Tag: population

Karen Seto on Cities and Conservation

What nature looks like in 2050 will be driven by cities. Are there ways to build cities that provide residents attractive amenities sustainably?

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Seven Billion and Counting: Population and the Planet

A panel discussion brings together leaders of population and environment groups to talk about the opportunities to improve livelihoods and conserve nature.

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Population Bomb or Population Crash: A Tale of Two Worlds

One of my biggest frustrations with the press in this online era is the pressure to pick one simple story to describe an incredibly complex issue.

An ongoing story line for journalists and bloggers is how rapid population growth is posing numerous problems for society and the environment. This story line has been around a while: it traces its modern form to Paul Ehrlich’s famous book The Population Bomb, and it has been critiqued for just as long.

In the last several years, there has been a wave of stories written from the opposite perspective. The rate of population growth is actually falling, and Europe and Japan are actually losing population, so the real problem is the population crash.

This is a catchy story, because it fits into the “everything you thought you knew about X was wrong!” category.

Jeff Wise, in a piece in Slate, carried this story line to its absurd conclusion, suggesting (I hope somewhat in jest) that if this trend of falling birth rate continued, “in the long term—on the order of centuries—we could be looking at the literal extinction of humanity.”

Both stories have an element of truth.

More to the point, each story is true for one of two very different worlds.

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Diverse Conservation

Call for Inclusive Conservation
Join Heather Tallis in a call to increase the diversity of voices and values in the conservation debate.

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