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  1. 26
    077785

    Farm productivity must surge to meet the world's needs.

    Pendleton S

    CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR. 1992 Oct 21; 9-10, 12.

    Discussion of world food supply identifies the reasons for shortages, based on the opinions of various food experts, as maldistribution of wealth and income, population growth, limits to production, shortage of usable land, global warming, air pollution, and civil war. In 1992, farmers produced enough food to feed the world's 5.3 billion population, but starvation and hunger occur because people cannot afford to buy enough or because of armed conflict. To meet the growing demands of expected population increases, productivity must increase by 3 times within 50 years to feed 9-12 billion people. Although Dennis Avery from the Hudson Institute is optimistic, the Population Crisis Committee's International Human Suffering Index shows Mozambique as suffering the most with a population growth of 2.7% while Denmark with zero growth suffers the least. 786 million still go hungry today. The agronomists' solution is to lesson the political conditions that lead to conflicts, to make agriculture sustainable, to enhance farm productivity with modern techniques, and encourage economic development. The political challenges are exemplified in the case of Tenneco West's investment in mechanized agriculture in northern Sudan which doubled agricultural productivity but civil war disrupted activities. Famine in Africa is due to war, i.e., Somalia in the present context. 11% of the earth's land surface is cultivated (3.7 billion acres). Lester Brown of the Worldwatch Institute pessimistically points out that the farmland base stopped growing in 1980, air pollution can reduce crop yields by 10%, and part of the world's food output is not sustainable. Avery states that a billion acres of African wetlands and another billion of savanna could be changed over to agriculture, that African farmers could triple corn production using high yield varieties, but Africa will have a "slow, desperately difficult struggle." Dr. Harwood at Michigan State says that global warming might increase yields as well as contribute to flooding. Dennis Leopold from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University suggests that a balance must be reached between the farmer and the community, and large farms may not be the best. World trade is low compared with production and consumption, yet countries like Indonesia clear 1.5 million acres of jungle for crop production regardless of the environmental degradation.
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  2. 27
    077753

    Report of the ESCAP/UNDP Expert Group Meeting on Population, Environment and Sustainable Development: 13-18 May 1991, Jomtien, Thailand.

    United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]

    Bangkok, Thailand, United Nations, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP], 1991. iv, 41 p. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 106)

    The 1991 meeting of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific considered the following topics: the interrelationships between population and natural resources, between population and the environment and poverty, and between population growth and consumption patterns, technological changes and sustainable development; the social aspects of the population-environment nexus (the effect of social norms and cultural practices); public awareness and community participation in population and environmental issues; and integration of population, environment, and development policies. The organization of the meeting is indicated. Recommendations were made. The papers on land, water, and air were devoted to a potential analytical model and the nature of the interlocking relationship between population, environment, and development. Dynamic balance was critical. 1 paper was presented on population growth and distribution, agricultural production and rural poverty; the practice of a simpler life style was the future challenge of the world. Several papers focused on urbanization trends and distribution and urban management policies. Only 1 paper discussed rural-urban income and consumption inequality and the consequences; some evidence suggests that increased income and equity is associated with improved resource management. Carrying capacity was an issue. The technological change paper reported that current technology contributed to overproduction and overconsumption and was environmentally unfriendly. The social norms paper referred to economic conditions that turned people away from sound environmental, cultural norms and practices. A concept paper emphasized women's contribution to humanism which goes beyond feminism; another presented an analytical summary of problems. 2 papers on public awareness pointed out the failures and the Indonesian experience with media. 1 paper provided a perspective on policy and 2 on the methodology of integration. The recommendations provided broad goals and specific objectives, a holistic and conceptual framework for research, information support, policies, resources for integration, and implementation arrangements. All activities must be guided by 1) unity of mankind, 2) harmony between population and natural resources, and 3) improvement in the human condition.
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  3. 28
    075912

    Strategies for energy use.

    Gibbons JH; Blair PD; Gwin HL

    SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. 1989 Sep; 261(3):136-43.

    The industrialized nations of the US, Japan, and West Germany can attribute their high standard of living to access to energy. 20% of the world's population uses >70% of its commercial energy. Between 1973 and 1985, the US gross national product increased 40% yet energy consumption did not change due to energy conservation measures. In this time period, energy consumption grew most rapidly in developing countries (22%) while they tried to improve living standards, industrialized, and adjusted to rapid population growth (11%). The increase in energy demand endangers our environment as well as our health. The burning of coal and oil yield acid rain destroying lakes, forests, crops, and buildings in Europe and North America. It unloads >5 billion tons of carbon into the air annually. Nuclear fission generates radioactive wastes. Even though technology has greatly decreased energy driven problems and energy demand without reducing the level of goods and services, energy efficiency and finding alternatives to existing energy sources in both developed and developing countries holds the greatest hope for preserving our planet and maintaining and improving our standard of living. The dependence on Middle East oil strains the economies of both developed and developing countries and sets the stage for international conflict. Potential alternative energy sources include solar energy, fusion, hydroelectric power, geothermal energy, and biomass. Some examples of energy efficiency measures are use of building materials which reduce heat loss, cogeneration (combined production of electricity and heat), aeroderivative turbine for electric power generation, and continuously variable transmissions. Neither energy efficiency or development of energy alternatives can occur fast enough to preserve out planet without political will, however. This political will needs to start with the US--a world leader in energy consumption and global carbon emissions.
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  4. 29
    075865

    Land use and management in PR China: problems and strategies.

    Cai Y

    LAND USE POLICY. 1990 Oct; 7(4):337-50.

    The conflict between population and land in China results from high population density, declining availability of arable land, decrease in cropland, overgrazing, inability to afford imported grain, and expansion of land use for urbanization. Unwise decisions have been made. These decisions have resulted in land degradation, soil erosion, deforestation, degradation of grasslands, waste of land for freight storage or waste disposal due to low grain prices, and nonagricultural constructions on croplands. Ineffective land management problems are identified as: 1) the lack of an economic means of guiding land use and land is not valued; the lack of any mechanism to ensure economic land use including public lands which are not accounted for with rent; 2) the lack of integration of departments into the decision making structure and too many departments making decisions about the same land; 3) the lack of choice in land use which results in higher government departments being unaware of local conditions, and the lack of appropriate investment which results in short-term exploitation; and 4) surveys are inadequate for decision making. The strategies suggested for improvement in land use management include low resources expenditure in production and appropriate goods consumption. The goal is to sustain subsistence with gradual improvement through development. Land resources must be conserved and the environment protected. The solutions to depend on food imports or reduce the nutritional level deny the equally plausible solution to generate a higher level of input. The profit motive and scientific agricultural practices could accomplish this end. Reclamation for cropland is possible for 8 million hectares of wasteland in wide areas in Sanjiang Plain and 3.4 million hectares in small pockets in Eastern Monsoon China. Traditional agriculture must be transformed and an optimum scale of land operation established. Land tenure reform is necessary. Regional conditions must prevail as the guiding principles. Several implementation strategies are suggested: controlling population growth and establishing a balance between expenditure and land productivity, expanding and conserving forest areas, increasing agricultural investment, reforming land tenure, adjusting land product prices, strengthening land administration, developing other industries, and reforming economic and political systems.
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  5. 30
    075689

    Burning the Third World's last tree.

    Barber B

    WASHINGTON POST. 1990 Dec 30; C2.

    Deforestation for fuel wood was on the rise again after 1973 oil price increases. Between 1976-86, the use of wood for fuel increased 35%. In 1987, 50% of the world's population were using wood for cooking and heating. 1.7 cubic meters/year of wood are burned. The energy use equivalent in oil would be 21 million barrels of oil/day. The example is given of Costa Ricans return to wood use from electric stoves after the oil price increases of 1979. Current high oil prices again can only mean greater wood use. The tobacco and tea industry have also switched to wood and then to dry products due to oil price increases. Past patterns of use coupled with increased population and higher inflation and debt means a greater impact. Deforestation for agricultural use in the 1990s is expected to be >370 million acres. 40-50 million acres/year are burned mostly for agricultural use, but the next largest use is for fuel wood. In the US, 20% of forests are used for fuel and the remainder for industry, while in developing countries, 95% of energy comes from biomass, usually wood. In India and China, animal and crop residues are used for fuel instead of for soil fertilization. Wood is also wasted to produce charcoal. Deforestation in Thailand may have resulted in a decrease in rainfall; erosion occurs when rain comes. Wood burning also contributes to increases in carbon dioxide which cause global warming. When plantings equal burnings, carbon levels remain constant. The present ration in Latin America is 10 trees cut to every 1 planted, in Asia the ratio is 5 to 1, in Africa 29 to 1. 1.5 billion people over cut forests, and 125 million either cannot find enough wood or cannot afford it; by 2000, 2.8 billion will be short of fuel wood. Biomass burning also contributes to buildup of methyl chloride, which adds chloride to the atmosphere and the destruction of the ozone layer. The amount released is estimated at 26% emitted by the Third World. Amazon forest burning should cease by 1995 and biomass burning reduced by 50% over the next 15-20 years. The return to wood means lower living standards. The hope is that technology will generate more efficient wood-burning stoves or replacement fuel.
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  6. 31
    075047

    The most overpopulated nation.

    Ehrlich PR; Ehrlich AH

    NPG FORUM. 1991 Jan; 1-4.

    A stable population in the US in 1943 would have resulted in just 135 million people today making the import of foreign oil unnecessary. A population exerts an impact on the environment based on 3 factors: the size of the population (P), the level of per capita consumption or affluence (A), and the measure of the impact of technology (T). In the US the P factor is huge: 250 million people. The sum of A and T factors (per-capita environmental impact) is 1 1/2 times that of the Soviet Union, twice that of Britain, Sweden, France, or Australia, 14 times that of China, and 40 times that of India. Americans burn 1/4 of the world's fossil fuels spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and use chlorofluorocarbons extensively that also add to the greenhouse effect and deplete the vital ozone shield. The key to civilization's survival is the reduction of the P, A, and T factors. In rich nations this can be accomplished by much more efficient use of energy and transition toward negative population growth. The best strategy is the Holdren scenario: rich countries would reduce their per capita energy use from almost 8 kilowatts to 3 kilowatts. In poor countries, per capita use would increase from 1.2 to 3 kilowatts resulting in the same standard of living at the end of a century. To prevent longterm deterioration it will be necessary to reduce population size substantially below 10 billion. The optimum population size of the US would be around 75 million people, a permanently sustainable nation with a high quality of life.
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  7. 32
    075018

    New approaches for environmental management.

    Mohrmann JC

    Development. 1992; (2):17-21.

    A Vice President of the Society for International Development discusses practical ways to manage the environment by developing and executing an ecologically sustainable policy on food and energy. Despite the abundance of international declarations and guidelines since 1972, many ecological tragedies have taken place: drought in Africa; chemical leak in Bhopal, India; and nuclear fallout from a nuclear reactor in Chernobyl in the former USSR. Deforestation; burning of fossil fuels; release of methane from rice planting, cattle farming, and waste dumps; release of chlorofluorocarbons are all contributing to the rising temperature of the planet's atmosphere. Reforestation is needed to break down excess carbon dioxide. Local development projects and universal development strategies are needed to solve this great ecological problem. The only sustainable solution to the food problem includes a definition of ecological limits for international and national agricultural policies and development and use of agricultural techniques that guarantee a sustainable food supply. In industrialized countries, farmers must reduce agricultural overproduction and use less intensive production methods to protect soil and ground water. We must begin rational consumption of energy and using alternative forms of energy such as wind, water, and sun. These efforts require considerable financial, human, and technical resources through international cooperation. A multidisciplinary approach is needed to implement various alternative supply models. We must return to regional and local planning and action and also establish an orderly transfer of technology and research by improving education, communication, and training. This transfer cannot be a 1-way transfer, however. The European Common Market is an example of international cooperation to address common problems.
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  8. 33
    074888

    Nonfuel minerals and the world economy.

    Vogely WA

    In: The global possible: resources, development, and the new century, edited by Robert Repetto. New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 1985. 457-73. (World Resources Institute Book)

    If certain institutional conditions are upheld, markets can provide supplies and allocate use so that minerals and materials will satisfy our needs for a very long time, likely forever. These conditions include internalization of environmental damages, worldwide trade access to raw materials, access to the earth's crust for exploration, and prevention of market control by either sellers or buyers. Contrary to popular belief, primary mineral supplies are indeed infinite since they flow to the world economy at a cost that will support their demand as influenced by supplies from scrap. Rarely do interruptions in supply justify government interference in mineral markets. Technology tends to provide new supplies or changes material demands. For example, in the mid 1970s in Zaire, the military prevented cobalt supplies from reaching the markets. Manufacturers of jet engine turbines and high temperature magnets asked the US government to open up strategic cobalt stockpiles to meet their needs. The government did not do so since no state of emergency existed. Cobalt prices increased. This predicament forced research and/or development of new technologies: Cobalt-free magnets and use of other materials such as ceramics for turbine blades. Many people do not consider the large mineral deposits in the seabed because of the tremendous costs to extract them. Technological development is need to identify means to explore and extract them. Mineral and material demand are not always in those countries where the deposits exist so international trade is very important. Thus policies permit efficient trade, production, and use should be promoted. The market works.
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  9. 34
    073537

    Biology and the balance sheet.

    Meadows D; Rothenberg J; Sinai A; Wilson EO; Myers N

    EARTHWATCH. 1992 Jul-Aug; 6-9.

    For the past several decades ecologists and economists have been engaged in a debate. Ecologists have a philosophy that is based on the belief that the carrying capacity of the Earth refers to the integrity of ecological systems. Economists have a philosophy that is based on the belief that the carrying capacity of the Earth refers to human welfare. There has been some progress in the debate. Economists are now starting to realize that ecology must be factored into economic models. This is especially true when economics are dependent on something ecological. Food production is a classic example. If the ecology is damaged to a certain degree, then it cannot grow food and food prices rise in that area. Ecologists are now starting to realize that economic markets are good places to make changes in the ecology. Tax credits and government subsidies of money or land are examples of economic forces that can be harnessed to protect the ecology. Population is a factor of great importance, but consumption is equally as important. Every year Bangladesh adds twice as many people to its population as the US, yet each American consumes 20 times more energy than each person from Bangladesh. So while the population growth rate in developing countries does legitimately threaten the ecology, so does the high consumption levels in developed countries. To the credit of the economists, technology and innovation has to date managed to solve all the major problems humanity has created. But, to the credit of the ecologists, there are several very serious problems, E.G., deforestation, decertification, drought, famine, global warming, and ozone depletion that do not appear to have imminent solutions. As ecological conditions worsen, economists and ecologists will continue to work more closely if for no other reason than necessity.
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  10. 35
    067354

    Population and the food crisis.

    Hinrichsen D; Marshall A

    POPULI. 1991 Jun; 18(2):24-34.

    Between 1979-81 and 1986-87 cereal production per capita declined in 51 developing countries and rose in 43 out of the 94 countries for which Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data are available. Imports of cereals by developing countries rose from 20 million metric tons between 1969-71 to 69 million metric tons by 1983-85. This figure is projected to be 112 million metric tons by 2000. The deficits in developing countries have been made up by surpluses in developed countries; however, the drought of 1988 caused world cereal stock to drop from 451 million metric tons in 1990. The previous level was a safe 24% of consumption, the lower level was dangerous at 17%. Food crisis is brought about by 3 factors: 1) social organization, level of income, and lifestyles determine levels of consumption; 2) technology that is in wide spread use determines the quality (damaging or sustaining) and the quantity (waste products) of effect on the environment; 3) population serves as a multiplier of the 1st 2 factors to determine total impact. Another related factor is inequality which leads to poverty. Population plays another role as land is divided with each generation until the per household land holding is so small that it can not sustain the community. In 57 developing countries, 50% of the land holdings are smaller than 1 hectare. Also, every year 24 billion metric tons of topsoil are lost to erosion. Left unchecked this could lead to a 30% reduction in food production. Decertification has claimed 65 million hectares in the last 50 years just in sub-Saharan Africa. There are strategies for food security: 1) national population programs; 2) integrated planning of future needs; 3) sustainable development; 4) rural agricultural extension; 5) special extension services for women, who are the majority of the farmers in rural areas; 6) give women more legal rights so they can inherit land; 7) increase education for women in rural areas; 8) community development; 9) increase programs for maternal and child health; 10) support integration of traditional and emerging technologies for food production.
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  11. 36
    072691

    Energy, people, and industrialization.

    Lovins AB

    In: Resources, environment, and population: present knowledge, future options, edited by Kingsley Davis and Mikhail S. Bernstam. New York, New York/Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1991. 95-124. (Population and Development Review. Vol. 16. Supplement)

    While there are a variety of factors that will likely limit population and economic growth, energy need not be 1 of them. If currently known technologies are applied, energy constraints can be among the weakest. Energy need not limit traditional industrial expansion; however, there are goals more worthy than indiscriminate growth. By pursuing the narrowest economic interests, the energy problem can be solved by available new technologies that increase end-use efficiency primarily and increase conversion and sustainable supply secondarily. Between 1979-86 energy savings expanded available US energy by 700% as much as nuclear power did. Between 1984-86 that figure is 1300%. Because of energy efficiency improvements the energy cost from 1973 to present has been $430 billion rather than $580 billion, a savings of $150 billion. Since the 1st modern oil shock in 1974 the energy producing industry has been hiding behind government subsidies in an effort to put of the inevitable. Oil is nonrenewable, production is growing and reserves are rising. The ultimate irony is that when the infamous work. Limits of Growth was published a group called the cornicopians declared that everything would work out in the end and technology would solve everything. These technological optimists forgot that technology often is expensive, it has limits, and it usually has side effects. These same technological optimists are now saying such mundane, vernacular and transparent technologies as duct tape and chalking guns will not work and will not last. They were hoping for fusion reactors and got fluorescent lights instead. So they have come full circle from claiming that the omnipotence technology will save us, to rejecting the technology that is actually making a documented difference.
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  12. 37
    072690

    Sustainable development: from concept and theory to operational principles.

    Daly HE

    In: Resources, environment, and population: present knowledge, future options, edited by Kingsley Davis and Mikhail S. Bernstam. New York, New York/Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1991. 25-43. (Population and Development Review. Vol. 16. Supplement)

    Sustainable development is a relatively new economic term in the common vocabulary. Above all it is important to realize the critical difference between growth and development. In the past growth has been viewed as the ideal and as such all our economic measuring systems are based upon it. However, measuring the circular flow of exchange value makes it impossible to take into account the effect upon the environment that growth has. This old method was suitable in the past because of a misperception that growth is unlimited. A better way of measuring economics is to examine the entropic throughout of matter/energy. This system of measurement is consistent with the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics and consistent with the fact that we live in a finte world with finite resources. Thus, the old system only measures the scale but not the allocation of resources and per capita consumption. While the independence of allocation from distribution is widely known, the independence of allocation from scale is not. No matter how large the population or per capita consumption rate, an optimal allocation will be found for every scale. Yet measuring scale is of critical importance. If a ship is overloaded, it does not matter how evenly distributed the load is, it will sink. Some method must be devised and implemented which will keep economic scale within the limits of ecological carrying capacity. Achieving sustainable development will require some rethinking and a change of priority. Thus, qualitative improvement could be labeled development, and quantitative improvements could be labeled growth. Thus a steady state economy could continue to develop without growing. This is how planet Earth operates and economics is just another open system that must be allowed to develop without growing.
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  13. 38
    070818

    Healthy people -- in numbers the world can support.

    Sadik N

    WORLD HEALTH FORUM. 1991; 12(3):347-55.

    The issues of health, development and population are all interrelated. There large, rapidly growing population can adversely affect both health and development. currently 95% of the population growth is occurring in the development world. Progress in development creates opportunities to improve health and reduce population through education and contraception. The general health of the population affects development because people need to be healthy in order to work and contribute to socioeconomic progress. By the year 2000 40% of the developing world's projected population of 5 billion will be under 25. It is now recognized that reducing the population is in everyone's best interest as the size it has reached is already having a negative effect on the world economy and health. In order to be successful the developed nations need to increase development assistance for international family planning to US$9 billion by 2000. In addition the role of women in development must be expanded, for without their inclusion in sustainable development planning, success will not come. Critical areas include education, employment and health care. Also, family planning and maternal/child health should be integrated into the general health care system in order to improve cost effectiveness and efficiency.
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  14. 39
    070817

    Ethics and the environment.

    Shrader-Frechette K

    WORLD HEALTH FORUM. 1991; 12(3):311-21.

    Today the effect upon the environment have moral implications. In order to establish a list of priorities for human conduct, it is necessary to understand the value of our own human lives and the value of our ecosystem. Different schools of thought have different priorities that they each try to support. The technocratic individualist (TI) believes that the end of progress and economic expansion, justifies any means. This attitude leads to the exploitation of the earth and violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics. It leaves the planet bare and lifeless. Current methods employed by the TIs are based on consumptive methods that extract what is needed without any concern for the future. the TIs' methods result in the tragedy of the commons, in which the common people are exploited for the benefit of an elite few. The environmental holist (EH) claims that we must abandon the anthropocentric ethics of the TIs; however, the EHs suffer from both scientific and ethical problems. If we do as the EHS say and respect all life, we can not eat, fight disease, or build shelter. Further, if we value ourselves equally with the rest of the ecosystem, then we could easily justify violating human rights and decent conduct in an effort of avoid doing harm in the ecosystem. The best compromise between these 2 extremes lies in contract ethics. Because we benefited from the people of the past, we have an obligation, through a social contract, to the people of the future. The last element of an acceptable list of priorities of conduct lies in the distinction between strong and weak rights. Strong rights are those necessary for our survival, weak rights are those that give our lives meaning. Thus our ethical priorities should be: (1) duty to recognize strong human rights: (2) duty to protect environmental interests; (3) duty to recognize weak human rights.
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  15. 40
    068013

    People who live in green houses.

    Stetson M

    WORLD WATCH. 1991 Sep-Oct; 4(5):22-30.

    This article examines the struggle between developed and developing countries when it comes to reducing energy consumption and limit carbon emissions, necessary steps for averting global warming. Negotiators from across the world have begun discussing the issue, hoping to come to an agreement by next June, when the UN Conference on Environment and Development will meet in Brazil. Disagreement centers around the question of who is responsible for the greenhouse effect and who will pay to fix the problem. The report discusses energy consumption and its effects, the cost of producing energy, and possible ways of eliminating energy waste -- especially as it relates to the 3rd world. Currently, the industrialized world (along with the USSR and Eastern Europe) account for 70% of all carbon emissions from fossil fuel consumption. Experts predict, however, that by the year 2025, the 3rd World will surpass the industrialized world in fossil fuel consumption. The author emphasizes the difference in energy use between the 2 regions: while people in developing countries burn wood and biomass to take care of basic necessities, much of the consumption in the developed world to goes towards luxuries and amenities. Inefficient power plants waste much of the energy consumed in the 3rd World. Although hundreds of billions of dollars could be saved annually by introducing energy-saving devices, skewed international lending, underpriced electricity, and the vested interests of the 3rd World industries work against such measures. The author explains that the technology necessary to significantly reduced carbon emissions already exists. Furthermore, 3rd World countries and most industrialized nations (with the exception of the US and the USSR) have agreed on the need to reduce carbon emissions.
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  16. 41
    066489

    Rapid population growth and environmental degradation: ultimate versus proximate factors.

    Shaw RP

    ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION. 1989 Autumn; 16(3):199-208.

    This philosophical review of 2 arguments about responsibility for and solutions to environmental degradation concludes that both sides are correct: the ultimate and the proximal causes. Ultimate causes of pollution are defined as the technology responsible for a given type of pollution, such as burning fossil fuel; proximate causes are defined as situation-specific factors confounding the problem, such as population density or rate of growth. Commoner and others argue that developed countries with low or negative population growth rates are responsible for 80% of world pollution, primarily in polluting technologies such as automobiles, power generation, plastics, pesticides, toxic wastes, garbage, warfaring, and nuclear weapons wastes. Distortionary policies also contribute; examples are agricultural trade protection, land mismanagement, urban bias in expenditures, and institutional rigidity., Poor nations are responsible for very little pollution because poverty allows little waste or expenditures for polluting, synthetic technologies. The proximal causes of pollution include numbers and rate of growth of populations responsible for the pollution. Since change in the ultimate cause of pollution remains out of reach, altering the numbers of polluters can make a difference. Predictions are made for proportions of the world's total waste production, assuming current 1.6 tons/capita for developed countries and 0.17 tons/capita for developing countries. If developing countries grow at current rates and become more wealthy, they will be emitting half the world's waste by 2025. ON the other hand, unsustainable population growth goes along with inadequate investment in human capital: education, health, employment, infrastructure. The solution is to improve farming technologies in the 117 non-self-sufficient countries, fund development in the most unsustainable enclaves of growing countries, break institutionalized socio-political rigidity in these enclaves, and focus on educating and empowering women in these enclaves. Women are in charge of birth spacing and all aspects of management of energy, food, water and the local environment, more so than men, in most countries.
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  17. 42
    066854

    Public health and the ethics of sustainability. Swellengrebel Lecture.

    King M

    TROPICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL MEDICINE. 1990 Jul; 42(3):197-206.

    An exposition of the ethical arguments for placing sustainability as a priority in implementation of public health programs is made, considering the definition of sustainability, theories of the demographic transition, the ecological transition, the relationship between sustainability of the ecosystem and the human birth rate, types of ethical conflicts over the issue of child survival interventions, a suggested way of resolving the dilemma and a possible paradigm shift constituting a scientific revolution in the field of international health. Sustainability means maintenance of the capacity to support life in quantity and variety. Although most demographers are familiar with Notestein's classic definition of the demographic transition, many are unaware of the likelihood that many countries will become entrapped in stage 2, to the extent that they destroy their ecosystem and thus their population, the "demographic trap." The 3 stages of the ecological transition are 1) expanding human demands with sustainable yield; 2) excess human demands with consumption of biological reserves; 3) ecosystem collapse and death or exit of the human population. An early sign of the 3rd phase is a rise in infant mortality. Sustainability can be increased by adjusting the environment or by lowering human birth rate, with Chinese rigor in need be, or by adding sustainable elements to the system that outweigh de-sustaining ones. Unfortunately there are too many unremovable constraints, and not enough time to wait for socioeconomic gains to lower birth rates. The current attempt by UNICEF to lower the child death rate to effect a demographic transition is attractive but unsound, since it has been proven that numbers of child deaths do not affect family fertility sufficiently. Reducing child deaths will only make population pressure worse. Ethical principles arguing for lowering child deaths have been articulated in Western culture, but now the challenge of sustainability may outweigh them all. It may be possible to apply sustaining measures to countries where possible, but for others, it is argued that child survival measures should not be instituted. These would only make the demographic transition impossible and prolong human misery for larger numbers. For these societies, only the kind of care Mother Teresa gives is appropriate. Finally, residents of developed countries must assume a "deep green" behavior code, a sustainable consumption level. WHO's definition of health should be updated to "Health is a sustainable state of complete...well-being."
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  18. 43
    066424

    Population growth can prevent the development that would slow population growth.

    Keyfitz N

    In: Preserving the global environment: the challenge of shared leadership, edited by Jessica T. Mathews. New York, New York/London, England, W. W. Norton, 1991. 39-77.

    The thesis that human population growth will eventually destroy the equilibrium of the world ecosystem, because environmental strain is a nonlinear effect of the linear growth, is embellished with discussions of technology and resulting pollution, population dynamics, birth and death rates, effects of expanded education, causes of urbanization, time constraints and destabilizing effects of partial development and the debt crisis. It is suggested that the terms renewable and nonrenewable resources are paradoxical, since the nonrenewable resoureces such as minerals will always exist, while renewable ecosystems and species are limited. The competitive economy actually accelerates destruction of biological resoureces because it overvalues rare species when they have crossed the equilibrium threshold and are in decline. Technological outputs are proportional to population numbers: therefore adverse effects of population should be considered in billions, not percent increase even though it is declining. Even the United Nations does not have predictions of the effects of added billions, taking into account improved survival and decreased infant mortality. Rapid urbanization of developing countries and their debt crisis have resulted from political necessity from the point of view of governments in power, rather than mere demographics. Recommendations are suggested for U.S. policy based on these points such as enlightened political leadership, foreign aid, and scientific investment with the health of the world ecosystem in mind rather than spectacle and local political ideology.
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  19. 44
    063990

    Beyond the blame-game: population-environment links.

    Harrison P

    POPULI. 1990 Sep; 17(3):14-21.

    No single factor should be blamed for environmental degradation; all possible factors must be considered in implementing methods to improve the environment and to prevent further damage. 3 major factors contribute to total environmental damage: consumption, technology, and population. Population is often blamed as the single factor responsible for environmental degradation. From 1950-1985, global carbondioxide (CO2) emissions rose at a rate of 3.1%/year. While consumption and technology contributed to 38% of the increased CO2 emissions, population growth contributed to 62%. Population increases can lead to increased demand for food production, which result in increased use of farmland. Increased farmland contributes to deforestation, which has an impact on environmental degradation. During 1971-1986, farmland increased by 59 million hectares and forest decreased by 125 million hectares in developing countries. In Latin America, ranching contributed to 43% of the deforestation. Another contributing factor of deforestation is commercial logging. Besides increased farmland and deforestation, population growth may also result in species loss and soil erosion. Additional factors responsible for environmental damage include poverty, inequality in landownership, and misdirected policies. Advancement in technology can better utilize the land. Irrigation can prevent increased land consumption by reutilization of farmland. Terracing can prevent further soil erosion. Methods for improving the environment and preventing further damage must consider the impact of consumption, lifestyles, and technology on the environment. Reformation in each of these areas would have an immediate effect on environmental degradation reduction.
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  20. 45
    077166

    Too many rich folks.

    Ehrlich PR; Ehrlich AH

    POPULI. 1989 Sep; 16(3):20-9.

    Rapid population growth and overpopulation do not create serious problems for poor countries - they explain why most of them cannot escape poverty. The creation of a worldwide lethal situation is not due to the crude numbers of people or population density per se, but to the disproportionately negative impact of rich nations dumping on the life support systems and resources of the world. Roughly 3/4 of carbon dioxide released in burning fossil fuels is caused by the mobilization of energy to power overdeveloped societies. Poor people don't use much energy, so they do not contribute much to the damage caused by mobilizing it. "The average Bangladeshi is not surrounded by plastic gadgets, the average Bolivian doesn't fly in jet airplanes, the average Kenyan farmer doesn't have a tractor or a pickup, the average Chinese doesn't have air conditioning or central heating in his apartment." Statistics on per capita commercial energy use are used to develop an index of responsibility, by country, for damage to the environment and the consumption of resources by an average citizen of a nation. A baby born in the US represents twice the disaster for earth as one born in Sweden or the USSR; 3 times one born in Brazil; 35 times one born in India; 140 times one in Bangladesh or Kenya; and 280 times one in Chad, Rwanda, Haiti or Nepal. Overpopulation in industrial countries represents a much greater threat to the health of ecosystems than does population growth in developing countries. People in rich nations are in better positions to take responsibility for the world's resource depletion and environmental deterioration, because if they fail to reduce consumption rates and develop more accountable corporate standards, they can't expect the developing world to do so. The situation requires input by all nations to find solutions to problems of population growth, environmental degradation and damaging technologies and to design a more sustainable civilization. (Author's modified). (EXCERPT)
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  21. 46
    055241

    Rethinking transportation.

    Renner M

    In: State of the world 1989. A Worldwatch Institute report on progress toward a sustainable society. New York, New York, W.W. Norton, 1989. 97-112.

    The costs to society, in terms of air pollution, acid rain, global warming, congestion, health costs, deaths and inequalities, of the world's 400 million motor vehicles, and feasible alternatives are discussed. Growing numbers of cars show no sign of leveling off in the U.S., and they are rising in Western Europe, Japan, Eastern Europe, U.S.S.R., and the third world. 1% of people in developing countries own cars, compared to 40% in industrial countries, or 8% overall worldwide. Petroleum for transport accounts for 63% of petroleum use in the U.S.; in the third world the fraction of export earnings used to pay for transport fuels tripled during the 1970s. Ethanol is not a practical alternative fuel since it requires more energy to produce than it yields, and only cane sugar is a practical source. Methanol production from coal also entails more pollution than gasoline. Hydrogen may be the fuel of the future. Several ways of enhancing fuel efficiency already exist: cars making 120 m/g have been tested. Market factors prevent their development, however. Any car with 1 driver is inefficient. Improving air quality is possible by regulation in some areas, but in the U.S. the shear volume of traffic thwarts any imposed regulation. Alternative transport systems will be necessary to reverse 250,000 traffic deaths and millions of injuries annually worldwide, congestion in cities resulting in lost productivity, hidden financial subsidies and costs of automotive infrastructure and lost health. Multidestinational systems operate successfully in European cities. Nonmotorized transport, mainly bicycles and walking, is the primary mode in Asia and Africa. How these alternatives can be implemented in the noncentralized urban areas of the U.S., with up to 60% of urban land devoted to cars and much of the economy to their distribution and service, is an unsolved problem. Even in developing countries, city planners and donor agencies favor the elite with autos. People need urban design that incorporates access to jobs, homes and services.
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  22. 47
    228760

    Technology and the social regulation of fertility.

    McNicoll G

    TECHNOLOGY IN SOCIETY. 1987; 9(3-4):261-73.

    Technology as a factor influencing fertility is discussed. The author argues that "technological change affects the demand for children, and hence for fertility regulation, both by directly altering the expected benefits and costs of children to parents and by influencing the cultural and social structural underpinnings of that economic calculus. Routes of that influence include the demand for education generated by competition for modern sector employment, the consumerist values and lifestyles conveyed by communications media, and the erosion of community and kin pressures on individual behavior in a more mobile and more commercialized society. Such forces for behavioral change, it is argued, are more powerful factors in fertility decline than either the 'social technology' of contraceptive service delivery (family planning programs) or improvements in the technology of contraception itself." (EXCERPT)
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  23. 48
    057016

    Interaction between macro-economic activities and demographic changes in selected developing countries.

    Bhattacharyya D

    Leicester, England, University of Leicester, Department of Economics, 1987 Oct. 26 p. (Department of Economics Discussion Paper No. 66)

    The author analyzes the relationship between population and economic development in developing countries using a macro-level model and short-term time-series data. The variables considered are consumption expenditure, investment expenditure, national income, and population; the countries examined are India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and the Central African Republic, with the United Kingdom as a control. The time period covered is 1964-1980. The results show little support for Malthusian theory and only partial support for alternative theories asserting that population growth is associated with technological progress.
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  24. 49
    119758

    Investment in social development: some implications of demographic conditions.

    Herzog J

    In: Population strategy in Asia. The Second Asian Population Conference, Tokyo, November 1972. Report, declaration and selected papers, [compiled by] United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East [ECAFE]. Bangkok, Thailand, ECAFE, 1974 Jun. 190-203. (Asian Population Study Series No. 28; E/C.N.11/1152)

    The question raised in this discussion is how demographic conditions and particularly the rate of population growth affect both the role investment plays in social development and the allocation of resources among the alternative social projects and programs. Particular attention is directed to the factors and problems decision makers and social planners must consider in allocating social investment. An attempt is made to analyze 3 ways in which demographic conditions may affect the production of social goods and services: economies of scale; innovation; and changes in the mix of inputs. The implications of economies of scale for social investment policy are 2-fold: in allocating resources among sectors, decision makers must consider differences among sectors in the extent of economies (or diseconomies) of scale; and social investment policy may seek to exploit economies of scale without depending on population growth and to minimize diseconomies of scale without depending on reductions in population growth. It has been hypothesized that rapid population growth will lead to innovation in social technology, yet it is unclear why individuals or societies should respond more creatively to pressure due to population growth than to pressure due to economic or political developments or to higher levelsof aspiration. And, it is unclear that rapid population growth has in fact stimulated innovation in specific countries. Changes in the relative prices of inputs may call for or even induce changes the mix of imputs used in producing social goods. This may be the case even in the absence of technological advance. Although it often is noted that population growth tends to increase the desired and actual level of consumption of social goods and services, it less frequently is recognized that the relative increases in consumption are not likely to be the same for all social goods and services. This is due in part to the production relationships. To bring about a general decline in fertility it is insufficient to increase the consumption of social goods and services by a relatively small number of rich couples who already may limit their fertility. What is necessary is to increase the consumption of social goods and services by all parts of the population and thereby to influence the fertility behavior of a substantial proportion of the population. Policies designed to influence economic behavior might be directed appropriately towards relatively high income groups, for they account for a disproportionately large share of all consumption, saving, and investment.
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  25. 50
    249862

    On the optimum theoretical rate of population growth

    Simon JL; Steinmann G

    Jahrbucher fur Nationalokonomie und Statistik. 1985 Sep; 200(5):508-31.

    The paper seeks intuitively-satisfying models of optimum population growth. The authors build upon Phelps's model of endogenous technical progress plus the Steinmann-Simon extension, which imply that the per-person consumption growth rate depends positively and linearly upon the population growth rate, without bound....They suggest that the consumption rate ultimately turns downwards as population growth increases because of decreasing adoption of available technology as labor cheapens relative to capital, and as high population growth overtaxes people's will and ability to respond. Including a convex-downward function in the model yields sensible results. (summary in GER) (EXCERPT)
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