Your search found 789 Results
BIOSCIENCE. 1986 Jun; 36(6):11 p..This paper examines the human impact on the biosphere by calculating the fraction of net primary production (NPP) that humans have appropriated. NPP is the amount of energy left after subtracting the respiration of primary producers (mostly plants) from the total amount of energy (mostly solar) that is fixed biologically. NPP provides the basis for maintenance, growth, and reproduction of all heterotrophs (consumers and decomposers). It is the total food resource on Earth. The human impact on the biosphere is calculated in three ways. The low estimate is simply the amount of NPP that people use directly, such as food, fuel, fiber, or timber. The intermediate estimates include all the productivity of lands devoted entirely to human activities. Intermediate estimates calculation also includes the energy activity consumed by humans. Meanwhile, high estimates calculation includes productive capacity lost as a result of converting open land to cities and forests to pastures or because of desertification or overuse (overgrazing, excessive erosion). Results of the calculations are presented.
PEOPLE AND THE PLANET. 1996; 5(3):6-9.Globally, water use has more than tripled since 1950, and the answer to this rising demand generally has been to build more and bigger water supply projects, particularly dams and river diversions. As population and consumption levels grow, more and more rivers are being dammed, diverted, or overtapped to supply increasing volumes of water to cities, industries, and farms. Among these rivers are the Nile in northeast Africa, the Ganges in south Asia, the Amu Dar'ya and Syr Dar'ya in the Aral Sea basin, the Huang He (Yellow River) in China, and the Colorado. Subsequently, such massive change in the global aquatic environment generated deterioration, decline, and in some cases, collapse in aquatic systems. In addition, competition for water is increasing not only between the human economy and the natural environment, but also between and within countries. Water scarcity is a potential source of conflict. Forces such as the depletion of resources; population growth; and unequal distribution or access can create political conflicts. Achieving more sustainable patterns of water use, restoring and maintaining the integrity of river systems, and cooperation within and between countries will not only protect the aquatic environment, but also avert conflict.
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.
INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE. 1999 Sep-Oct; 22-9.Human activities caused by population growth and consumption patterns are taking a heavy toll on the Earth's life-support systems as well as on Earth's other species, which are disappearing at record rates as human numbers rise. It has been reported that sometime on October 12, 1999, the 6 billionth human will be born on the planet. This report looks at the collective effect of 6 billion consumption machines on six aspects of the natural world. These include water, forest, air, soil, oceans, and animals. All these resources are projected to deplete substantially and quantifiably in the next years to come, adding to the ongoing degradation of the Earth's natural system happening today. Factors contributing to the drastic increase of exhaustion include population growth and the increasing demands of humans for such expedients. However, successful initiatives are being promoted and undertaken in some countries which could help stabilize the level of consumption of global resources.
PEOPLE AND THE PLANET. 1999; 8(4):10-1.This article focuses on the issue of consumption in relation to the growing world population. Over the past 25 years, world population increased by 53%, while world consumption per person increased by only 39%. If consumption continues to grow at 1.4%, the world consumption per person will rise by 100% over the next 50 years with the population increasing by only half that amount. The burden of reducing the environmental impact brought about by this increase lies on technology. Technology needs to deliver major changes in improving resource productivity, and decreasing the amount of waste created. Productivity such as global food production has kept up with demand. Malnutrition persists due to poverty, and not because of the inability of the world to produce enough food. However, the prospects are much worse for resources that are not traded on markets or subject to sustainable management such as groundwater, state forests, ocean fish, and communal waste sinks like rivers, lakes, and the global atmosphere. These resources are not under the direct control of people affected by shortage. People who want to change the way these resources are used or managed have to pass through the legal or political system. Usually, political responses are slow and there has to be a very widespread environmental damage before action is taken.
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.
AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW. 1999 May; 89(2):251-5.This paper examines how population growth affects the average level of utility, particularly, the consumption per capita. It also focuses on the effects of population growth on the ratio of dependent consumers to working-age adults. The model employed in this paper has three demographic groups: working-age adults, who produce and consume, and the young and elderly, who only consume. This study concluded that the transition to lower population growth requires a long period of reduced dependency in which society benefits from lower spending on children while it has yet to pay for higher old-age dependency. The dependency level after 30 years is not significantly different from that which would exist in an optimal stable population. Any rise in fertility that would decrease old-age dependency in the long run would require a lengthy period of higher-than-steady-state dependency.
GENUS. 1998 Jul-Dec; 54(3-4):25-34.This paper presents an approach to the problem of optimum population avoiding the standard absolute repugnant solution as well as the marginal repugnant solution. Economists confront a variety of problems involving population size that is endogenously determined and can be either indirectly or directly regulated. The problem implies that an increase in each individual income leads to a drop in the optimal level of consumption. A concept axiomatized by Blackorby et al. was utilized to surmount the problem that required a critical level of use. However, critical level was not exogenous according to the assumption, but linked to the marginal contribution of each newcomer to the total resource constraint of a society.
Washington, D.C., Population Action International, 1999. 67 p.Forest Futures: Population, Consumption and Wood Resources is one of a series of reports on population and critical natural resources released by the Population Action International. Its aim is to go beyond a simple review of the debate on population and forest decline, and to envision the positive future that sound population policies make possible for forests and those who depend on them. It considers the linkage between population policies and forest resource management. One of its key findings is that the current slowing of population growth offers the prospect of a world that sustains large swaths of forest for future generations. It recognizes the need for policies and programs that both slow population growth and encourage a more careful use of the forests. The report proposes the use of a population-based measure of forest resource availability--the forest-to-people ratio--to help assess the capacity of each forest to supply goods and services to its inhabitants. These goods and services are essential for economic development, education, and communication, and a healthy environment. Finally, the report concludes with recommendations on population policy, consumption, and sustainable forestry.
In: Dangerous intersections: feminist perspectives on population, environment, and development. A project of the Committee on Women, Population, and the Environment, edited by Jael Silliman and Ynestra King. Cambridge, Massachusetts, South End Press, 1999. 189-201.This document discusses the content of the north American critiques of consumption and consumerism; the strengths and weaknesses of these critiques are cited in order to present the core elements that can bring about a woman-centered analysis. A report from a nongovernmental organization (NGO) promoting a simple, fairly low-cost solar cooker to Somali women, provide the occasion for the author's exposition of different facets of consumption and consumerism: the consumption of resources by individuals, by governments and the ruling elite, by semi-autonomous and secretive institutions such as the military, and by macroeconomic systems that are embedded within the matrix of political economy and cultural values. Three approaches are used as a basis for analyses to provide alternatives to consumption pattern and consumerist ideology in industrialized countries: the demographics of consumption, the movement to simplify life and make consumer choices that are less environmentally damaging, and the computation of the ecological footprint. The demographics of consumption claim that happiness has diminished as people work more to purchase more nondurable, packaged, rapidly obsolete, nonvital goods and services. The voluntary simplicity movement has emphasized the need for people to assess their real financial needs, to budget and invest to achieve financial independence on a substantially reduced income, and to calculate the impact of their lifestyle on the environment through household audits of energy, products, and waste. The ecological footprint model is based more on the calculation of consumer impact on the earth in connection with the responsibilities of government, the right of every human to a fair and healthful share of the earth's resources and a deep concern for not overloading or degrading global ecosystems. Woman-centered analysis of the issue of consumption was discussed with the aim of furthering the goals of redistributing and humanizing the use of natural resources, consumer goods, and services, and of mitigating and reversing the impact of pollution on ecosystems.
Panel discussion: To seek the new and rational standard on population and sustainable development for the coming century (special focus on food security). Discussion.
In: The Fourteenth Asian Parliamentarians' Meeting on Population and Development, April 4-5 1998, New Delhi, India, [compiled by] Asian Population and Development Association. [Tokyo, Japan], Asian Population and Development Association, 1998. 137-42.This paper is a transcript of a panel discussion which focused on seeking new and rational standard on population and sustainable development for the coming century among Asian countries. Although concentrated mainly on food security and production, the paper also elaborates on population growth and how education affects its dynamics. For example, according to the delegate from China, the miraculous downward trend of population growth in her country was brought about by implementing a family planning policy while promoting education for all the people, especially those in rural areas. The practicability of the World Food Bank (proposed by the delegate from India) as a means for maintaining a stable food supply, is debated. Issues involving anti-poverty measures, the purchasing power of the poor and food distribution systems are also discussed. One participant proposes controlling food prices and making sure that the food supply is distributed evenly to prevent hunger. Another participant states that, apart from tremendous leakage in the distribution system, there are also problems such as weak infrastructure, road network, storage capacity, and delivery system that constitute barriers to adequate food distribution, so that, in spite of subsidies, the poor are not able to benefit from the situation.
In: The Fourteenth Asian Parliamentarians' Meeting on Population and Development, April 4-5 1998, New Delhi, India, [compiled by] Asian Population and Development Association. [Tokyo, Japan], Asian Population and Development Association, 1998. 135-6.Food insecurity is experienced as population continues to grow at an alarming rate. China, taking agriculture as a fundamental problem now successfully feeds 22% of the world's population on about 7% of the world's cultivated land. Although it is facing problems such as reduction of cultivated land, fragile agriculture infrastructure, and weak ability to overcome the damages of the natural disasters, China is certain that its food will be reliably secured in the next century and that such theories as "Who Will Feed China in the Next Century" by certain Western scholars are completely groundless. Now, China is tapping all potentialities by enhancing scientific production and management and will take full advantage of its resources to develop its production of non-grain foods through fruit-bearing crops, husbandry, and fishing. Food security is no longer an issue of an individual country but the region and the globe. Together with all other countries, China is willing to make its contribution to ensure food security both in China and Asia as a whole.
In: The Fourteenth Asian Parliamentarians' Meeting on Population and Development, April 4-5 1998, New Delhi, India, [compiled by] Asian Population and Development Association. [Tokyo, Japan], Asian Population and Development Association, 1998. 131-4.Food security problems worsen as population rapidly increases. Investing heavily in rural sectors to alleviate a food security problem poses a threat to the environment. This is made evident by the fact that wherever intensification of agriculture has taken place, there has been a very serious chemicalization of agriculture involving heavy doses of fertilizers and pesticides. For example, in India and many other developing countries, it is apparent that intensification of agriculture is leading to soil degradation and water pollution, such that fresh water availability (a critical element to agriculture) is going to be endangered, and there is also a danger to certain fragile parts of ecology such as the mountains. Recovery is going to be a costly affair. It is not just providing food for the large population of the poor that is a concern--making sure that the poor have enough purchasing power is another. Indeed, the poor need to earn enough, to be employed, and to be able to participate in the developing process to a degree that they will be able to influence policy decisions. Even if a country is able to grow enough food or has enough foreign trade to buy imported food, it is still not a sufficient condition for effective delivery of food to the poor. The key to sustainable development is investment in human capital--in education and improvement of skills. Without this investment, delivery of food is just not enough.
In: The Fourteenth Asian Parliamentarians' Meeting on Population and Development, April 4-5 1998, New Delhi, India, [compiled by] Asian Population and Development Association. [Tokyo, Japan], Asian Population and Development Association, 1998. 127-30.This paper discusses the seeking of new and rational standards for population and sustainable development. Food security, defined as the availability of food to everybody in the community throughout the year at reasonable prices, has been linked to the purchasing power of people, which emerges out of working in productive occupations. There are two basic determinants of food demand: population growth and per capita income. If income growth and income levels are both high, there is a diversification of the food basket. In such a case people do not eat so much grain; instead, they diversify their food habits and go for those with more nutrients or for those that taste better. Consequently, there is a movement towards a diet dependent on milk, meat, eggs, fish, poultry, pork, and beef. Therefore, the demand for food grains declines as income increases. However, demand for meat, eggs, fish, and poultry also leads to a very big indirect demand for food grains. For example in China, the feed requirement may emerge to be as much as 30% of the total food demand. Although the direct food demand declines with rise in income, the total direct and indirect food demand increases at a very rapid rate. To overcome supply constraints in food grains, investment should be allotted to agricultural infrastructure--in irrigation, in scientific research, in extensions, and in upgrading of technology. Otherwise, developing countries, especially in Asia, will be increasingly dependent on borrowing and importing food from developed countries.
In: The Fourteenth Asian Parliamentarians' Meeting on Population and Development, April 4-5 1998, New Delhi, India, [compiled by] Asian Population and Development Association. [Tokyo, Japan], Asian Population and Development Association, 1998. 121-2.This paper discusses the proposed role of the "World Food Bank" in maintaining food security. The issue of food security implies three dimensions: availability of food, access to food, and stability of availability and access. Along with water and shelter, food is a basic amenity of life. Without it man cannot live. Mahatma Gandhi has given the world the concept of Trusteeship which states that the haves are the trustees and they have to take care of the have-nots. It is this principle that the concept of the World Food Bank is based upon. The objective of the World Food Bank is to provide timely, adequate food to nations that are temporarily or chronically in deficit with respect to food requirements. The World Food Bank will be an international food cooperative society. Nations will be encouraged to be self-reliant as far as possible, and the Bank will function on a decentralized basis. Distribution and storage will be handled by the national government in complete coordination with their indigenous systems. Such a concept as the World Food Bank, however, has to be carefully considered by all the nations of the world, and making it a reality will be a complex job.
Characteristics of the international rice market and the new equitable and sustainable rule for international trade of rice and food.
In: The Fourteenth Asian Parliamentarians' Meeting on Population and Development, April 4-5 1998, New Delhi, India, [compiled by] Asian Population and Development Association. [Tokyo, Japan], Asian Population and Development Association, 1998. 107-20.This paper proposes a new equitable and sustainable international trade rule and agricultural policy on rice and agricultural products for Asian countries. A new trade rule is the necessary modification of the free trade that has strongly influenced the recent international trade negotiations on agricultural products from Asia's viewpoint. The presentation involves these topics: 1) concentration of rice production and consumption in Asia and self-sufficiency; 2) the thin, unstable, and unreliable international rice trade market; 3) self-sufficiency as an important market principle and policy goal; 4) the important national policy objective of domestic rice price and supply stabilization; 5) the mutually enforcing relationship between rice self-sufficiency policy and thin international rice trade market; 6) the rule of the benefit of free trade; 7) the nonexistence of a reliable and relatively stable international rice trade market; 8) the oligopolistic international rice trade market; 9) the crisis for Asia's poor and hungry caused by the liberalization of rice trade; and 10) the reduction in the value of externalities to the Asian people caused by rice trade liberalization. Rice is a necessity, the wage goods, the grain of life and the political goods in the developing Asian countries. About 90% of the world production and consumption of rice is concentrated in Asia. In order to maintain stabilization of domestic price and supply of rice, most Asian countries have pursued a rice self-sufficiency and stabilization policy.
DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGE. 1999 Apr; 30(2):217-35.This article argues that the elderly in developing countries are entitled to a national pension scheme as their entitlement to a reasonable standard of living and as compensation for inequities during their working years. Productivity of the elderly should include accumulated assets and savings as workers. Dependency burdens include the elderly, the unemployed, and underemployed. The productive ability of the elderly is a function of actual age and disabilities. Retirement age is an institutional measure. Economists argue that economic growth is reduced by a large proportion of elderly, who adversely impact aggregate demand and investment, or that the elderly consume more than they produce. The author argues that the consumption needs of the elderly should be framed within a context that assures entitlement to a "reasonable" standard of living. Price stability can assure the purchasing power of the aged. Maintaining the productive ability of the elderly means that land assets can guarantee access to food. Women's entitlement to goods and services is related to their work history, pension, property, and inheritance rights. Poverty is a threat to older women. The performance of the economy over time affects present and future generations. Intergenerational cooperation is necessary. When the proportion of elderly increases, working age and other populations must increase productivity to meet the needs of the aged.
AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW. 1999 May; 89(2):281-6.This paper employs a simple theoretical model of labor allocation within rural households, given existing land arrangements in an attempt to explain why rural Chinese do not fully participate in labor migration. It first explores the mechanisms by which individual, household, and community characteristics affect the migration decision. Empirical results are then presented to substantiate the derived hypotheses. The paper further explores the question of whether the migration decision is permanent by analyzing the responses of household consumption to income from migration. (EXCERPT)
JOURNAL OF THE AUSTRALIAN POPULATION ASSOCIATION. 1996 Nov; 13(2):195-229.This article reviews the post-Second World War literature on explanations for Australia's immigration program. It discovers three main schools of thought based on net pull factors: the official explanation and two unofficial explanations which focus on migrants as workers and on migrants as consumers. However the growing importance of net push factors after 1974 means that some of this work is less relevant today. Explanations focusing on net push factors have yet to cohere into a distinct perspective (or perspectives) but some research has been done on chain migration and family-based migration strategies, asylum seekers, temporary movement, and migration and the law. (EXCERPT)
[The use of water: a critical focus on the population-environment-resources relationship] El uso del agua: un enfoque critico de la relacion poblacion-ambiente-recursos.
PAPELES DE POBLACION. 1998 Jan-Mar; 4(15):177-92.The case of the Laja River basin in Mexico illustrates the argument that over exploitation of water resources must be analyzed in broader terms than mere population growth. The work begins with an examination of the persistence in Mexico of a Malthusian focus in works on the relationship between population growth and the carrying capacity of river basins. Theoretical focuses that include social, cultural, and economic characteristics as well as physical factors in definitions of environment assume a systemic perspective that makes possible examination of relations between regional social systems and natural systems. The Laja basin was selected for study because of its high degree of internal ecological diversity, wide variety of agricultural systems, and multiple conflicts over water use. In the past three decades, with introduction of deep well technology and policies to promote a cheap food supply, a dualist agricultural economy has developed in which large producers growing commercial and export crops coexist with subsistence farmers who have probably reduced their use of irrigation. The river basin is deteriorating due to over exploitation of all natural resources and rapid demographic growth stemming from regional industrialization. The region has arrived at critical limits in only a few years, with the local population little involved in the process. The case suggests that proposals to stem deterioration of water resources cannot rely solely on technical solutions, but must involve achievement of consensus between the parties involved.
REVIEW OF ECONOMICS AND STATISTICS. 1999 Feb; 81(1):41-9.This paper examines the relationship between consumption smoothing and excess female mortality [in India], by asking if favorable rainfall shocks in childhood increase the survival probabilities of girls to a greater extent than they increase boys' survival probabilities for a sample of rural Indian children. In order to avert the issue of selection bias due to underreporting of births of girls, a methodology is employed that does not require data on births by gender. The results indicate that favorable rainfall shocks increase the ratio of the probability that a girl survives to the probability that a boy survives. (EXCERPT)
REVIEW OF INCOME AND WEALTH. 1998 Sep; 44(3):361-81.This paper analyses how consumption inequality within a fixed cohort grows with age using Japanese household microdata. Following the method developed by Deaton and Paxson (1994), we obtain the following results. First, consumption inequality starts to increase at the age of 40. Second, younger generations face a more unequal distribution from the beginning of their life-cycle. Third, half of the rapid increase in the economy-wide consumption inequality during the 1980s was caused by population aging, while one-third was due to the increasing cohort effect. The paper compares the above results with those of Deaton and Paxson. (EXCERPT)
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.
JOURNAL OF POPULATION ECONOMICS. 1998; 11(4):551-77.We investigate the effects of demographics, household expenditure and female employment on the allocation of household expenditure to consumer goods. For this purpose we estimate an Almost Ideal Demand System based on Dutch micro data. We find that interactions between household expenditure and demographics are of significant importance in explaining the allocation to consumer goods. As a consequence, consumer goods such as housing and clothing change with demographic characteristics from luxuries to necessities. (EXCERPT)
JOURNAL OF POPULATION ECONOMICS. 1998; 11(4):453-70.In this study we use data from rural India to examine the impact of the birth of a boy relative to the birth of a girl (i.e., the `gender shock') on the savings, consumption and income of rural Indian households. We find that the gender shock reduces savings for medium and large farm households, although there is no evidence that the shock affects savings for the landless and the small farm households. We also estimate the effect of the shock on income and consumption for the former group in order to determine the source of the drop in savings. (EXCERPT)