July 31, 2012
Re "A church's choice," last of five parts, July 29 The horror created by Roman Catholic clerics in the Philippines begs for a new reformation by more thoughtful followers of the faith. The bishops pretend to promote a "culture of life" by pressuring politicians to halt the distribution of contraceptives; in fact, they promote a culture of death with more starving children. Wrongly conflating contraception with abortion leads to more actual abortions. Human beings might be able to adapt to the global changes taking place; however, they could starve the planet's life if the science that offers a way to prevent unwanted pregnancies is ignored.
July 26, 2012 |
DADAAB, Kenya - His rib cage rose and fell with tight, rapid breaths. Saad Siyat looked shrunken beneath the hospital blanket. His wide-set eyes rolled up into his head, and his body burned with fever. The boy was unconscious and convulsing when his aunt brought him to the hospital at Ifo camp, one of five massive camps in eastern Kenya filled with Somali refugees. The family had arrived months earlier after a nearly 300-mile journey across the desert. Saad was suffering from pneumonia and chronic undernourishment - in particular, a protein deficiency known as kwashiorkor.
June 14, 2012 |
If life were a movie, the president of the United States (probably played by Will Smith) would be leaping into action to save humankind from the calamity that a new scientific report says is about to befall the Earth. A paper prepared by 22 international scientists and just published in the journal Nature warns that overpopulation, environmental destruction and climate change have pushed the world toward a tipping point beyond which lie irreversible,...
October 31, 2011 |
It took only a dozen years for humanity to add another billion people to the planet, reaching the milestone of 7 billion Monday — give or take a few months. Demographers at the United Nations Population Division set Oct. 31, 2011, as the "symbolic" date for hitting 7 billion, while acknowledging that it's impossible to know for sure the specific time or day. Using slightly different calculations, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the 7-billion threshold will not be reached until March.
October 30, 2011 |
The United Nations has identified Monday as the day world population hits 7 billion. Many find the Halloween date appropriate given the frightening prospect of this demographic milestone. As if 7 billion weren't scary enough, the U.N. projects 10 billion people by 2083, the addition of roughly three more Indias. But the parents of the 7-billionth person should not be afraid for their child's future. In spite of the daunting challenges facing the world, including global warming, rising food prices and a billion people in poverty, the 7-billionth child will almost surely have a better life than the 3-billionth or 6-billionth child.
May 15, 2011
It's getting crowded out there. According to an updated report from the United Nations, the planet's population is not following the expected curve: topping out at about 9 billion mid-century and then leveling off. Instead, the demographic trends point to continued growth, bringing the worldwide population to 10.1 billion by the end of the century - nearly a 50% increase for a planet now inhabited by just under 7 billion. The highest rates of growth will be concentrated in poverty-stricken countries with low education levels, especially those in Africa, where the population is expected to more than triple to 3.5 billion.