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  1. 1
    186389
    Peer Reviewed

    The insidious elixir -- mercury, sources, effects and what to do about it.

    Montgomery A

    Women and Environments International. 2003 Fall; (60-61):19-22.

    At current levels of mercury and methylmercury contamination in the environment, acute poisoning scenarios like those seen in Japan and Iraq are less likely to occur. But what is known about mercury's effects at levels that are currently observed in our environment? Children are at greater risk than adults due to mercury's mode of toxicity and their state of development and increased metabolism. They consume more food, water and air per kilogram of body weight corn- pared with adults. They are also exposed in utero and during breastfeeding. Their behaviour in early childhood makes them vulnerable to increased exposure; they crawl in the dirt, they put their toys and their hands in their mouth. A study published in Pediatrics in March 2003 from researchers in the Philippines followed 48 mothers and infants from a gold mining community over a two-year period. At birth, infants had a greater burden of mercury compared to their mothers, indicating that mercury was accumulating in the fetus. This study, along with studies in the Inuit, Cree, and New Zealand populations, found physical and mental developmental delays in children exposed to mercury during pregnancy. A study from the Faeroe Islands found that despite high levels of mercury in mother's breast milk, the developmental benefits of breastfeeding outweighed that of the toxicity of the mercury. A study in the Seychelles Islands found no observed adverse effect in children with relatively high maternal mercury levels measured in the hair. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    074667

    Establishing a national policy framework for biodiversity conservation.

    World Resources Institute; World Conservation Union [IUCN]; United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP]; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO]; UNESCO

    In: Global biodiversity strategy: guidelines for action to save, study, and use Earth's biotic wealth sustainably and equitably, [compiled by] World Resources Institute [WRI], World Conservation Union [IUCN], United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP], in consultation with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO], UNESCO. [Washington, D.C.], WRI, 1992. 37-54.

    It is at the local level where people forfeit or preserve biodiversity. Yet government policies develop incentives that either help or restrain local action. Even though governments tend to intervene in markets for a variety of reasons (e.g., encourage industrial growth), many development policies do not value environmental resources and sometimes accelerate depletion of natural resources and biodiversity loss. They even encourage overexploitation of species, alteration of natural environments, and oversimplistic agricultural ecosystems. It makes economic and ecological sense to reform these policies. For example, governments which subsidize individuals for using natural resources strains national economies and hinders development. Industrialized countries subsidize agriculture at an annual cost of US$150 billion from the outlay of consumers and taxpayers although it drains the environment. 57% of the European Community's budget supports agricultural prices whereas only 1% goes to protect the environment. Indonesia lost US$2 billion between 1979-82 due to its forest policies. Therefore investments in biodiversity conservation more than compensates for savings due to policy reforms. National resource and trade policies must consider biodiversity's potential benefits which include enhanced food security, economic development, and improved medical care. Thus countries need to reform public policies that decrease or misuse biodiversity. These existing policies include forestry, coastal and marine ecosystems, freshwater ecosystems, and agricultural policies. They also need to approve new public policies and accounting methods that encourage conservation and equitable use of biodiversity. Countries must provide widespread access to family planning services and more funding to promote family planning use and reduce consumption through recycling and conservation.
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  3. 3
    034630

    Asia-Pacific report: trends, issues, challenges.

    East-West Center

    Honolulu, Hawaii, East-West Center, 1986. x, 104 p.

    This report contains a review of the major developments in the Asia-Pacific region over the past quarter century, as well as examinations of the trends, issues, and challenges that will be critical to the region's future and to its relations with the US. The view of the region as an arena of internal and international conflict that prevailed in the 1950s and 1960s has been replaced in the 1970s and 1980s by a focus on the rapid economic progress of many of the countries. The region includes 56% of the world's population in 33 independent countries and several territories covering 19% of the world's land area. Part I of the report comprises 2 broad overviews dealing with prospects for peace and continued economic progress. Chapter I examines encouraging trends and continuing problems in the political developments and international relations of the region, while Chapter 2 provides a brief survey of economic trends and challenges in the principal countries and country groups: the newly industrialized countries, the resource-rich Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, low-income southeast Asia, China, South Asia, and the Pacific island countries. Part II examines specific topic areas related to regional economic development which reflect current policy emphases at the East-West Center. Chapter 3 assesses the relationship between the world economy and economic development in the region and analyzes future prospects for external trade opportunities and access to capital. Chapter 4 discusses the connection between population growth and economic development, while also examining the demographic transition in the area, the role of family planning, and future demographic challenges. The influence of declining fertility on increased savings and improved education is explored. Chapter 5 assesse the longterm sustainability of the region's remarkable resource base, which is already under severe strain from the numbers of people requiring food, clothing, shelter, and fuel. The chapter demonstrates the conflict between shortterm exploitation of resources and policies that protect the resource base in the longterm. Chapter 6 reviews changing patterns of supply and demand for minerals and fuels, noting significant additions to supplies of some minerals in Oceania. Based on worldwide trends, access to minerals and fuels is not expected to be a constraint on economic development.
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  4. 4
    175404
    Peer Reviewed

    Water-quality changes in Latvia and Riga 1980-2000: possibilities and problems.

    Juhna T; Kjavins M

    Ambio. 2001 Aug; 30(4-5):306-314.

    Long-term changes in the environmental quality of water in Latvia (chemical composition of inland waters, wastewater treatment, and drinking-water treatment practices and quality) as a response to socioeconomic changes have been studied. Water composition, the major factors influencing water chemistry, and human impacts (wastewater loading) were studied to determine changes that occurred after recent reductions in pollution emissions, particularly nutrient loading, to surface waters. After 1991, (Latvia regained independence in 1991) inland water quality has begun to improve mainly as a result of decreases in nutrient loads from point and nonpoint sources and substantial efforts in the area of environmental protection. The situation differs, however, for drinking-water treatment, where practices have also changed during the whole period from 1980 till 2000. More stringent drinking water-quality standards and novel insights regarding changes in water quality in the distribution network, necessitate further improvements in public water supply, and place this particular water issue among Latvia's main priorities. (author's)
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  5. 5
    148745

    China's energy consumption and environmental problems.

    Zhang J

    In: Population and environment in developing countries: the macro scenario and select case studies, edited by Rajib Nandi, G.N. Rao. Thiruvananthapuram, India, Centre for Development Studies, 1999. 30-8. (Research Monograph Series Vol. 1)

    This study examined the state of China's energy use and explored the problems existing in both commercial and noncommercial energy consumption. China has a very rich source of energy. Its sources of energy include fossil fuel (coal and crude oil), hydroelectric energy, tidal energy, wind energy, and biomass. In focusing on China s commercial energy consumption and contribution to world environmental problems, it was noted that the structure of commercial energy consumption is unique and is a key to environmental problems for its huge share of coal. Some of the environmental consequences of China's energy use include acid rain, siltation, deforestation and emission of greenhouse gas. In terms of the linkage between economic growth and energy use in the country, it was highlighted that economic progress was positively dependent on the use of energy during 1949-74. Such linkage weakened during 1978-90, in which period China acquired advanced technologies during the 1980s. It may be the result of the transition from heavy industry to a light and less energy-intensive industrial structure. However, considering the course of its ongoing rapid economic growth, it is important to follow an environment-friendly energy policy. Some policy suggestions are given along with tables that contain specific figures of energy consumption of China, as well as figures from other countries and indexes of their greenhouse emissions.
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  6. 6
    146929

    The study of population-consumption-environment link: the case of air pollution in Bangkok.

    Chamratrithirong A; Prasartkul P; Punpuing S; Boonchalaksi W; Santiphop T

    Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, Mahidol University, Institute for Population and Social Research [IPSR], 1999. [8], 91 p. (IPSR Publication No. 224)

    This report presents a study of the link between population, consumption and environment through a case study on air pollution in Bangkok, Thailand. Chapter 1 presents an overview of the demographic, consumption and environmental situation in Thailand, with emphasis on population trends, dynamics and composition, socioeconomic characteristics, household consumption trends and projections, global warming, land and forestry resource, urban infrastructure and industry and energy. Chapter 2 focuses on the air pollution study conducted in Bangkok through an evaluation of air quality, transportation fuel consumption, and the demographic and socioeconomic condition of the population, which includes population size and structure, occupational structure and education attendance. The third chapter highlights the research objective and methodology. This chapter shows the three conceptual frameworks employed in the study, data sources used at macro and household level analysis, and in-depth interviews and focus groups applied. Chapter 4 presents the research results with emphasis on the health impact and behavioral and structural causes of air pollution, as well as the dynamics on the link between consumption behavior and air pollution. Solutions to the problem which include decentralization, city planning and the Green Zone, implementation of legal measures and awareness campaigns were suggested in the fifth and last chapter.
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  7. 7
    148213

    No time to waste: poverty and the global environment.

    Davidson J; Myers D; Chakraborty M

    Oxford, England, Oxfam, 1992. [4], 217 p.

    The world faces two contrasting crises: 20% of its people live in poverty, while 25% enjoy a lifestyle of profligate consumption. A deteriorating environment links them both. It is increasingly clear that environmental problems cannot be solved without full consideration of the process of development, the results of which are so often destructive rather than sustainable. In this book, these issues are examined from a Southern viewpoint. Examples are drawn from Oxfam's (an international organizations dealing with environmental problems in the Third World) experience of how poor people are responding to safeguard and improve the environment on which their livelihood and common future depend.
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  8. 8
    144995

    Population growth and consumption.

    Pasha MJ

    NATION. 1999 Jun 6; 2.

    This article presents several significant environmental issues that correlate population growth and resource consumption on a global or regional scale. These issues include: global warming, pollution, loss of biodiversity, tropical forests, oceans and fisheries, land use, freshwater resources, and carrying capacity. Population size, growth, and patterns of resource usage impacts on the types of pollution including air, water, and solid pollution. As the world's population and per capita consumption grow, the human race uses resources and generates waste faster. In the same way, as the human population expands, it reduces biological diversity through the destruction of ecosystems such as tropical and temperate forests, tundra, wetlands, coral reefs, and marine environments. This decline in biodiversity caused by humans represents a serious threat to our development. Furthermore, population growth also affects land and water productivity, making it difficult to meet the demand for food. Although, freshwater resources is renewable, but its rate of renewal depends on the global cycle, which often cannot keep pace with human demands. In addition, human settlements, industry, and agriculture can all affect the carrying capacity of the earth. In the case of Pakistan, wherein its population growth greatly affects the socioeconomic conditions of a common and the natural resources, as a whole: it has rapidly started to affect the environment as well. Therefore, special attention should be given to population growth trends, current human activities, per capital resource use, and the level of production of the resources.
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  9. 9
    137345

    The world's water woes.

    Hinrichsen D

    INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE. 1996 Jul-Aug; 22-7.

    The Syr Darya River used to broaden into a rich delta at Kazalinsk, a town in central Asia's Kazakhstan, then dump into the Aral Sea, formerly the world's fourth largest lake. The Syr Darya River was once home to many species of fish and fowl, and a region of productive tugai forests. The river and lake, however, began shrinking in the 1960s as Soviet engineers and hydrologists siphoned off large amounts of water to irrigate cotton fields in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, in a drive to meet the Communist government's 5-year planning objectives regardless of environmental costs. By 1990, the Aral Sea had lost 66% of its original volume and the Syr Darya River now usually disappears into the desert west of town. Almost 1 million hectares of tugai wetlands were converted into desert between 1960 and 1990. Even though little remains alive in the Syr Darya as it passes through Kazalinsk, and what water remains is highly polluted by farms and cities to the east, the people of Kazalinsk still depend upon the Syr Darya for drinking water and other daily water needs, despite the health risks. Considerable morbidity in the region is attributed to this contaminated water supply. Water resources are being wasted everywhere in the interest of development. Like Syr Darya, and even in the US, many of the world's rivers no longer reach their former deltas. China especially has problems to resolve given its huge population and rapidly developing economic base. Approximately 300 major cities across northern and central China, including Beijing, already have critical water shortages. Wars may develop over access to freshwater sources. Water concerns in Egypt and the Jordan River Basin are noted.
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  10. 10
    132645

    Taking population out of the equation: reformulating I=PAT.

    Hynes HP

    North Amherst, Massachusetts, Institute on Women and Technology, 1993. iv, 59 p.

    This book presents a reformulation of the population/environment formula known as I = PAT, where "I" is human impact on the environment, "P" is population size, "A" is goods consumed per capita, and "T" is pollution generated by technology per good consumed. The introduction describes the formula and its attractiveness. The next section explains that the formula is so entrenched that critics and advocates debate its merits from a position within its argot. Feminists, on the other hand, would reform I = PAT to add key structural factors that reflect elements of social and environmental justice. The book continues by critically analyzing each factor in the equation and then offering corrections that 1) separate survival consumption from luxury consumption; 2) introduce a factor to account for military pollution; 3) introduce the element of environmental conservation; and 4) account for human agency. The new formula would be I = C - PAT, where "I" is human impact, "C" is conservation, "P" is patriarchy, "A" is consumption shaped by economic realities, and "T" is environmentally injurious technology. It is recommended 1) that women's health and environmental organizations replace the population framework with the feminist framework, introduce agency, educate women and men, and redirect contraceptive technology and research and 2) that environmental organizations teach ecological literacy, examine consumption, and support grassroots and urban environmentalism.
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  11. 11
    130175
    Peer Reviewed

    Population size and environmental quality.

    Cronshaw MB; Requate T

    JOURNAL OF POPULATION ECONOMICS. 1997; 10(3):299-316.

    A simple general equilibrium analysis was presented about first best allocations in an economy where a consumption good is produced using labor. Considered was an economy with consumers whose preferences are identical, and their welfare depends on their private levels of consumption, the labor supply, and the aggregate emissions in the economy. Production results in pollution, which is a public bad. Pollution abatement can be achieved either by restricting production or by using additional labor. Consumers were unambiguously worse off as population grew, since the environment is a finite resource. However, the best level of emissions grew steadily as the population increased, hence the deterioration was not attributable to a fixed factor. The causes contributing to consumers being worse off included reduced consumption, increased labor supply, and/or increased pollution. The variation with population size of the first best levels of consumption, labor, and emissions indicated that per capita consumption and emissions were decreasing, while per capita labor and aggregate emissions were more ambiguous. An optimal emission tax had to be increased as the population grew. It was considered how the first best allocation and Pigouvian tax varied with population size. Consumers are unambiguously worse off when the population is larger, but not necessarily due to increased pollution. In fact, optimal policy on how pollution and labor should vary with population size is very sensitive to preferences and technology. The best response to an increase in population size might be either to increase or to decrease emissions and/or labor, depending on functional forms and parameters. However, given separable preferences and some convexity, the optimal emissions tax increases and the first best level of per capita consumption decreased with population size.
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  12. 12
    128381

    Healthy world, healthy people.

    McMichael T

    PEOPLE AND THE PLANET. 1997; 6(3):6-9.

    This article discusses the challenges to human health from environmental degradation. The environment includes the social environment as well as the physical and chemical environment. Housing quality, recreation, population growth, density and mobility, social networks, and political and distributive equity also impact on health. There are well known examples of man-made disasters, such as in Bhopal, Chernobyl, and the Love Canal. What are less understood are the general conditions of poor health, low life expectancy, and early death due to polluted air, contaminated drinking water, and pesticide and other chemical contamination. An estimated 66% of diarrhea episodes are attributed to contaminated food or water. Health and vital statistics do not measure public health problems, such as declines in intelligence from lead ingestion from auto emissions. Epidemiological tracking of cause and effect of environmental contaminants is elusive. Some key features of environmental impact are the threshold effect, indirect pathways, and long-term and systems effects. Environmental hazards may deplete or disrupt natural biophysical processes that are the basic source of sustained good health. These basic systems include the food production system, the vector borne disease routes, global hydrological cycles, and the stratosphere. Gains in life expectancy have been due to declines in infectious disease mortality in early life, food security, improved hygiene and water sanitation, vaccination, and antibiotics and other medical treatments. Rapid technological change, acquisitive consumerism, ignorance of distant and deferred environmental impacts, and a free market ethic limit social advancement and ignore public health and environmental stresses. The scale of today's environmental problems requires priority setting and socially and ecologically sustainable ways of living.
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  13. 13
    125967
    Peer Reviewed

    Population in context: a typology of environmental driving forces.

    Hempel LC

    POPULATION AND ENVIRONMENT. 1997 May; 18(5):439-61.

    This paper presents a typology and qualitative model of causation for use in assessing the relative contributions of population growth to problems of pollution, lost biodiversity, and natural resource depletion. Population growth is placed "in context" as one of eight key driving forces that shape environmental quality today. It is treated primarily as an impact "amplifier", along with technology. Root causes are traced to paradigmatic beliefs--especially anthropocentrism and contempocentrism--which find expression in unsustainable consumption patterns and designs of political economy. (author's)
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  14. 14
    122523

    Population growth and consumption.

    Chalkley K

    POPULATION TODAY. 1997 Apr; 25(4):4-5.

    The relationship between population growth, resource consumption, and environmental degradation is complex. The rise in "greenhouse gases" that will cause climatic change is clearly due to human activity, and pollutants are often concentrated in densely populated areas. However, even an area with a negative population growth, such as Russia, can experience severe environmental degradation due to poor management. Consumption patterns have the most effect on ozone depletion, while population growth threatens biodiversity of and within species through the destruction of ecosystems. Migration joins population growth and social factors, such as land inequality, as major causes of deforestation, and global demand for water is expected to increase faster than the rate of population growth. Coastal development and over-fishing threaten to deplete the oceans, while soil quality is threatened by inappropriate land use. Estimates of the earth's carrying capacity range from less than 3 billion to more than 44 billion people, indicating how difficult it is to assess this figure. Development efforts throughout the world may lead to human gains that will ultimately be negated by environmental losses. These factors have led to growing support for environmentally sustainable development.
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  15. 15
    125266

    Population growth, demographic change and environment in developing countries.

    Potrykowska A

    In: Demographic transition: the Third World scenario, edited by Aijazuddin Ahmad, Daniel Noin, H.N. Sharma. Jaipur, India, Rawat Publications, 1997. 183-204.

    This book chapter describes world population growth and distribution and patterns in China and India. The author discusses population structure and the effect of population growth on the environment. It is stated that population may double in the next 50 years. Growth of population in developing countries mandates both socioeconomic development and family planning programs. 95% of world population growth occurs in developing countries. The annual increase in total world population amounts to 87 million people. Africans are the fastest growing population in the world. Population growth does not match the distribution of world resources; it affects land use patterns, consumption patterns, and the environment. Developed country populations represent about 25% of world population, but they consume 50% of the world's food. Industrialized farming in the West uses a large proportion of world energy and financial resources. Livestock in the US consume 25% of the world's entire grain production, which is equal to the entire consumption in both India and China. The causes of hunger, malnutrition, and famine in developing countries originate in the economic and political sphere and are influenced by external factors. There is a need to increase food production and to use more advanced farming techniques. The land newly added to production each year may equal the amount of unusable land due to erosion, dryness, salt deposits, and water saturation. Agricultural demand for water is likely to double during 1970-2000. Growing food demand will create the need to increase use of chemical insecticides and fertilizers. Population pressure on the land to produce more food and cash crops leads to losses of topsoil, trees, and native plants and animals. Environmental damage is a result of poverty, affluence, land tenure systems, uncontrolled commercialization of natural resources, inadequate pollution controls, destructive farming methods, and urbanization.
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  16. 16
    115768

    The future of populous economies. China and India shape their destinies.

    Livernash R

    ENVIRONMENT. 1995 Jul-Aug; 37(6):6-11, 25-34.

    Population in 1995 was about 1.2 billion in China and about 935 million in India. Populations are expected to reach respectively 1.5 billion and 1.4 billion by 2025. These two countries now and in the future will average about 35% of total world population. This article compares the current and expected demographic, economic, and environmental conditions in China and India. How these countries manage their growth, poverty, and population will affect the region and the world as well as each nation. China's fertility is now below replacement but population momentum will increase population by about 300 million/year. India's fertility is 3.6 children/woman and India will add 450 million/year. China's population over 60 years old will reach 20% by 2020, while India's will be under 15% in 2025. China will be almost 55% urban by 2025 from 30% in the 1990s, and India will be 45% urban from 27% urban. China's economic growth has averaged over 9%/year compared to India's 5% annual growth during the 1980s and the economic decline during the 1990s. China has 12% of rural population living below the poverty line and India has about 33% of its total population impoverished. China's life expectancy is about 10 years higher. Under-five mortality is 43/1000 live births in China and 131/1000 in India. Poverty-related diseases are still high in India. China is a homogenous population with an authoritarian regime. India is a democracy with a large nongovernmental community and a heterogenous population. India has about 33% of the land area of China but over twice the agricultural land per person. About 50% of China's land and only 25% of India's land is irrigated. Water resources are problems in northern China and much of India. Air and water pollution are problems in both countries. Differences in the population-environment-development context are discussed in terms of the effects of poverty, the constraints posed by development, and the environmental impact of rising per capita consumption. It is concluded that India faces the more difficult future.
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  17. 17
    115887

    Population growth and air quality in California.

    Cramer JC

    [Unpublished] 1996. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, New Orleans, Louisiana, May 9-11, 1996. [2], 30, [2] p.

    This study analyzes the relationship between the air quality for regulated pollutants and population growth among 56 counties in California during 1980 and 1990. The five pollutants include reactive organic gases (ROG), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), oxides of sulfur (SOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter with a diameter under 10 microns (PM10). The empirical model, which is based on Ehrlich's IPAT formula (impact or pollutant equals population times affluence or consumption times technology or pollution), is tested in a stochastic model with logarithms of specific variables (for example, the natural logarithm of the ratio of emissions in 1990 to the emissions in 1980). The model is further modified by disaggregating by point of source and by pollutant. The model is tested by specifying population as individuals and as households. Data are obtained from the California Air Resources Board and the US censuses of 1980 and 1990. Findings indicate that the three factors accounted for over 96% of the variation in ROG trends across the 56 counties. All three factors were significant and positive. Regression coefficients indicate that a doubling of population did not yield a doubling of pollution. A doubling of population would yield only about a 60% increase in ROG emissions. A doubling of affluence (income per capita) would increase ROG emissions by 24%. The affluence variable was determined to be misspecified or insignificant. Population growth had a significant and positive effect on emissions from residential and commercial sources, from solvent use, and from off-road vehicles. Population growth did not have a significant effect on emissions from waste burning and off-road public transport. Alternative specifications of population did not improve the basic model, except for small particulate matter from off-road mobile equipment. Findings suggest that economic restructuring can have as great an impact on emissions as population growth or affluence. Data analysis is imprecise due to the lack of data for automobile emissions and industrial processes.
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  18. 18
    091853

    Challenging the planet: connections between population and the environment.

    Population Action International

    Washington, D.C., Population Action International, 1993. [2], 28, [1] p.

    Population Action International's (PAI) colorful brochure on environmental awareness focuses on the lessons of the past, the state of environmental science, the challenge of population growth, the path to stabilization, and group efforts. The story of environmental awareness unfolds with selected statements and pictures germane to seven points of view. The backside of each picture documents important statistics in table, graph, or chart form. 1) The view is expressed that human beings are adaptable and ingenious. Rapid population growth is viewed as posing challenges to the earth's capacity to support a variety of life forms and a decent quality of life. 2) Environmental trends reflect both the patterns of population growth and the patterns of consumption and technology use. Inequalities of power and wealth influence these patterns. 3) The conclusion is that past environmental impacts are disastrous to humans when thresholds are reached. 4) The view is held that all individual human action impacting on the environment must be considered in full for a comprehensive analysis of the population and environmental links. 5) The consequence of slowing population growth is the gift of time for preserving the environment and alleviating poverty. 6) Quality of life is improved when people are given the choice to make their own reproductive decisions. 7) Top priorities are assigned to closing the gap between rich and poor and reducing overconsumption. PAI aims to show a commitment to research, advocacy, and resources for stabilizing world population by offering universal reproductive freedom. PAI states its goals of access to safe affordable, voluntary family planning services and opportunities for women. The environmental program offers a profile of recent research and policy advice and disseminates the information in a timely and accessible way. Groups are encouraged to address population issues and take action to provide conditions conducive to population decline without jeopardizing an individual's reproductive rights. The aim is identified as establishment of a worldwide network of activists and organizations who exchange information and channel political power for constructive action.
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  19. 19
    092506

    Population growth and the food supply: conflicting perspectives.

    Bongaarts J

    New York, New York, Population Council, 1993. 37 p. (Research Division Working Papers No. 53)

    This review aims to expose the diversity of existing views on the consequences of rapid population growth for food production and to summarize the opposing views on the state of natural resources. A deteriorating environment is viewed as inevitable and the developing world improves its standard of living and population increases. Population is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050. Food consumption varies by quantity, quality, and country. The developed world has a diet rich enough in calories and animal products to impair health, while Africans have the poorest diets and Latin Americans the best in the developing world. The developing world's 4.1 billion population in 1990 consumes an average of 4000 gross and 2500 net calories of food crops per capita every day. Production needs in 1990 are 0.7 billion hectares of harvested land with an average crop yield of 2.2 tons of grain per hectare (tge/ha), or its equivalent in nongrain crops. Net imports are 5% of the food supply in the developing world. The needs for 2050 and a population of 8.7 billion can be estimated based on the following scenarios: 1) no change in diets, 2) a 50% increase in gross per capita intake to 6000 calories per day, or 3) a 150% increase as represented in diets in developed countries. Production needs for option one would be an increase from 2.2 tge/ha to 4.7 tge/ha in 2050. Option two would require 14 tge/ha, which is an impossibility considering the current US cereal production is 4.2 tge/ha. Harvested land would need to increase by 50% by 2050 and yields would have to increase to 3.1 tge/ha for option one, 5.2 tge/ha for option two, and 9.3 tge/ha for option three. Global weather conditions are likely to change due to greenhouse emissions and global warming, which will both positively and negatively affect agriculture. The question remains as to how to apply new technology for growth in agriculture for increased production and acceptable environmental costs. Progress is unlikely to be uniform, and the poor will suffer the most. Three hunger scenarios are possible: poor countries with no reserves of land or water and reliance on food aid, ample resources and unequal distribution and ineffective policies, and political instability and civil strife.
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  20. 20
    097392

    Population and energy.

    Weber M; Seery T; Russell A

    Boulder, Colorado, National Audubon Society, Human Population and Resource Use Dept., [1994]. 39 p.

    Human population growth and energy consumption will radically alter the quality of life for Americans, even though most Americans do not experience the poverty and crude life conditions suffered by most inhabitants of the world. Americans can limit family size to two children in the present generation. If world fertility declines from 4.3 in 1990 to 2.3 by 2025, and energy consumption in developing countries does not increase, world energy consumption will increase by 33% by 2025, or 22.5 billion barrels of oil annually. 55% more energy will be consumed if developed countries halve their energy consumption and developing countries double theirs. The recommendations are made to increase energy efficiency and conservation, promote the transition to alternative energy sources, exercise international leadership in energy, and stabilize population growth. The US should promote energy efficiency in buildings. For instance, 80% of every energy dollar is spent on lighting. Heating units can be replaced with more efficient models. Fluorescent light bulbs should replace incandescent bulbs. 65% of US oil consumption is due to automobiles. A change to more efficient models with fuel rates of 50 miles per gallon is feasible. The federal government should set an example by buying right. Photovoltaic and other alternative energy sources should be encouraged. The price of energy should reflect its true cost. Incentives can work. Foreign assistance and multilateral banks should promote energy efficiency, particularly in rural areas of developing countries. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change should be implemented fully by the US government. The social status of women should be improved, and funding for family planning and contraceptive research should be increased. Programs should be developed to suit the needs, values, and cultures of populations. Foreign policies must recognize population as a major factor in sustainable development and not solely as a developing country problem. For example, the impact on the environment is the same for 100 births in Bangladesh as it is for only one birth in the US. US teenage pregnancies result in many unwed mothers and unwanted births. The 1992 Earth Summit established that sustainable development and new models of energy use must be implemented.
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  21. 21
    091964

    Address before the Second Committee of the General Assembly at its 48th Session on agenda item 96: International Conference on Population and Development.

    Mahran M

    [Unpublished] 1993. 4 p.

    This speech by Dr. Maher Mahran, Egyptian Minister for population and family welfare, before the 48th UN general assembly on November 4, 1993, pertained to his remarks on the Annotated Outline for the UN Conference on Population and Development to be held in Cairo in 1994. Brief comments were made about conference preparations and conference facilities progress. The following recommendations were made to strengthen wording on the link between development and population and to use this link as a major thematic area. 1) The analysis of the impact of consumption patterns on economic growth and sustainable development should be expanded to addressed whether degradation of the environment and depletion of resources is due to the consumption patterns of the rich or to greater population numbers. The goal should be to attain reasonable consumption patterns for developed and developing nations. 2) The link between structural adjustment and poverty reduction needs to be included in the draft document; national reports should document the effects of structural adjustment on their economies. 3) The link between rural development and sustained economic growth should be made in the final document. 4) Male responsibilities and participation in population programs must be detailed in a separate chapter, not just in paragraph 17. More research and resource allocation needs to be directed to this area. 5) The active participation of the private sector and local communities should be secured; a definition of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) is needed. 6) Chapter IV, subchapter A with Chapter XI should be combined with chapter IV, subchapter B as a separate entity; and chapter IV, subchapter C should be merged with chapter V. Chapters V and VI, chapters VII and VIII, chapters IX and X, and chapters XI and XII should be combined. 7) Greater emphasis needs to be placed on closing the gender gap and on implementing Safe Motherhood education programs, programs increasing women's status, programs linking ethics and population, programs for the elderly, and education in environmental protection and population. Finances, sovereignty, and NGO's freedom to experiment are other important issues. Egypt provides the example of a success story.
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  22. 22
    095128

    Sustainable development: a medicine for all. Population, consumption, and the environment.

    Ardila P

    In: We speak for ourselves. Population and development, [compiled by] Panos Institute. [Washington, D.C.], Panos Institute, 1994. 3-5.

    There is a development solution that assures men and woman of being truly represented, prepared to define their own needs, and capable of fulfilling their needs. It involves investing in human capital through education, improved health services, and empowerment. When the poor, women, ethnic minorities, and other disadvantaged groups are able to make informed economic and political choices, there will be fertility reductions and better use of natural resources. Sustainable development involves a partnership between the North and the South that includes new patterns of production, consumption, waste disposal, and human reproduction. The solution is simultaneous and coordinated action to deal with improving living standards, protecting and renewing natural resources, and reducing population growth. Northern development solutions frequently recognize the need to reduce poverty, however, policies have encouraged private development for higher profit margins and control of market shares, rather than poverty alleviation. The environment in the South is being jeopardized by the movement of hazardous and polluting industries into developing countries and the dumping of Northern solid and untreated factory waste in the South. The example was given of maquila factories in Mexico that make profits out of cheap labor, tax incentives and lax environmental and industrial safety measures, while, encouraging migration and not contributing to infrastructure development. The environment is being destroyed by both poverty and affluence, and unchecked population growth. The development model as reflected in the Mexican example equates development with economic growth, or a market solution to solve social problems without regard for the views and concerns of those who desire the benefits of development. Global competition through development is encouraged by the advantage of cheap labor. The assumption is that income will contribute to the satisfaction of needs. The problem is that needs are determined by market forces, or a limited number of multinational conglomerates. Press reports on the 1992 Earth Summit noticed that population growth was ignored, even though it is a major contributor to environmental degradation, but women's groups in the South countered that attention to population growth ignores other important factors and makes women pawns.
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  23. 23
    097024

    Countdown to Cairo: U.S. consumption weighs in.

    CAIRO '94. 1994 May; 1(4):1-2.

    Population pressures in the industrialized world affect long-term sustainability. The United States' population comprises only 5% of the world's total, yet it consumes 25% of the world's commercial energy, 27% of the world's aluminum, and over 20% of its tin, copper, and lead. Americans produce twice as much waste per person as most Europeans, and many times more than people in the developing world. Sustainable development is a central theme of the delegates to the UN's Cairo conference on population and development, and efforts to mitigate excessive resource use will undoubtedly be a topic. Delegates are searching for programs to help eradicate poverty; empower and advance women in education, employment, and health; and stabilize population growth. The adoption of policies to alter unsustainable and environmentally damaging patterns of consumption will be equally important. In April, 1994, President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development set up a special task force to explore US population and consumption issues. US population pressures are becoming ever more visible: increasing traffic congestion, mounting garbage, air pollution, and severe water shortages. The US population, currently at 260 million, is the third highest in the world. The nation adds about 3 million to its population every year. The Census Bureau projects that by the year 2000, the population will reach 275 million. The national total fertility rate has risen to 2.1. In the industrialized world, only Iceland and Ireland, both at 2.2, are higher. The average American's energy use is equivalent to the consumption of 3 Japanese, 6 Mexicans, 12 Chinese, 33 Indians, 147 Bangladeshis, 281 Tanzanians, or 422 Ethiopians. It is uncertain whether metropolitan areas can meet the housing, health, education, and employment needs of millions more Americans. Policies in industrialized nations that reduce pollution and excessive resource use and slow population growth are needed to ensure a quality future for generations to come.
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  24. 24
    098179

    The Cairo crunch.

    Myers N

    PEOPLE AND THE PLANET. 1994; 3(3):37.

    The emphasis on excessive population growth in developing countries has diverted attention from the equally significant issue of excessive consumption in developed countries. For example, the rich nations, which contain only 22% of the world's population, cause 74-87% of major pollutants and consume 76-92% of global natural resources each year. While the world's wealthiest 1 billion people have doubled their consumption of meat, energy, steel, copper, and timber since 1950, there has been no increase among the poorest 1 billion. The worldwide value of luxury goods is equivalent to two-thirds of the gross national products of all Third World countries. Although the mass media's introduction into the Third World has raised the aspirations of the world's poor, stores of nonrenewable raw materials would be depleted within a decade if the standard of living were to be equalized. Even if per capita consumption worldwide declines to 2% per year from its current level of 3%, the sustainable capacity of the Earth is in jeopardy. The threat to the continued ability of the planet to sustain life and to the dignity of the have-nots could be ameliorated by a combination of measures, including zero population growth in developed countries, increased foreign aid to population programs in the Third World, production of goods that require fewer raw materials and generate less pollution, and reduced consumption in the North.
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  25. 25
    100704

    Stabilizing the atmosphere: population, consumption and greenhouse gases.

    Engelman R

    Washington, D.C., Population Action International, Population and Environment Program, 1994. 48 p.

    Some human activities produce gases which trap solar heat in the lower atmosphere. Unless the levels of these activities are reduced and controlled, the gases produced will cause average temperatures worldwide to increase with no endpoint in sight. This report is the second in a series on population and critical natural resources which began with an examination of renewable fresh water. Based upon the argument that the atmosphere is a finite global resource threatened by humanity's disposal of greenhouse gases into the air, a model is developed to show how an international agreement may be designed to stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide levels based upon the principles of equal access to the atmosphere, and how population and consumption dynamics would affect this effort in different ways. Carbon dioxide is the dominant greenhouse gas, with industrial emission its major source. This paper therefore looks mainly at industrial carbon dioxide emissions for which there are four decades of country-specific data. Cement production releases the gas as a byproduct of limestone processing and is responsible for 2% of total emissions. Moreover, the paper focuses upon 1990 because it is the latest year for which there is authoritative data for both population and carbon dioxide emission by country for 126 countries with populations of more than one million people. International cooperation between and among both more developed and developing countries is needed to allocate equitable disposal rights. Stabilizing world population at a lower rather than higher level will also increase the likelihood that tolerable levels of individual resource consumption will be compatible with equity and a stable climate, and thus sustainable. Sections discuss atmospheric overload, considering population's role, a stabilization model, and strategies, while appendices list data sources and methodology along with countries' per capita 1990 carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel and cement production.
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