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hellbender condom design by Roger Peet

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No. 18, April 20, 2012

In This Issue:

100,000 Endangered Species Condoms for Earth Day
Hellbender? How'd You Pick That One?
More Women in Power = Better Planet Policy

100,000 Endangered Species Condoms for Earth Day

Earth Day's on Sunday, and we just finished shipping out 100,000 Endangered Species Condoms to 1,200 volunteer distributors in every corner of the country. Once again, we were inspired by the thousands of people who responded to our request for help distributing the condoms. Each of these packages -- specially produced for Earth Day with beautiful artwork by Roger Peet -- is a great way to get people talking about human population growth and the effect it's having on wildlife and plants around the globe.

In years past, the condoms have been given away at churches, libraries, college campuses, festivals and backyard barbeques. What are your plans? Post them on our Facebook page. Even if you won't be giving away condoms this time, you can still do your part to get the word out. Check out our Activist Toolbox for other bright ideas on how to raise local awareness about the impacts of so many people on our planet.
Remember last October when we distributed 100,000 of our condoms in the days before the world population grew to 7 billion? One of our enthusiastic distributors took her condoms to an arts festival and ended up featured in a New York Times article about our project. I followed up with the woman in the picture, Monica Drake, to find out how it went for her. Drake is a writer and happens to be publishing a new novel that makes thematic links between our relationship with endangered species and the personal decision to add fewer humans to the planet. Check out her writing and keep an eye out for her new novel.

Hellbender? How'd You Pick That One?

I frequently get asked how we come up with the slogans on our Endangered Species Condoms. The answer? It's not pretty. Mostly it's a bunch of coworkers tossing around painfully bad rhymes until we land on something that's -- we hope -- a little ticklish without being cringe-inducing. Needless to say there are a fair number of witticisms that fall to the censor's pen.

But one thing we take seriously is choosing which critters get to be our poster children. For this we put all hands on deck, working with our scientists and activists to find species that best exemplify the importance of the population-extinction connection. We know our supporters will have thousands of valuable conversations handing out the condoms -- not just about population growth, but about the plants and animals that we're all defending.

When it came time to include some herpetofauna, we knew the hellbender was our best bet to highlight freshwater threats. In the oceans, the leatherback sea turtle and the dwarf seahorse were easy favorites. And after my visit to Florida panther country last year -- where I witnessed firsthand the panthers' habitat being consumed by development -- the great cats had to go on the list, too.

Take a moment to check out more on the Endangered Species Condoms website. Each of these species suffers from unique pressures on its survival, but all of them serve as vital incentive to ensure we leave room for the wild in the future.

More Women in Power = Better Planet Policy

Improving the rights of women around the world -- including elevating their roles as elected officials -- isn't just good for women but for the planet, too. A new University of Oregon paper that controls for factors like poverty and industrialization finds that countries where women have high political status are more likely to have lower per capita carbon dioxide emissions.

Research has previously shown that women are generally more likely to favor environmental protection than men; studies across different countries have also demonstrated that having more women in positions of power directly affects environmental decisions. For instance, nations with higher proportions of women in parliament ratify a greater number of environmental treaties. The new study adds to the data, suggesting, in the words of its authors, "that efforts to improve gender equality around the world may work synergistically with efforts to curtail global climate change and environmental degradation more generally."

We're not surprised by this result: Educating and empowering women, as well as providing them with birth control options, is healthy for all of us.

Less is more,

Amy Harwood

Amy Harwood
Overpopulation Campaign Coordinator

Center for Biological Diversity | P.O. Box 710, Tucson, AZ 85702-0710

This is an unmonitored email address, please do not reply. To sign up for condoms, click here. If you'd like more information on the Center's overpopulation campaign, visit our website. To make a donation, click here. Specific population-related questions can be directed to population@biologicaldiversity.org. Please allow a few days for a response. To stop receiving Pop X, click here.

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Hellbender condom packaging designed by Roger Peet.