Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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population pressures > features

Whatever happened to the teeming millions?
Once it was the word on everyone�s lips, now �population� is the environmental issue that dares not speak its name. Here David Nicholson-Lord raises the flag for an unfashionable concern - and argues the case for a decline in the population of the United Kingdom. ... more

The shadow that looms over our planet

by Mark Lynas

The century's big issue is not equality in the conventional sense. It is whether we can share with other species and with future human generations, says Mark Lynas in this extract from an essay, which first appeared in the New Statesman magazine. It is one of two articles, which draw attention to widely shunned issue of human numbers and the environment (see: The green issue that dare not speak its name). ... more

The green issue that dare not speak its name

Birth rates in Europe have fallen, but by 2031, the population of the United Kingdom will have risen by 10 per cent to almost 66 million, according to government projections, putting ever greater pressure on a crowded island - while global numbers will have risen from 6.4 billion to 9 billion. But population, and its environmental implications, remains a taboo subject, says David Nicholson-Lord. ... more

China 'driving up pressure on resources'
China has emerged as a global force that is driving consumption and production of almost everything through the roof, according to the latest publication from the Worldwatch Institute. ... more

The next world war

In his recent book The Next World War: Tribes, Cities, Nations and Ecological Decline Roy Woodbridge calls for a shift of policy that will urgently direct technological change to solve the problem of provisioning humanity, before global population growth and rising consumption put the planet's natural resources under intolerable stress. Here, he outlines the case for a revolutionary response to the ecological crisis. ... more

New light on Egypt's future
by John Rowley

With its numbers likely to double and with severely limited water supplies from the River Nile, Egypt faces formidable population and related environmental problems. And these will be made worse if global warming reduces the rainfall over the Nile Basin. Now a groundbreaking study will look at these population, environment and human development interactions in the round. ... more

The stark lesson China teaches
by Lester R. Brown

For China's 1.3 billion people, the American dream is fast becoming the Chinese dream, but unless its lessons are learnt it could become a nightmare for the world, says Lester Brown. ... more

China becoming world's leading consumer
by Lester Brown

Although the United States, with only 5 per cent of the world's population, has long consumed the lion's share of the earth's resources, this situation is changing fast, says Lester Brown. For China, with over a fifth of the world's population and a surging economy, has overtaken the United States in the consumption of one resource after another. ... more

World population climbs by 76 million
by Janet Larsen

During 2004, 133 million people were born and 57 million died, expanding world population by 76 million. This excess of births over deaths was concentrated in the developing countries, which added 73 million people compared with only 3 million in the industrial countries. World population, growing by 1.2 percent annually, is projected to reach 6.4 billion in 2005 (see Figure 1). ... more

Why populatIon growth should slow

Global debates about population policy are confusing, says Jeffrey Sachs. One side argues that rising populations threaten our environment and prosperity. The other side, mainly in rich countries, argues that households are now having so few children that there won't be enough around to take care of aging parents. Here Professor Sachs puts his personal view. ... more

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