In a recent interview with The Telegraph world famous primatologist and conservationist, Jane Goodall, and wildlife documentarian Sir David Attenborough agreed that overpopulation must be addressed to protect the global environment.
“There are three times as many people on earth as when I first started making television programs all of whom require food and a place to live. And many of us, including me, take more than our fair share. And while the answer is unclear, one thing is obvious: where women are educated and have the vote, birth rates drop,” Attenborough told The Telegraph.
Both Attenborough and Goodall are patrons of the Optimum Population Trust , a UK organization devoted to addressing global population as a way to combat the world’s environmental crises.
“It’s our population growth that underlies just about every single one of the problems that we’ve inflicted on the planet,” Goodall told the AFP this spring. “If there were just a few of us, then the nasty things we do wouldn’t really matter and Mother Nature would take care of it—but there are so many of us.”
It’s not just size that matters: how population affects climate change
(11/11/2010) As the world’s population increases, a surge in the number of older adults and the movement of people from the countryside to crowded cities will significantly affect levels of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, according to a sweeping study published in the 11 October issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A significant but attainable slowing of the planet’s growing population could achieve up to 29 percent of the total decrease in emissions needed to stave off the harmful consequences of climate change by 2050, according to the study.
Humanity consuming the Earth: by 2030 we’ll need two planets
(10/13/2010) Too many people consuming too much is depleting the world’s natural resources faster than they are replenished, imperiling not only the world’s species but risking the well-being of human societies, according to a new massive study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), entitled the Living Planet Report. The report finds that humanity is currently consuming the equivalent of 1.5 planet Earths every year for its activities. This overconsumption has caused biodiversity—in this case, representative populations of vertebrate animals—to fall by 30 percent worldwide since 1970. The situation is more dire in tropical regions where terrestrial species’ populations have fallen by 60 percent and freshwater species by 70 percent.
UK’s Royal Society to undertake ‘comprehensive review’ of population growth
(07/12/2010) The UK’s Royal Society has announced that it will begin a major study into the impacts of human population. A largely taboo topic for decades, the Royal Society wants to provide a ‘comprehensive review of the science’ of population growth, according to a press release. The study, due in 2012, will focus especially on sustainable development in the face of population growth.