No. 3, January 14, 2011
In This Issue:
The Year of 7 Billion Began with Endangered Species Condoms
The Center rang in 2011 -- the year in which our weary planet will struggle to hold up the weight of 7 billion humans -- by casting another 50,000 free Endangered Species Condoms into the world through eager volunteers all across the United States. Judging from the customarily enthusiastic feedback, our condoms livened up more than a few holiday parties with some fun-but-serious conversations about where the human race is headed -- and whether any other species are going to make it there with us.
This latest blast exhausted our 2010 supply and brought the total number of free Endangered Species Condoms distributed during the past year to 350,000. That's an amazing number, but considering their tremendous popularity, we probably could've given away a million. If you signed up to distribute condoms but weren't able to get any in 2010, fear not -- we have plans to give away hundreds of thousands more in 2011. Help us produce more as soon as possible and raise that total as high as we can with a donation to the campaign.
As always, the condoms created quite a media stir as well, an important facet of our campaign to educate the public about the unmistakable connection between human overpopulation, overconsumption and the loss of plants and animals around the world. Media coverage was highlighted by this great piece featured prominently in the Huffington Post. You can read more examples of media coverage in the Tucson Weekly and Alaska Dispatch.
Join the 2011 Global Population Speak Out
This February, the Center will again participate in the annual Global Population Speak Out (GPSO). If you haven't heard of this event, it's a month-long effort to push the issue of unsustainable human population growth -- and all the problems, challenges and solutions that go along with it -- into the public eye where it belongs. Fueled by academics, activists and concerned citizens all over the world, the GPSO has grown dramatically since its inception two years ago, and this one promises to be, by far, the biggest yet. The list of 2011 GPSO endorsers includes Anne and Paul Ehrlich of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University, the president of the European Section of the Society for Conservation Biology, a senior editor and environmental writer for Grist, a member of the Australian parliament, academic leaders from India, Kenya, Mexico, Bangladesh and Argentina, and other luminaries from the United States and around the world.
Join the Center in participating in the 2011 GPSO -- it could be as simple as writing a letter to the editor, calling in to a radio show, or even hosting a house party to educate people about the devastating impacts of overpopulation and its obvious solutions -- universal access to birth control and family planning, and the educational, economic and political empowerment of women around the world. You need only make a pledge to speak out and then list your action on the GPSO web site.
I was proud to be one of the first to pledge for this year's Speak Out, and hope you will consider joining me. Follow this link to raise your voice with a growing chorus of concerned citizens around the world.
Not Happy With Overpopulation Coverage? Create the Media You Want to See
On Jan. 6, I caught this installment of National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation, which featured a panel that included the author of National Geographic's January cover story on overpopulation and an NPR science correspondent. I must say, it was very disappointing. The panelists were dismissive of the perils of overpopulation (and neglected any of the damaging effects to endangered species), while exhibiting an almost religious faith in the powers of technology to save us from ourselves. At one point, in response to an audience question about which three inventions were most important for dealing with overpopulation, two of the panelists' responses were the "discovery of petroleum" and the spread of "agricultural technology," including petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides. Pardon me for asking questions, but aren't those two of the fundamental causes of human overpopulation? Leaving aside the environmental impacts inherent in those inventions, they have been key factors in our race to build the biological house of cards upon which our unsustainable human population now rests.
Over the years I've learned that one way to get better media is to produce it yourself. Along those lines, I was happy to see this call for proposals from the Pulitzer Center to produce media projects on "under-reported population issues." I think the oft-glossed-over connection between 7 billion humans and the sixth mass extinction event in the Earth's history certainly qualifies as "under-reported." If you're a journalist, or know someone who might be interested in receiving a grant to tackle such a project, please check it out and pass along the information.
And if you're not a media person, there's still a lot you can do. We've created an Overpopulation Take-action Toolbox with lots of useful info and ideas for how to get involved and raise awareness about the human population's impacts on the planet and its species.
Until next month,
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 email@example.com. Please allow a few days for a response. To stop receiving Pop X, click here.
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