No. 31, May 18, 2013
In This Issue:
If Condoms Can't Save the World, Will TV Do the Trick?
Environmental groups aren't usually in the business of plugging indoor, tech-driven activities, are we? We tend to nag folks to get outdoors, get their feet wet and their hands dirty, and maybe have the good luck to spot a cool critter. We tend to feel the loss of nature in people's lives, even when it passes unnoticed, is also a little loss of soul.
So outdoor play's high on our to-do list. But here at Pop X we like to be on the cutting edge, too. Because go figure: It turns out there are direct correlations between TV viewing, access to cable, the number of TVs in a household and the decline in a nation's fertility rate. More TVs being watched means fewer babies being made. So although there are decidedly some big minuses associated with obsessive TV watching (creation of passive, mindless drone-people and couch-potato obesity, to name just a couple), we'd like to point out there may be a silver lining in that cloud.
Endangered Species Condoms today, Endangered Species flat-screens tomorrow!
Gadgets vs. Humans
We're not cyborgs yet. But we're kind of halfway there, aren't we? A new report just found that internet-connected devices now outnumber Americans. There are 315 million humans in this country and 425 million electronic gadgets. Hollywood had it a bit wrong with the attractive, humanoid robots of Bladerunner and The Terminator: Handhelds and tablets are the replicants of the future.
The proliferation of devices is a consumption issue, too. Each of these machines is resource-intensive in production and energy-expensive in action. Until our energy economy goes green, charging and using them constantly means more fracking, more mountaintop-removal coal mining, more offshore drilling and more polluting power plants. If we're going to plug in to the extreme, the least we can do is push hard for a government transition to clean energy.
Check out the Center's work to promote the switch away from climate-wrecking fossil fuels.
On May 9 the media reported that the planet had surpassed -- for the first time in 3 million years -- the 400 parts per million threshold for carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. As it turned out, we were still fractions away from 400 ppm that day, but the milestone will certainly be reached and surpassed in the coming weeks.
It's a terrifying line to cross, and should result in a renewed focus on climate, dramatically reducing pollution levels, and clean energy. Sadly, Washington seems to be stuck in the Seinfeld "do the opposite" episode: The Keystone XL pipeline is still under consideration, for example, and we're still barreling forward at record levels of fossil fuel production, all of which is adding pressure to polar bears, wolverines and other species already suffering under climate change.
Population and consumption are major players in this lemming-like cliff rush to ever-higher CO2 emissions. We need to ramp up our outreach, friends. Small families are good families; choosing no kids is an honorable choice; and contraception must be free and accessible to all.
We also need to step it up on the consumption front. Please consider once again signing our Pledge of Resistance and joining our Month of Action to Stop Keystone in May. Thanks to all who have already signed -- together we can stop this juggernaut and start the journey back to a maximum carbon load of 350 parts per million, where we belong.
Hasta la victoria,
Population Campaign Director
Center for Biological Diversity | P.O. Box 710, Tucson, AZ 85702-0710
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Old TV photo courtesy Flickr/Jonas Merian.