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CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good

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7 Billion and Counting


Our planet has reached a staggering milestone: On October 31, 2011, the world population reached 7 billion people eking out a living. By the end of the century, it’ll top 10 billion. 

Unsustainable human population growth and overconsumption are the root causes of environmental destruction. They’re driving species extinct, destroying wildlife habitat, and undermining the basic needs of all life at an unprecedented rate. It has to stop.

That’s why the Center for Biological Diversity has launched an ambitious new national campaign, 7 Billion and Counting.

And we need your help. By hosting and attending local events, handing out Endangered Species Condoms, writing letters to the editor and taking this discussion online, you can play an important role in highlighting the connection between unsustainable human population, overconsumption and the extinction of plants and animals around the globe.

We’re also giving you a way to understand this global crisis at a local level. Our new interactive map quickly shows which endangered species live where you do — and are threatened by the effects of unsustainable human population.

So take action today to speak out about 7 billion, watch our video ad that’s reaching more than a million people a day in New York City’s Times Square, and then sign up for Pop X, our monthly e-newsletter on population and the species extinction crisis.

Purdue University students hand out Endangered Species Condoms.

The world’s human population has doubled since 1970 and shows no signs of letting up. After hitting a harrowing 7 billion people in October 2011, it has continued to skyrocket — and will do so for the rest of the century.

Our planet is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. Hundreds of plant and animal species are disappearing from our planet every day, never to return. In fact, scientists say species today are going extinct 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than normal. They’re going extinct because of us — people.

We’ve already witnessed the devastating effects of unsustainable human population growth on biodiversity: Species abundant in North America just two centuries ago — from the woodland bison of West Virginia and Arizona’s Merriam’s elk to the Rocky Mountain grasshopper and Puerto Rico’s Culebra parrot — have been wiped out by growing human numbers.

The Center for Biological Diversity is the world’s only environmental group working full-time to raise awareness about the link between booming human population growth and wildlife extinctions happening around the world.

In 2010, the Center — working through a network of more than 5,000 volunteers — gave away 350,000 Endangered Species Condoms. The colorfully packaged condoms are a lively way to get conversations started about how unsustainable population growth is crowding out other forms of life — and reducing the quality of our own.

Through our new 7 Billion and Counting campaign, we’re giving away 100,000 more condoms as a way to keep the conversation going about unsustainable human population.

Join our growing movement of people committed to elevating awareness of this ecological and human crisis.Get in-depth information on our resources page, join the discussion on Facebook and take action in our campaign to mobilize people on this critical issue.

Talking about population means talking about saving species around the planet, whether it’s polar bears, wolves, bluefin tuna, penguins or the Miami blue butterfly.

All of them — and all of us — are counting on you.

Banner photo courtesy Flickr Commons/William Cho