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  1. 1

    Why immigration reduction is necessary to protect the environment. U.S. population growth: primary cause of environmental degradation.

    Carrying Capacity Network

    [Washington, D.C.], Carrying Capacity Network, [1997]. 15, [1] p.

    This article identifies population growth and immigration as the primary cause of environmental degradation in the US. The US has ample natural resources, but population growth forces a shift of open land to residential, industrial, and infrastructure use and results in increased consumption and pollution. About 94% of old-growth forests have been cut down. 99% of tall grass prairie is gone. Only 103 million of the original 221 million acres of wetlands remain. Coastal areas are experiencing the stress of population density and degradation from run-off. Over 2 million acres of prime cropland are lost to erosion, salinization, and waterlogging. The US has surpassed its carrying capacity. Reducing consumption is necessary, but so is reduced population growth. Population is expected to double over the next 60 years. Arable land is expected to be reduced by over 50% (250 million acres). Domestic food prices will increase due to the loss of farmland per person. Water consumption must decline by 50% in accordance with population growth and resources. Groundwater that supplies 31% of agricultural use is being depleted 25% faster than replenishment. An overview is provided of loss of biodiversity, social effects, and energy deficits. If population had stabilized at 1940s levels of 135 million, oil imports would not be necessary. Immigrants have a higher fertility rate and contribute 700,000 or more births yearly. A moratorium on immigration would give billions of dollars in relief. 11 fallacies are identified that are used to thwart immigration reduction and population stabilization efforts.
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  2. 2

    Beyond Malthus: sixteen dimensions of the population problem.

    Brown LR; Gardner G; Halweil B

    Washington, D.C., Worldwatch Institute, 1998 Sep. 89 p. (Worldwatch Paper No. 143)

    This study looks at 16 dimensions or effects of population growth in order to gain a better perspective on how future population trends are likely to affect the human prospect. The evidence gathered here indicates that the rapid population growth prevailing in a majority of the world's countries is not going to continue much longer. Either countries will get their act together, shifting quickly to smaller families, or death rates will rise from one or more [stresses such as AIDS, ethnic conflicts, or water shortages]. The sixteen topics are grain production, fresh water, biodiversity, climate change, oceanic fish catch, jobs, cropland, forests, housing, energy, urbanization, natural recreation areas, education, waste, meat production, and income. (EXCERPT)
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  3. 3

    Critical trends: global change and sustainable development.

    United Nations. Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development

    New York, New York, United Nations, 1997. iv, 76 p. (ST/ESA/255)

    This report identifies critical long-term trends in environmental and socioeconomic matters and policy implications. This report will be used for preliminary meetings for the next Earth Summit + 5. Seven chapters focus on development and the environment, trends in world population, energy and materials consumption, the food supply, water resources, human development, and conclusions. Developing countries are rapidly following patterns of developed countries. There is a global pattern of consumerism and capitalism. Wealth differences are separating the rich from the poor. Poor countries continue to be marginalized in a very visible way. Environmental air and water quality is improving in developed countries, but is deteriorating in developing countries. Concern about nonrenewable resources has lessened. Concern focuses on the threat of continuing degradation of renewable resources. The issues that constrain sustainable development are growing poverty, population growth and urbanization, fossil fuel consumption, and rapid natural resource degradation. Positive signs include positive economic forecasts, accelerated technological innovations, and the spread of democratic institutions. Population programs, agricultural management techniques, and high standards of public health and education have positive effects. Policy has failed to eradicate poverty, improve access to sanitation and energy supplies, and reduce natural resource degradation. Constraints include lack of financial resources, lack of institutional capacity, and political unwillingness. Promising policy approaches include increased investment in people, encouragement of clean and efficient technologies, and pricing reforms.
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  4. 4

    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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  5. 5

    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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  6. 6

    Environmental issues of special concern to women and children. Discussion note.

    United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP]

    [Unpublished] 1992. Presented at the International Conference on Population and Development [ICPD], 1994, Expert Group Meeting on Population and Women, Gaborone, Botswana, June 22-26, 1992. 5, [1] p. (ESD/P/ICPD.1994/EG.III/DN.17)

    Environmental degradation is a universal concern, affecting such basic human needs as food and water. Consumption and population need to be managed in order to assure natural resource sustainability, worldwide survival, environmental protection, and global well-being. Women and children are affected differently in developed compared to developing countries. In developing countries survival is a struggle, and environmental damage affects women first through, for instance, increased workload or poor quality water. Children are affected, for instance, through increased mortality and disease. The most critical environmental problems affecting women and children are conditions that threaten provision of food, safe water, and fuel for cooking or warmth. Contaminated water supplies, lack of adequate sanitation, and overcrowded conditions increase the human, animal, and crop hazard. Water is contaminated by agricultural run-off, industrial waste deposits, and sewage. Protection of watersheds and water quality have implications for the many rural women dependent on farming for their livelihood. Chemical contaminants from pesticides and fertilizers are particularly harmful to pregnant or breast feeding women, if ingested. Hazardous wastes from urban and industrial areas provide other hazards to women and children. High energy consuming countries contribute to natural resource depletion and pollution from industrial releases into the air, water, and soil. Women in developing countries use fuelwood, which contributes to deforestation. The time and energy used to collect fuelwood diminishes human resources. Deforestation reduces supply and contributes to greenhouse gas build-up. Other fuel available, such as agricultural waste and dung, are used instead as important fertilizers, without which soil becomes degraded. Land degradation limits food production, contributes to malnutrition and desertification, and limits women's means of livelihood. Women have an important role in managing natural resources, which entitles them to participate in community decision making.
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  7. 7

    Land, energy and water: the constraints governing ideal U.S. population size.

    Pimentel D; Pimentel M

    In: Elephants in the Volkswagen: facing the tough questions about our overcrowded country, [by] Lindsey Grant. New York, New York, W.H. Freeman, 1992. 18-31.

    Current agricultural practices reduce our agriculture base. In fact, we have reduced soil productivity by 50% in our most productive agricultural regions. We are depleting petroleum sources. Other fossil fuels are also limited. Fossil fuel use, soil erosion (8 tons of soil loss/acre/year), and misuse of other resources are jeopardizing the carrying capacity of our ecosystem. The present US growth rate is 0.8%/year. If immigration increases, the rate will increase. As the population grows, we will diminish our natural resources as is the case in China (relative same land size with a population of 1.1 billion compared to 252 million for the US). Further, the US produces and consumes about 50 times more goods and services per capita than does China. China has almost reached the carrying capacity of its agricultural system. The US does not have new arable land to support its growing population. 85% of US total water use is dedicated to agriculture. The rapid rise in water use in stressing surface and ground water resources (e.g., ground water overdraft is 25% greater than replenishment rate). Pollution, through toxic chemicals affects our air, land, and water. The aforementioned conditions highlight the need for the US to convert from use of finite supplies of fossil fuels to the use of solar energy. In 1850, biomass wood and solar power supplied 91% of our energy needs, while they supply only 3%. Fossil fuel provides 92% of our needs. Currently, US consumption of energy resources does not balance with supplies. Improved agricultural technology and a return to crop rotation would save both fossil fuels and water. Specifically, this would curb soil erosion, conserve fertile land, reduce water requirements for irrigation, and decrease pesticide and fertilizer use. Solar energy could sustain a US population of 40-100 million. if the population would practice sound energy conservation and implement sound environmental policies, this size would maintain a quality environment and a high standard of living.
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  8. 8

    A decade of discontinuity.

    Brown LR

    WORLD WATCH. 1993 Jul-Aug; 6(4):19-26.

    Usual trends in the world have changed direction in the 1990s. We do not yet fully know the consequences of these altered trends. As population continues to grow, basic agricultural and industrial production falls (e.g., 1%/year decline in grain production and 0.6%/year decline in oil production). Moreover, world economic growth has fallen .8% annually in the early 1990s. It is feared that these shifts are not short term as were the instabilities generated during the 1973 increase in oil prices. The shifts in the 1990s are not limited to several national political leaders (e.g., OPEC), but are a result of the collision between swelling human numbers and their needs and the limitations of the earth's natural systems on the other. These limitations include the capacity of seas to produce seafood, of grasslands to yield mutton and beef, of the hydrological cycle to generate fresh water, of crops to use fertilizer, of the atmosphere to absorb carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons, and of people to inhale polluted air, and of forests to resist acid rain. These constraints are forcing the realization that each nation must reduce consumption of the earth's natural resources and implement a population policy. The challenge is for social institutions to quickly check and stabilize population growth without infringing in human rights.
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  9. 9

    Children, women and the environment.


    [Unpublished] 1991. [2], 15 p.

    The relationship among children, women, and the environment is approached within the framework of UNICEF. The impact of environmental degradation on children is greater and has longterm effects. An approach to the problem of environmental degradation is to focus on the well being of children and their mothers. Activities to improve well being involve household food security (techniques for improved and sustained crop yields and better food processing and storage), water and sanitation activities, household fuel security (agroforestry and fuel efficient stoves), and promotion and/or facilitation of breast feeding. The aforementioned "doable" activities alleviate the workload and contribute to better health for children. Other "doable" activities which contribute to well-being are formal and informal educational and advocacy, reduction of child mortality, and other health improvements (oral rehydration, immunization). The strategy is to provide interventions to improve conditions at the household and community levels along with social mobilization and encouragement of longterm self-reliance. The assumption is that high impact, low cost techniques with achievable actions can stimulate other local and national initiatives and empower communities. Underlying causes must be considered: poverty, consumption patterns. Discussion focuses on the underlying causes and conditions that need improvement and are "doable". Sustainability is augmented by social mobilization and advocacy. It is underscored that those without means for providing the basic necessities of life cannot be placed in the position of directly caring for the environment, because survival is at stake. Mobilization of governments, national and international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations and communities is needed. Solutions are complex so that even partial "doable" solutions demand immediate attention. Production techniques must be environmentally sustainable and sound for all countries. Integrated health and family planning are necessary for lowering birth and death rates and reducing pressure on limited resources. The goals must be perceived by local populations as a benefit because of a better standard.
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  10. 10
    Peer Reviewed

    Economic growth and the environment: whose growth? Whose environment?

    Beckerman W

    WORLD DEVELOPMENT. 1992 Apr; 20(4):481-96.

    Global warming (GW) and ozone depletion (OD) have been the focus of intense interest as major environmental problems. This view comes from the belief in an intergenerational value system. However, based on the current evidence, the problems of clean water and proper sanitation pose much greater risks to the world than do climate change. In order to solve the problems of GW and OD, severe measures must be taken that will significantly restrict the chances for economic development in developing countries. In the past, resource constraints have been viewed as the limiting factor to economic development; however, it is inadequate access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and urban air pollution that threaten the world's welfare far more than resource constraints. GW and OD pale in comparison to the loss of welfare caused by unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation. For example, the sea level rise predicted by global warming is currently estimated to cost only 0.03% of the world GNP by the end of the 21st century. If OD causes food costs to rise by even 10% over the next century, this loss will be offset by advances in genetic manipulation of plants and improvement in agricultural technology. If the interests of future generations are to be preserved, it must be done i n a way that ensures prosperity to the people of the developing world. If we put this development on hold to solve relatively insignificant problems, the toll of human suffering will be far greater.
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  11. 11
    Peer Reviewed

    More resources better health? A cross-national perspective.

    Kim K; Moody PM

    Social Science and Medicine. 1992 Apr; 34(8):837-42.

    Researchers analyzed data from 117 countries taken from 2 1988 World Bank publications to determine the relative importance of health care resources in predicting infant mortality within developed, developing and underdeveloped countries. Overall the variance of infant mortality, accounted by only socioeconomic resources, was 32.8% in underdeveloped (p<.01), 34.3% in developing countries (p<.05), and 60.6% in developed countries (p<.1). Further almost all these variables had constant directions of relationship with infant mortality across the 3 subgroups. For example, GNP and education were always negatively associated with infant mortality and urbanization and water were always positively associated with infant mortality. In fact, water had the greatest effect in developing countries and the smallest in underdeveloped countries. Further education was the only statistically significant socioeconomic variable in underdeveloped and developing countries (p<.05). Energy was inversely related with infant mortality in underdeveloped and developing countries, but positively related with it in industrialized countries. Further calorie had an inverse relationship with infant mortality in underdeveloped countries, but a positive relationship in developing and developed countries. In terms of health resources, the variance of infant mortality was not significant and was only an additional 8.6% of that above the variance explained by socioeconomic resources in underdeveloped countries, 5.6% in developing countries, and 3.3% in industrialized countries. Yet the association between inhabitants/ physician was consistent across all subgroups. Further the physician's role in reducing infant mortality was greatest in developing countries. The other 2 health care variables were inhabitants/nurse and inhabitants/hospital bed. In addition, as life expectancy increased, the effects of health care resources on infant mortality fell.
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  12. 12

    Prices, infrastructure, household characteristics and child height.

    Thomas D; Strauss J

    [Unpublished] 1990. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Toronto, Canada, May 3-5, 1990. [2], 28 p.

    Household survey data from Brazil, matched with information collected at the municipio (county) level, are used to examine the relation between parental characteristics (primarily education), community infrastructure and services, and child height. Data are drawn from 2 sources: Informacoes Basicas Municipais (1974) is a periodic survey of 4000 municipios on infrastructure, health and education services. Estudo Nacional da Despesa Familiar (1974-75) is a household survey covering 37,000 children under age 8 on income, expenditure, anthropometry and socio-demographic characteristics. Local food price indices were derived from these data. Child height is significantly affected by local infrastructure, particularly modern sewerage and piped water in urban areas and electricity in rural settings. These effects are stronger for children over 2, those of better educated mothers, and those in households spending more. Higher prices for dairy products and sugar are linked to lower urban child height, and higher fish prices to lower rural child height, significantly for children of illiterate mothers. Higher prices for meat and rice are associated with taller height, possible because men usually eat these foods. Mothers with elementary schooling can counteract the effects of food prices on child height. Number of teachers is positively related to height in rural children. Numbers of nurses and of hospital beds is associated with shorter children, suggesting that large hospitals locate in poor urban areas. This study has succeeded in identifying some public investments that affect child health.
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  13. 13

    The Caribbean basin to the year 2000. Demographic, economic, and resource-use trends in seventeen countries: a compendium of statistics and projections

    Graham NA; Edwards KL

    Boulder, Colo./London, England, Westview Press, 1984. xv, 166 p. (A Westview Replica Edition)

    A comparative analysis of demographic, economic, and resource trends in 17 countries in and around the Caribbean is presented for the period up to the year 2000. The data are taken from a variety of national and international sources. Forecasts of selected demographic trends are made using an updated version of the GLOBESCAN data base and socioeconomic forecasting system developed by The Futures Group. Particular attention is given to the implications of the study's findings for U.S. interests and policy, including U.S. foreign assistance. The methods and data sources are first described, and individual profiles of the situation in the 17 countries are provided. The interactions of rapid population growth, economic trends, and natural resource use are then analyzed in terms of their impact on land supply, agricultural production and consumption, income, energy use, the depletion of forests, water supplies, the environment, tourism, and political instability.
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