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PEOPLE AND THE PLANET. 1997; 6(4):4-5.The UN General Assembly Special Session held during June 1997 has failed to take forward the objectives set out at the Earth Summit in Rio, casting doubt on the global effort to create a sustainable future. This article presents a balance sheet set out by Don Hinrichsen in the wake of Rio+5. It outlines the progress made by the UN as well as the prevailing issues, which need to be acted upon immediately. It is noted that little progress has been made since the Summit; only the issues of population, forests, and oceans have been given attention, subsequently achieving a significant progress. However, the UN has failed in addressing the issues of poverty, high consumption, management of freshwater, and the continued loss and impoverishment of biological diversity. Little or lack of progress has been made since Rio in implementing recommendations tackling such problems. In the context of the issues regarding land degradation and climate change, assessing progress would be too early for these aspects.
Why immigration reduction is necessary to protect the environment. U.S. population growth: primary cause of environmental degradation.
[Washington, D.C.], Carrying Capacity Network, . 15,  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.
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)