likely to want to become pregnant. In a study of 202 girls, ages 13 to 18 in Colorado, USA, researchers found that a boyfriends desire to have a child was the strongest influence on a teenagers own attitudes towards pregnancy. In addition, researchers found that the boyfriend’s age did not matter, contradicting previous research that concluded that girls who want to have a child usually have older boyfriends. Based on the findings, researchers suggest that boyfriends should be targeted to delay pregnancy in at-risk adolescent girls. -rvs   '000674
  • August 5, 2001  San Diego Union-Tribune   We Should Aim for a 'Graying' Society   By B. Meredith Burke A recent Associated Press article indicates how alluring Americans still find the appeal of a youthful population. It acclaimed "the influx of young immigrant families with an exodus of older, wealthier residents" as helping "California resist the graying seen across America during the last decade." But why should we want to resist "graying?" Graying of a population is what demarcates postindustrial society from those of the third world. We know how to achieve a very youthful population. Let women bear an average of six children and the result is a population whose median age -- that dividing the population in half -- is between ages 15 to 18. Even the demographically naive must concede that resources to invest in the next generation are meager when divided among so many young dependents. Such a society also has high growth potential. What we seek on a finite globe is an end to population growth. At that point birth rates will equal death rates. That California ranks fifth youngest among the 50 states is no cause for rejoicing. Due to births to the large number of immigrants during the 1990s, the number of people under age 20 rose 18 percent compared to the national increase of 13 percent. Our median age is two years younger than the national median of slightly over 35. One result is seen in our crowded schools. More frighteningly, we confront the prospect of another baby boom in a few years as augmented numbers attain childbearing age. Many in the upcoming cohort come from backgrounds which prize early and high childbearing, a marker of the rural societies from which the parents recently emigrated. Meanwhile, California's native-born population still reflects the postwar baby boom. First baby boomers crowded our schools in the 1950s and 1960s. Then they swelled the working-age population and the number of households. Soon the cutting edge of the boomers will reach retirement age. California will then confront a battle for social resources between the aging baby boomers and the enlarged number of children disproportionately descended from post-1980 immigrants. This will occur against a background of a high growth rate in the general population. Unless immigration policy changes, our present 35 million will reach 50 million circa 2025: five times our ecologically sustainable level of 10 million, last seen in 1950. Despite what the AP disparages, a "grayed" society with a constant population will not consist of only the elderly. Assuming we reach stability via low and equal death and birth rates (few would opt for the alternative of high death and birth rates) the median age doesn't rise up to 60 or 70 years. Rather, in a stationary low-mortality society, one-fourth will be under age 20, one-fourth over age 60, and the median age will be about 39. Unlike what doomsayers foretell, the median age of a sustainable society will not rise indefinitely ("a country of old men"): the young and the old will be equal in number. To shrink back to a sustainable level will require several decades where birth rates are less than death rates, and where immigration does not take up the slack. The median age will temporarily rise to higher levels. Although such population aging and shrinkage can be swiftly reversed by women bearing just one child more (two children instead of one), where below-replacement fertility is now prevailing cries of depopulation are resonating. In Italy, with Western Europe's lowest fertility rate, the population is projected to shrink to 42 million in 2050 from 57 million in 1995 assuming a constant birth rate and unchanged immigration. The median age will rise to 53 years. Yet at 42 million Italy will be far more ecologically sustainable. The Oakland-based think tank Redefining Progress has calculated the ecological footprint, the land equivalent required to produce the renewable resources consumed by and recycle the wastes produced by each country. Italy currently has an ecological deficit of 7 acres per person; the United States a deficit of 10. Both countries will be better off with lesser populations. The path to stability will be marked by a graying population. The sooner it arrives, the less environmental degradation we will inflict upon our stressed habitat -- and the healthier an environmental legacy we will bequeath to posterity. So let us work for, not resist an aging society. It is the only one that can save us from our demographic profligacy of the past several decades. Burke is a senior fellow at Negative Population Growth Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based organization.   '000662
  • August 20, 2001  Canadian Business   The Next Gas Crisis   The vast majority of Canadians are dependent on natural gas to heat their homes. However, Ladyfern, the largest natural gas find in Western Canada in the past 25 years, contains just enough fuel to heat all the gas-fired homes in Canada for a year or two at most. Worse yet, a typical new gas well produces barely enough gas to heat 90,000 homes for a year. Canada now produces 6.2 tcf of gas a year, just enough to meet current domestic and export demand. That represents about one-fifth of North America's gas consumption, which is still growing by 2% a year because of gas-fired electrical generation. "We need 6.2 Ladyferns a year to just keep up with gas consumption." says Rob Woronuk, a Calgary gas analyst. But "we are finding a Ladyfern only every 25 years." The days of cheap natural gas at $1.50 a gigajoule are over. Gas prices have stabilized for now at about $4 a gigajoule (twice the decade average) because gas users have suddenly rediscovered the economics of energy conservation. A major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico or a terrorist attack on a major pipeline, or even a plant turnaround could send natural gas prices back to the heights they reached last winter: US$10 a gigajoule. "We are in a dangerous situation," says Woronuk. But "We are still finding less gas and consuming more," notes Calgary-based Mike Sawyer, executive director of the Citizen's Oil and Gas Council. The Alberta Energy and Utility Board (EUB) predicted that conventional natural gas production in Alberta, Canada's key producer, would peak by 2003 at 5.3 tcf and therefore decline by 2% a year for the next five years. Over the next decade, Alberta will have exported or burned up about 75% of its potential gas reserves. The same is true in the US. New pools are smaller, and "new wells drilled today are exhibiting lower production rates and steeper decline rates," according to the EUB. Oil sands, the source of Canada's future oil supply, will be using almost 25% of Alberta's gas production by 2010 in order to fire boilers to heat the water that melts the tarry sands into usable crude. That means less and pricier natural gas. In September the Canadian Gas Potential Committee, a volunteer group of geologists and industry types, will release a 600-page report that will identify what gas is left and where it is. Meanwhile, in spite of record drilling throughout the US, companies aren't finding much new gas in the dry plains of southern Texas or even the Gulf of Mexico. While the US Department of Energy predicts natural gas consumption will increase by 45% by 2015, in the past year, production has grown by barely 2%. Bush now wants to drill in national parks and on federal lands-even though natural monuments will be spoiled and the arctic gas from Alaska or the Mackenzie Delta will not reach southern markets until 2008 or 2010. And the US$20-billion price tag is probably the costliest construction project in the continent's history. What is now accessible in the Mackenzie Delta's holds no more gas than what Canada produces every year (6.2 tcf). Alternatives such as liquid natural gas, coal-bed methane, and the mysterious gas hydrates (gas locked in ice crystals in the ocean) may promise limitless supplies, but technology to extract them is expensive or non-existent. Prices have dropped due to 1) a US economic slowdown, 2) a mild summer weather and 3) people started to look for ways to reduce their energy bills. The doubling of gas prices has made wind a viable energy competitor for the first time, as well as the continent's fastest-growing energy source. The drop in demand will normalize natural gas prices at double their average (around the current $3 range) for some time to come.  '000704
  • July 2, 2001 World Watch Institute USA: Curbing Sprawl to Fight Climate Change. Urban sprawl is making "road transportation the fastest growing source of carbon emissions". Improved urban design could significantly slow the rate of global warming as well as make cities healthier and more livable, according to Molly O’Meara Sheehan of the World Watch Institute, author of City Limits: Putting the Brakes on Sprawl. It is well known that sprawl adversely impacts human health. Worldwide, a million people die in traffic accidents yearly; urban air pollution worsens lung disease and increases death rates; and by making "walking and cycling less practical" urban sprawl discourages exercise and adversely affects health. Sprawl has developed over decades. Between 1950 and 1990, while Chicago’s population increased by 38% its land area increased by 124%. Now several factors are making it worse. The US population consumes disproportionate amounts of gas using "roughly 43 percent of the world’s gasoline to propel less than 5 percent of the world’s population!". In addition, a growing proportion of the world’s population is becoming urban, particularly in the developing world "where car use is still low". "Adoption of the U.S. car-centered model in these places would have disastrous consequences." By 2030, China’s urban population is expected to be 752 million. If their car use were to mimic that of the "average resident of the San Francisco area in 1990", "carbon emissions from transportation in urban China alone could exceed 1 billion tons". There are reactions against sprawl both here and abroad. In 2000, "U.S. voters approved some 400 … ballot initiatives" concerning sprawl, and "38 states have passed laws creating incentives for more compact development." In Brazil, beginning in 1972, the city of Curitiba "built a system of dedicated busways and zoned for higher-density development along those thoroughfares" resulting in improved air quality and more parks. Bogota, Colombia has built "a similar bus system, … expanded its bike paths, and tried a bold ‘car-free’ day." The success of this plan illustrates "the importance of higher population density to support buses and cycling". Most important are the "growth of light rail and other forms of public transit". Western Europe now has over 100 rail systems, "the highest [number] since 1970." In the past five years public transportation ridership in the U.S. has increased steadily. And a light rail line in Portland, Oregon has significantly reduced the need for new parking garages and extra highway lanes. .001099

  • July 13, 2001  --   Contraceptive Coverage for Federal Employees Under Fire  
    Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asked to be connected with your Representative (see below).

    Talking Points:

    - I understand that both the President's budget and the Treasury-Postal Service Appropriation bill call for the elimination of contraceptive coverage for Federal Employees. I urge you to support the Lowey amendment that will be offered to restore this coverage when the Appropriations Committee considers this legislation.

    - The reproductive choices women make today will have a tremendous impact on the planet for generations to come; therefore, ensuring that women can afford contraceptives and family planning services is critical.

    - Contraceptives are part of a basic health care package for women of reproductive age. This lack of contraceptive coverage is even more troubling when we consider that it not only discriminates against women but also places them at risk for unintended pregnancy and abortion.

    107th Congress House Appropriations Committee

    Alan B. Mollohan, West Virginia
    Allen Boyd, Florida
    Anne Northup, Kentucky
    C.W. Bill Young, Florida
    Carolyn C. Kilpatrick, Michigan
    Carrie P. Meek, Florida
    Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania
    Charles H. Taylor, North Carolina
    Chet Edwards, Texas
    Dan Miller, Florida
    David E. Price, North Carolina
    David L. Hobson, Ohio
    David R. Obey, Wisconsin
    David Vitter, Louisiana
    Ed Pastor, Arizona
    Ernest J. Istook, Jr., Oklahoma
    Frank R. Wolf, Virginia
    George R. Nethercutt, Jr., Washington
    Harold Rogers, Kentucky
    Henry Bonilla, Texas
    Jack Kingston, Georgia
    James E. Clyburn, South Carolina
    James P. Moran, Virginia
    James Walsh, New York
    Jerry Lewis, California
    Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Illinois
    Jim Kolbe, Arizona
    Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri
    Joe Knollenberg, Michigan
    Joe Skeen, New Mexico
    John Doolittle, California
    John E. Peterson, Pennsylvania
    John E. Sununu, New Hampshire
    John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania
    John Sweeney, New York
    John W. Olver, Massachusetts
    José E. Serrano, New York
    Kay Granger, Texas
    Lucille Roybal-Allard, California
    Marcy Kaptur, Ohio
    Martin Olav Sabo, Minnesota
    Maurice D. Hinchey, New York
    Nancy Pelosi, California
    Nita M. Lowey, New York
    Norman D. Dicks, Washington
    Patrick J. Kennedy, Rhode Island
    Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana
    Ralph Regula, Ohio
    Randy "Duke" Cunningham, California
    Ray LaHood, Illinois
    Robert Aderholt, Alabama
    Robert E. "Bud" Cramer, Jr., Alabama
    Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey
    Roger F. Wicker, Mississippi
    Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut
    Sam Farr, California
    Sonny Callahan, Alabama
    Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland
    Steven R. Rothman, New Jersey
    Todd Tiahrt, Kansas
    Tom DeLay, Texas
    Tom Latham, Iowa
    Virgil Goode, Virginia
    Zach Wamp, Tennessee   '000212

  • July 13, 2001  Sierra Club   Contraceptive Coverage for Federal Employees Under Fire   At the urging of President Bush, lawmakers in the House are moving to revoke contraceptive insurance coverage for more than one million women who work for the U.S. government. The insurance coverage will expire at the end of the year unless Congress renews the policy. The House Appropriations Committee will most likely consider the annual Treasury-Postal Service appropriation bill that includes funding for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) is expected to offer an amendment to renew the contraceptive coverage provision. If your Representative serves on the Appropriations Committee (click for list), please take a moment on Monday, July 16th, or Early Tuesday, July 17th, to contact them (See number below) and urge their support for the Lowey amendment. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asked to be connected with your Representative. For more information on Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage, please visit the Sierra Club Global Population and Environment Website.   '000211
  • July 16, 2001  Brainfood   Five Fundamental Errors   The Short Version, by Jay Hanson ( The Long Version is archived at http://dieoff.com/page236.htm ) ... Modern economics is nothing more than "Social Darwinism" (the politics -- NOT the science) as first revealed by God to the Dominican Friar St. Thomas Aquinas 750 years ago, and then perfected by the Physiocrats 230 years ago. Unfortunately, God didn't bother to reveal the Laws of Thermodynamics to St. Thomas at the same time as he was doing "free markets". But then it's not too surprising considering the fact that God also neglected to mention that the Earth orbited the Sun. ...Any ONE fundamental error in Neoclassical theory should be sufficient reason to reject conclusions based upon that theory. Here are five fundamental errors in the theory: ...#1. A fundamentally incorrect "method": the economist uses "correlation" and "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" (after-the-fact) reasoning, rather than the "scientific method". ...#2. A fundamentally inverted world view: the economist sees the environment as a subsystem of the economy, rather than the other way around. In other words, economists are trained to believe that natural resources come from "markets" rather than the "environment". The corollary is that "man-made capital" can substitute for "natural capital". But the First Law of thermodynamics tells us there is no "creation" -- there is no such thing as "man-made capital". Thus, ALL capital is "natural capital", and the economy is 100% dependent on the "environment" for everything. ...#3. A fundamentally incorrect view of "money": the economist sees "money" as nothing more than a medium of exchange, rather than as social power -- or "political power". But even the casual observer can see that money is social power because it "empowers" people to buy and do the things they want -- including buying and doing other people: politics. ...If employers have the freedom to pay workers less "political power", then they will retain more political power for themselves. Money is, in a word, "coercion", and "economic efficiency" is correctly seen as a political concept designed to conserve social power for those who have it -- to make the politically powerful, even more powerful, and the politically weak, even weaker. ...#4. A fundamentally incorrect view of his raison d'etre: the economist sees "Homo economicus" as a "Bayesian utility maximizer", rather than "Homo sapiens" as a "primate". In other words, contemporary economics and econometrics is WRONG from the bottom up -- and economists know it. The entire discipline of economics is based on a lie -- and economists know it. Moreover, if human behavior is not the result of mathematical calculation -- and it isn't -- then in principle, economists will NEVER get it right. ...#5. A fundamentally incorrect view of economic élan vital: the economist sees economic activity as a function of infinite "money creation", rather than a function of finite "energy stocks" and finite "energy flows". In fact, the economy is 100% dependent on available energy -- it always has been, and it always will be. See a synopsis of the current energy situation at http://dieoff.com/synopsis.htm . ...The sudden -- and surprising -- end of the fossil fuel age will stun everyone -- and kill billions. Once the truth is told about gas and oil (it's just a matter of time), your life will change forever. ...Envision a world where freezing, starving people burn everything combustible -- everything from forests (releasing CO2; destroying topsoil and species); to garbage dumps (releasing dioxins, PCBs, and heavy metals); to people (by waging nuclear, biological, chemical, and conventional war); and you have seen the future. ...Envision a world utterly destroyed by a lethal education.   '000257

  • July 13, 2001  --   Contraceptive Coverage for Federal Employees Under Fire  
    Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asked to be connected with your Representative (see below).

    Talking Points:

    - I understand that both the President's budget and the Treasury-Postal Service Appropriation bill call for the elimination of contraceptive coverage for Federal Employees. I urge you to support the Lowey amendment that will be offered to restore this coverage when the Appropriations Committee considers this legislation.

    - The reproductive choices women make today will have a tremendous impact on the planet for generations to come; therefore, ensuring that women can afford contraceptives and family planning services is critical.

    - Contraceptives are part of a basic health care package for women of reproductive age. This lack of contraceptive coverage is even more troubling when we consider that it not only discriminates against women but also places them at risk for unintended pregnancy and abortion.

    107th Congress House Appropriations Committee

    Alan B. Mollohan, West Virginia
    Allen Boyd, Florida
    Anne Northup, Kentucky
    C.W. Bill Young, Florida
    Carolyn C. Kilpatrick, Michigan
    Carrie P. Meek, Florida
    Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania
    Charles H. Taylor, North Carolina
    Chet Edwards, Texas
    Dan Miller, Florida
    David E. Price, North Carolina
    David L. Hobson, Ohio
    David R. Obey, Wisconsin
    David Vitter, Louisiana
    Ed Pastor, Arizona
    Ernest J. Istook, Jr., Oklahoma
    Frank R. Wolf, Virginia
    George R. Nethercutt, Jr., Washington
    Harold Rogers, Kentucky
    Henry Bonilla, Texas
    Jack Kingston, Georgia
    James E. Clyburn, South Carolina
    James P. Moran, Virginia
    James Walsh, New York
    Jerry Lewis, California
    Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Illinois
    Jim Kolbe, Arizona
    Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri
    Joe Knollenberg, Michigan
    Joe Skeen, New Mexico
    John Doolittle, California
    John E. Peterson, Pennsylvania
    John E. Sununu, New Hampshire
    John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania
    John Sweeney, New York
    John W. Olver, Massachusetts
    José E. Serrano, New York
    Kay Granger, Texas
    Lucille Roybal-Allard, California
    Marcy Kaptur, Ohio
    Martin Olav Sabo, Minnesota
    Maurice D. Hinchey, New York
    Nancy Pelosi, California
    Nita M. Lowey, New York
    Norman D. Dicks, Washington
    Patrick J. Kennedy, Rhode Island
    Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana
    Ralph Regula, Ohio
    Randy "Duke" Cunningham, California
    Ray LaHood, Illinois
    Robert Aderholt, Alabama
    Robert E. "Bud" Cramer, Jr., Alabama
    Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey
    Roger F. Wicker, Mississippi
    Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut
    Sam Farr, California
    Sonny Callahan, Alabama
    Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland
    Steven R. Rothman, New Jersey
    Todd Tiahrt, Kansas
    Tom DeLay, Texas
    Tom Latham, Iowa
    Virgil Goode, Virginia
    Zach Wamp, Tennessee   '000212

  • July 19, 2001  Seattle Post-Intelligencer   Projects Blend Population, Environmental Issues   CARE, a relief and development organization, and Population Action International, a research and advocacy organization, sponsor eco-tourist trips to areas such as such as the Peten in northern Guatemala, a humid expanse of dense, tropical hardwood forests inhabited mostly by indigenous Mayans, and a major tourist destination because of its ruins. Here slash-and-burn farming and uncontrolled population growth is threatening the environment and the survival of families living there. The trips focus on both environmental concerns with family planning. How it works, project organizers and trip participants said, is simple: more children mean greater demands on the environment; those demands (slash-and-burn and single-crop farming) often damage the environment; the damaged environment makes it difficult to sustain the increase in population in a healthy manner; and the children and their families suffer.   '000530
  • July 13, 2001  Portland Oregonian   USA: Oregon County Pregnancy Prevention Program to Focus on Teen Boys   The Washington County, Oregon, Commission on Children and Families, using a $15,000 state Adult and Family Services grant, is offering two training sessions for educators, community outreach workers and court professionals on how to teach teen boys that "they are as responsible for pregnancies as the girls who carry the babies." One program, which is Latino-specific, has every space filled; it will feature Jerry Tello, director of the Los Angeles-based National Latino Fatherhood and Family Institute, who seeks to "introduce young men to an indigenous Latino concept of 'the noble man' as a foundation for developing male responsibility." Jorge Melendez, youth director at Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ in Portland, said that many Latino boys in the area who come from homes with single mothers "don't learn how to be a father or a man" and think that "to be a man is to have a lot of women, and that means a lot of sexual relations." Another training session will feature trainer Rick Brown, who will introduce participants to the abstinence-based "Wise Guys" program from the Family Life Council of Greater Greensboro, N.C. The program focuses on pregnancy prevention and sexual violence and "encourages boys to treat girls the way they would like to see their mother, sister or grandmother treated." Teen pregnancy rates are down from 17.2 pregnancies per 1,000 girls under the age of 17 in 1998 to 12.8 pregnancies per 1,000. The program hopes to build on this success.;   '000525
  • July 26, 2001  National Center for Health Statistics   U.S. Fertility Rate Rises   According to figures recently released by the National Center for Health Statistics, the total fertility rate (average number of births per woman) in the U.S. rose 3% in 2000, to 2.1335--the U.S.’s highest fertility rate since 1971.   '000575
  • July 26, 2001  ENN   Arctic Ecosystems Trampled and Tracked   Mining, military activities, heavy reindeer grazing, recreational activities such as camping, hiking, and off-road vehicle use, and even small disturbances to fragile Arctic ecosystems may permanently damage them, says Arctic Centre, University of Lapland's Bruce Forbes, who is studying subarctic and alpine tundra and forest tundra in Alaska, Canada, Russia, and Finland. "Some of the most productive landscapes are being slowly nibbled away." Even a single pass of a heavy-tracked vehicle can drain an Arctic meadow. Findings of Forbes and coauthors James Ebersole of Colorado College in Colorado Springs and Beate Strandberg of the National Environmental Research Institute in Silkeborg, Denmark appear in the August issue of the journal Conservation Biology. The most controversial threat to Arctic ecosystems is oil and natural gas development. The United States is considering oil and gas exploration in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Canada is likely to extract natural gas just east of the refuge, and Russian and northern European energy companies are already operating in the Arctic. Mostly because of wind erosion, disturbed patches more than three feet across still had bare centers even after 20 years. Long-term damage is caused by heavy-tracked vehicles, even if they are driven through an area only once during the summer. Hikers can flatten hummocks and hollows that give geographical diversity, and therefore plant diversity, to the landscape, decreasing plant biodiversity and favoring willows and rapidly growing grasses over most other plants.   '000436
  • July 19, 2001  Christian Science Monitor   Carbon Dioxide: An Exhaustive Look   A graphical portrayal of what the Kyoto Protocol would mean for the average citizen of an industrialized country.   '000514
  • July 10, 2001  Global Population Initiative Media Analysis   UNDP's 2001 Human Development Report   The 2001 Human Development Report was released by the the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in time for World Population Day. The report ranks 162 countries based on income, education, life expectancy and health care. 1.2 billion people worldwide live in poverty, 800 million people are suffering from hunger and about 25% of all people lack access to safe drinking water. "Sixty-five developing countries, representing more than half the developing world's total population in 1995, (will) lose about 280 million tons of potential cereal production as a result of climate change." Agence France Presse reported criticism of the UN report for recommending genetically engineered food as one method of eradicating poverty.   '000508
  • July 18, 2001  The Washington Post   House Appropriations Committee Votes to Require Federal Employee Health Plans to Cover Prescription Contraceptives   The House Appropriations Committee voted 40-21 against President Bush's proposal to eliminate required contraceptive coverage for federal employees. Bush wanted to eliminate an existing requirement that forces insurers to cover all FDA-approved prescription contraceptives for employees and dependents enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. According to the Post, it is now very likely that the 1.2 million women in the government workforce will still receive the benefit next year. 28 Democrates and 12 Republicans supported the amendment to the FY 2002 Treasury-Postal appropriations bill to reinstate the requirement. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), who sponsored the amendment, said, "In the year 2000, it's hard to believe that anyone could challenge contraception." The Associated Press remarked that the vote marked a "setback" for Bush and "seemed to draw a line on how far Congress' antiabortion forces can go."   '000523
  • July 12, 2001  Unwire/Associated Press   Vietnam: Gov't Targets Population Growth, Poverty Reduction   Vietnam has already won praise for its population reduction efforts, but aims to reduce growth again - from 1.4% to 1.1% by 2010, says the National Committee for Population and Family Planning. Despite $14 million in annual programs, the country's population continues to grow by 1 million each year. The new $3.6 million campaign will increase family planning and health services in 5,332 villages, with much of the funding coming from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.   '000483
  • July 14, 2001  UN Integrated Regional Information Network   Chad: World Bank Funds Second AIDS, Population Projects   A US $24.56-million credit for Chad was approved by the World Bank to reduce the spread of HIV and rapid population growth. The project aims to ease the impact of these phenomena on the economy and social services in one of the poorest countries in the world.   '000479 `
  • July 26, 2001  Planned Parenthood   Another Major Victory for Contraceptive Equity!   Yesterday the House of Representatives passed the annual Treasury-Postal Appropriations bill with contraceptive coverage and equity for federal employees in tact. This bill included the restoration of contraceptive coverage for federal employees, which had previously been eliminated in President Bush's budget proposal.   '000435
  • July 25, 2001  Sierra Club Population News   Senate Foreign Relations Committee Scheduled to Vote on International Population Issues   On Thursday July 26th, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will start review of the State Department Authorization bill. During the consideration of this bill, there will be no attempts to overturn the Global Gag Rule which was reinstated by President Bush in January and which disqualifies overseas family planning organizations from receiving U.S. assistance if they, with their own monies, lobby to change abortion laws or provide legal abortion services in their countries. However, after consideration of the State Department bill, the Committee will look at S. 367, the Global Democracy Promotion Act, introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), which would remove the Global Gag Rule. The vote is expected to be very close. If you wish to help remove this Global Gag Rule, these are the members of the Committee whom you may contact: Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Chairman (D-DE); Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD); Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT); John F. Kerry (D-MA); Russell D. Feingold (D-WI); Paul D. Wellstone (D-MN); Barbara Boxer (D-CA); Robert G. Torricelli (D-NJ); Bill Nelson (D-FL); Jesse Helms, Ranking Minority Member (R-NC); Richard G. Lugar (R-IN); Chuck Hagel (R-NE); Gordon Smith (R-OR); Craig Thomas (R-WY); Bill Frist (R-TN); Lincoln D. Chafee (R-RI); George Allen (R-VA); Sam Brownback (R-KS). Call the Capitol Switchboard as soon as possible at 202-224-3121 and asked to be connected.   '000407
  • July 5, 2001  Salt Lake Tribune   Salt Lake City USA: Fecundity Drives Growth   from an LTE by Joseph A. Done Murray. It is interesting to read the Public Forum letters. ... Many who oppose highway construction use the argument that more highways will create more traffic with the attendant pollution. One writer even went so far as to state that additional highways were the "root cause" of increased traffic. This person must believe vehicles drive themselves. The fact is, additional traffic is caused by additional people, and more highways are required to accommodate the additional traffic. Mass transit systems are more efficient, and will help local traffic, but our own mass transit system, while a good start, has very little impact on traffic congestion.   '000403
  • July 29, 2001  The Environmental Policy & Global Change Working Groupu   Call for papers: "Global Environmental Change and the Nation State"   A call for papers for the 7-8 December 2001 Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change has been issued by The Environmental Policy and Global Change Working Group of the German Association for Political
    Science (DVPW). Contributions are welcomed from scholars working on environmental policy, international relations, comparative public policy, and international and comparative law. Dr Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), will be the keynote speaker. The global environmental crisis has contributed substantially to a general awareness of a complex web of interdependence relationships among nation states. Global climate change, the world-wide spread of persistent organic pollutants, the staggering loss of the Earth's biological diversity and the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer are just the most well-known examples. The deadline for proposals is 15 September 2001. More details are at at www.environmental-policy.de   '000368
  • July 22, 2001  Boston Daily Globe   ** USA: To Help Environment We Must Curb Growth   By Roy Beck. For three decades the federal government has increasingly sabotaged the American people's dreams for environmental quality. The tool: federal immigration policies that have encouraged the quadrupling of immigration numbers since the 1960s. The biggest population boom in US history occurred during the 1990s. Such growth has undermined the success of many of our environmental laws. Approximately 40% of the nation's surface waters don't meet the standard. We have more nitrogen oxide (a smog precursor) and more carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) emissions than 30 years ago. There are more endangered species and fewer wetlands. Aquifers are being mined to dangerously low levels. A 40% increase in population since 1970 negated the first 40% (if that much occurred) of every per capita environmental impact that was achieved through new laws, personal restrictions, higher prices and taxes. In 1996, the President's Council on Sustainable Development said: "We believe that reducing current immigration levels is a necessary part of working toward sustainability in the United States."   '000392
  • July 20, 2001  The Washington Post   USA: Broader Family Planning Services Rejected; Government to Deny States' Requests for Waivers to Expand Medicaid Coverage   All pending requests to the federal government from states to offer poor women more contraception and other family planning services through targeted waivers will be rejected, said officials. The new policy requires that states expand their Medicaid programs through comprehensive -- instead of single-issue -- changes. At least eight state requests to expand family planning services before Medicaid officials, including one signed by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson when he was governor of Wisconsin. If family planning programs were part of a larger set of primary care initiatives, "the sense is that it would be funded," said Peter Ashkenaz, spokesman for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A waiver request from Georgia was denied recently and one from New York was expected to be officially turned down soon. "We were told basically that this administration was not interested in approving any family planning waivers," said Martin Smith, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Community Health. Before the state could even ask the federal government to help fund the more ambitious program, it must first approve state funds for that larger program. Unfortunately, Georgia recently capped budget increases. "43,000 women will lose coverage in a couple of weeks," said Smith. The New York plan would expand Medicaid family planning benefits to about 400,000 women. Since the mid-1990s when the waiver program was first started, at least nine states have expanded their Medicaid family planning coverage, either by allowing in women with higher incomes or by offering benefits for longer periods. Under the new policy, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina and Mississippi are also likely to be turned down. During the previous administration, Arkansas, Florida, Maryland, California, Oregon, South Carolina, Alabama, Delaware, Rhode Island and Arizona were approved. Washington was approved in February.   '000532
  • July 30, 2001  Christian Science Monitor   A Power Trip Worth Taking   Residential energy consumption is expected to grow 30% by 2020, says the Department of Energy, with 75% of that increase linked to a rising call for electricity. The author attributes the increase to an extended housing boom in the South (think central air conditioning) and to a national propensity for building more spacious homes and then stocking them with electronics.   '000588
  • July 28, 2001     New Energy Future   Use the form on this website to ask your senators to vote against the dirty and dangerous Bush energy plan and to support efforts to save the Arctic Refuge, cut polluting subsidies and increase auto fuel efficiency standards.   '000587
  • July 2001  Population Reference Bureau   Asia's Swelling Cities   Environmental degradation in rural areas of Asia might force 800 million people in the region to migrate to cities over the next 20 years, warns a UN report, The State of the Environment Report in Asia and the Pacific 2000. This would be the equivalent to setting up a new city of 150,000 people every day for the next 15 years. The report estimates the cost of providing water, sanitation, energy, and transport to these mushrooming urban populations at US$10 trillion over the next 25 to 30 years. The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific report will soon be on the Web at: www.unescap.org.   '000630
  • July 20, 2001  Santa Maria Sun   Catholics Should Ease Policies   LTE by Bill Denneen Catholic Bishops have banned sterilization at ALL Catholic Hospitals. There is only one hospital in Santa Maria-----it is a catholic hospital. Vasectomies are something the male can do to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Half of all American women have an unintended pregnancy in their lifetime. There are 3,000,000 such pregnancies every year due to contraceptive failure(Ellen Goodman). Mexico has a birth rate six (6) times the death rate. The US has the highest rate of unintended pregnancies in the industralized world resulting in 1,220,000 unplanned births and 1,430,000 induced abortions(ZPG Reporter). As the human population approaches 7,000,000,000 (it was less than 2 billion when I was born)the Catholic Church needs to re-evaluate their stand on contraception and sterilization----particularly when they control the ONLY hospital in Santa Maria. Particularly when they demonstrate in front of Planned Parenthood in Santa Maria which offers sex education, contraceptive information, vasectomies and back-up abortions when all else have failed. Ignoring the problem will NOT make it go away.   '000622
  • July 7, 2001  The Jakarta Post   Indonesia: Government Faces Shortage of Contraceptives for the Poor   Indonesia needs an average of 85.47 million contraceptive devices annually and in a recent meeting it was revealed that the current stock of 50.45 million will run out at the end of the year. The country is seeking international aid to help distribute contraceptives to 8.25 million poor and needy couples next year. 35% of the population are in need of family planning services. Khofifah Indar Parawansa says the government is in need of US $19.8 million to support the procurement of free contraceptive pills, IUDs, implants and condoms for the poor next year. If the need for contraceptives are not met then there will be a rise in unwanted births, maternal mortality and induced abortion.   '000481
  • July 31, 2001  ENN   Web site to Americans: Stop Being Energy 'Airheads'   Did you know that running a large refrigerator and freezer for one year can produce as much pollution as driving a car from Chicago to Las Vegas? Or that each mile a person travels in an airplane accounts for 1.08 pounds of greenhouse gases? The internet site http://www.AirHead.org, along with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, is giving Americans a reality check concerning the amount of greenhouse gases that are released. It allows individuals to calculate their energy consumption and contribution to pollution. All that is required to calculate energy consumption is information about electricity bills, driving habits and other energy uses. In less than a minute it will tell you how much pollution you create in one month. And AirHead.org will keep track of your monthly progress in a pollution profile. Many environmentalist believe that energy consumption is second only to the population boom and that there are connections between energy use and the environment’s depletion. Also, if you are curious which energy efficient products to buy, visit the web site which has a listing of 70,000 products that they recommend. rvs   '000474
  • July 1, 2001  World and I   Population Control Today--and Tomorrow?   [NOTE: This article contains a very biased analysis of the success of population assistance by Jacqueline R. Kasun, author of The War Against Population: The Economics and Ideology of World Population Control (Ignatius, 1999). To respond send letters to: editor@worldandimag.com] The success of the population control movement over the past four decades has been nothing less than astonishing. Places like Bangladesh and Kenya are awash in condoms, and population is actually falling in some countries and heading in that direction in many others. The UN Population Division reported that 44% of the world's population lives in countries where birthrates are below replacement rates. At the current rate, in 50 years there will be 100 million fewer people in Europe and 21 million fewer in Japan 50 years from now. The U.S. birthrate has gone from 24.3 per thousand population in 1950 to 14.6 in 1998. World fertility will continue to decline from its present average of less than three children per woman while the death rate rises. Thus, the proportion of people over 60 will rise to exceed the proportion of people under 15. Nevertheless, groups supporting population control press for more and more funding. ...The evidence of the programs' innate tendencies toward coercion mounts. ... Under the pretext of preventing AIDS, a Kenyan gynecologist said, foreign-paid family-planning workers promote promiscuity by indiscriminately distributing condoms and are taking over the health-care system to perform sterilizations. ...World forest acreage remained at the same levels as in the 1950s, according to FAO data. ...19,000 scientists have signed a petition stating that there is "no convincing scientific evidence" that human release of greenhouse gases will cause "disruption of Earth's climate" [The article is long, with some history of the population movement. If you would like it sent to you, please send me an email: karen@gaia-s.net]
  • July 6, 2001  Christian Science Monitor   USA: Chicago Tries to Be Green-power Leader   Within five years, Chicago will buy 20% of the electricity it uses from clean sources such as wind and solar power, making the city the largest purchaser of green power in the country, besides the actual power companies. Mayor Daley wants Chicago to be the most environmentally friendly major city in America. Chicago will build a market within their own state to generate the green power needed instead of relying on other states to provide their 80 megawatts of green power needed. The Mayor is also keen on planting trees throughout the city and other greening of Chicago. However, many feel his new energy plan is "based more on eco-idealism than sound policy." The push for the green energy came after 1998’s summer of blackouts, which made many realize the need to diversify their reliance on energy. Although, green energy is more costly (will decline as technology improves) the city is palnning on making their buildings more energy efficient which means they will pay less overall. rsv   '000406
  • July 6, 2001  Africa News Service   South Africa: One in Five Children Are Malnourished   About 500,000 children have lost one or both parents to AIDS, and 7% of Sub-Saharan children live in child-headed households. The 80,000 families who have no parents are supported by friends, neighbors and extended families. Although their constitution is progressive, guaranteeing children care, the funds needed are mostly being allocated to weapons or stolen by corrupt officials. Many children who are in dire need of social security are not getting it because they don't have a birth certificate. Almost half of the rural children don't have one and they are costly to attain. The South African Medical Journal reveals that one in five South African children is stunted due to undernourishment and malnutrition and that one in every four households in the country experiences hunger and food insecurity. In addition, Motala says: "Children can't wait. Malnutrition and stunting in early life has irreversible impacts by lowering immunity, making children more prone to disease and it affects school performance. Our high infant mortality rate makes South Africa one of the 12 most lethal societies in the world for children." Many are working towards eliminating the necessary birth certificate and making aide available to anyone under the age of 18. rsv   '000417
  • July 12, 2001  East African Standard   Kenya: 300 Million Condoms Import Alarms Moi   President Moi was disturbed that the country was spending millions of shilling on over 300 million condoms imported annually. He believes that their use could be avoided and promoted Kenyans to avoid illicit sex as a means of reducing the spread of HIV/Aids in the country. The President caused a prolonged laughing spell when he asked those using condoms to abstain for two years in order to curb the disease. Also, out of the 35 million who have died worldwide from the disease, 22 million were from Africa. The GDP has declined 14% due to 700 people dying per day from aids, causing poverty and misery on the continent. Also, medical advances and inspections are increasing in order to reduce the amount of counterfeit AIDS drugs. rsv   '000475
  • July 24, 2001  ENN   Researchers Forecast Rapid, Irreversible Climate Warming   Over the coming century, there is 90% chance that the average global temperature will rise between three and nine degrees Fahrenheit according to scientists in the U.S. and England. The projected increase is five times greater than the one-degree increase observed over the past century. According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, by as early as 2030, the planet is likely to heat up between one to two degrees. Scientists based their studies on the fact that there are likely to be no policy changes before 2100 to curb climate changes. “The global climate change is linked to the accumulation in the atmosphere of six gases that trap the Sun’s ray’s close to the Earth’s surface. These gases are emitted by the burning of coal, oil and gas.” Negotiations are under way for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, a supplement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The U.S. signed the Kyoto Protocol under the Clinton administration, but President George W. Bush announced in March that the United States would not ratify the treaty. This caused a crisis in the international approach of the treaty, since the U.S. emits 25% of the world’s heat-trapping greenhouse gases. rvs  '000393
  • July 11, 2001  Environment News Service   Growing Population Stamps Heavy Ecological Footprint   UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, on World Population Day, linked the growing population to ecological stress on the planet's resources, particularly deforestation, pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. "Our ecological footprints on the earth are heavier than ever before," he said. World Population Day is defined by the United Nations as an annual observance spotlighting the urgent need for solutions to global population problems in the context of sustainable development. It evolved as an outgrowth of the Day of Five Billion, set aside July 11, 1987 to build awareness of population issues. Annan advocated special measures for women who are often denied the right to learn, to own or inherit land, and to control their own fertility. Amy Coen, president of Population Action International, agrees. "A woman who has the means to manage her own fertility is in a far better position to help manage and conserve the natural resources her family depends on." The United Nations Population Division says world population is currently growing at an annual rate of 1.2 per cent, or 77 million people per year. Six countries account for half of this annual growth: India for 21%, China for 12%, Pakistan for 5%, Nigeria for 4%, Bangladesh for 4%, and Indonesia for 3%. China's first exposition on new technology and products in the family planning and reproductive health fields opened in Beijing today. Zhang Weiqing, director of the State Family Planning Commission, said that China will make joint efforts with other countries to seek ways to control population growth and promote sustainable development. Pakistan Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf also called for a "small family norm." According to UN projections, the population of more developed regions, currently 1.2 billion, is anticipated to change little during the next 50 years because fertility levels are expected to remain below replacement level. By mid-century the populations of 39 countries are projected to be smaller than today. Japan and Germany will be 14% smaller. Italy and Hungary will be 25% smaller, and the Russian Federation, Georgia and Ukraine will be up to 40% smaller. World population is expected to be around 9.3 billion by 2050, but it could be anywhere between 7.9 billion and 10.9 billion, depending on fertility, longevity and rates of death.   '000456
  • July 19, 2001 Polish News Bulletin Poland's Population Drops for Third Year in a Row. Poland experienced an overall population decline due to low birth rate and emigration, with emigrants outnumbering immigrants by almost 20,000. The average Polish woman has 1.37 children, having her first child at an average age of 27. Wider availability of birth control in both urban and rural areas has made this possible; the country's housing shortage has resulted in an "unwillingness to start families." The population at the end of the decade is estimated to be 38.7 million, falling to 33.8 million by 2050. Over the next half century, Russia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Germany all expect to experience declines in their populations as well. .001003
  • July 2001 Population Reference Bureau AIDS, TB, and Malnutrition Are Triple Threat in Haiti. Poverty, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and severe malnutrition all interact in a vicious cycle in Haiti. Of all the countries in the Caribbean, Haiti has the highest prevalence of HIV, of malnutrition, of TB as well as the lowest per capita income. This paper discusses three interventions which succeed by attacking all of these. The report opens with a case history of a woman whose plight illustrates these interactions and is typical of many in Haiti. The woman was orphaned in adolescence but survived by working for food. She moved in with a man, bore him a child and then was deserted. After this pattern repeated itself twice, she was left alone with three children. She then became too sick to work and her eldest daughter begged in the streets to feed the family. Five years later, after help from the following approaches, the patient was doing well; her daughter went to school, became literate and is now self-supporting. The Haitian Ministry of Health supports organizations which treat these individual problems and their interactions. "The interventions share three characteristics: recognition of the central role of poverty, integration of medical services for HIV, provision of adequate nutrition and compassionate TB health workers." Poverty In 1991,The NGO, Zanmi la Sante, found that patients receiving standard TB treatment plus financial aid had "improved cure rates, lower mortality, and better ability to return to work" than those who received standard treatment alone. Application of this strategy to "nutrition programs, provision of HIV care, and prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission" has met with similar success. Integrated care for HIV, malnutrition and TB The Haitian Study Group on Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Immunodeficiency Disorders (GHESKIO) in Port au Prince screens all patients who come for any of the three problems for each of the others and then treats each patient for any they suffer from. Compassionate caregivers The Hospital Albert Schweitzer provides directly observed TB therapy (DOT program) using home-care workers, all former TB patients, to visit patients in their homes. "A recent study of treatment outcomes" demonstrated an 85% success with DOT vs. 28% without. "The benefit was most dramatic in HIV-positive patients. .000631
  • July 1, 2001   The Washington Post   Wetlands Running Dry in China Drought Erodes an Ancient Way of Life in Mythic Marshes.  Suffering its worst drought in more than 20 years, China is experiencing parched fields and the withering of crops in 17 provinces, including vast stretches of the north and southwest. Cities are imposing emergency restrictions on water use and rivers are becoming dusty gullies. The drought, damaging over 73 million acres of farmland, leaving 23 million people short of drinking water, and dehydrating herds of cattle and sheep, has lasted more than 100 days. Peasants are abandoning their land to search for work in factories and mines. The government has tried seeding the clouds to cause rainfall and mobilized millions of workers to dig deeper wells and distribute bottled water. Cities are guaranteed the water supply first, even if rivers must be diverted. The water crisis has been building for decades. China has about as much water as Canada but 40 times more people. The growth of cities, expansion of industry and increase in living standards, exacerbated by reckless economic development, low water prices and poor planning, send the demand for water soaring. Over half of China's 700 cities suffer chronic shortages, causing $15 billion in lost industrial output every year. Remaining water supplies are contaminated by industrial waste, urban sewage and chemical fertilizers. Half the population in China drinks contaminated water, say Chinese scientists. The Yellow River fails to reach the gulf several months each year. In some areas peasants are uprising. The cormorant fishermen in the Baiyangdian marshes, 70 miles south of Beijing, northern China's largest freshwater lake system, are losing their way of life due to drying waterways where water levels are nearly seven feet below normal. Liver and esophageal cancer rates in the villages around Baiyangdian were three times higher than those of villages with cleaner water supplies. Hundreds of paper mills, tanneries, dye factories and oil refineries have been shut down by the government and millions have been spent building waste-treatment facilities around the lake. But 80 to 90% of the wastewater from the cities and farms upstream still is not treated before it flows into Baiyangdian. The reeds in the lake are now growing shorter, making it more difficult for villagers to weave the mats they export to Japan. Even Baiyangdian's duck eggs, known for their red yolks, are losing that special characteristic because the ducks cannot get enough water.   '000400
  • June 2001  Sprawl City   www.sprawlcity.org. Tampa Bay region's sprawl is partly the result of 13% growth in per capita land consumption from 1970-1990 and a 98% growth in population (currently 1.9 million) during the same 20-year period. The study shows that Tampa-St. Petersburg developed large tracts of rural land in the past 30 years, creating sprawl and replacing Bay area woods, wetlands, orchards and farms with new houses, strip malls and roads to accommodate newcomers. The region's leaders offered incentives for more than 900,000 people to move in, thus driving the sprawl engine with what Beck calls "the religion of growth." They subsidized new development by not charging developers the true costs of growth and gave tax incentives to incite companies to move in. "There is going to be population growth. We can't stop that," said Frank Jackalone, a Sierra Club senior representative from St. Petersburg. "We favor slowing population growth in Florida. We don't favor immigration controls or artificial limits." Bills pending in the Florida Legislature propose using a management tool called "full cost accounting" to expose the public cost of development before approval or denial. The idea is supported by Gov. Jeb Bush and a growth study commission he named last year to reform the state's 1985 growth management laws. Other Florida areas in the study's top 100: Orlando (17), West Palm Beach/Boca Raton (28), Jacksonville (31), Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (43), Miami/Hialeah (54) and Pensacola (58).   '000031
  • Jun 08, 2001  London Guardian   Evolution's Future in Our Hands   U.S., African and British scientists delivered a "startling wake-up call" in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by comparing the "present mass extinction of species on Earth to past mass extinctions". While biodiversity took "roughly 5 million years" to "reassert itself" the present extinction crisis is likely to favor "pest and weed" species such as "rats, cockroaches, nettles and thistles flourishing at the expense of more specialized wild organisms." Of the Earth's estimated 10 million species, 3 to 30 thousand are "disappearing each year" during a "geological instant when global rates of extinction are at an all time high for the last 65 million years."   '000010
  • June 1, 2001 Planned Parenthood   In California: Your Call Needed to Certain Legislators in Support of a Family Planning Expansion.  Starting Sunday June 3rd a select group of State Assembly Members will be considering whether or not to accept an expansion in the state family planning program called Family PACT. Please call these legislators at the numbers below. Family PACT provides access to family planning services for low-income men and women. This program is a critical source of preventive health care services to California's uninsured men and women. The current program needs an expansion because it is missing key segments of those in need. Those currently not reached by the program contribute to 53% of the unintended pregnancies in California. If we want to further reduce unintended pregnancies we must reach all of those at risk. Preventing unintended pregnancies is inexpensive and saves money in the long run. The current program receives a $9 to $1 match from the federal government. This match will generate a net savings of $611 million in FY 2000-01 alone. Overall the State Department of Health Services (DHS) anticipates that General Fund savings of $900 million will be achieved over the course of the 5-year demonstration project. Please contact one or more of the following legislators. Even though you do not live in their district, they are on a select conference committee that is making a statewide decision and are open to comments from ALL VOTERS statewide!!
       Assembly Capitol Office and District Office(s) -- Tony Cardenas(D) (916) 319-2039 (818) 838-3939 .. Carole Migden(D) (916) 319-2013(415) 557-3000 this office .. likes faxes - fax: 916-319-2113 .. George Runner(R) (916) 319-2036(661) 259-4516 (661) 319-2036
      Senate -- Steve Peace (D) (916) 445-6767 (619) 463-0243(619) 427-7080 .. Jack O'Connell (D)(916) 445-5405(805) 966-2296 (805) 547- 1800 (805) 641-1500 .. Dick Ackerman (R) (916) 445-4264 (714) 573-1853
      [Note: California is growing at the rate of 1.8% a year, and more than half of that is due to a high birth rate!]
  • June 27, 2001  New Society Publishers   Stormy Weather - book review   "We are very happy to announce the publication of Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change by Guy Dauncey with Patrick Mazza, foreword by Ross Gelbspan." "Stormy Weather is really wonderful -- it ought to be required reading for everyone who is concerned about our planet's climate, beginning in every high school in the country." -- Ross Gelbspan, author of The Heat is On.   '000370
  • June 24, 2001  LA Times   Los Angeles Times Examines Shrinking Population in Japan   As reported in a Los Angeles Times front-page story, the Japanese birthrate is beginning to fall as career-minded women stage a "collective baby strike." Women are urged and bribed to have babies, but many Japanese women are choosing careers over motherhood, saying that they are unable to have careers and families as long as their husbands cannot or will not help raise their children. It is predicted that within six years the Japanese population will begin to decline and that by 2050 the nation will have 14% fewer citizens than today, with more than 33% over the age of 65. Environmentalists may applaud such a decline in an "overcrowded, import-dependent" country like Japan, but economists caution that the "baby bust" could keep the nation in a "semi-permanent recession."   gaia@calweb.com'000360
  • June 29, 2001  National Audubon Society   Audubon Advocates Take to Capitol Hill   On Tuesday, June 26th, 40 Audubon advocates walked the halls of the U.S. Congress, meeting with lawmakers and urging them to address what is considered one of the most pressing environmental problems facing the U.S. and the world: human population growth. Population expansion over the last 50 years has exacerbated many environmental problems, including air and water pollution, loss of birds, other wildlife and their habitat, fisheries depletion, and climate change. These are global problems that transcend national boundaries. Our 40 advocates let the U.S. Congress know the two steps that they must do to help: vote for funding for international family planning programs that train health care workers, supply contraceptives, and educate families.   '000388
  • June 19, 2001  PBS   Bill Moyers' Earth On Edge Program - Resources   Every day brings news of human beings' impact on the life-support system known as Earth. But what is the truth behind the headlines? In 1999, an international group of more than 70 scientists analyzed the condition of the five ecosystems on which all life most heavily depends - freshwater, agriculture, forests, grasslands, and coastal ecosystems. Click on the above headline link for important information and educational materials: Discussion Guide, Buy the Book and Video, Moyers Mailing List, Bulletin Boards, Classroom Materials, Resources, Glossary   '000385
  • June 19, 2001  The Houston Chronicle   The Earth is in Peril; Global Report Sends a Warning Signal (Bill Moyers)   On June 19, 2001, Bill Moyers presented The Earth on Edge. The message: The 6 billion people who occupy this planet have 30 years to learn to take care of the eco-system that sustains us. If we don't, the Earth as we know it has had it. In other words: "We may survive, but under conditions of quality of life that is hardly acceptable to our citizens." The program resulted from a collaboration between Public Affairs Television Inc. and the World Resources Institute. The show, which is both ecological and political, launches the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, an international scientific effort to measure the health of the forests, grasslands, and farmlands of the world. Information presented in the program was from the World Resources Institute's World Resources 2000-2001: People and Ecosystems: The Fraying Web of Life. The show told viewers: The world's population has doubled since 1940, and the water consumption has doubled; in the last 50 years, two-thirds of the world's farmland has degraded; today, 75% of the world's major marine fisheries are depleted or are being fished at their limits.   '000323
  • June 29, 2001  Greensboro News & Record   USA: Say No to Fast Growth   LTE by Alison Green, Washington, of Negative Population Growth [The towns of] Elon and Mebane should think twice before embracing population growth ("Small towns booming," June 19). If Elon and Mebane continue at their current growth rate, they will double in 16 years. Around the country, communities are finding that population growth is overcrowding their children's schools, threatening the environment, and causing them to spend more time in traffic and less with their families. Road and school construction can't keep up with population increases, open space is vanishing at an alarming rate, and California-style blackouts are expected to spread to other states. More people also means more pollution, more sprawl and tighter housing markets. Rather than trying to lure new residents, Alamance County leaders should recognize that small communities' high quality of life is a direct result of a small population size. The area's relatively low housing costs, high livability, low crime and abundant green space couldn't be sustained if the region experienced the staggering growth plaguing so many other cities. Elon and Mebane don't need more people to clog the highways, crowd the schools, trample state parks and increase the cost of living for current residents. The price of growth is simply too high.   '000394
  • June 29, 2001  CP/Lethbridge Herald   Clinical Trials of Reversible Male Contraceptive Begin in Canada.  Clinical trials of a reversible male contraceptive began in Vancouver, Canada, on Thursday. "Two tiny, flexible hollow silicon plugs" will be implanted into a "pinpoint opening" in the men's vas deferens, preventing the passage of sperm. The plugs "may be as effective as vasectomies." The plugs could later be removed if the couple wanted to have a child, then maybe go back to having it implanted," Dr. Neil Pollock, lead researcher of the Intra Vas Device trials, said. About 10% of vasectomy patients later try to have the procedure reversed, often unsuccessfully.   '000413
  • June 18, 2001  John Hopkins University CCP   Population Growth and Urbanization: Cities at the Forefront   The next 30 years will see the explosive growth of cities with world urban populations reaching 4.9 billion or 60% of the world’s population, nearly all of which will occur in cities of developing countries. This paper defines the challenges facing governments to “generate jobs and to provide the services, infrastructure and social supports necessary to sustain livable and stable environments” (US National Intelligence Council, 2000) while at the same time preventing environmental devastation due to urbanization. The developing world is rapidly urbanizing. The proportion of the urbanized population in the developing world -- 18% in 1950 -- grew to 40% by 2000 and will be 56% by 2030; with an average annual growth rate of 2.3% exceeding the world’s urban growth rate of 0.4%. If China is excluded, 60% of this growth between 1960 and 1990 resulted from natural population increase among city residents and 40% from the influx of rural immigrants. Some cities however are growing much more rapidly because of migration from rural areas: Dhaka’ population increased by 7% per year between 1975 and 2000, 3 ½ times the average annual growth of Bangladesh, and Lagos grew 5.6% per year at almost twice the growth rate of Nigeria’s overall population. The number of megacities, defined as those with populations greater than 10 million, will increase from 5 in 1975 to 23 by 2015, all but four of which will be in developing countries. By then, according to the UN Population Division (3/2000), four of these will have populations in excess of 20 million. “The rapid growth of cities in developing countries presents a dilemma. Cities historically have been centers of industry and commerce and magnets for millions of people. Today, however, the sheer size of cities and the rapid, continuing influx of urban migrants cast doubt on their ability to continue providing improved standards of living.” The ability of municipal authorities /resources of the city to meet basic needs for “shelter, water, food, health and education” is being overwhelmed. The World Commission of Environment and Development in 1987 stated that “to maintain present conditions”, these counties would need to “increase by 65% its capacity to produce and manage its urban infrastructure, services, and shelter”, which they have been unable to do up to now. Yet urban immigration will continue due to “deteriorating rural economies, civil unrest and population pressures". The impact of rampant urban growth in developing countries will have enormous impact on both human and environmental health. Currently air pollution threatens over half of the world’s population - outdoor pollution affects1.1billion, mostly urban; indoor - another 2.5 billion. As cities become more crowded, this will become even worse. Water pollution kills 5-12 million people yearly, and, according to WHO, most urban populations in developing countries currently lack access to adequate sanitation facilities and 50% lack potable water. Cities of this size, in turn, have a marked impact on their environment. They generate almost 80% of carbon dioxide emissions and consume 60% of fresh water for human use, in factories, for drinking and sanitation or “through consumption of irrigated crops”. Because of their commerce and need for waste disposal, these cities “appropriate the ecological output and life-support functions of distant regions”. The challenge is to prevent worsening of urban conditions and environmental degradation of the cities and rural areas. The authors suggest taking several steps including “better urban planning, more public transportation, better sanitation and rational water use policies, energy conservation, urban farming and waste recycling”. But the most important is to slow population growth using family planning programs which since the 1960s have accounted for between 20% and 50% of the decline in fertility in developing countries. This approach might be particularly effective in those 43 countries with a total population of 1.8 billion people and fertility levels which average between 3 and 5 children per woman and in 48 other countries, with a total population of   ¾ million, where the average woman bears more than 5. st   '000305
  • June 15, 2001  Agence France Presse   Population Growth, Poverty among Main Causes of Desertification, FAO Warns   The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recently warned that rapid population growth and poverty are among the main causes of the desertification, seriously affecting over 100 countries worldwide. Desertification is a 'disease of the earth', degrading the vegetative cover of croplands, pastures and woodlands, biological diversity, soil fertility, the hydrological cycle, crop yields and livestock production. Aggravated by increasingly recurrent droughts, rapid demographic growth and poverty place increasing pressure on land. Long-term commitment by local communities, and national and international coordination are required to control desertification. In 1994, the international community launched a Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which became operational in November 1997. Sunday was Desertification Control Day. The FAO is supporting national action programmes to fight desertification in Cambodia, Chile, China, Cuba, Lebanon, Mali, Senegal, Turkey and Yemen. It also helps dry countries through its Special Programme on Food Security.;   '000300
  • June 17, 2001  Times of India   Delhi Heading for Environmental Disaster.  Delhi, the capial of India, is expected to nearly double its 14 million population in the next 20 years, its fragile ecosystem already under severe strain, says a report from the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI). "Besides air, water and land pollution, earthquake and massive flooding are two impending disasters waiting to happen." Delhi's urban area has expanded from 182 sq. km in the 1970s to more than 750 sq. km in 1999, mainly at the expense of productive agricultural land. Transport, energy, and the industrial sector, exacerbated by domestic fuel combustion, 72% from vehichles contribute to air pollution. Delhi's polluted air, both outdoor and indoor, is responsible for 40% of the emergency hospital admissions of patients with breathing and heart problems. Fortunately, the ban on leaded petrol has led to a 49% decrease for annual lead level in ambient air at traffic intersections during 1999 as compared to 1998.   '000074
  • June 2001  The Alan Guttmacher Institute   Prevention of Unwanted Births in India Would Result In Replacement Fertility.  At today's fertility rates, the average woman in India can expect to have three births. But 25% of births are not wanted, meaning the fertility rate would drop to replacement level (2.1) if unwanted births were avoided. According to the 1998-1999 National Family Health Survey only 48% of currently married women aged 15-49 practice contraception, with 71% of these being female sterilization. The majority of the 90,000 women suveyed are Hindu (82%), live in rural areas (74%), had not worked in the year before the survey (61%) and are illiterate (58%). The median age at first marriage has been rising, but has only reached only 16.7 years for women aged 20-49, under India's legal minimum marriageable age of 18 years. However, since in some parts of the country the husband and the wife delay living together, the median age at first cohabitation is 17.4. The number is higher for urban women and high school graduates. The average first birth occurs at age 19.4, but high school graduates are 4.8 years older than illiterate women when they first give birth (23.3 vs. 18.5). The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has declined 16% from 3.4 in 1992-1993 to 2.9 in 1998-1999. The TFR varies from state to state - 1.8 births in Goa and 2.0 in Kerala to 4.0 in Uttar Pradesh and 4.6 in Meghalaya. Urban women have a TFR of 0.8 less than rural women. The most educated women have a TFR of 1.5 less than the least educated women in the survey. In births, Muslim women average 3.6, Hindu women 2.8, and Christian women 2.4. Indian women consider, on average, 2.7 children ideal, with 1.4 sons, one daughter and 0.3 children of either sex. But while 78% of the births occurring in the three years preceding the survey were wanted at the time of conception, 12% were wanted later and 9% were not wanted at all. Older women or women who already had four children had the higher portion of unwanted births. Only 30% of women want to have another child, 28% are still fecund and do not want any more children, and 36% have been sterilized or their partner has been sterilized. Women who do not have a daughter are twice as likely to want to stop childbearing as are those who do not have a son (41% vs. 20%). But when asked the preferred sex of their next child, the proportion preferring a boy was more than four times that preferring a girl. 99% of currently married women in India know of a modern method of contraception: female sterilization (98%) vasectomy (89%), and the pill, IUD and/or condom (71-80%). Goa has the lowest TFR in the country but the same contraceptive prevalence rate as the national average, in part because of its relatively high age at first marriage. Sterilization is the most widely-used method, followed by condoms (3%), rhythm (3%), the pill (2%), the IUD o(2%), and the partner's vasectomy (2%). The median age of female sterilization is 25.7 years. Women who have not finished middle school are far more likely than high school graduates to be sterilized (41% vs. 26%). In the 10-year period preceding the survey, 73 of every 1,000 babies died before their first birthday, and 101 died before they were five years old, with the mortality rate is much higher in rural than in urban areas and much lower with increasing education. The mothers of 34% of the babies born in the three years preceding the survey had had no prenatal check-ups and 53% of Indian women gave birth in their own home, and 12% in their parents' home. 36% of ever-married women experienced abnormal vaginal discharges or symptoms of a urinary tract infection in the three months preceding the survey. Most did not seek any advice or treatment for it. Only 40% of ever-married women had ever heard of AIDS. Only 20% mentioned condoms as a way of avoiding AIDS.   '000113
  • June 13, 2001  ENN   Mountain Glaciers Shrinking Worldwide.  New satellite data in comparison with historical records and photographs of glaciers dramatically shows that the majority of mountain glaciers studied have decreased in size, says Dr. Rick Wessels the U.S. Geological Survey at the annual spring meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Mountain glaciers respond much more quickly than polar glaciers to changes in temperature and climate. The work will establish a digital baseline inventory of ice extent for comparison with inventories at later times. An instrument known as the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), carried aboard the U.S. TERRA satellite, measures the data. Glaciers in the Andes Mountains of South America have decreased by almost a kilometer (.62 miles) in the past 13 years. A glacier in Columbia is losing several feet of ice each week. Glaciers are shrinking in the Pyrenees Mountains in France and Spain, as well as in the Swiss Alps while a few glaciers studied actually increased in size, in Scandinavia. The number of glaciers in the world is not well known, but two large digital inventories show 80,000 glaciers.   '000055
  • June 15, 2001  AP   Online 'Morning-After' Pills Offered.  Planned Parenthood of Chicago has launched a campaign in in Illinois and Georgia to promote its online prescription service for the morning-after birth control pill with advertisements in bar toilets and drinks coasters. Picture a sperm cell and a computer mouse with the words, "The race is on." Women fill out a form on a web site which is then reviewed by a nurse practitioner before the prescription is sent to a pharmacy of the woman's choice. There is a charge of $40 for the service, which does not include the $15-$30 price of the pills. If taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse, morning after pills prevent pregnancy. More than 500 prescriptions have been filled. The Illinois Department of Professional Regulation is investigating to see if the Web site violates the law because drugs are being prescribed without a consultation with a doctor.   '000064
  • June 17, 2001  World Watch   All-You-Can-Eat Economy is Making the World Sick.  We're eating more meat, drinking more coffee, popping more pills, driving further and getting fatter. But over a billion people have no safe water; natural disasters are taking a worsening toll; and the world's biggest killers-diarrhea, malaria and AIDS - are still with us, says the new report, Vital Signs 2001: The Trends That are Shaping Our Future, from Worldwatch Institute. A lifestyle of consumption in the developed world is often as unhealthy for ourselves as for the planet and the emerging middle classes in developing nations are following the same damaging patterns, such as meat and coffee consumption, obesity, and smoking. The reliance on cars heats up the planet and leads to sedentary lifestyles which lead to obesity. Industrial farming practices have created one of the most gruesome crossovers of disease from animals to humans, Bovine or 'Mad Cow' disease. "A sick planet will, sooner or later, lead to a faltering economy," said Executive Director of UNEP, Klaus Toepfer. Oil prices hit a 15-year high while car production has also peaked and average fuel economy is still at mid-1980's levels. Total U.S. carbon emissions are 13% higher than they were in 1990. 90% of worldwide commercial energy use comes from fossil fuels while only 1% comes from alternative energy sources such as wind. "Our cyber economy is still fueled by the same old energy sources." Gasoline, aluminum and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics are manufactured through highly polluting processes - these represent the resource binge we're on. Manufactures are not being urged to change even though alternatives are available for almost every PVC use and aluminum recycling requires only 5% as much energy as primary production. The number of four-footed livestock alive on earth has increased 60% since 1961, and the number of chickens, ducks and other fowl, has quadrupled, from 4.2 billion to 15.7 billion. In the U.S., livestock produce 130 times more manure than humans do, which they often must do in giant feedlots. Antibiotics are being fed to farm animals, and half of all antibiotics used in human medicine are prescribed unnecessarily, thereby reducing the effectiveness of these drugs in humans. Fancy drugs are designed to treat First World conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, indigestion and obesity means that the the health of large portions of humanity, who have a different set of diseases, are being neglected.   '000059
  • June 6, 2001  The Sacramento Bee   Dan Walters: California Congestion Putting Cars and Trucks on Collision Course.  Auto and truck traffic in California has doubled in the past 20 years to 150 billion today -- but the state highway system's capacity has been fixed since the early 1970s and capacity is likely to remain fixed for decades ahead. This means increasing congestion, especially in urban areas. Driving on truck-dominated routes can be downright scary. Trucking companies are short of drivers and lowering their hiring standards plus there is more economic pressure on companies and drivers to meet tighter schedules, which means they will probably be taking more chances. And with congestion increasing by the minute, there are more opportunities for truck-car collisions. Also U.S. regulations restricting Mexican trucks to a narrow band along the border have been overturned by an NAFTA international tribunal. By the end of the year, thousands of additional trucks from Mexico may have unfettered access to U.S. highways, even though Mexican truck safety and driver competency standards are lower.   '000009
  • June 11, 2001  The Tampa Tribune   Tampa Florida: What's Driving Sprawl: Land Use Choices or Booming Population?   A new study by Leon Kolankiewicz, a former Orange County, Calif., planner, and Roy Beck, a Washington policy analyst, former journalist and population expert ranks Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater as the eighth most sprawling urbanized area in the United States. It says: "On average, there are more of us, and each of us is using more urban land." The findings are based on ratings using U.S. Census Bureau data and are available online at www.sprawlcity.org. Tampa Bay region's sprawl is partly the result of 13% growth in per capita land consumption from 1970-1990 and a 98% growth in population (currently 1.9 million) during the same 20-year period. The study shows that Tampa-St. Petersburg developed large tracts of rural land in the past 30 years, creating sprawl and replacing Bay area woods, wetlands, orchards and farms with new houses, strip malls and roads to accommodate newcomers. The region's leaders offered incentives for more than 900,000 people to move in, thus driving the sprawl engine with what Beck calls "the religion of growth." They subsidized new development by not charging developers the true costs of growth and gave tax incentives to incite companies to move in. "There is going to be population growth. We can't stop that," said Frank Jackalone, a Sierra Club senior representative from St. Petersburg. "We favor slowing population growth in Florida. We don't favor immigration controls or artificial limits." Bills pending in the Florida Legislature propose using a management tool called "full cost accounting" to expose the public cost of development before approval or denial. The idea is supported by Gov. Jeb Bush and a growth study commission he named last year to reform the state's 1985 growth management laws. Other Florida areas in the study's top 100: Orlando (17), West Palm Beach/Boca Raton (28), Jacksonville (31), Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (43), Miami/Hialeah (54) and Pensacola (58).   '000031
  • Jun 08, 2001  London Guardian   Evolution's Future in Our Hands   U.S., African and British scientists delivered a "startling wake-up call" in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by comparing the "present mass extinction of species on Earth to past mass extinctions". While biodiversity took "roughly 5 million years" to "reassert itself" the present extinction crisis is likely to favor "pest and weed" species such as "rats, cockroaches, nettles and thistles flourishing at the expense of more specialized wild organisms." Of the Earth's estimated 10 million species, 3 to 30 thousand are "disappearing each year" during a "geological instant when global rates of extinction are at an all time high for the last 65 million years."   '000010
  • June 1, 2001 Planned Parenthood   In California: Your Call Needed to Certain Legislators in Support of a Family Planning Expansion.  Starting Sunday June 3rd a select group of State Assembly Members will be considering whether or not to accept an expansion in the state family planning program called Family PACT. Please call these legislators at the numbers below. Family PACT provides access to family planning services for low-income men and women. This program is a critical source of preventive health care services to California's uninsured men and women. The current program needs an expansion because it is missing key segments of those in need. Those currently not reached by the program contribute to 53% of the unintended pregnancies in California. If we want to further reduce unintended pregnancies we must reach all of those at risk. Preventing unintended pregnancies is inexpensive and saves money in the long run. The current program receives a $9 to $1 match from the federal government. This match will generate a net savings of $611 million in FY 2000-01 alone. Overall the State Department of Health Services (DHS) anticipates that General Fund savings of $900 million will be achieved over the course of the 5-year demonstration project. Please contact one or more of the following legislators. Even though you do not live in their district, they are on a select conference committee that is making a statewide decision and are open to comments from ALL VOTERS statewide!!
       Assembly Capitol Office and District Office(s) -- Tony Cardenas(D) (916) 319-2039 (818) 838-3939 .. Carole Migden(D) (916) 319-2013(415) 557-3000 this office .. likes faxes - fax: 916-319-2113 .. George Runner(R) (916) 319-2036(661) 259-4516 (661) 319-2036
      Senate -- Steve Peace (D) (916) 445-6767 (619) 463-0243(619) 427-7080 .. Jack O'Connell (D)(916) 445-5405(805) 966-2296 (805) 547- 1800 (805) 641-1500 .. Dick Ackerman (R) (916) 445-4264 (714) 573-1853
      [Note: California is growing at the rate of 1.8% a year, and more than half of that is due to a high birth rate!]
  • June 3, 2001  Agence France Presse   HIV/AIDS: Disease May Cause Zero Population Growth In Zimbabwe   Zimbabwe state television reported the country could face zero population growth next year due to the rising death rate caused by HIV/AIDS. AIDS is killing the country's skilled and productive youth, said Health Minister Timothy Stamps. 100,000 people died of AIDS last year in Zimbabwe. Official statistics put the weekly AIDS death toll at 2,000 in Zimbabwe, where one-fourth of the population is infected with HIV.   '000250
  • June 2001  PRB Population Bulletin   China's Quest for Reproductive Health: An Interview with Yu Xuejun   Yu Xuejun, director of the China Population Information and Research Center, said there has been a change in the tone of government pronouncements on family planning and reproductive health over the past decade. "In 1991, the white paper on population policy was full of directives: We must control the birth rate, we must increase birth planning, and so on. The 2000 white paper had a very different feel to it. It stressed quality of care, informed choice, human-centered development, social security, and voluntary participation in reproductive health programs. There is more of a tendency to see population policy in terms of the overall development picture now."   '000246
  • June 2001   -   Dissecting China's 2000 Census  China's National Bureau of Statistics has begun to release the results of its census conducted last year. Mainland China's population was 1.266 billion, 132 million over the 1990 total. That increase exceeds the entire population of Japan (127 million in 2000), but was within the government's goal of staying below 1.3 billion for 2000.   '000245
  • June 2001  ProjectUSA/CIA   Majority of World's Billions much Poorer than the Average Mexican   This is a list of GDP - per capita income by country put out by the CIA.   '000238
  • June 13, 2001  Nando Times, AP   Indochines Primates Could be First to Go   "Global extinction is looming" for many primates and "it is likely to occur first in Indochina" says Flora and Fauna International. "Meat poachers, traditional medicine merchants and villagers encroaching" on remaining habitat are the primary threats, partly due to proximity to China.   '000219
  • June 6, 2001  Panos   Governing Our Cities - Will People Power Work?   Five years ago the United Nations's City Summit was held in Istanbul. Since then urban crisis has accelerated and many cities are still unable to provide even basic services to all their citizens. This report assesses whether post-Istanbul urban strategies are succeeding.   '000295
  • June 29, 2001  International Planned Parenthood Federation   Family Planning Services Under Threat in Nepal   20,000 clients a year in some of the poorest, most populated areas of Nepal are at risk of loosing family planning services after withdrawal of nearly US $100,000 by USAID-funded agency, Engender Health, previously known as AVSC. President Bush's new policy on abortion and abortion related activities restricts how organisations spend their own money if they are in receipt of USAID funds. The Family Planning Association (FPAN) of Nepal, which provides 25% of contraceptive services in the country, has refused to comply with these new conditions. Nepal has the fourth highest maternal mortality rate in the world, with 1,500 women out of 100,000 births, dying every year. Half of maternal deaths are attributed to unsafe abortion. Any act of abortion in Nepal is punishable by imprisonment. A joint program with South Asia IPPF, Engender Health, and others, has provided a long running advocacy campaign to liberalise the law on conditional grounds and improve access to safe abortion services. Director General of FPAN, Dr Nirmal Bista said, "FPAN is committed to reducing the number of abortions. No measure or initiative is more effective in accomplishing this than the provision of family planning information and services. Yet this move by President Bush will have the opposite effect now, by reducing the level of services provided." Dr Indira Kapoor, IPPF's South Asia Regional Director, said: "It is for this reason, that as part of their commitment to improve reproductive health, FPAN and IPPF have been striving to influence policies and practices that deprive human beings of their sexual and reproductive rights." [NOTE: The question is: how many deaths, maternal and infant, will now result from the gap left in family planning and reproductive health services? And why haven't the NGO's family planning services been reducing the need for abortions?]   '000373
  • June 2001  The Alan Guttmacher Institute   Why Nigerian Adolescents Seek Abortion Rather than Contraception: Evidence from Focus-Group Discussions   Women in Nigeria believe that induced abortion is better than contraceptives because of fear of infertility and long term effects according to a study. This is why most adolescents prefer induced abortion rather than the use of contraceptives. Education for adolescents needs to take place to inform them that the side effects of induced abortion is greater than contraceptive use, if contraceptive use it to be improved. rvs   '000292
  • June 6, 2001 World Watch Institute Curbing Sprawl to Fight Climate Change. Urban sprawl is making “road transportation the fastest growing source of carbon emissions”. Improved urban design could significantly slow the rate of global warming as well as make cities healthier and more livable, according to Molly O’Meara Sheehan of the World Watch Institute, author of City Limits: Putting the Brakes on Sprawl. It is well known that sprawl adversely impacts human health. Worldwide, a million people die in traffic accidents yearly; urban air pollution worsens lung disease and increases death rates; and by making “walking and cycling less practical” urban sprawl discourages exercise and adversely affects health. Sprawl has developed over decades. Between 1950 and 1990, while Chicago’s population increased by 38% its land area increased by 124%. Now several factors are making it worse. The US population consumes disproportionate amounts of gas using “roughly 43% of the world’s gasoline to propel less than 5 percent of the world’s population”. In addition, a growing proportion of the world’s population is becoming urban, particularly in the developing world “where car use is still low”. “Adoption of the U.S. car-centered model in these places would have disastrous consequences.” By 2030, China’s urban population is expected to be 752 million. If their car use were to mimic that of the “average resident of the San Francisco area in 1990”, “carbon emissions from transportation in urban China alone could exceed 1 billion tons”. There are reactions against sprawl both here and abroad. In 2000, “U.S. voters approved some 400 … ballot initiatives” concerning sprawl, and “38 states have passed laws creating incentives for more compact development.” In Brazil, beginning in 1972, the city of Curitiba “built a system of dedicated busways and zoned for higher-density development along those thoroughfares” resulting in improved air quality and more parks. Bogota, Colombia has built “a similar bus system, … expanded its bike paths, and tried a bold ‘car-free’ day.” The success of this plan illustrates “the importance of higher population density to support buses and cycling”. Most important are the “growth of light rail and other forms of public transit”. Western Europe now has over 100 rail systems, “the highest [number] since 1970.” In the past five years public transportation ridership in the U.S. has increased steadily. And a light rail line in Portland, Oregon has significantly reduced the need for new parking garages and extra highway lanes. .000386
  • June 12, 2001  Christian Science Monitor   Is Alaska Melting?   According to surveys over the past four years, Alaska’s hundreds of glaciers are melting. Permafrost - ground that has been frozen for thousands of year - is no longer frozen and glaciers are melting and retreating more than ever before. Atmospheric scientists have predicted that global warming would show first in the Northern regions and it clearly has. Global temperature has risen 1 degree F. in the past 100 years, but in AK, Siberia, and Northwest Canada it has gone up 5 degrees F. in 30 years. The western Arctic is warming at approximately three to five times the global average and many species are adapting to the changes. Salmon are found in the sea, barn swallows have appeared and mosquitoes now survive in the polar desert. The Arctic sea ice is about 40% thinner and has shrunk in are by 14%. In June, the Bush administration has a meeting with the National Academy of Science. The message was that it is impossible to determine how much of global warming is attributed to humans, but that the consequences no matter what will be profound for people and the planet. "Three years ago, science writer William K. Stevens called what is happening in Alaska an "ecological holocaust" - a term both fitting and ironic, given that when the Holocaust of World War II was occurring, so many tried to look the other way. As in the Second World War, the world's great nations are preparing - uniting - to fight a battle that the US has yet to join. Perhaps this nation will prove itself a leader in the end. I have little doubt we will soon join the fight. We can't deny it any longer. Something is happening. " -rvs   '000248
  • June 7, 2001  Christian Science Monitor   Congo: Bonobos' Threat: Hungry Humans   The meat is cheaper than beef, at only $7 for a half-ape and it’s tastier than fish some say. But bonobos are an endangered species that are at risk because of human’s appetite. There are laws forbidding that they killed, but that doesn’t stop some who wouldn’t have food on the table. The bonobos are the last of the great apes to be discovered, but they may be the first to become extinct due to the encroachment of their habitat and the thriving bush-meat industry. Bonobos share 98.6% of human’s genetic makeup and may be the closest primate in our ancestry. In 1980 there were 100,000 found, 1990 fewer than 10,000 and today after two wars there are fewer than 3,000. Because apes have so few offspring, hunting has a large impact. In fact, a significant portion of the population can disappear in just a generation. Many conservationists fear that the increasing population over the next 20 years, combined with the forests being cut down that the bush-meat trade will only grow and deplete the population. Chimps are expected to disappear in 10 countries by the end of the decade. From the loggers to the soldiers and the native eating the bush-meat, and without education there will surely be no hope for the bonobos. But many conservation groups are working together, educating individuals around the world about the need for conservation and the end of the bush-meat industry. And if we educate individuals, we may be heading in a better direction. -rvs   '000271
  • June 15, 2001  Christian Science Monitor   Global Warming Sends Troops of Baboons on the Run   As global warming causes temperatures to rise, the gelada monkeys that live in the Ethiopian highlands are threatened by the steady upward movement of the vegetation. As the vegetation becomes adapted, so must the gelada. And they have been adapting for the last serveral hundred years. However, now the vegetation is diminishing because of the increase in temperature. The World Wide Fund for Nature cited the gelada last year as one of several mammals most at risk from the effects of global warming. The list also includes the mountain pygmy possum of Australia. Primate experts agree that the temperature change may soon destroy the high-altitude grass that the gelada thrive upon. The species survival is being affected severely due to global warming. "Theropithecus gelada is the last species remaining of a genus of a terrestrial primate. Graminivorous (grass-eating) monkeys may have lost most of their close relatives to past bouts with global warming. The geladas provide insight to human social behavior, living in complex herds of 600 or more. The most threatening aspect for the gelada currently is farming. In fact, it may cause their extinction before global warming has a chance within the coming decades. -rvs   '000224
  • June 5, 2001  Christian Science Monitor   Glowing in the Wind - Congress Should Extend a Wind-Power Tax Credit   The amount of electricity produced from wind has tripled within the last four years. More efficient energy has lowered the cost of wind power so that it’s almost equivalent to traditional power plants. Many other energy companies are also pursuing the possibility of green energy. Wind generators create noise and signal interference, but that is nothing compared to the pollutants from oil and coal plants. If hydrogen-powered fuel cells could store wind-derived energy and substitute gasoline driven vehicles then we would overcome our energy limitations. Some believe that federal assistance such as wind-power tax credit should be extended to such alternative energy producers. -rvs   '000265
  • June 25, 2001  NY Times   Harsh Chinese Reality Feeds a Black Market in Women   Tens and maybe hundreds of thousands of Chinese women are kidnapped, drugged and sold for $1,500 as a bride. The trade, although getting a lot of publicity and punishment these days, is still thriving in rural areas of China. In rural China, there are many reasons why this practice is so prevalent. First of all, there are nearly 120 boys to every 100 girls due to the favor of having sons and abandoning their daughters at birth. Plus, for cultural and economic purposes it is essential for every man to find a bride and produce children. So, for every 100 rural men who find brides, another 20 must resort to other measures. This would include kidnapping and purchasing their wives. This practice also establishes the low status of rural women and how easily tricked women are because they are desperate for work. In 1999, 100,000 women were rescued from such situations. And that is only the amount that were found. Before the current crackdown, the practice was rising 30% per year. "In villages, there is a long tradition of prizing males and looking down on females," Mr. Zhu explained. "So the best local women from the countryside can hope for is to get away, to look for work elsewhere - and that leaves them very vulnerable." It is difficult to find the women who are kidnapped because they are often taken to even more remote villages. And many women are kidnapped again even after they are rescued, desperate to find work and naïve about their opportunities. However, many stay with their abductees because they bear children and become accustomed to their new lifestyle. It is a practice after all to have ones father chose your husband anyways. But the need for work puts many women at risk of loosing their lives, their identities and their families. -rvs   '000349
  • June 7, 2001  AP   UN Population Fund and Rotary International Join Forces to Promote Development   The conservative business organization Rotary International has partnered with the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) in order to contribute to projects that promote education on population issues, access to family health care, AIDS awareness and prevention, and hunger prevention. "In the past, this has almost been a taboo subject," said Rotary president Frank Devlyn. The Rotary has 1.2 million members in 164. UNFPA Director Thoraya Obaid, in addressing the challenges of a global population that has topped 6 billion and is increasing by 77 million people every year, said the goal of reducing poverty and promoting development will only be achieved through stronger cooperation among governments, the international community and groups like Rotary whose members are influential community, business and professional leaders. Conservative groups have traditionally either steered away from population issues or opposed them because of opposition to sex education and family planning, especially abortion. Whether family planning will be included in the Rotary-U.N. partnership will depend on the ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds and values of people in individual countries, Devlyn said. Rotary clubs in Germany and Nigeria have cooperated on a program on family planning and family spacing. Clubs in California and Istanbul worked on a program to educate young adults in Turkey on reproductive health. Rotary has a project on sexual awareness in India, and it has already worked with the U.N. Population Fund on conferences in Zurich, New Delhi and Brasilia.   '000309
  • June 4, 2001  International Planned Parenthood Federation   Belgium to Allow Over-the-Counter Sale of Emergency Contraception   In an effort to reduce the number of abortions among teen girls, Britain has allowed emergency contraception to be sold without a prescription. Belgium has followed suit. Health Minister Magda Alvoet said granted over-the-counter status to EC, stating, "Seeing the growing number of terminations of pregnancies among women of less than 20 years was taken into account in enacting this emergency solution."   '000283
  • June 1, 2001  Reuters/Greenlines   Lights out to Save Birds   Simple conservation measures such as closing shades or turning off outdoor lighting can reduce bird deaths by "75% or more." Some dozen Chicago skyscrapers and lakefront buildings are doing just that to help save migratory birds, which crash into window or die "from exhaustion after becoming mesmerized by lighted buildings." One building can kill up to 2,000 birds a year and 100 million birds across the U.S. are killed yearly by windows.   '000278
  • June 01, 2001  personal website   Neither Catastrophes Nor Gradualism Caused the Extinction of the Dinosaurs   If Nature has its way again, the last of the hominids will walk the Earth for the last time in less than 500 years. Yesterday it was the thundering lizards, today the versatile mammals, and tomorrow the resilient insects. As a general rule, animals in different periods lived for millions of years and then disappeared in a matter of decades or hundreds of years at most. The Curve of Life depicts a long period of imperceptible population growth, a comparatively very short period of exponential growth, and a steep decline that leads to the extinction of a species. There is only one reason for an interbreeding group of animals to follow this skewed, bell-shaped curve so rigorously once it has achieved its optimum evolutionary potential (4): a shift in the age composition of the population. Increasingly more individuals attain the natural life span for their species and a progressively greater percentage of the population falls beyond its reproductive prime.   '000258
  • May 30, 2001  Christian Science Monitor   Where California Goes...   Letter to the Editor, by Sue Hokana, Fiddletown, Calif ... Your May 21 article "Kilowatt crisis dents California's legendary optimism" really hit home. Our energy crisis has meant dramatically cutting back on air conditioning, even though we must cope with the searing Central Valley summer heat. My family voluntarily conserves as responsible citizens (though so far we can afford to air-condition our home); however, I worry about my elderly neighbors. What angers me most about this situation is not how many power plants were not built, but how we have so grossly overpopulated this state. California now has a growth rate 50 percent higher than Bangladesh, with 92 percent of that growth due to mass immigration. At this rate, we will have the same population density as present-day China in less than 30 years. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out there is no way the supply side can possibly keep up with exponential population growth. As in China, water shortages are just around the corner. Pray for us: For where California goes, so goes the nation.   '000296
  • May 20, 2001  ENN   Fish vs Electricity: A Pacific Northwest Balancing Act   Despite the continuing drought in the Pacific Northwest, the Bonneville Power Administration said it is releasing a limited amount of water from behind two of its hydropower dams to help juvenile endangered salmon and steelhead travel downstream to the ocean. The spill of water will take place at Bonneville and The Dalles dams on the Lower Columbia River. BPA said it will be able to free up some water for a spill in May while providing a backup plan for power reliability if water volumes fall short later. In May peak numbers of endangered fish are migrating downstream. "We are trying to carry out a very difficult balancing act between the need to maintain a reliable power supply and the need to protect our endangered fish," BPA's Acting Administrator Stephen Wright said. The agreement depends on concurrence of governmental agencies and tribes, specifically Washington Governor Gary Locke, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Northwest Power Planning Council and the Yakama Indian Nation. The Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams in central Washington have a generating capacity of 2,000 megawatts and are currently spilling about 50% of the river flow to protect young migrating fish, including the endangered spring chinook salmon and steelhead Under the Bonneville Power Administration's water release plan, the equivalent of 300 megawatts of electricity will be spilled in May, less than one-third the amount called for in National Marine Fisheries Service' Biological Opinion, which assumes more normal rainfall conditions.   cs'000142
  • May 27, 2001  US House Committee on Appropriations   Subcommittee Approves FY02 Foreign Operations   $14.9 billion of the proposed $15.2 billion for the FY02 Bill has been approved by the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs. Representative Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), Chair, said "We have taken great care to ensure that important initiatives have received subcommittee support, for example, the significant increase in funding for HIV/AIDS activities demonstrates the U.S.'s commitment to addressing this serious, international issue." To mention items of interest to the population-concerned, the bill provides $1.1 billion in Development Assistance through AID, with $358 million in reproductive health assistance in the Child Survival and Health Programs Fund, the same as the President's request and the same as last year's level. Total funding in the bill for reproductive health assistance is $425 million, the same as last year's level. It provides $434 million for HIV/AIDS within the Child Survival and Health Programs Fund and $40 million in other accounts, and fully funds the Presidential initiative to provide $100 million for a global HIV/AIDS trust fund from within Child Survival funds. The bill increases the restructured Child Survival and Health Programs Fund $169 million over last year's level and $396 million over the President's request. Total FY02 funding is $1.4 billion, which includes $120 million for UNICEF -- $10 million more than last year's level. It also provides $224 million for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief, the same as the President's request. Funding conditions include a 24-month moratorium on new market loans to countries benefiting from HIPC debt relief. Increases the Agency for International Development (AID) $126 million over FY01 and $177 million over the President's request, bringing FY02 funding to $3.36 billion.   '000369
  • May 20, 2001  ENN   Water Management: a Global Issue   According to researchers in a recent edition of the journal Science, government policies continue to encourage cheap food production by maintaining low water prices. Since water is so cheap, there is little incentive to conserve it. As a result, human activities waste huge amounts of water. 70% of the freshwater we use is for irrigation, yet more than half of that water is lost to leaks and evaporation before it even gets to the crops! Water pollution also continues to be a problem because polluters are rarely caught or charged. When pollutants contaminate our underground aquifers, which house 97% of the earth's liquid freshwater, the pollutants don't degrade as quickly as they do when they are on the surface. According to the Worldwatch Institute, water stays in these aquifers for an average of 1,400 years, allowing pollutants to accumulate in them over time. With the world population expected to increase by 50% this century, food production will need to increase. More freshwater will be needed for irrigation. According to the World Resources Institute, nearly half of the world's people will live in water-stressed areas by 2025. Violence over water scarcity could become more common. Agricultural production depends on large quantities of fertilizer. Since fertilizer is cheap, many farmers routinely apply about 20% more than is needed in hopes that it may improve crops. Fields become saturated with nitrogen, which then flows into streams and accumulates in lakes and groundwater supplies, threatening aquatic ecosystems and rendering water supplies undrinkable. The nitrogen-rich water ends up in the ocean where it can cause further problems. Every year, an oxygen-depleted dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico caused by agricultural run-off kills billions of marine organisms. In 1999, the zone encompassed 20,000 square kilometres of sea. Worldwide more than five million people die every year from diseases spread through contaminated water. The recent drinking water contamination problems all over the country of Canada show the need for a better approach to water management. While we must be vigilant about testing and safety, we also need to protect the watersheds that deliver high-quality, naturally filtered water to us. Freshwater scarcity will be major point of discussion at next year's follow-up to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Freshwater supply is now a global problem that will require international cooperation to manage effectively.   cs'000145
  • May 19, 2001  International Planned Parenthood Federation   Brazil Orders Two Million Female Condoms for Project Expansion   The Female Health Company will deliver two million female condoms over the next nine months for the Ministry of Health's groundbreaking national AIDS programme. four million female condoms have been ordered since 1998. A study conducted two years ago in six cities with 2,400 women found a high level of female condom acceptability and continuity of use.   '000344
  • May 10, 2001  Chicago Tribune   Letter to the Editor - Immigration & Population   In "Immigration drive tests Iowa" by E.A. Torriero (Page 1, May 4), it is blatantly unfair--and incorrect--to describe the immigration reform movement as "anti-immigrant," a term that invariably discourages intelligent debate. This is not about halting immigration; it is about reducing our annual immigration levels that have increased nearly five times their historic levels in only 30 years. "Reduction" is not "anti-immigrant." If a married couple, for example, choose to have only three children in a community where the average number of children is six, does that make them "anti-child"? Your story would have been more informative had it contained those census numbers showing that immigration has accounted for 70 percent of this nation's growth since 1970 and will represent 90 percent from now on if we continue at this rate. That means a population of 571 million by as early as 2050, a point at which we should have stabilized at 236 million. Today we are at 284 million, and those members of Congress who support our present policy of mass immigration are already demanding that we do something about urban sprawl, overcrowded classrooms, traffic congestion and environmental degradation. ... Dave Gorak, Executive director, Midwest Coalition to Reform Immigration.   '000319
  • May 25, 2001  LA Times   California Senate Health Committee Approves Measure to Allow Sale of Emergency Contraception   The California Senate Health and Human Services Committee has approved a bill that would allow women to obtain emergency contraception over the counter. Introduced by state Sen. Dede Alpert (D), the measure would allow any woman to obtain EC without a prior doctor's visit. [In the prior month, eight California counties launched a pilot program that allows women to receive EC without a prescription.]   '000372
  • May 11, 2001  Sacramento Business Journal   Sacramento USA LTE: The Problem is Population   In her guest commentary in your April 27 issue, "Our Joint Efforts can Tame Future Traffic, Smog," Author Kerri Howell left or one very important point: Population. While searching for "some bold new ideas" and using the "collaborative process" are all good thoughts, simply employing a "regional effort to resolve a regional issue" is not enough. The driving force behind the ever-worsening traffic and smog, and a multitude of other social and environmental (not to mention electrical power) problems, is our ever-increasing population. And we hardly hear anything about it. Discussions of increasing population and discussions of immigration should be a part of any of the above issues, and should be considered politically correct. We should all be concerned about poulation-related issues, and not assume it is relegated to Zero Population Growth and similar-minded organizations. I realize many of us have our income tied to increasing population. However, the decreasing quality-of-life issues for us and subsequent generations should take priority. Only when population issues are mainstreamed will our lawmakers take note. Readers of this Journal are leaders and decision-makers, and are among those who should raise their consciousness on this area of concern. .... Franklin L. Banker, Carmichael
  • May 30, 2001  Financial Times (London)   Botswana Forms Unlikely Alliance in War with Aids   Botswana is a diamond-rich, sparsely populated country that has proportionately the highest HIV rate in the world: 38.5% of the country's sexually active population (aged 15-49) is infected. 50% of the population between 25 and 34 is HIV-positive while average life expectancy has dropped from 69 years to 44 in less than a decade. Pharmacuetical companies Merck and Boehringer-Ingelheim are undertaking to provide the drugs free for five years, under a $100 million project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In a program that has never been done before, philanthropists will provide the funds, industry the expertise and the free drugs, and government the political backing. Since one in eight babies is infected at birth, the project is starting with a programme to prevent mother-to-child transmission, administering AZT and Nevirapine. The provision of triple anti-retroviral therapy for adults will begin by the end of the year. Festus Mogae, president of Botswana, has become the outspoken leader of the country's battle against Aids. "We are threatened with extinction. It is a crisis of the first magnitude," he says of the epidemic. The challenges are huge, from the social stigma and conspiracy of silence around the disease to time-sanctioned sexual habits which favour its spread. In neighboring South Africa, president Thabo Mbeki has questioned the link between HIV and AIDS and the country the still has no plans to make anti-retrovirals available.   '000181
  • May 23, 2001  Inter Press Service   Law Formalizing One-Child Policy Due Soon   China must feed 22% of the world's population on 7% of arable land. Now its government is finally coming out with its first legislation on family planning and population. The law would formalize the country's one-child population policy, which has been in practice since 1980. "The idea of family planning and the importance of reproductive health have been widely accepted by the public," Shi Chunjing, vice director of the Regulation Department with the State Family Planning Commission. While there has been an increase in experiments of more liberal family planning which stress contraceptive choice over coercion, most local officials remain under tremendous pressure to keep population growth rates low, leading to birth control abuses. For example, a woman from southeastern Fujian province was beaten to death by birth control officials who wanted to sterilize her against her will. In addition, the ratio of boys and girls is far higher than it should be, with 117 boys born for every 100 girls. The one-child policy stipulates that each couple living in the cities should have only one child, unless one or both of the couple are from an ethnic minority or they are both only children. In rural areas, a second child is permitted after a break of several years. However, in rural China, where 80% of the population lives, five, six or even more children per couple are not uncommon. China's annual population growth rate is 1.07%, and the average family has dropped from 3.96 people to 3.44 people in the last decade. The government says that the "one child" policy was responsible for preventing 250 million births in the past 20 years.   '000167
  • May 25, 2001  The Dallas Morning News   Things Aren't Slowing Down for North Texas Population   North Texas' population continued to grow at a record pace, adding an estimated 160,000 residents last year. Dallas added 11,000 residents, Frisco, which added 8,800, and Fort Worth added 7,810. The Council of Governments' new estimates mark the fifth consecutive year that the 16-county region added more than 100,000 residents. "The challenges with this growth are going to be the same," said Collin County Commissioner Jack Hatchell, referring to issues of transportation, redevelopment of older cities and suburban school district growth.   '000180
  • May 16, 2001  Contraceptive Technology Update   Florida Foundation Expands Vasectomy Services to Low-Income Men   The Clearwater, a Florida based Vasectomy Support Foundation will cover charges of up to $290 for "no-scalpel vasectomies" for men who meet low-income qualifications and are not eligible for Medicaid.   '000131
  • May 3, 2001  congressional testimony   Congressional Testimony on Energy Policy, by Albert A. Bartlett   In invited oral testimony to the Subcommittee on Energy of the Science Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, May 3, 2001, Albert A. Bartlett said: Our national energy situation is a mess! For years we have seen recommendations from the Department of Energy that suggest that the leaders of the Department have little scientific understanding of the problems of energy. We have seen the President of the United States sending his Secretary of Energy on bended knee to plead with OPEC leaders to increase petroleum production so as to keep our gasoline prices from rising. For a country that boasts that it is the world’s only superpower, this is profoundly humiliating. Gasoline prices are rising. California currently has an electrical energy crisis that is likely to spread. Natural gas prices are rising rapidly, which poses real economic hardship for millions of American home owners who depend on natural gas to heat their homes in the winter. The only energy proposals we see are for short-term fixes, sometimes spread over a few years, that seem to ignore the important real-world realities of resource availability and consumer costs. For years, scientists have warned that fossil fuels resources are finite and that long-range plans should be made. These plans must recognize that growing rates of consumption of fossil fuels will lead, predictably, to serious shortages that are now starting to appear. For years we have heard learned opinions from non-scientists that resources are effectively infinite; that the more of a resource that we consume the greater are the reserves of that resource; and that the human intellect is our greatest resource because the human mind can harness science and technology to solve all of our resource shortages. There seem to be two cultures; science and non-science. Each has its own Ph.D. "experts" and "think tanks." Each has its own lobbyists who argue vigorously that their path is the proper path to achieve a sustainable society. So let’s compare the two recommended paths. The centerpiece of the scientific path is conservation; hence it is appropriate to call this path the "Conservative Path." On this path the federal government is called on to provide leadership plus strong and reliable long-term support toward the achievement of the following goals. The U.S. should: 1) Have an energy planning horizon that addresses the problems of sustainability through many future decades. 2) Have programs for the continual and dramatic improvement of the efficiency with which we use energy in all parts of our society. Improved energy efficiency is the lowest cost energy resource we have. 3) Move toward the rapid development and deployment of all manner of renewable energies throughout our entire society. 4) Embark on a program of continual reduction of the annual total consumption of non-renewable energy in the U.S. 5) Recognize that moving quickly to consume the remaining U.S. fossil fuel resources will only speed and enlarge our present serious U.S. dependence on the fossil fuel resources of other nations. This will leave our children vitally vulnerable to supply disruptions that they won’t be able to control. 6) Finally, and most important, we must recognize that population growth in the U.S. is a major factor in driving up demand for energy. This calls for recognizing the conclusion of President Nixon’s Rockefeller Commission Report (Commission on Population Growth and the American Future, 1972). The Commission concluded that it could find no benefit to the U.S. from further U.S. population growth. In contrast, the non-scientific path suggests that resources are effectively infinite, so we can be as liberal as we please in their use and consumption. Hence this path is properly called the "Liberal Path." The proponents of the Liberal Path recommend that the U.S. should: 1) Make plans only to meet immediate crises, because all crises are temporary; 2) Not have government promote improvements in energy efficiency because the marketplace will provide the needed improvements. 3) Not have government programs to develop renewable energies because, again, the marketplace can be counted on to take care of all of our needs. 4) Let fossil fuel rates continue to increase because to do otherwise might hurt the economy. 5) Dig and Drill. Consume our remaining fossil fuels as fast as possible because we "need them." Don’t worry about our children. They can count on having the advanced technologies they will need to solve the problems that we are creating for them. 6) Claim that population growth is a benefit rather than a problem, because more people equals more brains. .... more at http://www.lahr.org/bartlett/testimony.html. A. A. Bartlett is Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado at Boulder and member of the Faculty of the Department of Physics since 1950,   '000205
  • May 31, 2001  PCI/Global Intersections   Indian Census Recognizes Abortion-Related Gender Discrepancy   Age-old biases that make sons more desirable than daughters continue to prevail in modern India. Early results from the 2001 census show that the ratio of girls to boys in India has dropped to 927 per 1000, down from 945 and 962 measured in earlier census efforts. As one health worker said, "The boy is like the lamp of the family, and everybody wants it lit continuously." Widespread ultrasound technology now allows the illegal practice of sex-determination tests (and consequent abortion of females) to continue unhindered. In rural rates, the ratio is much lower, at 894 per 1,000. According to Monica Das Gupta of the World Bank, societies in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, in which daughters and sons share the job of caring for aging parents, show normal gender ratios among infants. In traditional India and China, a married woman joins her husband's family and the responsibility for long-term family obligations rests on sons. Family roles, aging parents, and dowry traditions all contribute to the unyielding persistence of fetal gender discrimination in India. The good news from the 2001 Indian census is that population growth rates have declined from 2.1 to 1.9 percent, and literacy rates have risen, with women gaining a large percentage of the increase. Improvements are occurring mostly in India's southern states, including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, where local economies and social services reach larger segments of India's vast population. Literacy rates and population growth in the northern states, including Bihar, Orissa, and Uttar Pradesh, show little improvement in the recent census.   '000185
  • May 25, 2001  Johns Hopkins University   Two Reproductive Health Experts to Join Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health   Amy Tsui, PhD, and Jane T. Bertrand, PhD, will join the faculty of the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Tsui, currently director of the University of North Carolina Population Center, will assume the positions of professor in the department and director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, succeeding founding director Laurie Schwab Zabin, PhD, as head. Dr. Zabin will remain a member of the faculty. Dr. Bertrand, an international leader in the assessment and communication of population and public health programs, and who was recently recognized by the USAID as a global leader in health communication will become a professor in the department and director of the School's Center for Communication Programs (CCP), succeding Dr. Phyllis Piotrow who will remain a member of the School faculty. Drs. Tsui and Bertrand studied together at the University of Chicago and have worked closely together on the USAID EVALUATION and the MEASURE Evaluation Project. Established in 1988, the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs is a pioneer in the field of strategic, research-based communication for behavior change and health promotion that has helped transform the theory and practice of public health. The center's programs focus on a variety of public health issues, including family planning, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, child survival, maternal health, and the environment. The Center for Communication Programs has developed and managed over 300 country-based projects and contracts in 50 countries. CCP's annual budget exceeds $40 million.   '000182
  • May 27, 2001  Albuquerque Journal   Dramatic Growth in N.M. Expected in Next 50 Years   By 2050, development will stretch almost nonstop from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, according to Western Futures, a project of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which mapped 11 Western states to show changes in land use patterns from 1960 to 2050. David Theobald, a Colorado State University researcher who used computer models to create the maps said the goal of the project is to map historical, current and future development patterns to "better envision what landscape changes have occurred and what future changes are likely." Alamogordo, Clovis, Gallup, Farmington and the area north of Truth or Consequences also will be hot spots for growth, according to the study. New Mexico and other Western states have a semi-arid climate with a finite water supply that should stem growth, but the climate also is what attracts people to the region. "As a geographer, I don't see the limits that are going to slow growth," said William Travis, a University of Colorado geography professor and the principal investigator on the project.   '000183
  • May 23, 2001  The Namibian   HIV-AIDS Drug Could Save Other Babies   Edla Kaurianga, an HIV-positive woman who lost her child to AIDS, has appealed to the Government to make Nevirapine - a US$4 HIV-AIDS drug which reduces mother-to-child transmission of HIV - available to pregnant women with HIV. One dose is given to a pregnant mother and another to a baby 72 hours after birth. Many HIV-positive mothers watch helplessly as their children die, while the Government promises each year that the drugs will be made available the following year. Agnes Tom from Catholic Aids Action, said mothers blame themselves for the deaths of the babies. She said many of the women they counsel know that they must not give birth and that they must use condoms. Kaurianda's son was one of the 600,000 babies born each year throughout the world with HIV, or 1,800 each day. 90% of these cases are in the developing world. Without HIV drugs the child mortality rates in some African countries will double by the year 2010, experts predict. Most babies are infected in the womb, at birth or through breastfeeding. Up to 43% of African women with HIV will pass it on to their babies.   '000158
  • May 11, 2001  Financial Mail (South Africa)   Poverty Grinds On .. and Population Keeps Swelling   International agencies face a seemingly endless task in combating poverty. 20% of the world's people live on less than US1/day; 39% of sub-Saharan Africa's population is illiterate; and in developing countries 9% of children die before the age of five, nearly 13 times the norm in the developed world, according to the World Bank's World Development Indicators 2001 report. The number of people living in absolute poverty has decreased marginally and the rate of child mortality from preventable diseases is down. The UN hopes to improve conditions through its International Development Goals, which aims to halve the total number of people in extreme poverty. But relief efforts are battling to keep pace with population growth. The report shows that the world's population has grown from 2,5 billion in 1950 to an alarming 6.1 billion in 2000. This figure is expected to increase by another billion by 2015. Regions most affected will be South Asia, where population is expected to rise by 350 million people, and sub-Saharan Africa, with the lowest rate of contraceptive usage, where there will be 235 million more people. In developing countries, 440 mothers for every 100,000 births will die in childbirth, more than the average of 21 in developed countries. Reducing maternal, child and infant mortality rates is a key objective of the UN. But with the provision of health-care facilities in developed and developing countries still worlds apart, the agency faces a tough job. cs   '000213
  • May 23, 2001  The Post of Zambia   Zambia: Maternal Mortality Rate Is too High   Maternal mortality in Zambia is too high, according to Dr. Ben Chriwa, the director of Zmbia's Central Board of Health. Approximately 1,400 mothers out of every 100,000 die during childbirth in Zambia. Dr. Chirwa said pregnancy in developing countries is a stressful period, and that the media could play an important role educating people on safe motherhood. Grace Sinyangwe, the ZIHP Information, Education and Communication co-ordinator for Safe Pregnancy said most of the deaths could be avoided by putting in strategic interventions. She believes long distances, ignorance of benefits and medical fear are the reasons why mothers decide to deliver at their homes and die in the process. Country director Rick Hughes said that despite high ante natal attendance rates, women are still dying due to limited resources, but there is a lot that can be done to reverse the situation.  cs '000159
  • May 29, 2001  ENN   Does a Rising Tide Lift All Boats?   Worldwide, the oceans are currently rising one-tenth of an inch each year. Glaciers and ice sheets melt, and oceans swell as they heat. By 50 years, the seas are predicted to rise a foot and by 60 years, one in four homes built within 500 feet of the shoreline in the U.S. will be swallowed by coastal erosion. It is worrisome that more and more people are moving from the heartland to the coastlines, which are increasingly vulnerable to climate change. So many people are living on the coast, in fact, that if the sea rose 30 feet today, one quarter of the U.S. population would be living underwater tomorrow, warns the USGS. Not all coastal areas are alike: California's coast sits higher off the water and could easily weather a sea-level rise of several inches. Coastlines along the Gulf of Mexico and Florida, would be devastated. South Florida, coastal Louisiana, the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds in North Carolina, and Maryland's Eastern Shore may already be feeling the subtle effects of sea-level rise, such as elevated groundwater tables, flooding during rainstorms, and the spoiling of important freshwater aquifers by salty ocean water, says Jim Titus, of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Louisiana is losing about one acre every 24 minutes to coastal erosions, about 25 square miles each year," says Steve Dunn of The Heinz Center, which recently completed a major study of U.S. coastal erosion.   '000197
  • May 29, 2001  The Washington Post   In China's Countryside, 'It's a Boy!' Too Often   In China, 117 boys are born for every 100 girls. Last year in Xicun, a cliff-side village deep in the mountains of southern Guangxi province, China, of the 20 children who were born, 16 were boys. The year before, of 24 born, 19 were boys. In 1999, the Xicun medical center bought a cheap, Chinese-made ultrasound machine that allowed doctors to determine the sex of a fetus. Sex-selective abortions followed. In heavily rural areas where boys are prized because of their value for farm work and because they inherit the land, the numbers approach 140 boys for every 100 girls, well off the international norm of 105 to 100. Sex-selective abortions, infanticide and significant differences in children's access to medical care have resulted in China's skewed sex ratio. Its policy of limiting births has exacerbated the problem. Because parents tend to hide unapproved children, as many as 6 million children are unregistered, most believed to be girls. Crime has grown among the millions of men of marrying age who cannot find a bride, especially the trade in kidnapped women. In rural areas, mortality in the first year of life was 27% higher for girls than for boys, even 60% higher in one area. Research in the early 1990s showed that the sex ratio of newborns was closely linked to the intensity with which the family planning policies were carried out. Even though the government issued a ban on sex-selective abortions in 1993, and in 1995 passed a law criminalizing them, the practice continues. Over the past decade, Americans have adopted more than 30,000 Chinese babies; almost all of them have been girls.   '000195
  • May 8, 2001  London Guardian/Greenlines   Evolution's Future in Our Hands   U.S., African and British scientists delivered a "startling wake-up call" at the National Academy of Science. Of the Earth's estimated 10 million species, 3 to 30 thousand are "disappearing each year" during a "geological instant when global rates of extinction are at an all time high for the last 65 million years." While biodiversity took "roughly 5 million years" to "reassert itself" the present extinction crisis is likely to favor "pest and weed" species such as "rats, cockroaches, nettles and thistles flourishing at the expense of more specialized wild organisms."   '000191
  • May 29, 2001  Times of India   Dismal Health Scenario for Women in U.P   Women are missing from Utterpradesh, 88.8 lakh of them [a lakh is 100,000 people ... In other words, 8,880,000 less women are alive than would be if normal male-female ratios were maintainted.] Causes may be female foeticide, neglect, malnutrition in infancy and early childhood. The maternal mortality rate there is the highest in the country at 707 per 10,00,000 life births, which means that 3,50,000 women die every year while giving birth in UP, amounting to one every minute. Only 4.4% of women are recommended pre-natal check-ups by the government and only 54.3% who were sterilised get follow up services. Despite the huge outlay on family planning by the government, only 15.7% were actually informed by government agencies about methods of family planning.   '000194
  • May 30, 2001  The Independent (Bangladesh)   Population Campaign Hits Snag in Bangladesh   Dr Md Nizamuddin of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said the goals of the UNFPA Fifth Country Program in Bangladesh were achieved but there were certain areas which need to be strengthened. Despite the expansion of contraceptive coverage, the Total Fertility Coverage (TFR) at 3.3 remained static in Bangladesh over the past decade. If present rate of increase of population continues, Bangladesh will reach the 200 million mark by the year 2030. Nizamuddin hoped that Bangladesh would reach the goal of the Cairo Program to stabilise population by the year 2015. UNFPA does not promote any particular method of family planning but wants to ensure freedom of choices. Bangladesh must ensure safe motherhood. Maternal mortality rate in Bangladesh was still very high. UNFPA spends 6 to 7 million dollars every year in Bangladesh Population program.   '000184
  • May 29, 2001  Reuters   African Growth Barely Matches Population Rise   In 2000, Africa's economic growth rose to 3.2% from 2.7% in 199, only just enough to keep pace with population growth. The African Development Bank (AfDB) said that the number of African countries achieving gross domestic product growth rates above 5% had been falling since the mid-1990s. African economies must grow by 8% a year to make a dent in poverty -- both the productivity and volume of investments must increase and structural reforms must continue. The modest rise was helped by the economic growth in its 10 biggest oil-exporting countries averaging 4.7%. For example Nigeria spurted to an estimated 3.0% from 1.1% in 1999, Libya's grew by 3.5%, up from 2.0% in 1999, and Equatorial Guinea achieved 21.3% in 2000. The Bank expects a rise in economic growth rate in 2001 to 4.1%, which it says will give a real per capita income increase of 1.8%. But with the threat of AIDS, in the most seriously affected countries, GDP per capita will be 5% lower by 2010 than would have been the case without AIDS. The epidemic affects individuals at ages when they are most industrious and productive. The Bank commended Senegal, whose leaders never denied the existence of AIDS and mounted an aggressive prevention campaign. Senegal has one of the lowest HIV infection rates in Africa, 1.8% of the adult population in 2000.   '000178
  • May 25, 2001  Dawn (Pakistan)   Islamabad Pakistan: Success of Population Programme to be Ensured.  Dr Shaheen Sardar Ali, chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Women and the the NWFP minister for women development, gave a paper entitled Is Pakistan's Population Growth Sustainable, to introduce new legislation which would ensure the success of its population control and welfare programmes. She said there was need to create awareness among the people to check the increase in the country's population and "The government has been following a phased programme to create awareness among women about issues related to reproductive health." Policy- makers should protect and promote the basic rights of women. The government has allocated 33% of local government seats for women. At the end of this year, the heads of women commissions from all over the world will gather at a conference to be held in Islamabad. The secretary of population welfare, Mohammad Tariq Janjua, said the government was collaborating with the non- governmental organizations to successfully execute its policies.   '000171
  • May 23, 1998  World Watch Institute   Dust Bowl Threatening China's Future.  In April, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that a huge dust storm from northern China had reached the United States "blanketing areas from Canada to Arizona with a layer of dust," and that along the foothills of the Rockies the mountains were obscured by the dust from China. The dust storms were reported in March 2001, by The People's Daily as one of the earliest on record and among the worst in memory, signaling a widespread deterioration of the rangeland and cropland in the country's vast northwest. Routinely these dust storms travel hundreds of miles to cities in northeastern China, including Beijing, obscuring the sun, reducing visibility, slowing traffic, and closing airports. Policy makers from Japan and South Korea are organizing a tri-national committee with Chinese lawmakers to devise a strategy to combat the dust. Human pressure on the land in northwestern China is excessive. There are too many people, too many cattle and sheep, and too many plows. A policy set in 1994 requires that all cropland used for construction be offset by land reclaimed elsewhere - this has helped create the ecological disaster that is now unfolding. Coastal provinces are losing cropland to urban expansion and industrial construction, and are paying other provinces to plow new land to offset their losses. Many of these provinces, already suffering from overplowing and overgrazing, have plowed ever more marginal land, and wind erosion has intensified. Erosion of soil and the resulting land abandonment are forcing people to migrate eastward. The increasing number of livestock are denuding the land of vegetation. Today China has 127 million cattle compared with 98 million in the United States. "A new desert is forming on the eastern edge of the Quinghai-Tibet Plateau, a legendary stretch once known for grass reaching as high as a horse's belly and home for centuries to ethnic Tibetan herders." says New York Times, Beijing Bureau Chief Erik Eckholm. In addition to the direct damage from overplowing and overgrazing, the northern half of China is literally drying out as rainfall declines and aquifers are depleted by overpumping. U.S. satellites images show that thousands of lakes in the North have disappeared.   '000166
  • May 21, 2001  AP   Population Growth Slowing Down.  "Currently, of the 83 million people added to global population each year by the difference between births and deaths, only 1 million are in the industrialized countries," said demographers Carl Haub and Diana Cornelius, from the Population Reference Bureau, in the report 2001 World Population Data Sheet. While in 1950, there were twice as many people in the less developed countries, by 2050, that difference could be almost six to one. Women in less developed countries (excluding China) average 3.6 children, compared with only 1.6 in the more developed countries. In Europe, fewer babies are born each year than there are deaths, leading to population decline. As a result of the spread of HIV/AID, the populations of Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe--are expected to decline over the next 50 years. In Botswana, 36% of the population are infected.   '000150
  • May 21, 2001  UNEP release   Great Apes: UNEP Launches Protection Program In Africa, SE Asia.  The UN Environment Program (UNEP) Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said most of the apes are expected to be extinct in five to 10 years. "We can no longer stand by and watch these wondrous creatures, some of whom share 98% of the DNA found in humans, die out," he said. UNEP is launching a program to protect endangered apes in Africa and Southeast Asia from war, habitat destruction and hunting by providing conservation groups with communications equipment and vehicles, creating wildlife corridors, and educating the public. Although UNEP is providing $150,000, more than $1 million is needed. Gorillas in Nigeria, chimpanzees in Cote d'Ivoire and orangutans in Indonesia will initially be covered, and eventually the progran is expected to operate in 23 countries. Organizations involved include Ape Alliance, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Born Free Foundation, Fauna and Flora International, the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force and the World Wide Fund for Nature.   '000144
  • May 15, 2001  Caribbean Update   Learn from Cuba, Says World Bank.  The communist government of President Fidel Castro has done "a good job" in providing for the social welfare of the Cuban people, says World Bank President James Wolfensohn. The Bank's 2001 edition of World Development Indicators (WDI) shows Cuba as topping virtually all other poor countries in health and education statistics despite the continuation of the U.S. trade embargo against it and the end of Soviet aid and subsidies for the Caribbean island more than 10 years ago. Infant mortality rate has dropped from 11 per 1,000 births in 1990 to 7 in 1999, placing Cuba in the ranks of the Western industrialized nations. In comparison, Argentina's infant mortality rate was 18, Chile's was 10; and Costa Rica, 12. Net primary enrollment in Cuba for both girls and boys reached 100% in 1997, up from 92% in 1990. That was higher even than the U.S. rate and well above 80-90% rates achieved by the most advanced Latin American countries. The average youth (ages 15-24) illiteracy rate in Latin America and the Caribbean stands at 7%; in Cuba, the rate is zero.   '000137
  • May 6, 2001  Time of India   India: Muslim Success in Birth Control.  While many secular Hindus believe that Muslims regard birth control as unIslamic, of the 10 countries that achieved the fastest reduction in the total fertility rate between 1980 and 1999, eight of them are Islamic countries. Both Indonesia and Bangladesh have made rapid strides in reducing fertility. Even the kattar Muslims of the Middle East have done well at practicing fertility reduction. Even Arab states dominated by sheikhs and mullah promote birth control, for example, Oman, a traditional sheikhdom and Iran, where the mullahs rule. Saudi Arabia, the most conservative of all Muslim states, has reduced its fertility from 7.3 to 5.5 births per woman in 1980-99. In the meantime, India's fertility rate declined by 1.9 births per woman in this period, barely half the decline achieved by some Islamic countries. Even Pakistan, which is notorious for neglecting its social duties, reduced births per woman by 2.2 in this period, more than India did. While India's fertility rate (3.1 births per woman) is lower than that of Pakistan (4.8) or Bangladesh (3.3), it is a poorer performer than Islamic countries like Indonesia (2.6 births per woman), Iran (2.7), Kuwait (2.7) or Morocco (2.9). So religion has nothing to do with the acceptance or rejection of family planning. In Italy the Pope, revered as God's own representative on earth, has always lambasted birth control. Yet Italian Catholics have the lowest fertility rate in the world, just 1.2 births per woman, well below the replacement rate. The Indian state has failed in persuading people to adopt contraception. It is able to persuade Hindus up to a point, but not Muslims.   '000079
  • May 15, 2001  NY Times   N. Korea Issues Death Rates Report - Says Famine Reducing Life Expectancy .  In a rare disclosure, a senior North Korean official said that famine and economic collapse are the cause for the cut in life expectancy of North Koreans by six or more years in the 1990's. The country has been depending on foreign aid to feed its people since 1995 after an agricultural collapse due to mismanagement from decades of poor weather. The average life expectancy fell from 73.2 years in 1993 to 66.8 in 1999. With the Nation being plagued with chronic shortages of food, medicine, economical collapse and poor health care, these statistics are not surprising. Although North Korea states that 220,000 died of famine in 1995 to 1998, South Korea and the U.S. states the range from 270,000 to 2 million. Even with this famine the population grew by 1.5 million people to a total of 22.6 million. While the birth rate rose from 14 to 22.5 per 1,000, the mortality rate also rose for children under 5 from 27 deaths per 1,000 to 48 per 1,000. Some of this may be caused by the decrease in vaccinations from 90% in 1990 to just 50% in 1997. The children also suffer from malnutrition, dysentery, vitamin deficiencies, and lack of hospitals and schools. The nation also suffered a loss in per capita gross national product from $991 per year to only $457. The economy was further hurt by the sanctions put on the country for failing to curb missile sales, and the loss of trading partners after the fall of the Soviet bloc. With a flood in 1995 costing 15 billion dollars, and the lack of safe drinking water, which fell from 86% in 1994 to only 53% in 1996, the nation lays in turmoil. Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon, stated in a report that there will be better cooperation with the international community to boost health care and services to children mobilizing the country's possible resources.  mea '000118
  • May 18, 2001  Panafrican News Agency   Ethiopia: Population to Reach 129 Million By 2030.  In 30 years Ethiopia's population could rise from 65.3 million to 129.1 million if the fertility rate doesn't slow down. Abdulahi Hassen, the general manager of the central statistics authority, said that even though Ethiopia's fertility rate had gone down recently, it would still not make a appreciable dent. The desire to have more children is high and the practice of family planning is low in the country "The 2000 survey had indicated that Ethiopia has a large population with high fertility, infant, child and maternal morality rates and low contraceptive prevalence.", as stated in the article.  mea '000147
  • May 16, 2001  New Vision (Kampala)   Uganda: Population to Hit 54 Million By 2025.  Population Secretariat Dr. Jotham Musinguzi said Uganda's population will rise to 54 million by 2025 with the current birth rate. Uganda's women were said to be the most fertile in Africa, each bearing 6.9 children compared to Kenya at 4.7 and Zimbabwe at 4. This rise could have adverse effects on the social and economic development. The number of school children would rise from 6.5 million to 12.8, while health expenditures would amount to over US$2 billion by 2025. The annual job requirement, would be 713,000 by the same period or 536,000 if fertility is controlled. The per capita income would increase from US$260 to US$841 with birth control or US$672 with out birth control. Rapid population rise could also wipe out forest stocks, and increase soil degradation and land fragmentation.  mea '000148
  • May 15, 2001  Times of India   Girl Interrupted.  Pre-conceptual gender selection will have a huge detrimental impact on the world and especially India where boys are favored over girls. Boys are thought to be the only gender that can carry on the family name, whereas to only have girls is like "the watering of someone else's fields", said Nina Puri of Family Planning and Planned Parenthood. The sex ratio from girls to boys in India is already decreasing, even without a new technology offered by the Genetics & IVF Institute in America. The most alarming statistic is that in the 0-6 year range, the sex ratio has gone down from 875 females per 1000 males in 1991 to 793. This shows a marked decrease in the females being born. Although the literacy levels have gone up 11% the need to educate the boys still outweighs the need to educate the girls. Clinics that use amniocentesis and ultrasound to determine the sex of the baby have grown considerably in many states as well as clinics that enable people to choose to abort female fetuses. In a country where infanticide is still prevalent in some Indian states this new technology could become a widespread practice. The problem with the differences in the sex ratio will start showing socially in increases in rape, prostitution and incest. There could also be a result of fewer marriages with fewer woman to marry. This process separates the male from the female sperm."The female sperm carries an 'X' chromosome and has a larger percentile of DNA that makes it possible to distinguish it from the Y chromosome carrying the male sperm.", said Puri. This process is said to work more for females than for males. The United States Drug Administration has already allowed the technology to be used and patented in Japan, Australia, Europe, and North America. Countries like India and South Korea are also free to pursue this technology. The next step may be selection of babies with lighter skin, lighter eyes, and higher intelligence. It was also said that this technology will take away the guilt and the moral dilemma of abortion with predetermining sex. Nina Puri sees it as a misuse of technology to discriminate against women. mea   '000059
  • May 10, 2001  USA Today   Hispanics' Youth Assures More Growth.  The Hispanic population in the USA is growing due largely to immigration, and it is also young, assuring that it will continue to grow more rapidly than the rest of the population even without new immigration. According to a U.S. Census Bureau analysis, the 35.3 million Hispanics living in the USA, with a median age of 25.9 years, are almost 9.4 years younger than the rest of the U.S. population. Jeffrey Passel, a demographer at the Urban Institute, said, "They are at the levels of the baby boom era of the 1950s." In the last decade, the number of people from Mexico in the country increased by almost 53%.   '000109
  • May 8, 2001  NPR   NPR's 'Morning Edition' Investigates Link Between Advertising and Earlier Sexual Behavior Among Preteens.  Children between the ages of nine and 12 years are targeted with ads for clothing, soda and music, "pushing them to be more sexually active," creating "an unhealthy stew of sex and money that has soaked into impressionable minds," says psychiatrist Lynn Pontin. Today's pop culture, with its ads for halter tops and glittery lipstick, is "teaching" young girls to think of themselves as "sex objects." But the average age of first intercourse is 16 for boys and 17 for girls, one year earlier than in 1960, according to CDC statistics. However, NPR says that younger children are "known for not giving truthful answers"   '000097
  • May 04, 2001  Earth Times News   Lack of Condoms Poses Real Obstacle in the AIDS Fight.  A serious shortfall in male condoms available to poor countries like sub-Saharan Africa may pose a more immediate obstacle to putting in place UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's recent call-to-arms to fight the AIDS pandemic. Michael Fox of UNAIDS said "We have reached a point where the commodities that are needed to prevent the continued spread of this infection are desperately needed." The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates the funds needed to meet demand for condoms and family planning will rise from $946 million in 2002 to $1.8 billion in 2015 due to an expected increase in the number of women in their reproductive years and the success of family planning programs. But, the US Agency for International Development's (USAID) Paul De Lay said "We want to focus on risk behaviors," "And the most risky behavior are essentially sexual encounters outside of a conjugal relationship." USAID estimates that a lower number of $70 million per year is needed to provide condoms to men in sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to 70% of the 36 million people in the world living with HIV. De Lay says that three billion condoms are needed, assuming that the number of men aged 15 to 49 need 20 condoms per year for these "high risk" sexual encounters. Donors such as the US, the UK and Japan have only been able to come up with a total of 700 million condoms to supply to those countries. "If a man and a women are willing to go as far as the use of a condom to protect each other, then the last thing we want to happen is that there is not a condom around. That is a major investment in behavior change and we don't want a three cent piece of latex to stand in a way of preventing an HIV infection." said DeLay. In sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls are six times more likely to be infected with the disease than boys, according to UNAIDS. Women and young girls find it difficult to get their husbands or partners to use condoms, especially if they are difficult to obtain.   '000083
  • May 3, 2001  Christian Science Monitor   USA: Roman aqueducts of new West: Cities like St. George, Utah, Want to Transport Water Long Distances to Support Population Growth..  In Utah a man named Ron Thompson is proposing a $400-million pipeline that would take water out of Lake Powell - one of the nation's premier recreation areas - and channel it 120 miles west to St. George, Utah, home to for Sun Belt retirees. The Lake Powell pipeline represents the next phase in man's enduring quest to harness the scarcest resource in the American West. Dam building has become too costly and controversial. But more water is needed to support unbridled population growth in the arid region. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix are well-known as expanding desert capitals. University of Colorado law professor and water-policy expert Charles Wilkinson says the Lake Powell project is the "prototype" of water projects that will give rise to new instant cities, representing environmental challenges profoundly affecting the future of the wild and arid West. Western interior states have increased their population by 4 times since World War II, from 8 million to 34 million people. Southern California is proposing pipelines to carry water from distant basins to suburbs pushing deeper into the Mojave Desert. For example, a pipeline across northern Arizona has been proposed, to bring water from the Colorado River to Flagstaff. St. George's pipeline would take 70,000 acre feet - the amount that would fill an area the size of a football field with a retaining wall extending 24 miles into the sky. St. George has grown from a population of 13,669 in 1970 to 90,354 at the latest census. A report projects that St. George-Washington County could reach 525,000 residents by 2050. A pipeline opponent, commissioned a separate study which said that the population will only reach 340,000. Utah has the highest per capita rate of water use in the West, water rates that are among the lowest in the nation. The state is trying to reduce consumption by 25 percent. Another plan calls for building a dam along the Bear River, which provides 60% of the freshwater entering the Great Salt Lake, and then channeling water into metropolitan Salt Lake City, where 80 percent of Utah's 2.2 million residents live. The Bear River Pipeline would carry between two and three times the volume of water of the Lake Powell Pipeline and cost up to $1 billion. Thompson, however, is convinced ecological and economic benefits can be derived from simply being smarter about how water is moved around the landscape. "You can't stop growth," he says.   '000080
  • May 4, 2001  LA Times   California and the West; Board Rebuffed in Its Effort to Ban Morning-After Pill.  The California Family Health Council effectively denied a request from San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to end the distribution of morning-after contraceptive pills at county health clinics, saying the county did not demonstrate the "exceptional circumstances" necessary to grant the pill-ban request. The Health Council is a nonprofit group that distributes federal family planning money. If it's request is made formal, the request is likely to come to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and then the Bush administration, which has blocked funding for overseas family planning groups that perform abortions and strongly supports local government control, may be drawn into this debate over women's rights. Federal law requires that government agencies receiving family planning grant money use some of it to dispense morning-after pills--unless they have a waiver. The county must also provide "epidemiologic, clinical and other supportive data to justify the request." Most of the San Bernardino County supervisors contend that the morning-after pill is similar to abortion. Jon Dunn of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino counties said "This would give our president his first opportunity to allow [local governments] to limit the scope of family planning services." Unlike the controversial RU-486, which expels a fetus, morning-after pills prevent a fertilized egg from being implanted. Supporters say the pill will prevent 1.7 million pregnancies this year, and, subsequently, 800,000 abortions. Last week the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists asked doctors to give women advance prescriptions for the pills during routine gynecologic visits. There was some concern that the pills are may be given to minors. However, the vast majority of the 643 pills distributed by the county in 2000 were not given to teens, but to poor adult women without insurance or access to family-planning counseling.   '000069
  • May 11, 2001  The Washington Post   U.S. to Give to Global AIDS Fund.  President Bush said he will pledge $200 million for the Global AIDS Fund, which was proposed by the UN's Kofi Annan at a meeting of African leaders last month, calling for a global expenditures of $7 billion to 10 billion a year for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. Officials said they expected it to be carved out of funds that have already been requested for next year. Bush will also call for an international public-private partnership in which private business and foundations, along with other governments, will also contribute. Last week the United States was voted off the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Commission. Consequently, the House voted yesterday to withhold next year's U.N. dues. More than 70 percent of the 36 million people infected worldwide with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa. The Health GAP Coalition called the amount pledged "less than a drop in the bucket . . . less than 1 percent of the proposed $1.35 trillion tax cut that will largely benefit the richest citizens of the richest nation in the world." Others worried that the money would come out of U.S. development assistance funds. "Nations will collapse if we don't fix these problems," Colin Powell said yesterday at a House subcommittee hearing.   '000122
  • May 11, 2001  Business Recorder (Pakistan)   Pakistan: Asian Development Bank To Fund $ 475 Million Women Health Projects.  In Pakistan, $475 million will be spent on women health projects in 20 rural districts. 80% is a loan from ADB, OPEC and UNICEF, and 20% is from the Pakistan government. The project life is six years (2000-2005). The program will improve and expand the Lady Health Workers (LHW), immunisation and national health education and national programme for family planning components. The program will provide tetanus toxoid immunisation for women of reproductive age, remove social hurdles keeping women from accessing health services, educate women will about the danger signs of maternal complications, nutrition in pregnancy, and safe and hygienic delivery. The program will be accomplished with training, logistics, cold chain equipment and supplies, micro-nutrients, and delivery kits. A women-friendly district health system would be developed to provide quality women health care at community, primary and first referral level. 2000 experienced LHWs would be trained at the district schools of nursing to become domiciliar midwives to provide pre-natal, delivery and post-natal care and family planning at the community level. Obstetric emergency care will be upgraded. Local leaders will provide advocacy of women's health needs and services, health care assistance will be provided to victims of abuse, education will be given for groups of people at high risk of AIDS/HIV. The project would target 14.9 million rural population. It would benefit 2.4 million women of reproductive age (15-44 years) and 0.6 million infants each year besides, upgrading health facilities and recruiting 8,000 LHWs in the country.   '000095
  • May 9, 2001  Kansas City Star/St. Louis Post-Dispatch   USA: Missouri House Approves Language to Make Family Planning Agencies Choose Between State and Federal Funds.  Budget language that would force family planning agencies to choose between accepting state or federal family planning funding was approved by the Missouri House. Groups that receive state funds are prohibited by state law from providing information about abortion and must be organizationally separate from "any affiliate that provides abortions." Federal law requires that agencies receiving federal funds provide women with a "full spectrum of medical options, including abortion." But in conference committee language, Rep. Charlie Shields (R) proposed allowing a family planning group that receives federal money to follow federal guidelines "only if it received a written order from the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services saying it will lose funding if it does not follow the law." The conference committee approved this new language. The state receives $4.3 million in federal family planning grants, which it distributes through the Missouri Family Health Council to 21 different family planning agencies; the state provides an additional $6.58 million in family planning funding. Gov. Bob Holden is "extremely concerned" about the funding rules, and "believes that the language creates a high probability that thousands of low-income women in Missouri are going to lose access to their primary health care and family planning services."   '000094
  • May 15, 2001  World Watch Institute   An Energy Strategy for the 21st Century.  The current administration, led by two former oil industry executives, has personal and political ties to old-fashioned energy sources, oil and coal. Increasing reliance today on the energy sources of the 19th and 20th century will needlessly and expensively despoil the environment, at a time when far cleaner energy sources are available. A decentralized, efficient energy system that is based increasingly on renewable resources and hydrogen fuel is already beginning to emerge in other parts of the world. We should be getting more out of every kilowatt or barrel than to dig for more coal and drill for more oil. Because of improvements in energy efficiency, U.S. energy consumption for every unit of gross domestic product declined by 41% from 1973 to 1999. According to the Department of Energy, the U.S. could cut its electric energy/GDP ratio by another 10% through energy efficiency policies. Instead of drilling for natural gas in ecologically-sensitive areas, we could be using cogeneration, or the combined use of heat and power, and "micropower" technologies. "Micropower" is the new global trend toward decentralized, efficient power generation units, such as fuel cells and microturbines, that operate primarily on natural gas. Sticking with twentieth-century, large-scale, fossil and nuclear-based models will cripple the global competitiveness of the U.S. energy industry while exacerbating health and environmental problems. The cost of nuclear generated electricity is about double that of other energy sources now in the power market. Just as oil accounted for only 2% of energy use in 1900 and then went on to become the dominant fuel, so will wind and solar power do the same, since it is now growing at double-digit annual rates globally. From 1990 to 2000: wind power increased 25.1%, solar photovoltaics - 20.1%, natural gas - 1.6%, oil - 1.2%, nuclear power - 0.6%, coal -1.0% (based on installed capacity for wind and nuclear power, shipments for solar PV, and consumption for natural gas, oil, and coal). Wind power today is growing at 27% per year, and is less expensive than both gas- and coal-fired electricity. Solar energy use is also booming. President Bush recently proposed a 48% cut in the hydrogen research budget, even though German and Japanese automotive and energy companies are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the development of hydrogen-based fuel cells to power portable electronics, stationary power systems, and motor vehicles. Without a hydrogen-based electricity and transportation system, our national energy security will be weakened and the competitiveness of U.S. automotive and energy companies will be reduced. Because of efficiency and availability, we have moved from wood to coal, from coal to oil, and now from oil to natural gas, all the while moving from fuels with a high carbon content to those with a lower content. Now hydrogen is on the horizon and the risks of climate change demand that we hasten its arrival. Frank Ingriselli, President of Texaco Technology Ventures, Washington, DC, April 23, 2001 said: "Market forces, greenery, and innovation are shaping the future of our industry and propelling us inexorably towards hydrogen energy. Those who don't pursue it...will rue it."   '000119
  • May 18, 2001  National Audubon Society   USA: Co-sponsors Sought for H.R.1269 - the Global Health Act.  Co-sponsors are being sought for H.R.1269 - the Global Health Act sponsored by Rep. Joseph Crowley's (D-New York.) The bill significantly increases federal funding for child survival, infectious disease, and family planning services in developing nations. Population growth, poverty and disease in the developing world is one of the principle drivers of environmental destruction that affects bird and other wildlife populations across the globe.   '000117
  • May 6, 2001  The Washington Post   The Real Energy Culprit - LTE.  While The Post may find it amusing to bash Californians as dissolute energy hogs ["California Promotes a New Lifestyle -- Conservation," front page, April 18], exactly the opposite is true. ... According to the Federal Energy Information Administration, Californians rank 47th in total per capita energy consumption. Further, California's per capita electricity use is 49th among the states. ... Increased total demand, created by immigration-fueled skyrocketing population growth, is the real culprit for energy shortages in the state. California added 4.1 million residents over the past decade, depleting both energy and natural resources. ... Brenda Walker, Berkeley, Calif.   '000104
  • May 2001  National Council for Science and the Environm   National Council for Science and the Environment Reports.  The National Council for Science and the Environment presents several new and updated reports of interest to those concerned with sustainability: Agricultural Exports and Food Aid Programs; Soil and Water Conservation Issues; Animal Agriculture: Current Issues; Clean Air Act Issues in the 107th Congress; The Clean Coal Technology Program: Current Prospects; Global Climate Change: Market Based Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gases; Automobile and Light Truck Fuel Economy: Is CAFE Up to Standards?; Air Quality and Electricity: Initiatives to Increase Pollution Controls; Alternative Transportation Fuels and Vehicles: Energy, Environment, and Development Issues; Endangered Species: Continuing Controversy; Forest Ecosystem Health: An Overview; The Endangered Species Act: Consideration of Economic Factors; Tax Benefits for Health Insurance; The Child Tax Credit and the President's Tax Cut Plan; Magnetic Fusion: The DOE Fusion Energy Sciences Program; The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: The Next Chapter; Forest Ecosystem Health: An Overview.   '000086
  • May 3, 2001  Baton Rouge Advocate   U.S. - 300 Louisiana Students Rally at State Abstinence Convention.  As part of the Governor's Program on Abstinence Club State Convention, Nearly 300 Louisiana teens rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday to call for the end of an "immoral society," speaking out in favor of abstinence education and against the promotion of contraceptives. At the convention, teens from 60 Louisiana schools were trained to educate their peers about abstinence. The program was created in 1997 and last year received a $1.6 million annual grant from the federal government, matched by an additional $1.2 million from the state. The program promotes abstinence through community projects, "pilot" parish projects, state-wide "grass-roots" campaigns, paid media programming and a "clearinghouse center." The students met with state Sen. Don Cravins (D) who told the teens that he "supports a woman's right to decide whether to use a contraceptive," although he said he "respected" the teens' opinions and "saluted" their effort.   '000049
  • May 2, 2001  ENN   U.S. - Wild Chinook Salmon May be Extinct in 15 Years.  Spring chinook salmon may virtually disappear from the Pacific Northwest by 2016, earlier than expected, according to the report "The Doomsday Report 2001" commissioned by Trout Unlimited. The study was based on the number of salmon that return each year to their spawning grounds in Idaho. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) says that the spring-summer chinook will not be extinct for at least another 100 years. But many scientists consider a species to be functionally extinct when the population reaches such a low level that inbreeding occurs and individual animals have difficulty finding a mate. The Doomsday study defines functional extinction at 100 remaining members of a population. Federal studies consider a species to be extinct when only one remaining member survives and measure the entire species population. In the Sulphur Creek region, for example, the Doomsday study shows a projected functional extinction date of 2010, but the NMFS says that Sulphur Creek fish have 317.4 years before extinction. Alan Moore of Trout Unlimited said: "In 1999, for example, the number of wild spring chinook returning to Sulphur Creek was zero." A low-water year and energy crunch may hasten the process. Recently federal agencies have released an emergency plan for the region, which includes cutting back several key salmon protection measures in order to increase electricity produced by federal hydro-electric dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Sacrificed are plans to increase spring and summer river flows and to spill water over dams to assist migrating salmon on their journey to the ocean. "If we lose the 2001 outmigrating class because of the current drought, we will not have any fish returning to spawn in 2005." When the Lewis and Clark expedition ventured down the Clearwater to the Snake, William Clark wrote that the river was "crouded with salmon."   '000033
  • May 3, 2001  Christian Science Monitor   Heading to the City ever Since Civilization Began   People have been migrating and heading to cities throughout history. The current round of globalization could well speed up the process of migration --- or it could slow it. In 1850 in Europe, only 11% of the population lived in cities. But factories needed hands to run the machines and rural people responded. Until the 20th century brought public sanitation, city life remained squalid and less healthy, but city jobs paid better. [Life is still squalid and unhealthy for many third world city dwellers where the infrastructure has not been modernized.] According to the UN, 75% of the population in developed countries now make their homes in the city and by 2005, 50% of all the world's population will be urbanized. City dwellers live longer than their rural counterparts. Because children were no longer needed for farm chores, city children proved expensive to house and feed. Urban families began to cut back on the number of children they had, investing more in each one, particularly in their education. Nearly every industrialized nation will face population stagnation or decline in the years to come. Europe's 729 million population is predicted by the UN to shrink by 100 million (from a 12% of the total world population now to 7%) by 2050. The US is the exception due to immigration, and is projected to continue growing from 276 million to just under 350 million by 2050 and maintain its rank as the world's third-largest nation. While the population of Europe only doubled between 1800 and 1900, North America grew nearly 12-fold. From the 17th to the 19th centuries, slavers brought in an estimated 15 million Africans to the Americas. As whites pushed into the interior, they brought epidemics and weapons that decimated indigenous populations. Will immigration continue? With the globalization of media and communications technology, the world's poor will be sure to know how people in rich countries live, proving a powerful lure. On the other hand, globalized technology may bring jobs to the world's rural people and no longer force them to move to rich countries for employment.   '000035
  • May 2, 2001  Business Recorder   Pakistan: Inter/Relay Cropping - a Sustainable Strategy.  Already at the start of this century we see a rapid depletion of water and land-based resources. Heavy demographic pressure and the accumulation of resources in developed nations are increasing the prospectus of more hunger in Third World countries. The best agricultural land is owned by relatively a few, so that many farmers suffer low productivity. 75% of Pakistani farmers have land holdings less than 5 hectares, with large family size putting unbearable pressure on scarce land culminating into massive disguised unemployment. In the present scenario of preponderance of small landholdings, surplus farm family labour, overlapping of growing seasons of crops, low productivity of most of the crops and practice of subsistence farming, inter/relay cropping seems to be promising strategy for increasing crop productivity particularly at small farm level. Cotton accounts for about 59% of the Pakistan's total export earnings and covers over 57% of the domestic edible oil production, leaving Pakistan deficient in edible oil, wheat grain and pulses. Fodder shortage is also another problem. Preliminary studies on relaying of wheat in standing cotton at zero tillage have shown promising results as wheat yield and lentil in cotton give 57% and 60% higher net income than cotton-fallow cropping systems. Cotton-based intercropping systems are reported to have increased farm income by 30%-40%.   '000034
  • May 1, 2001  AP/Philadelphia Inquirer   New ACOG Head Calls on Doctors to Supply Advance Prescriptions for Emergency Contraception   The new president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Thomas Purdon, said that OB/GYNs should provide patients with advance prescriptions for emergency contraception (EC) so that women can more easily obtain the pills in the event that they have unprotected sex. EC pills prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. EC is available over the counter only in Washington state. Greater accessibility to EC could "potentially prevent a substantial number" of unintended pregnancies, said Purdon. "Although over-the-counter approval by the FDA would be the broadest step to increase women's access to emergency contraception, we can't afford to delay other steps while we wait for this scenario to occur." The makers of Preven and Plan B, the two brands of EC currently available in the United States, have not yet petitioned the FDA for over-the-counter approval. Plan B's makers are awaiting further research results and say they will not seek approval until next year.   '000052
  • May 3, 2001  The Alan Guttmacher Institute   New Resource For Sharing The Importance Of Publicly Funded Family Planning With Others   You may now order slide presentations of Fulfilling the Promise: Public Policy and U.S. Family Planning Clinics from the The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) website at www.agi-usa.org/pubs/ftp_slides.html. Fulfilling the Promise documents the remarkable benefits the publicly funded U.S. family planning clinic system has provided to tens of millions of teenagers and poor and low-income women over the past 20 years. 10 minutes, 20 minutes and 30 minutes versions are available and may be downloaded as either PDF files or in PowerPoint form. Or you may download a copy of the Executive Summary (http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/ftp_exec_sum.pdf) or the full report (http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/fulfill.pdf). Join with The Alan Guttmacher Institute as we work to make sexual and reproductive health and rights a reality for all. Make a donation at http://www.agi-usa.org/support.   '000036
  • May 26, 2001  Philippine Daily Inquirer   Experts Fear Population Explosion   The population explosion is a ticking time bomb that could worsen unemployment and make it much more difficult to eradicate poverty, economic experts said. The Philippine population reached 76.5 million in 2000 and is likely to double in 29 years. The Asian Development Bank said it would not be able to help the government with population control measures unless the government itself summons the will to carry out such programs. The chief economist and director for policy research of the Bankers Association of the Philippines, said: "I won't be surprised if unemployment figures rise. We are producing more people faster than we are creating jobs."   '000008
  • May 27, 2001 The Canberra Times (Australia)   Satisfying Needs Without the Greed; Our Thinking on Environmental Sustainability Needs to be Updated. 'We cannot afford another century like 2000 where we were spending the Earth's capital and not the interest.' said Peter Raven, director of the Missouri Botanical Garden and an adviser to United States President George W. Bush on science and the environment to delegates to 'Gardens 2001 Congress in Australia. The world's population has grown from 2.5 billion to six billion in 50 years while 25 % of the world's topsoil has been lost and 20% of the agricultural land has been urbanised, subject to salinisation and irreversibly altered. In the US alone an area the size of NSW has been changed from natural to hard surface in less than 30 years. Millions of women and children have to spend so much time each day gathering water and firewood they are denied education and the opportunity to contribute intellectually to society. If people in China own cars at the same level as in Australia the total world petroleum production would be required just for China. Not everyone can have the same level of living that we have. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, 'The world has everything to satisfy our needs but not our greed.'
  • May 24, 2001 New York Times   White House Rejects Powell's Choice to Run Refugee Bureau [and Wants to Install a Vatican Representative]. The White House has overruled Secretary of State Colin L. Powell on his choice of Alan Kreczko to run the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the State Department and has insisted on John M. Klink, who holds dual Irish and American citizenship and represents the Vatican at United Nations conferences on social issues. While the title of the bureau suggests an emphasis on population issues, its work has been mostly dedicated to refugees and ensuring that American financial assistance reaches refugees forced from their homes by conflicts. General Powell supports abortion rights while Mr. Klink has a background as an advocate for the Vatican's positions against family planning and against the use of condoms for protection against H.I.V. infection. He was also involved in the Vatican's decision to stop supporting UNICEF because it promoted a manual for refugees that included information about emergency contraception. '
  • May 25, 2001 ENN   International Aid Needed to Protect Environment in Developing Nations. By David Suzuki. Developing countries are home to some of the world's most species-rich ecosystems. Yet these countries are often poor and heavily populated. For example, last year more than 12,260 square kilometres of rainforest were chopped down in the Amazon, a 20% increase over 1999. Most of the deforestation continues to be caused by farmers, either legally or illegally clearing land for agriculture and pasture. In Indonesia the management system based on principles of conservation biology has severely eroded. According to the journal Science: "If the current state of resource anarchy continues, the lowland forests of the Sundra Shelf, the richest forests on Earth, will be destroyed by 2005 on Sumatra and 2010 on Kalimantan." Logging companies are trying to cut down forests as fast as they can - before illegal gangs get to the trees. Last year major flooding caused by logging in Indonesia's Kerinci National Park destroyed rice crops and caused local food shortages, and also increasing the risk of forest fires like those that smothered Southeast Asia in smoke for several months in 1999. The Woolong Nature Reserve in China, created in 1975 to protect the giant panda, has been losing high-quality habitat faster than it was before it became protected, due to population growth and a lack of enforcement of regulations within the reserve. A more integrated and better-funded system of conservation in developing nations is required. Since we all stand to lose if the rich biological capital of the tropics is eroded, this is our problem too.
  • May 10, 2001 Sacramento Bee/South Bend Tribune   The U.N. Just Doesn't Get It. The U.N. population fund, UNFPA, supports a statement signed by leaders of nearly 70 countries recognizing "the world-wide necessity to achieve population stabilization and for each country to adopt the necessary policies and programs to do so, consistent with its own culture and aspirations." But it is frightening European leaders by emphasizing the downside of a looming population decline. True, a postwar baby boom has been followed by a baby "bust", swelling the prime working age population and soon it will swell the ranks of retirees. While there will be a drop in the number of workers per retiree, each worker has to support fewer youths, so that the total dependency burden will not shift so drastically. The Population Division seems to think that more is better and has pushed for importing large numbers of immigrants from countries with burgeoning population, ignoring the huge cultural differences. Why not seek labor market changes such as retaining more older workers on a part-time basis or recruiting more women into the workforce? Europe's population has risen from 140 million in 1750 to 400 mill)on in 1900 to 730 million today. Why consider this optimum? Going by the world's average "ecological footprint" of five acres, Europe is over-populated. Each American consumes the equivalent of 24 acres; most members of the European Union 11-13. Young Europeans are voting with delayed marriage and childbearing for populations and populations densities lower than those of the present. They will eventually enjoy less crowded housing, a lower-density life style, and an enhanced freedom of movement. Consistent with their own cultures and aspirations they are moving towards a more sustainable society, The U.N. should be championing this role model for the rest of the world.
  • May 8, 2001 AP/Portland Oregonian   Bills Requiring Contraceptive Coverage Stalled in Oregon Legislature. A Senate bill (SB 242) and House Bill (HB 3312) both would require health insurers to cover all FDA-approved prescription contraceptives and any outpatient consultations, examinations or procedures that are "necessary for the prescription or administration of the contraceptives" (SB 242 text, 5/10). Both bills are stalled in committee. The main opposition to the bills has come from the insurance industry. '
  • May 24, 2001 NumbersUSA   Congressman Tancredo Does US Numbers Show. Congressman Tom Tancredo, (R-CO), chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus will be doing Roy Beck's "charts and gumballs" hour long presentation from the floor of the U.S. House. The presentation is being taped. Roy Beck, of NumbersUSA, makes an excellent case in his presentation for reducing immigration to more traditional numbers. Barbara Jordon Beck's gumball demonstration graphically shows that it would be almost impossible to accomodate the overflow from all of the undeveloped world's tremendous population growth. On the NumbersUSA web site, Barbara Jordan says "It is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest."
  • May 24, 2001 ENN   Democrats Regain Senate Power with Jeffords' Bolt. Bush faces a new political landscape after Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont left the Republican Party on Thursday, becoming an independent and throwing control of the Senate to the Democrats for the first time since 1994. Democrats will take control of the Senate, giving them control of committees and the ability to set the agenda. Jeffords supports abortion rights votes more often for environmental legislation and favors more education spending than many other Republicans.
  • May 24, 2001 ENN   Noisy Neighborhoods Harmful to Childrens' Health. Continuous, low-level traffic noise, such as in urban residential neighborhoods, is a pollutant that can cause health and motivational problems in children, raising blood pressure, heart rates and levels of stress hormones, reports a new study by a Cornell University environmental psychologist and his European co-authors. Girls were found to become less motivated, presumably from the sense of helplessness that can develop from noise they couldn't control. A typical urban residential neighborhood in the United States has decibel levels between 55 and 70.
  • May 24, 2001  PRB Population Bulletin   21st Century Will Transform World Population   The Population Reference Bureau released a report saying that demographic growth has shifted almost entirely to the less developed countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. 83 million people added to global population each year, but only only one million are added to the industrialized countries. The United States is now the only industrialized country in the world with a fertility rate at or above the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman. 2.9 billion people are projected be added to the world by 2050. Fertility declines in a number of less developed countries, including Bangladesh and Egypt, have slowed. Women in less developed countries average 3.6 children, compared with only 1.6 in the more developed countries. Due to AIDS, Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe are expected to decline over the next 50 years, a sharp reversal from past projections. One in every three people in Botswana is infected with the virus. Despite AIDS, Africa will still add about one billion people between now and 2050. Russia and Ukraine have a 0.7% decrease per year. 47% of couples in less developed countries use some form of family planning. India has 1.03 billion people, expected to rise to 1.36 billion people by 2025. The United States is the third largest country in the world with 285 million people, expected to reach 346 million by 2025, followed by Indonesia with 206 million people and 272 million by 2025, then Brazil with 172 million, Pakistan with 145 million, Russia with 144 million, Nigeria, with 127 million, and Bangladesh with 134 million.   '000214
  • May 22, 2001 The Press-Enterprise Riverside, CA   Activist Group Advises Controlling Population Growth; A National Organization Brings its Message on Overpopulation's Toll to an Inland Audience.  "The rate at which we are consuming natural resources is jeopardizing the health of the planet and threatening the availability of our safe water, healthy forests and clean air for generations that follow," said Carl Pope, the Sierra Club 's executive director. Amy Coen, president of Population Action International spoke to nearly 100 invited guests at Loma Linda University in California, telling of the Planet Campaign to provide family planning worldwide and how it can in turn lessen environmental woes. Loma Linda is California's fourth-fastest-growing region with a 32% increase over the past decade. Smog plagues the region, housing subdivisions are encroaching on semi-rural areas, traffic congestion is a daily nightmare for many, and then there's the statewide energy crisis and possibly a looming water crisis. In another 20 years, the population in Loma Linda is expected to roughly double. Coen and others, including the Sierra Club, criticized the failure of the United States to fully fund international family planning aid. In San Bernardino County where Loma Linda is located, a ban on the morning-after pill is being sought because of its availability to minors. This spring a majority of supervisors voted to request a waiver to halt distribution of the emergency contraception. Without the waiver, the county could lose $457,722 in federal funding. David T. Dyjack, chairman of the university's Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, told of how increasing population can tax ecosystems such as fisheries and forests that provide food and jobs. "The more individuals, the less there will be to go around," he said. The Planet Campaign is co-sponsored by Population Action Internationalm the National Audubon Society, Save the Children, CARE, Communications Consortium Media Center and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
  • May 18, 2001 National Audubon Society   The Global Health Act.  H.R.1269 - the Global Health Act sponsored by Rep. Joseph Crowley's (D-New York,) significantly increases federal funding for child survival, infectious disease, and family planning services in developing nations. Population growth, poverty and disease in the developing world is one of the principle drivers of environmental destruction that affects bird and other wildlife populations across the globe.
  • May 16, 2001 Sierra Club Press Release   US: Narrow Defeat in the Repeal of the Global Gag Rule.  On May 16, the House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 218 to 210, the Hyde-Smith motion to the uphold the "global gag rule" policy that limits international family planning. For more information see May 11 - Upcoming House Vote to Overrule Bush on Global Gag Rule below. 33 Republicans opposed the Hyde-Smith amendment. Six GOP members (Greenwood, Kirk, Gilman, Morella, Shays, and Nancy Johnson) spoke out against it. Opponents of the Global Gag Rule will have another chance to defeat it when the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act begins debate. '
  • May 11, 2001 ---   Upcoming House Vote to Overrule Bush on Global Gag Rule.  The House has delayed the vote regarding international family planning in the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for FY02 and FY03 until Wednesday, May 16. On Wednesday, there will be a vote on the Hyde/Smith Amendment. This amendment is an attempt to remove the Global Democracy Protection Act language from the bill, allowing the global gag rule to remain in place. ... On May 2, the House International Relations Committee approved an amendment to the State Department Appropriations bill to block the gag rule. The Global democracy Promotion Act language in the bill was introduced in the House International Relations Committee by Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA). The amendment prohibits any free speech restriction on a foreign organization that would be unconstitutional if imposed on Americans. Among today's crucial GOP swing votes is Georgia Rep. Johnny Isakson, the only member of the state's Republican delegation who has stood consistently for a woman's right to choose. The Bush policy will result in needless abortion-related deaths. ...May 9, 2001 Atlanta Journal and Constitution.     ... Five GOP senators teamed up to introduce a bill doing away with the rule, and last week three Republicans joined all the Democrats on the House International Relations Committee to attach the repeal of the gag rule. Within the Bush Cabinet, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Christine Todd Whitman oppose it. Rep. Jennifer Dunn, R-Bellevue WA is a swing voter, straddling the fence on issues of reproductive health and rights. ... May 9 Seattle Post-Intelligencer     ... Rep. Mark Foley, R-West Palm Beach, is likely to support the amendment. Rep. Clay Shaw, R-Fort Lauderdale, hasn't said where he stands, but he could be an important swing vote. Reps. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, and Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, support the amendment. ... May 9 Palm Beach Post     ... Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is another swing vote. She has insisted she was pro-choice, even though she took several anti-abortion positions. What excuse could Capito use to vote against this amendment? Federal funds are not used for abortion. ...May 9 Charleston Gazette
  • May 7, 2001, ENN   Dust Particles Have Global Impact.  Scientists from NASA's (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Goddard Space Flight Center studying the Sahara Desert have found that dust particles absorb much less heat from the sun than previously thought, possibly reducing the amount of solar warming of the Earth's surface. As the the ocean warms, evaporation will increase, leading to more cloud formation. The research was published in the April 15 issue of the American Geophysical Union's Journal of Geophysical Research Letters. There are many complicating figures. Gas hydrates (frozen ice with about 90% methane) trapped in the oceans will be release with the warming of the oceans, in turn leading to more global warming. As the global temperature rises and there is more heat in the atmosphere, evaporation increases and respiration rates for plants and animals will change. This will affect the balance of gases in the atmosphere. Humans, plants and animals could also affect the rate of global warming. As the global temperature rises and there is more heat in the atmosphere, evaporation increases and respiration rates for plants and animals will change. Currently 20,000 tons of greenhouse gases go into the atmosphere each year worldwide. North America and Western Europe, which hold 10% of the world's population, produce 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. [Note: it's frightening that the other 60% are produced by the fastest growing portion of the world.]
  • May 3, 2001 Washington Post   Panel Votes to Reverse Bush Abortion Decision.  Yesterday the House International Relations Committee adopted a measure yesterday that would overturn President Bush's restrictions on foreign aid to groups that offer abortion counseling or services [known as the 'Mexico City Policy' or the 'global gag rule']. Rep. Barbara T. Lee (D-Calif sponsored the amendment. Republican Reps. Benjamin A. Gilman (R-N.Y.), Amo Houghton (R-N.Y.) and Jim Leach (R-Iowa) joined with the Democrats to approve the amendment, which was attached to the $ 8.2 billion State Department spending bill. Critics claim that Bush's order had undercut efforts by family planning groups to help restrain population growth, limit unwanted pregnancies and stem the spread of AIDS. It is predicted that backers of the measure would face an uphill fight on the House floor, likely delaying efforts to settle American debts to the United Nations. The House bill would release $592 million to cover past U.S. arrears in line with a measure adopted in the Senate.
  • May 18, 2001   Planned Parenthood   Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) Wants to Restrict Teens' Access to Emergency Contraception (EC).  Senator Helms (R-NC) would prevent federal public health and education funds from being used for the prescription of emergency contraception EC at school-based health centers unless teens obtain written parental consent. Making EC unavailable will deny teens a means of avoiding pregnancy, and will increase the likelihood of abortions. EC is often confused with medical abortion, but is nothing more than a high dose of birth control pills that can be used to prevent unintended pregnancy within 72 hours of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. It makes abortion unnecessary by preventing pregnancy in the first place.   '000140
  • May 8, 2001  BCC News/GREENLines   Poor Humans VS Vulnerable Species   World Conservation Union and Future Harvest have reported that "global wildlife faces the greatest extinction risk since the dinosaurs disappeared". "Conservation strategies are failing" and "nearly half the world's major nature reserves" are being used by poor and malnourished people. At present rates of deforestation over half of forest species could be gone by 2050. "Nearly 245 of mammal species, more than 12% of birds, and almost 145 of plants are threatened with extinction today."   '000252
  • May 24, 2001  Greenlines/Vancouver Sun   Wolves Bear Brunt of Caribou Protection   Up to 35 wolves will be killed and another 12 sterilized in British Columbia to save a mountain caribou herd that is threatened with extinction. The herd is down to 250, once numbering "in the thousands." Hunting, wolf predation, and "increased development, habitat loss and loss of historical distribution and migratory paths," are reasons cited for the dwindling numbers. The Western Canada Wilderness Committee is disturbed that the province has limited efforts to protect habitat from logging and instead is turning to "killing wolves as a solution."
  • May 5, 2001  Reuters/IPPF   Vatican to Prepare New Book on Sexuality and the Family   A "lexicon on issues related to sexuality and the family" is being prepared by Vatican's Council for the Family, according to Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo. Fifty experts in areas such as anthropology, sexuality, sociology and psychology will provide "new definitions of sexuality and anthropology that have come into use in recent years or have taken on different meanings."   '000294
  • May 24, 2001  NY Times   Program Finds Success in Reducing Teenage Pregnancy   An experimental afterschool program, created by Dr. Michael Carrera at the Children's Aid Society, helps prevent teenage pregnancy by offering not just traditional sex education, but also tutoring, SAT preparation, job skills, medical and dental care, sports and creative arts. For example, students come to get help with their homework, meet with a social worker, fill out forms for work permits, work in the computer lab, or improvise a skit about resisting sexual pressure.The Carrera program is a solid success: participants had one-third fewer pregnancies, and births, than those in the control group. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group singled out the Carrera program in a comprehensive report on the available research on teenage-pregnancy programs. Several models of teenage-pregnancy programs have had positive results: participants delayed sex, increased the use of contraception, and reduced their number of sexual partners, for at least 31 months. By the end of the third year, about 70% of the original participants were still involved in the program. "Education about abstinence and contraception are compatible, and not in conflict with each other," said Doug Kirby, the author of the report. "We also found that making condoms available does not increase sexual behavior." 'Service learning' programs, where voluntary community service projects, like working in a nursing home or tutoring, and small-group sessions where students discuss their projects, also were found to reduce teenage pregnancy. Abstinence-only education - an approach financed, and favored, by the federal government - has shown no impact on young people's behavior. A federally sponsored evaluation of federal and state financed abstinence-only programs programs is under way. It is usually left largely to local communities and private sources to support pregnancy-prevention programs. Sarah Brown, director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy said that "reducing teen pregnancy is the most efficient single way to improve overall child wellbeing, and to reduce persistent child poverty." Boys made up 43% of the participants, and were more likely than the girls to have been sexually experienced before they came into the program at 13 or 14. While the girls' birthrate was cut in half, boys were only slightly less likely than those in the control group to cause pregnancy. Dr. Carrera said. "We're going to adjust it, for future programs, to start boys at 11 or 12, before they're sexually active, and hope we can do better." The Carrera program, and its evaluation, were supported by the Robin Hood Foundation, in New York, and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, in Michigan. It is one of the most intensive, and expensive, programs in the field, running to $4,000 per child per year. "This is the only program that had strong evidence of reducing pregnancy and child-bearing, delaying sex, and increasing the use of contraception, for three years," said Kirby.   '000186
  • May 31, 2001  The Independent (Bangladesh)   Population Control   Though the contraceptive umbrella in Bangladesh is widespread, the total fertility coverage has remained static over the past decade, according to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). To attain the Cairo Program of a stable population by 2015 the population campaign operating in the country requires upgrading. Sterilization for both male and female has less appeal. The lowest rung of society practices almost no population control and that is probably one of the main reasons for total fertility coverage not being effective. The setting up 1250 community clinics by the fifth five-year Health and Population Sector Program for the most vulnerable women and children to ensure good reproductive health and child care has failed. Bangladesh's current growth rate is 1.6%. The government's target is 1.2%. Authorities need to ascertain what would be the suitable replacement figure, recalling that the arsenic problem came about for going too fast with the safe water program. The foundation is full contraceptive coverage with good health for women during the pre-natal stage, at pregnancy, when breast feeding and for the baby, and as long as childhood reigns.   '000187
  • May 30, 2001  Hungarian News Agency   Hungary: Immigration May Offset Population Decline   Hungary's population is expected to decline to 8.2 million from the present 10 million by 2050, according to a recent study by the Demographic Research Institute of the Central Statistical Office. This trend, coupled with ageing, may entail a negative impact on GDP and shortage of labour. Academician Laszlo Cseh-Szombathy, head of the demographic ad hoc committee set up by the Prime Minister's Office, siad: "Hungary will have to receive immigrants in any case to keep its population number at the current level. It should primarily promote the immigration of ethnic Hungarians who are isolated and slowly assimilated by the majority nation abroad."   '000188
  • August 2000 Population Reference Bureau The World's Youth 2000. This 24-page report gives a profile of today's youth, providing data on population, education, and health, with a special focus on sexual and reproductive health. Topics include: education, sexual and reproductive lives of young people, use of contraception, sexual violence against young women, HIV/AIDS, and policy and program approaches. PDF: 266KB. (August 2000) Document code: PRB100WYBK To obtain, put document code in the body of an e-mail to: documents@prbdocs.org .000996
  • January 2000   Planned Parenthood of Western Washington and PPFA   Website Asks for Fair Access to Contraception   The Cover My Pills website says: "Contraception is a basic health need for women. Yet today many private health insurance plans in the U.S. do not cover contraceptives. But it doesn't have to be this way." Go to this website to find out what you can do about it.   '000262
  • December 1, 2000 book review Complete Idiot's Guide to Saving the Environment. Book ad: "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saving the Environment" is a comprehensive guide to the ways an average citizen can make every day Earth Day. We learn how the environment got in this condition and how we can improve it by reducing, reusing, and recycling at home, at work, and everywhere else. The book suggests groups and organizations to join or to go to for information. .001159
  • June 1995 UNICEF The Progress of Nations: Falling Fertility. This is old data worth looking at again. In 1995 UNICEF published a table by country of the falling fertility rates. Overall, there was a 1.8 fall in births per woman from 1963 to 1993. As Cliff Terry said: "falling fertility rates around the world don't show that international family planning aid is unnecessary; rather, they show that it works". .000998