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No. 4, February 18, 2011

In This Issue:

2011 Global Population Speak Out Off to a Great Start - Get on Board!
Population and Consumption
Speak Up to Protect Women's Health

2011 Global Population Speak Out Off to a Great Start - Get on Board!

In the January issue of Pop X, we highlighted the 2011 Global Population Speak Out as a great way for citizens to raise awareness about human overpopulation -- and especially how it affects our environment, natural resources, and plants and animals around the world. Many of you followed up by making a pledge to join the Speak Out and raise your voices in support of tackling this growing global problem. So many, in fact, that you helped swell the GPSO numbers to a record high of more than 800 pledges from politicians, academics, activists and concerned citizens all over the world. Thanks to all who pledged to speak out.

For those who have not yet done so, there is still time to make a pledge. The Speak Out continues until the end of February. Sometimes the most daunting problems -- such as 7 billion, or 9 billion, or 14 billion humans overwhelming our planet -- are the most difficult to deal with. But the first step is easy: We just need to start the conversation and get people to acknowledge and discuss the problem, and then we can move toward the obvious and clear solutions.

The key to the Speak Out is more than just pledging, it's taking action: talking to friends and family, posting about it on Facebook, contacting your congressional representatives. One of the best ways to reach a lot of people is writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. We've just come up with some sample letters that make the case simply and clearly. And once you've pledged and taken action, don't forget to report your action on the GPSO website. It will be an inspiration to like-minded folks all over the world.

Population and Consumption

The Global Population Speak Out was mentioned in a great article that landed on my cyberdesk this week, posted on the green blog "Treehugger." The author, Matthew McDermott, makes the case that population and consumption are working in tandem to lead us toward ecological catastrophe, and that any effort to lay the blame entirely upon one or the other of these twin challenges is counterproductive to solving the problem. McDermott makes many points that we've been making for some time here at the Center: Efficiency and conservation are essential, but not enough to solve the problem of billions of humans overwhelming the Earth's resources. A more equitable world is a just and desirable goal, but 9 billion humans (along with extremely high U.S. rates of consumption) would quickly cause environmental collapse. Continuing to idealize growth while ignoring its costs and consequences is delusional. We have to start talking about how we can rein in consumption and population, especially in industrialized nations, if we want an equitable world that provides a quality life for all humans and other living beings.

Check out this interesting piece and the other links posted with it. And then Speak Out!

Speak Up to Protect Women's Health

Here's another opportunity to raise your voice and make an immediate impact on overpopulation. Right now, the U.S. Congress is engaged in a furious debate around the budget and government spending. Unfortunately, many members of Congress have taken the shortsighted and potentially disastrous approach of attempting to cut funds that support women's health clinics all over the country.

For many women, subsidized community health programs, such as those provided by Planned Parenthood, represent the only access they have to reproductive services, family planning and birth control. Millions of women could lose that access if these measures pass.

This is exactly the opposite of what needs to happen if we want to reduce the 50 percent of U.S. pregnancies that are unintended, and the millions of extra births that result. Congress should be expanding these programs, not cutting them. Contact your congressional representatives and ask them to oppose any attempts to cut Title X funding, or any other funds that support women's health and reproductive services.

Until next month,

Randy Serraglio
Overpopulation Campaign Coordinator

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

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